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Old 05-11-2017, 11:54 AM   #1
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Garmin buys ActiveCaptain

Interesting...https://finance.yahoo.com/news/garmi...150600669.html
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:03 PM   #2
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I wonder when they'll put AC data on their chartplotters.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:03 PM   #3
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Sounds like Jeffrey has hit it big. Couldn't have happened to a nicer.... oh wait. Nevermind. I am honestly pleased for him however.

Hopefully, the sale will allow him the time and money to simply enjoy his new boat and not have to worry about the business, or start up a new venture. They will be employed by Garmin, but with acquisitions like these that often means a nice corner office but no real authority. It may be different in this case.

The real question is what will Garmin do with its new property? They will incorporate it into their own products, but will they still license it out to potential competitors? Will AC remain a "free" web based resource? Time will tell.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:08 PM   #4
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Greetings,
OK, how many users will Garmin ban?
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:12 PM   #5
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Wonder what his employee discount is?
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:28 PM   #6
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Well, that sucks. I am glad the owner got to cash out, but Garmin is going to either kill it, or make it so restrictive that nobody will want to use it anymore.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:37 PM   #7
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Well, that sucks. I am glad the owner got to cash out, but Garmin is going to either kill it, or make it so restrictive that nobody will want to use it anymore.
Not necessarily since AC is crowd sourced. As has been discussed elsewhere, AC is only as valuable as the user supplied information. AC doesn't provide content, only a vehicle to relay and aggregate content that we provide. Garmin is certainly smart enough to realize this and has a vested interest in encouraging us to continue to provide our content to them for free.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:48 PM   #8
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Not necessarily since AC is crowd sourced. As has been discussed elsewhere, AC is only as valuable as the user supplied information. AC doesn't provide content, only a vehicle to relay and aggregate content that we provide. Garmin is certainly smart enough to realize this and has a vested interest in encouraging us to continue to provide our content to them for free.
I think you're right. I think the big difference is you'll see advertising on the site/pages. But I agree, it has to stay free to the users.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:55 PM   #9
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Maybe will only work on Garmin devices.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:00 PM   #10
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Dave and Larry, the agree with you guys. AC will be used by a lot more folks. The user input will increase many fold. However, Garmin will have a huge job of weeding out the bad info from the good.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:02 PM   #11
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Not necessarily since AC is crowd sourced. As has been discussed elsewhere, AC is only as valuable as the user supplied information. AC doesn't provide content, only a vehicle to relay and aggregate content that we provide. Garmin is certainly smart enough to realize this and has a vested interest in encouraging us to continue to provide our content to them for free.
I am a software developer and I know a competitive kill off when I see one.

Garmin chart products start at $2000 and go up from there. That is where they make their money. One of the whole reasons why people don't have to pay $10,000 for Garmin system is because of things like AC. In several respects AC competes directly with Garmin. Also, just from a "corporate responsibility" standpoint, big companies don't like open forums where everybody is free to express their opinion. Ever tried to be a member on MSN? Its all about control and censorship. It is the opposite of AC.

I think what we see happen shortly is:

- No more guest logins. #1 priority kill the guest logins. All users will be forced to register as "Garmin users". That alone will kill off the product.

- Block support for competing products. The #2 priority will be ending support for Garmin competitors. That means support for Rose Point, MaxSea, Nobeltec, Polar Navy and other competitors will be ended.

- De-webify it. #3 priority stop web support for AC. Garmin doesn't want you doing plotting on the internet (which is free). They want you to use their proprietary, expensive hardware devices. Therefore they will limit and aim to eliminate AC's web interface and try to migrate it to Garmin devices.

An important consideration here is that Garmin is NOT a web developer. They have no web development staff and do not have any significant web products other than a few minor phone apps. They view the web as a low-cost competitor. That means the only people who can develop AC will be their existing core of developers. I can tell you from past experience, companies do not like having rogue groups of developers in companies they buy, because those groups usually become non-productive and expensive after the buyout. Usually they keep the top 5% of the developers and merge them into their organization, and fire the bottom 95%. If this happens to AC, it means development will stop and basically the product as it currently exists will stop being maintained; I think it is highly likely this will happen.

