Author Topic: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation  (Read 50047 times)

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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #75 on: January 15, 2015, 12:03:13 am »
I own a Saleae LA as well. I like it well enough. It serves a different purpose than my MSO and that's fine. I have no axe to grind. I'm just surprised to see a promising small company insource itself to destruction. Usually small businesses outsource to save on CAPEX. 

I have two takeaways from this:

1. Never forget that the software is where the value lies. It's the hardest part and lives the longest.

d.  Never develop a product that is solely dependent on "makers/hackers" for one's livelihood.

It would be interesting to know if there is anything left to salvage. If the software is well-written, perhaps. If they've slowed down on dev because they've written spaghetti, oh well...
 

Offline SteveyG

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #76 on: January 15, 2015, 08:10:45 am »
I have two takeaways from this:

1. Never forget that the software is where the value lies. It's the hardest part and lives the longest.

d.  Never develop a product that is solely dependent on "makers/hackers" for one's livelihood.

Interesting numbering scheme  :-+

Offline nowlan

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #77 on: January 15, 2015, 09:02:01 am »
Can they not just go s/w only as a company?

Are the Chinese only "cloning" their older boards?

I guess you have no market for the software without boards, but it seems the chinese can undercut you.
Most of the value add is in the software.

I havent really considered their new offerings.

nb. I have no business acumen
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #78 on: January 15, 2015, 12:19:26 pm »
Quote
d.  Never develop a product that is solely dependent on "makers/hackers" for one's livelihood.

Agreed. Selling to the hobbyist is a terrible business model.

Quote
It would be interesting to know if there is anything left to salvage.

I hope so. Those guys' value-add is showing all what's possible with primarily software. Their feel-and-touch is top notch and far better than anyone before them, or even in the market now.

I wish best of lucks to those guys.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #79 on: January 15, 2015, 04:33:17 pm »
I own a Saleae LA as well. I like it well enough. It serves a different purpose than my MSO and that's fine. I have no axe to grind. I'm just surprised to see a promising small company insource itself to destruction. Usually small businesses outsource to save on CAPEX. 

I have two takeaways from this:

1. Never forget that the software is where the value lies. It's the hardest part and lives the longest.

d.  Never develop a product that is solely dependent on "makers/hackers" for one's livelihood.

It would be interesting to know if there is anything left to salvage. If the software is well-written, perhaps. If they've slowed down on dev because they've written spaghetti, oh well...

Insourcing to save money is often (usually) a bad idea - it's rare that you can do something cheaper than someone else who specializes in that thing and does it on a large scale.  One of the benefits of insourcing, however, is Just-In-Time manufacturing ability.  This allows you to keep inventory levels low and usually dramatically reduce the time from order to delivery without having to maintain inventory.

I wasn't surprised to see in Joe's blog post that this was one of his big reasons for investing in in-house PnP.  That's one of the main reasons I did it as well.  I have a product that would cost $2.50 for PCB assembly and I make about 5,000 of per year.  That's $12.5k in assembly costs... but I got a used Quad PnP for $10k on my floor, guaranteed, tested, tooled up and that included a day of training.  Now, we pay to run the machine (operator time, maintenance), but so far maintenance has been zero over 3 years and operator time is minimal.. and there are time costs with outsourcing as well, not to mention the capital costs of carrying much greater inventory (and parts/materials needed to outsource).  Last but not least, I still own the machine that I can probably get most of the $10k back out of.

You have to be very careful insourcing - if the cost efficiencies realized are what keeps you cashflow positive, then that signals additional steps need to be taken to correct the course of the business towards greater profitability - but insourcing isn't a path to failure, it can be very beneficial under the right circumstances.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #80 on: January 15, 2015, 04:38:40 pm »
Quote
d.  Never develop a product that is solely dependent on "makers/hackers" for one's livelihood.

Agreed. Selling to the hobbyist is a terrible business model.

Quote
It would be interesting to know if there is anything left to salvage.

I hope so. Those guys' value-add is showing all what's possible with primarily software. Their feel-and-touch is top notch and far better than anyone before them, or even in the market now.

I wish best of lucks to those guys.

Well said on both counts.  Selling to consumers is great if you can do it on a huge scale (like Apple, Microsoft), but selling to businesses is a hell of a lot easier of a sale.  For a business, much of the emotion is removed and it's closer to a straight numbers play - "how much money do I make by spending $X on your product?". 

