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Re: Work on Basic Mathematica Stephen!
Posted:
May 19, 2013 5:47 AM


I have (maybe) a minority perspective on Mathematica being an engineer. I used it long ago at university at version 1. The next time I would use it would be a wolfram approved ebay purchase of version 4. I have used it ever since, but am still rookie in some ways.
I believe WRI is attempting to broaden the user base rather than deepen the product. They are doing this by adding (from our perspective) nonvalue add features to lure people in. The argument is the learning curve is less which should lead to greater sales. This is not how it works at any place I have been.
The only engineering sales force that matters is engineers. If they can't argue for the product, it will not happen. Engineers can't argue for something they are unable use until after purchase and additional training. If you want engineers to demonstrate something or argue for it, you have to do more than offer wizards and connections to WolframAlpha which only apply after the sale. Engineers need to show understanding and capability. Managers have to show accounting they are saving money by buying Mathematica. Improvements in quality of OUR products or ability to address greater problems is not quantifiable to the brigade of MBAs who run modern businesses. There has to be quantifiable savings. This has to be demonstrated by engineering staff before purchase and framed in terms of reduced need for time (salary expense).
I think this can only be achieved by making the online education material targeted to a specific audience. This material must solve real problems in a way that conveys the underlying capability.
I have been told by WRI that most users will only use 5% (at most) of Mathematicas total ability. LoL, if only everyone would use the same 5%.
If you want us to be able to sell it, you have to provide training for free so we can get started solving engineering problems prior to purchase. Combine this with a 60 day trial and you could save a lot of WRI development dollars on bells and whistles that won't increase sales. Help us help you! Stop trying to treat sales tools as a profit center!