Laypersons think you can just boss around developers or just "hire" people to do web development. I have seen companies blow hundreds of millions making that mistake. Programming is HARD. Since Garmin has no web group, the chance they will either want to, or be able to maintain is free web app is virtually zero percent chance.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:08 PM   #12
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Limiting to Garmin only customers will greatly reduce crowd sourcing data, thus making it like an outdated cruising guide.... Will give credit to the founders, not easy breaking into tech business with a new idea and then profiting off it, congrats!
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jsc7 View Post
I am a software developer and I know a competitive kill off when I see one.

Garmin chart products start at $2000 and go up from there. That is where they make their money. One of the whole reasons why people don't have to pay $10,000 for Garmin system is because of things like AC. In several respects AC competes directly with Garmin. Also, just from a "corporate responsibility" standpoint, big companies don't like open forums where everybody is free to express their opinion. Ever tried to be a member on MSN? Its all about control and censorship. It is the opposite of AC.
Well, the AC founder didn't like open forums either, but was smart enough not to completely shoot himself in the foot. I would think that Garmin will be as well. If Garmin does as you suggest, and limit AC to only their customers, AC will very quickly become useless. Others will likely fill in to fill the void if that happens.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:27 PM   #14
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This takes them from a tech hardware company to a tech data company in a portion of their market. I think we should be happy to see it going into marine as that means there will be more to follow in terms of product creation.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:40 PM   #15
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I don't see AC and Garmin as competitors in any shape or fashion. I see AC as providing something that Garmin did not have. AC is not a navigation product and Garmin did not have any product for destinations. I do think it will be utilized within Garmin charting products as an add on feature. However, I do not think they will reduce it's current functionality or the way it's used widely now.

While the purchase price is likely a lot of money to Jeffrey and would be to most here, it's likely just a small investment to Garmin to enhance some of their services.

Now for those not aware, Garmin has already had a product that integrated with AC, Garmin Homeport, which is a free download. Also, Garmin BlueChart Mobile does. While there are 25 software packages that integrate with AC, only two electronics companies had such and that is Garmin, although not with their primary products, and Furuno, with their MaxSea product. I would see no one other than Furuno even potentially bothered or harmed by the acquisition.

Now, it is to Garmin's benefit to continue to promote AC as has been done. Hopefully, even better as it appears to me the AC activity has dropped over time, especially reviews. I do not in any way see this as a purchase to dismantle but as a purchase to enhance their own offerings and perhaps even to take AC into a new age with a step up of use.

I do potentially see eboatcards falling by the way side but not sure it's been widely used to start with.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:55 PM   #16
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Congratulations JefferyS! Hope you made a bundle.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:56 PM   #17
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Dave and Larry, the agree with you guys. AC will be used by a lot more folks. The user input will increase many fold. However, Garmin will have a huge job of weeding out the bad info from the good.
This is a problem now. I tried to make a correction and somehow the correction goes back to the author, who rejected it and tried to get into an argument with me. The sad part is, the author was wrong, but since it was his post, my update was rejected and the original misinformation stood.

I wasn't about to post a note beside his note with the correct information, creating a conflict, so I let it go.

Since there is clearly an issue with the original owner and retributive practices, this presents a problem to Garmin who is bundling his services with their devices. Purchasing the software seems like a means to solve a problem IMHO.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:59 PM   #18
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I don't think anyone is seeing the big picture. Imagine if you could share your GPX tracks with other A/C users? So now it isn't just "hey I came through there and never saw below 9 feet" and they never mention the state of the tide or anything other than "hug the red side." Now imagine taking a GPX snippet right from your plotter and publish it along with your comment. Now you have Lat/Lon, time of day (and thus tide), SOG and depth. If they can make this easy to do then people will share their information for free. Today it's all about data and this would be the best of all things because this data is free and fairly accurate. Then you could hit up Bob423 and get all the scoop without having to read through every hazard (well Bob's blog does have some tracks published there...) But you get the picture.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
This is a problem now. I tried to make a correction and somehow the correction goes back to the author, who rejected it and tried to get into an argument with me. The sad part is, the author was wrong, but since it was his post, my update was rejected and the original misinformation stood.

