iMovie Pro is not a criticism

September 2, 2014 Tags: , ,
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Sam here…

Imagine you’re a company that has two products in the same product category. One is the beginner product designed as an introductory tool that is also powerful enough to be used by most hobbyists and is perfectly fine for the average person. It’s easy to learn, simple to use, free, and widely used by millions.

Your other product is designed for professionals. It has a completely different methodology from your beginner tool and requires people graduating from your introductory tool to completely relearn everything they had learned from that tool in order to use this new, “professional” tool.

Most people would read the above and conclude this was a stupid business strategy. There’s no good reason that your two products in the same product category should be so different. Not only that, but In terms of the bigger picture, a smart company would design their long term plans around the product that has the most users, and build from the product that is accessible to the largest number of people.

In case you haven’t figured it out… I’m talking about what Apple did with iMovie and Final Cut Pro. iMovie has WAY more users that Final Cut Pro 7 ever did, and the potential for far more long term growth. It was the obvious platform to build on top of.

iMovie Pro Final Cut Pro X

Final Cut Pro X: iMovie Pro?

And yet, a good subsection of the average “pro” editor type seems to think what Apple should have done with their video editing business is keep the worlds of their beginner and professional NLE software completely separate and inaccessible to each other. They seem to think Apple should have kept their “pro” product as something that lived in a completely different world from what their beginner users were learning. They seem to think that the idea that Apple might have wanted to make something accessible for their enormous base of iMovie users to graduate to was somehow not smart business.

Essentially, the “pro” editors wanted Apple to have their students spend grades K-12 learning everything in English, and then when those students went to “college”, all of their courses would be taught in French.

Most outsiders would think that was a really dumb idea. However, the professional editing community loves to throw around the iMovie Pro insult like it’s actually, you know, insulting. If you want to see how contentious it can get, check out some of the comments here and here.

Your introductory tool should be something that paves the way for users to graduate to the more advanced tool. They should not need to relearn everything they had already learned in order to become “professional”.

The truth is that some of these “ Pro” editors simply do not see the bigger picture. When they call FCPX iMovie Pro, what they don’t realize is that they’re actually complimenting Apple for having competent business strategy and common sense.

My guess is that most of these “Pro” editors will understand what Apple had in mind when all of the iMovie kids start showing up at post houses and start asking the “professionals” why they can’t do all the things on their “professional” software that they’re doing on their home computers.
FCPX iMovie Pro Editors
For many people who have been around for awhile, it will be eerily similar to what happened when the original Final Cut Pro became popular and an entire industry was caught off guard.

What’s really ironic is that the people who are complaining the loudest about FCPX are the Final Cut Pro 7 editors. I kind of feel like they should know better. They seem to not like the taste of their own medicine.

I find it all a bit hypocritical. Things change, and tools change… but in terms of the changing of the guard… the more things change, the more they stay the same.


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