I really don't know why the Salae guys seem to be so focused on the hardware.  Fighting a tidal wave is impossible - and if they were to sell the software separate from the hardware (and/or give you a 'free' copy of their software with purchase of their hardware - however they want to pitch it), then they could capture revenue from all the deadbeats who are buying cheap Chinese junk and ripping off Salae for their software to run with their Chinese junk.  Selling software can be wonderful - you're already developing it, and there is very little overhead involved in each sale, especially if you charge for service and support.   It seems like Salae is missing the forest for the trees and ignoring a potential HUGE revenue stream on the basis of principles.  They should let the market decide... if customers prefer to pay $100 for their software and run it with a crap Chinese piece of hardware... well, that's what the market wants.  If they don't sell their software, someone else might come along and sell such software.
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Offline amyk

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #81 on: January 15, 2015, 04:45:22 pm »
https://www.saleae.com/about

Quote
It's more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.

Probably not the best quotation to have on Saleae's website about now...
:-DD

I think Saleae's "Apple-ism" just doesn't work so well with engineers; they're not the type to obsess over milled aluminium cases and all that "wank" (as Dave calls it), and pretty software is "ugly" to them if it doesn't have the functionality they want.

In fact I don't think a casing made of conductive material on a small "dongle-like" logic analyser is a good idea at all; it's another chance to short something out with it.
 

Offline Zbig

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #82 on: January 15, 2015, 06:47:59 pm »
I think Saleae's "Apple-ism" just doesn't work so well with engineers; they're not the type to obsess over milled aluminium cases and all that "wank" (as Dave calls it), and pretty software is "ugly" to them if it doesn't have the functionality they want.

In fact I don't think a casing made of conductive material on a small "dongle-like" logic analyser is a good idea at all; it's another chance to short something out with it.

To me, this article: http://www.eejournal.com/archives/articles/20141223-saleae/ , while presumably unwittingly, sums up what's wrong with their "pretty, shiny T&M devices" philosophy. I, as an engineer, would probably feel little awkward after reading it, a little patronized, perhaps, if I were Saleae. I don't know, like a female scientist who just discovered something big while everyone around her just seems to talk about how nice a pair of... eyes she's got. Saleae, on the other hand, seemed flattered by that (retweets). I laugh at Starbucks-dwelling Apple show-offs and, as an engineer, I'd like to be perceived as anything but that. They're not engineers, they're the opposite. They're, in large part, "passive" users of technology, not having the slightest of clues as of what happens under the hood, expecting everything to "just work". It's the engineers who made these shiny, trendy toys for them. Heck, Saleae's blatant fascination with everthing Apple was actually a turnoff I had to overcome while deciding on the purchase of their Logic.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 06:58:13 pm by Zbig »
 

Offline alank2

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #83 on: January 15, 2015, 07:06:50 pm »
You guys are a tough crowd!  I've got to say that from a consumer standpoint, I love their business model.  It may not be the most profitable business model where a company squeezes every last cent out of someone, but I'm glad it isn't.  I wouldn't pay for a support contract and I'd be irritated to pay for extra features to unlock this or unlock that.

I actually think their latest products are a work of beauty from the enclosure to the way they made the pcb's.  I can appreciate that they like to make nice things.  I think the human race has really lost something in the past 20-30 years.  Not many care about making something quality anymore because we can get a junk version, use it for 5 minutes, toss it, and just go buy another one.  I guess I'm on a rant, but I would love for humans to get back into the business to building beautiful things.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #84 on: January 15, 2015, 07:21:31 pm »
Quote
I think Saleae's "Apple-ism" just doesn't work so well with engineers;

I am not sure. I thought it has been established that they sell into the hobbyist / maker crowd. Unfortunately, those are highly price sensitive and the wrong business model (of giving away your most valuable assets) doesn't work here when the hardware was so easily cloned.

The Apple model works to the extent that a) there is a fanatic following (aka the customers are not that price sensitive) and b) the replication cost is prohibitive. None of that holds true here, unfortunately for Saleae.

I happen to think that their fundamental approach - acquisition hardware + virtual analyzer - is the future of instrumentation - I know of quite a few firms working on precisely that, on mobile platforms.

So if the Saleae guys cannot make it work in logic analyzers, hopefully they will take the same approach, refine the business model, and replicate their success in a different niche.
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Offline Zbig

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #85 on: January 15, 2015, 07:24:01 pm »
You guys are a tough crowd!  I've got to say that from a consumer standpoint, I love their business model.  It may not be the most profitable business model where a company squeezes every last cent out of someone, but I'm glad it isn't.  I wouldn't pay for a support contract and I'd be irritated to pay for extra features to unlock this or unlock that.

I actually think their latest products are a work of beauty from the enclosure to the way they made the pcb's.  I can appreciate that they like to make nice things.  I think the human race has really lost something in the past 20-30 years.  Not many care about making something quality anymore because we can get a junk version, use it for 5 minutes, toss it, and just go buy another one.  I guess I'm on a rant, but I would love for humans to get back into the business to building beautiful things.

