Our Greatest Asset
My boss has repeatedly said that our company's greatest asset is our users. Sure, your purchases enable us to feed our families, keep the lights turned on, and fund new development, but that's not what he's talking about. Rather, he's talking about all of the intangible ways you contribute to what we do. Here are a few examples.
You push us to be our best: In a little more than a week I'll be heading to the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature. My favorite part of demonstrating Accordance at these scholarly conferences is when I have someone approach me with a challenge: "I need to be able to do this. Nobody else can do it. Can your software do it?"
In almost every case, I am able to show them a stupefyingly simple way to perform their supposedly difficult task. And in almost every case, the reason we offer the feature they need is because you, our users, pushed us to include it. Accordance is what it is largely because of your suggestions, and some of your requests have been for extremely specialized features we know only a few of you will ever use. But we don't choose new features on a popularity scale. Your requests and suggestions—even the arcane ones—have helped keep Accordance on the leading edge of Bible software.
You are our best marketers: I'll be the first to admit that we are far better at developing Accordance than we are at marketing it. We are averse to making hyperbolic claims and promises we may not be able to keep. We don't have a big advertising budget, marketing department, or army of salesmen working on commission. But we do have an army of enthusiastic users who don't hesitate to act as Accordance evangelists. In fact, you sometimes remind me of the members of the now defunct Mac EvangeList, an email list run by Guy Kawasaki back in the days when every news story was about the imminent demise of Apple. Kawasaki or his list managers would simply point members of the list to some ill-informed piece of journalism and the "EvangeListas" would flood the journalist with corrections, dissenting opinions, and overzealous flames. Thankfully, I've never seen you all flame anyone, but you are as quick to mobilize as those Mac fanatics used to be in order to recommend your favorite Bible software.
You are other users' best source of support: The Accordance User Forums are an incredible community of Accordance users who offer each other technical help, purchasing advice, and tips for getting the most out of Accordance. I've always been proud of the civility and patience with which our users conduct themselves—particularly after spending some time on another forum this week. You've made the forums a place where people can ask questions without being made to feel stupid, and voice criticisms without being shouted down as disloyal.
By pushing us to keep improving, promoting Accordance to your friends and colleagues, and offering support to other users, you help make us look good. That's why you, our users, have always been our greatest asset.