Is our Word 2007 add-in good or bad for Mindjet?

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Mindjet

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November 14, 2006

As many of you may know, Michael over in the Mindjet labs recently released an add-in that enables Word 2007 to act as an editor for MindManager maps–even if the person using Word does not have MindManager.

We are going to be talking more about this in the coming weeks as we try to ride the coattails of Microsoft’s official launch of Office 2007 in New York on Nov. 30th. But this add-in raises an interesting (well, to us, anyway) question about what the effect will be of enabling non-Manager users to edit maps. Do you think that this add-in will:

  1. Introduce more users to MindManager since the "ribbon bar" that the add-in creates exposes Word users to a map view of the document AND the ability to add icons, markers and resource info to their text document–kindof a cool thing when you think about it.
  2. Or will the add-in keep these same users from taking a closer look at and maybe buying MindManager — since they can now share information directly with map makers without having to buy our software?

We are betting on #1. But what do you think?

8 Responses to “Is our Word 2007 add-in good or bad for Mindjet?”

  1. Hobart Swan

    Thanks, Gregger. As far as MOSS integration (and I have no idea what MOSS is! :o) you might want to go to http://mindjetlabs.com/cs/forums/51/ShowForum.aspx and post a request for someone to develop such a thing.
    A number of people have talked to us about MindManager and wikis. I guess the short answer is that we have so many things on our plate that this idea has yet to rise to the top of the pile. When I get product-related comments like yours, though, I forward them immediately to our product manager and urge her to put these suggestions in the mix.
    \
    Have you tried the Word 2007 add in yourself yet? YOU can get it at http://mindjetlabs.com/cs/files/folders/mindjetlabs/entry72.aspx.
    Thanks for the comment.
    Let me know what I can do to make this blog better/more useful!
    Hobie

  2. gregger

    I’ve been playing with Office 2007 Server stuff recently (MOSS) and especially the blogging and wiki functionality.

    I really would like to have MindManager be able to manage my wiki entries. The wiki and blog support in MOSS is lacking a front end. Actually, generating a wiki out of MindManager in general would be good. Or deriving a Mind Map out of an existing site would be good.

    Having a Word tool bar is a good thing, but the round trip experience has to be really good. In fact, direct integration of MindManager to MOSS would be nice. Having the option to open a Word doc, import it, and then publish it back as a Word doc would be cool.

    Anyhow, I think that a toolbar would help garner a bigger audience for you, but you should figure out a licensing scheme to help people transition to the full MindManager product once they’re hooked. There are some really nice features in MindManager that would be compelling over and above Word’s toolbar integration.

    Just some thoughts… MOSS is really important, but the Office clients don’t represent all of it really well.

    TTFN

  3. Hobart Swan

    Thank you all for some very useful feedback. And especially to you, Joann. If it weren’t for your comment, it would have been a one-to-one tie! :o)

    Ken and Iain, the underlying theme in both your comments touches (to my way of thinking)on the issue of making good things viral. We have used our 21-day trial in lieu of a free version. But there is a large gap between the free trial and the $230 basic version. We rely to a large extent on word-of-mouth to get new customers to our software. Our main goal is to encourage people who like MindManager to tell their friends to go to http://www.mindjet.com and download the trial. We are ALWAYS open to ideas on other things we could do to introduce more people to mapping.

    Joann,
    What you wish for is, I think, exactly what the new add-in makes possible. You can export your map to WOrd 2007, use Word to change the text and add icons, task information, etc., then send it back to MindManager, where you can open it to see all the edits that were done in Word 2007.

    The new add-in enables groups of people to use two different applications to “seamlessly” [overused, of often appropriate word] manage the same body of content. That seems pretty cool to me!

  4. Joann

    It is quite interesting add in but I agree with your assesment on number 1.

    I wished though that I could export to Word 2007 both for editing and/for normal export, so I can do some editing within Word 2007 and synch back to my mind-map.

  5. Ken Wall

    #1 for sure in my mind. I haven’t used Word 2007 add on yet, but providing a vehicle for broader 2-way collaboration is ALWAYS better in my mind. It is like the old real estate cliche, location, location, location, except the proper term here is exposure, exposure, exposure. An analogy is SketchUp, I’d guess that with the Google acquisition and exposure of the SketchUp as a free tool (without some of the GIS add ons and other plugins and advanced capability of the SketchUp Pro) has dramatically increased the awareness and buzz about SketchUp and likely resulted in more sales of the Pro version.

    I use MindMap and some add ons to it reglarly in in-person and WebEx sessions as a group collaborative process and expose people regularly to the product, but giving a group I’m working with the ability to do some hands on exposure will be much more effective. Just the rule of scale will increase Mindmanager sales.

  6. Hobart Swan

    Thanks for the input, Iain. I think it is fair to say that we are looking at this issue. I don’t have any news of or insight into what we are thinking about this. But we are aware that individuals and small organizations do find our Pro 6 price point high. What about the Basic version? You don’t think that would meet your colleague’s needs? (Still not cheap at $230…).

  7. iain

    I don’t know about #1….i was looking to share a Mind Map with a colleague only yesterday and we looked into getting him a full copy of MM so he could edit etc. But we both baulked at paying $350 for the bell-and-whistles version – we’re a small consultancy and that’s how much we would pay for the entire Office suite. So in the end i exported it to Word 2007 – which he already had. So the ‘cost of entry’ to full blown MM was too high, and we made do with a lesser but adequate solution because the cost of entry for collaboration was essentially zero (since he already had Office 2007).

    I absolutely love MM, but for the occasional user (who may eventually turn into a heavy user like me) the cost of entry is way too high.