I didn't say I wanted it ugly (or low quality) but how would you feel if Dave, in his latest review, instead of commenting on the actual performance and features of that cool Rigol scope, elaborated on how beautiful the curvature of the handle is, making it THE most important aspect of that piece of hardware? That's what they've done in that article and Saleae seemed to like it. Cars should be nice too look at. Clothes should look good on you. Sure it doesn't HURT when your T&M tool is easy on the eye but, come on, making it one of the most important features? Sorry, no, this is out of place.

And by the way, believe it or not, Apple design isn't the epitome of beauty for everyone ;) Neither the quality, for that matter.

EDIT:
For the record: I wish them best but this Apple thing does and will keep annoying me.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 07:27:53 pm by Zbig »
 

Offline alank2

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2015, 07:30:53 pm »
instead of commenting on the actual performance and features of that cool Rigol scope, elaborated on how beautiful the curvature of the handle is, making it THE most important aspect of that piece of hardware?

Oh I am with you, I just want it all.  I want it to be designed well, work well, built well, durable, long lasting, and be good to look at! :)
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2015, 07:58:58 pm »
You guys are a tough crowd!  I've got to say that from a consumer standpoint, I love their business model.  It may not be the most profitable business model...

It's tough love. I don't think anyone dislikes Saleae here. And it's not that the business model isn't *as* profitable, it's not profitable at all, by their own admission. The vibe here is one of seeing good people do good work and wanting to them succeed. The market has essentially chosen the path they must follow to survive. One person's harsh is another's objective.
 

Offline alank2

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2015, 08:05:13 pm »
It's tough love. I don't think anyone dislikes Saleae here. And it's not that the business model isn't *as* profitable, it's not profitable at all, by their own admission. The vibe here is one of seeing good people do good work and wanting to them succeed. The market has essentially chosen the path they must follow to survive. One person's harsh is another's objective.

I'm with you LabSpokane.  :-+
 

Offline senso

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2015, 08:21:36 pm »
Stupid question, if they wrote thousands upon thousands of lines of code why is the software almost like it was 5 years ago, with limited decoders available, limited cursors, "dumb" data dump to .xls, are they designing the GUI pixel by pixel?
 

Offline alank2

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #90 on: January 15, 2015, 08:27:37 pm »
Stupid question, if they wrote thousands upon thousands of lines of code why is the software almost like it was 5 years ago, with limited decoders available, limited cursors, "dumb" data dump to .xls, are they designing the GUI pixel by pixel?

The software is very different if you install the latest beta compared to old release code from years ago. 

Here is the current decoder list:


 

Offline cosmicray

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #91 on: January 15, 2015, 08:30:45 pm »
https://www.saleae.com/about

Quote
It's more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy.

Probably not the best quotation to have on Saleae's website about now...
:-DD

I think Saleae's "Apple-ism" just doesn't work so well with engineers; they're not the type to obsess over milled aluminium cases and all that "wank" (as Dave calls it), and pretty software is "ugly" to them if it doesn't have the functionality they want.

In fact I don't think a casing made of conductive material on a small "dongle-like" logic analyser is a good idea at all; it's another chance to short something out with it.

the folks over at DP have been looking at milled cases as well ...
http://dangerousprototypes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=59389#p59389
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #92 on: January 16, 2015, 12:40:30 am »
I didn't say I wanted it ugly (or low quality) but how would you feel if Dave, in his latest review, instead of commenting on the actual performance and features of that cool Rigol scope, elaborated on how beautiful the curvature of the handle is, making it THE most important aspect of that piece of hardware? That's what they've done in that article and Saleae seemed to like it. Cars should be nice too look at. Clothes should look good on you. Sure it doesn't HURT when your T&M tool is easy on the eye but, come on, making it one of the most important features? Sorry, no, this is out of place.

And by the way, believe it or not, Apple design isn't the epitome of beauty for everyone ;) Neither the quality, for that matter.

EDIT:
For the record: I wish them best but this Apple thing does and will keep annoying me.

It's human nature to want beautiful things.  I've made a shitload of money manufacturing things that are high-tech but also "beautiful".  Apple has done the same but to an orders of magnitude greater extent.

The desire to own and possess beautiful things isn't limited to consumer devices... it extends to medical equipment, construction equipment, plastic storage containers, commodity goods and everything else we spend money on.  It's not the defining feature of a product but it's an important one because the things that beautiful design convey are things that people are willing to pay money for.

I'm happy to admit that I like how my Rigol, Agilent and Fluke gear looks on my bench and I would preferentially buy something that perhaps isn't as good on paper but looks better than something that is technically better but less attractive - even at the same price.  The vast majority do the same - even if they don't admit or acknowledge it :)
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Offline Smokey

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #93 on: January 16, 2015, 03:15:07 am »
It's human nature to want beautiful things.  I've made a shitload of money manufacturing things that are high-tech but also "beautiful".  Apple has done the same but to an orders of magnitude greater extent.

