The news of the Avid sell-off was news we did not want to break, we had been aware of it for a couple of weeks, but held back on making any announcements… for a number of reasons, but mostly because it may mean that some of our friends will probably no longer have jobs.
Hindsight is a wonderful gift and perhaps for many this day was an inevitable outcome of a the fact that Avid has had a disparate product offering that it had failed to mobilize into the market, partly due to its diminishing staff levels. It’s one thing owning two competing brands like Avid Mbox and M-Audio Fastrack, but then not having the team behind it to give it the marketing and sales support, makes it impossible both for the brand and the people working for it to sustain.
Whilst this announcement is upsetting for us, as some of our friends are either losing their jobs or in very precarious positions, we understand why it has to happen. Whilst Avid have been trying to build a brand they have forgotten what got them there; Pro Tools and Media Composer. In recent years the company that innovated markets with these products has been playing catch-up with new-kids on the block. This can only last for a certain length of time, then one of the new kids becomes the industry standard. We may have seen some glimpses of what is still possible at Avid in terms of innovation, but we need more than the odd glimpse and a more consistent path of innovation for our beloved Pro Tools and Media Composer.
I sat down to eat with an Avid Executive a couple of weeks ago and he asked me to suggest what might be the future path of success, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that he didn’t know himself, he was just curious to hear what I thought. I simply said two words ‘Innovation’ and ‘Generosity’, both have been lacking at Avid for some time - now they have another chance and putting that right. Innovation is pretty self-explanatory, but what I mean by generosity is not, as some may wish, giving stuff away for free, but being known for going the extra mile, be that in design, sales or service - surprising the customer by giving them more than they expect always gives a good return on investment.
In one way this news is good for Pro Tools and Media Composer users if Avid seize the moment and throw themselves into making them the most innovative products available. I understand why this needs to happen I only wish it hadn’t had to be this way.