As many of you know, I love Make the Cut. It is truly great software. You also know by now that I love my eCraft! So what if Craftwell (makers of the eCraft) allow Make the Cut to cut directly to the eCraft??? Well it is a possibility. After some MTC users made a request to Andy (MTC developer) to add eCraft to the list of machines that could cut directly from MTC, he stated that he would be interested in doing it and has contacted Craftwell. As of right now, he has stated that he has opened up a line of communication with Craftwell. So what could happen from this point on...well there are a few options.
1. Craftwell could say no. Craftwell has many plans for the eCraft brand including an IPhone App and the eCraftCentral website. Would allowing Make the Cut hinder these plans? I don't think so, just because Make the Cut works with the eCraft does not mean that eCraft users would not use these applications. I think at this point, Craftwell has probably realized that the software side of this business is more complicated than they originally intended. To get all of these applications off the ground is probably going to take more time then they originally intended, and frankly they have been embarrassed by the software that was released. If they were to give users another option, then users would be more willing to wait for these other applications and that would take some of the pressure off Craftwell. The jury is still out on how much this delay with decent cutting software is going to cost Craftwell. There are countless complaints online about the software, and that is a marketing disaster! People are more likely to speak up with they are upset than when they are satisfied, and those bad reviews really do hurt a product's reputation. The longer the delay, the more complaints, the worse the reputation. Craftwell has got to take that into account when making this decision. Crafters are a community that relies on the opinions of other crafters, and they get those opinions directly from crafters on the forums and message boards. When a product is good, and the reviews online are good, crafters will flock to it! When a product is bad, and the reviews online are bad, that product typically crashes and burns! Craftwell is not crashing and burning yet, but the longer the wait for some decent cutting software, the more likely this is to happen. That would be a shame!
2. Craftwell could do a complete merger with MTC. Craftwell could completely scrap their plans for their own software and allow Make the Cut to be the "software of choice" for the eCraft brand. I think this is unlikely as that would mean that Craftwell would have to break their promise to eCraft users in regards to the IPhone App and the eCraftCentral website. I also think that since part of the eCraftCentral website revolves around users buying downloadable images (produced not only by Craftwell but also by other users), they are not going to let this go as this could be a great source of revenue for them. I for one LOVE this idea. There have been many times when I suddenly decided that I needed a certain image off of a Cricut cartridge, but would have to wait until either I could find the cartridge locally at a good price or online at a good price and then wait for it to be shipped to me. I would love some instant gratification, wouldn't you?
3. Craftwell could allow MTC to cut with the eCraft. This would be different from the merger scenario in #2. Just because MTC users could cut to the eCraft with the MTC software would not mean that Craftwell would have to change any of their plans for their own software, the eCraftCentral website, or the IPhone app. On top of that, it would offer both Craftwell and MTC some great benefits. If MTC could cut to the eCraft, there are several eCraft owners out there that want to use their machines NOW. Most of them would be willing to pay the $59 to get the MTC software even if they only plan on using it until the eCraft software is fully developed. This will produce more revenue for Make the Cut. On the flip side, there are a lot of MTC users out there that will not buy a die cutter that does not work with MTC, so that opens up a whole new batch of potential customers to the eCraft. Several MTC users have expressed interest in the eCraft, but won't buy it because they love MTC so much they are not willing to part with the software. Probably the biggest benefit that this would offer to Craftwell is some flexibility. If users have another option out there for cutting outside of the SD cards, Craftwell would then have some breathing room. With this, they could then really focus on delivering a high quality software, IPhone app, and the eCraftCentral website. So much of their effort and resources right now have got to be tied up in handling the crisis on their hands right now with the software, that this breathing room would be essential in allowing them to focus on the details and make sure everything is just right. We have seen that when Craftwell takes their time and when they listen to the crafters, they CAN deliver an outstanding product! This option would allow them to do just that with the software. On top of that, this breathing room wouldn't cost them anything (except maybe sending Andy a free eCraft), that has got to sound like an easy out for Craftwell.
In conclusion, I think it that #3 is really the only option that makes any sense for both Craftwell and Make the Cut. If you are an eCraft user, I would love to know what you think about this? Would you buy MTC to work with the eCraft until their software could be fully developed and tested? If you are an MTC user and do not have an eCraft, would you consider the eCraft when you are in the market for a new cutter if it cut with MTC?