I wasn't about to post a note beside his note with the correct information, creating a conflict, so I let it go.

Since there is clearly an issue with the original owner and retributive practices, this presents a problem to Garmin who is bundling his services with their devices. Purchasing the software seems like a means to solve a problem IMHO.
There have been many issues in the past regarding misinformation and regarding plagiarized information. The owner of AC has been very unbending in addressing those complaints. I'm hoping there will be a change in managing and moderating of the information. I do believe Garmin will put more value in protecting their reputation than the previous owner has done. That's not unusual in that a proprietor has no one but himself to answer to, while a corporate entity has layers and many people to answer to. In the past the manager could offend people on a forum and it was his right as if it hurt business, it was his business and that was fine. In the future, Garmin will be more concerned with appearance and behavior in public. I could easily see someone with more a public relations leaning assigned the moderation and the social media tasks. While being a one man show and a maverick is very conducive to building a business, there is sometimes a positive element in having to be accountable to others in stabilizing and maturing that business.
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Old 05-11-2017, 02:56 PM   #20
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Not sure if this is a bad thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsc7 View Post
I am a software developer and I know a competitive kill off when I see one.

Garmin chart products start at $2000 and go up from there. That is where they make their money. One of the whole reasons why people don't have to pay $10,000 for Garmin system is because of things like AC. In several respects AC competes directly with Garmin. Also, just from a "corporate responsibility" standpoint, big companies don't like open forums where everybody is free to express their opinion. Ever tried to be a member on MSN? Its all about control and censorship. It is the opposite of AC.

I think what we see happen shortly is:

- No more guest logins. #1 priority kill the guest logins. All users will be forced to register as "Garmin users". That alone will kill off the product.

- Block support for competing products. The #2 priority will be ending support for Garmin competitors. That means support for Rose Point, MaxSea, Nobeltec, Polar Navy and other competitors will be ended.

- De-webify it. #3 priority stop web support for AC. Garmin doesn't want you doing plotting on the internet (which is free). They want you to use their proprietary, expensive hardware devices. Therefore they will limit and aim to eliminate AC's web interface and try to migrate it to Garmin devices.

An important consideration here is that Garmin is NOT a web developer. They have no web development staff and do not have any significant web products other than a few minor phone apps. They view the web as a low-cost competitor. That means the only people who can develop AC will be their existing core of developers. I can tell you from past experience, companies do not like having rogue groups of developers in companies they buy, because those groups usually become non-productive and expensive after the buyout. Usually they keep the top 5% of the developers and merge them into their organization, and fire the bottom 95%. If this happens to AC, it means development will stop and basically the product as it currently exists will stop being maintained; I think it is highly likely this will happen.

Laypersons think you can just boss around developers or just "hire" people to do web development. I have seen companies blow hundreds of millions making that mistake. Programming is HARD. Since Garmin has no web group, the chance they will either want to, or be able to maintain is free web app is virtually zero percent chance.

From what I have seen, Garmin has done the best job of incorporating AC data with its Garmin Blue charts. I am thinking there was pretty close cooperation anyway.

I don't know that anyone needs to edit the information, so far AC pretty much takes care of itself. For example, you can find warnings on AC that have only one or two comments. Generally, I have learned not to bother looking at warnings with only one or two comments. Warnings with many comments deserve my attention.

I have been a heavy consumer of AC information in my frequent trips up and down the ICW. I have yet to see an inappropriate comment. I have seen comments that are out of date or where the user was confused. But in cases where the user was confused, other comments provide the needed information. And just like on this website, you soon learn has something worth reading and who does not. On AC I have learned that Bob423 is one of the most accurate and proliferate posters for anything ICW.

As an owner of two new Garmin 8212 chartplotters, I will be eager to learn whether AC data will be incorporated into the chartplotter, or if I still need to keep an iPad near at hand. Using the iPad is no great hardship, but it would be one less piece of kit to keep at the helm.

Gordon
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