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Would I be a fool to...

Take on QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign?  These companies seem to be big and smart.

A fool
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Actually I'd probably be on the same level with MS Publisher to start...

A fool
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Yes, you would.

Next.

RP
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Yes you would be a fool.  How would you get publishers to switch to you product?  These guys are fiercely devoted to one product and swear by the thing.  IMO you'd be better off drinking swamp water.

Pat
Thursday, July 29, 2004

You could try to develop a freeware thing for small fanzines. Once you have some users, start working on YourProduct Pro.

Really not a clue
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Best thing here is try to develop an add-on to the product. Competing against big companies is not wise. If you cannot beat them, why not join them.

RZ
Thursday, July 29, 2004

You'll want to take a look at the offerings from Serif Software.  They make packages designed to do the same thing.  They get their market by selling them for significantly less.  They are, in fact, very popular with small publishers who don't have the dough for their larger brethren.  I've used PagePlus and it's pretty good.  I do have to confess though that I'm not a graphics designer, so I can't evaluate it compared to the others. 

Clay Dowling
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Considering InDesign took something like 7 years to develop, I doubt you have the resources to do it. 

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Ask these guys http://www.jasc.com/ they took on Photoshop.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, July 29, 2004

You can compete, but not head on. If you make a product that is a clone of photoshop you'll lose. But if you identify a market segment that's not well served by photoshop and make an application that's well suited for it, you can make out ok. Ideally it would be a vertical segment that's not just segmented by price. Eg. I'll make it cheaper and then I can sell it to students. Perhaps the segment is price sensitive, but it should also have some unique charateristics that will keep the big guys from just competing with you by offereing discounts.

MilesArcher
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Not only are these companies big, but the products are of a very high quality.  It might be different if you were talking about something that totally sucks and the market was dying for a better way.

I started out using JASC Paint Shop Pro because it was a fraction of the cost of Photoshop.  I *thought* it was good enough, but that was at a time when I didn't really understand the difference.  After getting a job where creating top quality graphics was a crucial function, I learned how to use Photoshop and the difference is enormous.  Its not just: does it do a drop shadow? but that the drop shadows have an incredible quality and a granular control.  The same goes for countless filters and effects, not to mention all the tools and effects that other products don't even have at all.

No serious graphics professional uses an alternative to Photoshop.  I would say the desktop publishing tools you mentioned are in the same league.  People just don't even want to waste time on a trial of your product, because the best you could do would be to only equal the quality of the incumbent product.  In order to get someone to go to the trouble of changing products that do the same thing, the new product MUST be BETTER (not just equal), and usually by sizeable margins.

Clay Whipkey
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Look to gets users to switch you need any two of these three things

-- It has lot more features (which are useful and easily  usable)
-- It is significantly cheaper ( < 1/3 )
-- It is significantly faster ( > 3X )

If you think you can meet any two of these you have a shot. 

Firefox meets twof these three easily and so one day I think  IE will lose.

Code Monkey
Thursday, July 29, 2004

I will mostly only echo earlier advice. However I would offer one alternative to cheap pricing, and that is niche marketting. If you can find a large enough niche segment to which you can sell tailored software you may be able to find an 'in'.

Mr Jack
Friday, July 30, 2004

Yeah, if you can build your program as an 'app of the future', i.e. inside a web browser window, then you'll blow your competition away and they won't be able to adjust and/or compete with you, because 'the web is the future'.

not convinced
Friday, July 30, 2004

'the web is the future' ?
Try to do photoshop over the web.

RZ
Friday, July 30, 2004

I second the recommendation for Serif. I use it to run a small twice-monthly 20-page newspaper and love it; its only weakness lies with advanced color seperation work (don't know that it supports trapping, for example, and the Pantone matching I'll guess isn't up to Adobe's standards) but as we print in single-color it's a non-issue.

And while PhotoShop may be the best of all possible worlds, Quark is definitely not. Everyone I know in the graphics industry who uses Quark despises it. People don't seem to be as vexed by Pagemaker, for some reason, though IMHO it's an egregious perversion. InDesign, I'm told, is actually a decent product; I haven't used it. I prefer Serif PagePlus to both Quark and Pagemaker.

E. Naeher
Friday, July 30, 2004

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