Since Renderosity announced the acquisition of Poser Software, we'd wager some of you have wondered why and what's next.
To help answer those questions, we sat down with Bondware CEO Tim Choate to talk about the acquisition and his plans for Poser's future.
What's your history with Poser?
About 20 years back, I was running a company called Edgenet in Nashville. We were one of the first ISPs in Tennessee and evolving into a software company.
Our first commercial software product was something called Bondware, web-based software for building online communities with members, news, forums, marketplace, etc.
Our lead developer working on that product was Roy Riggs, a.k.a., "fur" in Renderosity land. Roy was very involved with Poser as a hobby (developed "Mapping Magician" and "PHI Builder"). He suggested that we could test Bondware by hosting an online site for a group of like-minded individuals across the internet that were all interested in this 3D software called Poser. This initially became PoserForum.com and eventually Renderosity.
I acquired Renderosity along with Bondware in a spin-off from Edgenet in 2001. Bondware Inc. has operated Renderosity since then as well as continuing development of Bondware and related web-based software.
There's a symmetry and appropriateness to the fact that Roy Riggs is now part of the dev team that is working furiously on transitioning the Poser software line and setting the stage for great things in the future.
Why did you want to make this investment?
While operating Renderosity, we've had a great relationship with Poser and its various owners over time, including Smith Micro. We've always felt there was a strong connection of some sort between Renderosity and Poser. Like many Renderosity members, we've always had ideas about what we would do differently with software if we had the chance. This has driven an interest in acquiring Poser over the years but the business stars did not align until recently.
I was also moved by the passion that some of our Renderosity team members exhibited for acquiring and improving this software that they have loved for years.
What are the short-term plans for Poser?
From now thru mid-October, we are hyper-focused on putting out a bridge-release that adapts Poser to Bondware's license management system, product download system, etc.
In parallel, we are adding to our dev team, creating a beta testing team and seeking advice from previous Poser team members, contributors and community members to construct a product roadmap for the future.
After mid-October, we will begin to engage the community on potential product roadmap and begin to roll out incremental improvements.
What are the long-term goals for Poser?
Like any software company worth their salt, we want to delight customers by delivering commonly requested features where viable. We also want to drive adoption of the latest version of Poser with good communications and aggressive pricing. We want to align the product features with the Renderosity marketplace so that they support each other.
Given all that, we are aware that we will not be able to meet every customers needs, but we certainly want to hear and understand them.
Anything else you want to talk about?
For those Poser supporters that love the product: relax, take a deep breath, Poser is in good hands and our goal will be to deliver quality improvements that meet the needs of customers over the long term.
Sometimes there will be low-hanging fruit in terms of requested features that we can deliver easily. Other times there will be features that take a while, require investment and represent a major version bump in the software with related upgrade cycle.
But the process will be steady, incremental and sustainable.