You have completely misunderstood my post. Manager compared to say MYOB has quite a lot of interaction between the developer and the users of the product. I am in full agreement with you on this point. The developer is a very active user of the forum and I would suspect reads most topics if not all. Yes he engages with his users quite a lot. No argument from me!
I am also in agreement with you that the developer has a better understanding of the product from a user’s viewpoint that most companies. Again agreed.
I also believe that in the main the product is very well designed as it has very few (if any bugs), is so simple to use and is very reliable - no crashing, performance is excellent etc.
None of these points are in dispute.
I never said that I or any other user expects full agreement in any area and it’s never been the case (generally) where one person expects the product to be changed just for their special use. This is not what I said. I disagree that the problem is that users believe that they are in control of the software development goals and priorities. It has long been a complaint amongst users that there is no roadmap in place and we have no idea when (or even if) any idea will ever be implemented. Secondly, it has been complained that new features seem to be implemented in a very haphazard manner with no bearing on what would make the biggest difference to users (such as batch printing for example).
The forum is being used as a feedback panel and yes I will grant you that the developer listens to feedback very carefully after rolling out a new feature. But my point is that this is not the way to roll out new features and program updates. The problem is that more than once the developer has released an update without warning which caused a lot of problems for many users (many of whom are not wanting to be guinea pigs), with the result that he had a lot of complaints by frustrated users. This is completely unnecessary. Instead of rolling out an update to everyone - it actually makes sense to roll it out to a small group of people who are happy to have a copy of their business imported into the beta version, so that they can provide feedback on how the changes affect their businesses.
Then the developer at his leisure, can tweak the program accordingly to address any concerns raised by the feedback panel before releasing it to a stable version. I see no logic in releasing an update to every single user and then having to deal with lots of users complaining about missing information or incorrect information etc etc. All I (and other people have been asking for) is to have a stable track released to the public and a development track released to people who wish to participate in using the beta version to provide feedback on new features. The problem is that nobody can think of all ramifications of how a new feature would affect every business. That’s why you ask other people. I want to him to get feedback on a new feature before releasing to the public, not after!
I am a big fan of the developer as I think that he has a great product and he does engage quite a lot with his users. But this does not negate the fact that many companies like Mozilla and Microsoft for example have a beta version and stable version - where insiders can choose to use the beta versions and provide feedback to Mozilla and Microsoft. This is why I say he doesn’t listen, because this point has been raised quite a few times. He seems to have a blind spot on this point and I have lost count of how many times an update has caused one user or another grief over the last few years and it does cause a loss of confidence in Manager.