The desire to own and possess beautiful things isn't limited to consumer devices... it extends to medical equipment, construction equipment, plastic storage containers, commodity goods and everything else we spend money on.  It's not the defining feature of a product but it's an important one because the things that beautiful design convey are things that people are willing to pay money for.

I'm happy to admit that I like how my Rigol, Agilent and Fluke gear looks on my bench and I would preferentially buy something that perhaps isn't as good on paper but looks better than something that is technically better but less attractive - even at the same price.  The vast majority do the same - even if they don't admit or acknowledge it :)

I'll take function over form for the vast majority of things.  Many engineers I talk to share my opinion on this.  I don't really care what something looks like if it does its job well.  And in fact, I get kind of mad knowing that a company added extra expense, and therefore cost, to a product for the sole purpose of making is visually attractive.  Passing that on to me and forcing me to pay more is not cool.  If it has some functional purpose and is also elegant that's fine but beyond that it really turns me off as a customer.  Having lost most faith in non-technical humanity, they can keep wasting their money on shiney things they don't understand with no substance like good consumer monkeys.  But if you are going to market something with a specific technical use to a technical customer, especially in a market you don't have cornered, you better have good value for the price.

The machined aluminum cases is kind of wanky and just extra cost without any extra function.  Not a significant number of people were buying a Saleae LA BECAUSE of the aluminum case.  That means they could have used plastic and kept the price the same and increased their profit like many people here have said.  You can only get away with lower profit margins due to non-funtional added cost if you are going to make it up in sales volume.  Otherwise you better decrease your manufacturing cost and raise your profit as much as you can or you won't survive.  The "Apple business model" is not something that should be copied by everyone.  Apple wasn't successful because of Steve Jobs vision of artistic purity.  They were successful because they got lucky and had a great marketing team.  Then after that they rode the wave of consumer monkeyism.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #94 on: January 16, 2015, 03:20:46 am »
I promise you that the Saleae's polished appearance, both hardware and software, is a big part of why it's the most popular of all the low-end logic analyzers.

Engineers like form too, even if they don't want to admit it. Attention to detail in that area makes them think of quality. Just look at Dave going on and on about the build quality of his favorite high-end test gear. Most of it isn't actually important to making the product work, it just gives it a solid, well-engineered feel.

The fact that the Keylent-Packard scopes he reviews feel "solid" compared to a Siglent with a light, creaky, plasticky case doesn't actually matter at all.

And yeah, the plasticky one still makes my skin crawl. What can I say? I'm human. :-//
« Last Edit: January 16, 2015, 03:26:40 am by c4757p »
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Online coppice

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #95 on: January 16, 2015, 09:51:43 am »
The fact that the Keylent-Packard scopes he reviews feel "solid" compared to a Siglent with a light, creaky, plasticky case doesn't actually matter at all.
Interestingly Dave found the plastic case of the 3000T had broken, yet still described it as a good solid design.
 

Online coppice

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #96 on: January 16, 2015, 09:59:42 am »
I'd be happy if they just started to contribute to sigrok or something. They have more decoders now, but most of the new ones are just slight variations on the old ones and still fairly useless due to the crippled search functionality. It seems like they don't have the resources they need, and by contributing to an open source project they could pick up a lot of free tech and get a lot of brownie points from the OSH/maker community.
Its sad, but sigrok's momentum never quite seems to reach the tipping point where contributions really start to flow in.

I can't see how sigrok could ever do good things for Saleae. If you have good software, most people will just use it with the minimum cost hardware that is compatible. Businesses which insist on supported hardware would buy from a well established source, as they do now. Saleae has just published a letter publicly stating they are not a well established source.

 

Offline pickle9000

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #97 on: January 16, 2015, 03:48:37 pm »
I can't see how sigrok could ever do good things for Saleae. If you have good software, most people will just use it with the minimum cost hardware that is compatible.

The problem is that they don't have good software. It's okay, but lacking basic features. If they started to push sigrok it would get more contributions, and they would in turn get more features for their hardware. They were clearly hoping to get a lot of contributions to their software in the form of decoders, but to no-one's surprise people generally are not that willing to work on code for proprietary software. They would rather write a decoder for sigrok, which then isn't tied to one company and which is open source.

Sigrok has massive potential. I'm not sure that Saleae could come up with a system that would allow both to survive. Properly funded Sigrok could kill Saleae sales.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #98 on: January 16, 2015, 04:50:45 pm »
Quote
Sigrok has massive potential.

I would pick humble presence than massive potential any time of the day.
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Offline zapta

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #99 on: January 16, 2015, 05:05:24 pm »
Quote
Sigrok has massive potential.

I would pick humble presence than massive potential any time of the day.

A bird in the hand...

Just looked at sigrok download page. Couldn't fine official stable binaries for Windows and Mac OSX.

http://sigrok.org/wiki/Downloads

Is each hardware vendor expected to provide his own single package installs?
Drain the swamp.
 


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