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What do you think of the new NI logo and marketing push?


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The core of our business has changed. Fewer users are developing their own test applications; instead, they're buying something off the shelf like  TestStand. Fewer users are developing their own data

The more I look at the center logo, the more I believe it captures exactly the kind of excitement generated by the whole operation.

Thanks AQ, you are the first to actually spell this out in words that make sense to engineers. Not sure too many here are going to like it though! ps: I liked your post due to its honesty an

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1 hour ago, Neil Pate said:

I think what we are forgetting is that none of this guff is for us... we are already customers and need no reminding of the benefits of spending your whole instrumentation budget on a cRIO! This stuff is to get the next million customers, the young engineers who might have never heard of National Instruments.

But that is why I do care, because the success of NI is important to us all.  Everyone who has invested in their ecosystem is hurt if NI fails.

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Forget about colors and fonts, I want to better understand this quote from Austin Business news:

Shelley Gretlein, NI’s vice president of global marketing, likened its old business model to being a Home Depot where companies can get the materials to build a treehouse. "More and more, customers are moving so fast, they don’t have time to make the treehouse," said Gretlein, a 20-year veteran of the company who spearheaded the internal group that revamped it inside and out. "They don’t have the time, and budgets and teams are shrinking. You need to deliver the whole treehouse."

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Thank you AQ. I appreciate these comments. This is important information for so many of us who make our living inside the NI ecosystem. I wish NIC was generally more communicative about their changed view of the world. 

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8 hours ago, Reds said:

I wish NIC was generally more communicative about their changed view of the world. 

NI had a massive online event, the company updated the website, our execs have given interviews, and I-don’t-know-how-many employees are on social media. I’m not sure how much louder we can amplify this. All I did is repeat what has been said in other public forums. 🙂 If I happened to use words that got the point across, great. But the content ain’t new!

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18 minutes ago, hooovahh said:

So while NI marketing may think they are making it loud and clear, the community has also been pretty loud themselves with their statements that they aren't sure what NI was trying to say.

That's because it is, to all intents and purposes, an internal restructuring (possibly a political one) and the outward effects aren't tangible or possibly even unknown. 

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AQ, I fully agree with hooovahh, if the event's point was to convey the message you summed up in a few lines, then I think it failed to be clear - didn't fail to be loud though. (side note : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nx7v815bYUw)

Maybe we, LAVA people, are just a bunch of nerds who are too focused on technical none-sense to understand anything about corporate strategy. Aren't we obtuse.

Anyway, thank you for cutting through the marketing blur and explaining with direct language.

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Glad I could help. I’ve already seen it have some small external impacts on how NI interacts with customers (in both cases, positively). We will have to wait and see whether it turns into anything more substantive. 

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2 hours ago, shoneill said:

In a way, the new announcement is a bit like "this isn't designed for you, do you hear us loud and clear?"

Mind elaborating on this?

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On 6/19/2020 at 12:54 AM, Aristos Queue said:

The core of our business has changed. Fewer users are developing their own test applications; instead, they're buying something off the shelf like  TestStand. Fewer users are developing their own data acquisition software; instead, they're buying something off the shelf like FlexLogger. This trend alters significantly the role of LabVIEW (CG and NXG) in the NI ecosystem -- it becomes far less important to support whole application development (though, of course, we still do and will) and far more important to support "just a bit of customization" when the pre-built tools fail. A lot of software has an endless array of switches and options, but LV provides the ability for a user to write a custom routine to specify the behavior they want in some corner niche of a product. Think like Signal Express, able to generate sine wave, square wave, triangle wave or "pick a VI that generates the wave that you need" wave. 

What's funny about this is that although the app devs are growing rarer, they're also individually growing more profitable for NI as a whole because the companies still paying to develop custom software are the ones that are generally buying a lot of hardware to do something unique in the world (or not in the world, in the case of SpaceX, Blue Origin, Ad Astra, etc.). So I don't expect the big scale parts of LabVIEW to vanish, but I do expect them to be driven by specific requests from megascale customers rather than from the massed collective. The massed collective will be driving more of the IDE developments. At least, that's my suspicion at this time based on the presentations I've seen. 

