A brief update on the MindManager 9 (MM9) story. As I noted in my last post, Mindjet had replied positively to the detailed map I compiled of user concerns regarding the most recent release of their flagship mind mapping product which I forwarded to them with an open letter summarising the key issues. I commented that Mindjet’s prompt response had the potential to grow into a proper dialogue between the company and its customers which could serve as a model for other companies seeking to make major changes to their key software products.
I’m very pleased to say that Mindjet seems keen to follow through on its initial response, with senior management contacting me regarding the letter. These discussions have been very positive; they are ongoing, but a few key points have emerged:
- While they obviously would have preferred it if there wasn’t anything to be concerned about, Mindjet really appreciated the fact that users were prepared to take the time to identify problems in a constructive way. They also thanked me for coordinating these responses and providing them to Mindjet as a compiled map;
- A point release of MM9 should emerge in the next few weeks, possibly as early as next week. This was obviously already in development when they received my map of user concerns but it should address at least some of the key issues detailed in the map. Further user issues will be addressed in future point releases, which are likely to be more frequent than was the case in previous versions;
- Mindjet are exploring options for greater input from MindManager users to help identify issues and gain a better understanding of customer needs. To complement this, Mindjet are also looking at ways to improve their communications with their customer base.
So far the Mindjet response has been exemplary and indeed it does show signs of developing into a model for other companies. Obviously we will have to see how well Mindjet deliver on their initial promises, but they have already taken the first step that many other companies fail to do; that is, admit it when there is a problem and respond openly, instead of trying to sweep it under several layers of spin.