Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is the mind mapping arena suffering from an identity crisis?

Is the mind mapping arena suffering from an identity crisis? 

Due to the plethora of Visual mapping products on the market; and many are simply plagiarized versions of the leading Mindjet MindManager product; what is the relevancy of this arena if all the products simply look, feel and perform with the same functions and capabilities.

Something to think about for sure. What's your thoughts? 

This is the Question I have asked at Linkedin recently and the response may be of interest to the wider visual mapping arena. For the thread, go to: http://preview.tinyurl.com/6qba7qw 

Here's Olin Reams excellent response with a special offer for your perusal; maybe his response will motivate your input too. Feel free to join the Visualmapper group at Linkedin and add your thoughts to the discussion.

 Olin Reams First I would like to respectfully remove some of the mysticism about mindmapping products. I do this having run sales for Mindjet in the Americas and Far East for almost 5 years as Mindjet was developing and now at CS Odessa for almost 6 years as General Manager of the Americas. I would suggest that I have spoken to more customers on what they want to accomplish than any other sales and marketing professional involved in mind mapping. There might be a couple that are close, but not many.

1) There are a lot of mind mapping tools available for one’s use I stopped counting at about 60 products two years ago.

2) They all have basically the same interface, but they do not do the same thing there is a huge variance.

3) When they do the same thing they do it with varying results.

4) No one product has a superset of all the functionality that is encompassed by the range of mind mapping products.

5) There are really only 4 (maybe 5 products) that combine a good mix of features, support, years in business, and roadmaps charting customer demands. Mindjet, ConceptDraw ( I will let you fill in the rest of the blanks).

So why ConceptDraw?

1) Good history, we are on version 7, and have versions for the Mac and PC.

2) Buy the product for the PC and want to move to Mac? What is your cost? There is no cost, people who purchase our products are able to do that. Want to move from PC to Mac same thing – no cost involved.

3) Our product will open and MS Project, MS PowerPoint, and MJ MindManager files.

4) We do not tier our mind map product offerings looking to increase the price point, we just have one product. This helps customers who are trying to guess what version of a particular brand to buy. Our suggested retail price for the US is $199 (includes all minor updates, support, plus access to our ConceptDraw Solution Park).

5) ConceptDraw MINDMAP integrates with our other products ConceptDraw PROJECT ($219, project management), ConceptDraw Pro ($249, business graphics & drawing); we sell this as a bundle for ($499).

6) Our ConceptDraw Solution Park has in the last 12 months released 32 new solutions for our current generation of products at no additional charge to our customers, plus we have added additional functions to all 3 of our products at no additional charge to current customers. Our current generation of products does more for our customers then they did 12 months ago. And this is at no additional expense.

7) ConceptDraw releases functionality during the lifespan of the product, we are not on a major release schedule every 12 months to get customer upgrades. Our major upgrades occur when there is a major upgrade in overall products.

8) If you wanted to purchase MS Project (standard $599.95, MS web site, MS Visio (standard $249, MS web site), MJ MindManger (Windows $399, Mac $249 MJ web site), the list purchase price for Windows would be $1247.95. List price of CS Odessa Office (ConceptDraw MINDMAP, ConceptDraw PROJECT, & ConceptDraw PRO is $499). That is a savings of about 60% and it runs on Mac and PC.

Conclusion

To judge the state of the “mind mapping” market based on one or two offerings is a disservice to the market. It is like judging the technology market looking only at HP.
By the way CS Odessa is not a mind mapping company we are a productivity company.

Disclaimer

I am the General Manager for the Americas at CS Odessa, so there is no mystery on what side my bread is buttered on.

Offer

Anyone who emails me at oreams (fill in the character) csodessa.com between now and June 4th, 2012 I will have our store people send you a link to purchase at $399 USD. You are responsible for tax. In the subject line put $399 and in the body put the country you are located. I will have our store people generate links and email them to you.

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