The idea that customization is enough seems like a variant of the 80-20 fallacy...🤦‍♂️

To me LabVIEW is the thing that makes NI unique.  It is their greatest product.  It happens to also sell  hardware because of the limitless possibilities introduced by the concept of virtual instrumentation. The RIO concept strengthens that package, and is why most of the hardware we buy from NI are sbRIOs and cRIOs.   Without LabVIEW and RIO we would choose cheaper hardware options. (The hardware ties might unfortunately be one of the things that prevents LabVIEW from becoming all it could and deserves to be though; the graphical champion of all kinds of programming. )

 

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29 minutes ago, Mads said:

(The hardware ties might unfortunately be one of the things that prevents LabVIEW from becoming all it could and deserves to be though; the graphical champion of all kinds of programming. )

It really depends on your point of view.  I deal with a lot of people who see the hardware integration as the strongest thing about LabVIEW.  But then I run into a bunch of people who just expect LabVIEW to do everything for you, which is just completely unreasonable.  Perhaps that is where FlexLogger, DAQExpress, and the like come into play.

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Interesting quote from the ex-NI person posting on Reddit:

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What I would say is NI now seem to be targeting enterprise level business and going for CTOs and high up managers. Convince those that NI is great and all engineers have to use it and that's big dollars.

 

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52 minutes ago, drjdpowell said:

Interesting quote from the ex-NI person posting on Reddit:

We all know that they wouldn't be the first company to do that and certainly not the last.  It's happened in places I worked before where we were forced to use some obscure, and non-user friendly software applications that were not the industry norm for reasons unknown.  If I were to speculate, it was because someone in the upper echelon had been dazzled or were/knew someone who could financially gain by way of it.  These applications were, as was said, enterprise level agreements/suites/etc. and likely cost the company a lot of money both in purchasing/agreements as well as the time wasted for learning curves and inefficient usage.

Before I joined my current company, "Thou shalt use LabVIEW" was the command from above.  Not all were pleased with the mandate at the time and some still aren't, but it's one of the top reasons that helped me to get a job there.

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Yeah targeting the upper management likely would result in more sales.  But may also result in less engineers willing to use NI and their products, having been force fed the wrong, or less appropriate tool for the job.  I worked with a group that had Veristand 2009 forced down from upper management.  NI came in with a dazzling presentation and convinced them to change over their dyno control systems to it and the PXI platform.  They did without consulting the engineers, and as a result there was a daily battle where I would repeat "Rewrite Veristand" when some trivial task for LabVIEW, couldn't be done in it.  Veristand 2009 ended up being somewhat of a flop, and from what I remember nothing ported to 2010 since NI made some major rewrites of it.  We eventually got an apology from NI which basically equated to, sorry we gave you the impression this product was more usable than it actually was. 

Luckily my current boss knows NI and their offerings, but trusts my opinion over theirs.  They need to convince me something is a good fit, before they will convince him.  They have some new test platforms that directly align with our business (battery test in automotive), and so far I'm unimpressed except when it comes to hardware.

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2 hours ago, hooovahh said:

Luckily my current boss knows NI and their offerings, but trusts my opinion over theirs.  They need to convince me something is a good fit, before they will convince him. 

Ideally this is how it works but I've been surprised at how many higher level technology decisions (usually some standardization effort) are made without any or with little engineering input. I actually wonder if the problem is worse for managers who used to do technical work because they are over confident in their ability to make technical decisions without input from the current engineering team.

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Funny enough I've seen the opposite situation where an alliance partner company has been using NI HW+LabVIEW for years (rather successfully) and a new CTO was hired to give a new dynamic to the company, but he (the new CTO) thinks NI HW is too expensive and LabVIEW is slow and unstable by nature and definitely not a good tool for any industrial application ; so the lad is slowly but surely pushing his team to use some "real programming language".

I was wondering if anyone has seen similar situations?

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