Why Dwarven Forge should not show beans for Wildlands - A business perspective explanation approach/discussion

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Re: Why Dwarven Forge should not show beans for Wildlands - A business perspective explanation approach/discussion

Post by zenako » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:24 am

However D4H, DF is now looking to further branch out into other areas of tabletop terrain than their known areas of competency and into direct conflict with other companies already making terrain of that nature. When DF first came out with their tiles, they pretty much had the market to themselves with the only real issue being cost. The early KS drove down the unit cost enough to where lots of folks could now consider diving into that pond. The point of 3D printing is that tech is driving down the cost even more (at the expense of time and having to paint things) so they have to compete on tech and utility and compatibility and flexibility for how many types of settings one can use their terrain in. Some battles they just cannot win for some customers, and they should not even bother trying to chase those folks. Cater to the ones who got you here, and make things attractive enough that some new folks join in. That other new terrain KS is not much cheaper, but it too comes prepainted which is a HUGE difference maker for many backers. That is a huge part of why I back some KS and not others.

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Re: Why Dwarven Forge should not show beans for Wildlands - A business perspective explanation approach/discussion

Post by dice4hire » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:43 am

While I can understand to some extent the OPs points (not being a businessperson of any sort) it seems keeping your customers engaged is also very important, and having people lose interest is not in DFs interest. I have seen a lot of companies, on Ks and not, who have shown everything they are doing and well in advance, and do well. In fact they might do better than they would have by keeping their cards close to the vest as it builds excitement and they can incorporate some customer feedback. DF does listen to customer feedback and has certainly made changes to their products due to such feedback, but often the changes are limited because so much has been designed so tightly. They have built four encounters around one idea, so they cannot change the four encounters mid KS.

Also can these other companies, including 3D companies really beat DF at their own game? You are assuming they can and will if they know what DF is doing. I am not sure I agree. I have looked at 3D stuff a lot but have not bought any, and stuff I buy is mostly stuff DF does not make. In direct competition DF tends to win every time for me.
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Re: Why Dwarven Forge should not show beans for Wildlands - A business perspective explanation approach/discussion

Post by kodiakbear » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:38 am

You've done a good job of hitting the points that have been discussed over the last few years for DF to continue keeping their cards close to them and as before those points make sense.

The competitor you do not mention by name in your list of competitors is of course the latest KS Tree campaign. The question is, will they be taking just a drop of funds out of the pool that would go to KS7 or will they be a real siphon by the end. If I were DF and looking at this from a hard nosed business perspective and thought they might become a siphon, I would have a awesome bean filled reveal to show in the last 48 hours of the other guys campaign just in case to steal their thunder and influence pledgers to keep their money till KS7. If they never reached siphon level then you and I would never know DF had prepared something. DF has IMO superior product but at a higher cost thought out modern history people some times choose quality but often they go for cheaper so another company doing pre-painted plastic terrain is something DF needs to watch. Many times just before a DF KS Stefan will see something a competitor is doing and tell us we should wait for the DF KS and IMO each time he was right the DF product was better and DF was more reliable at getting the product into our hands. But even if I understand DF reasons for hiding their cards, as a customer I also want to see more teasers. It is up to DF to make the business call for which will give them the least risk to reward ratio.

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Why Dwarven Forge should not show beans for Wildlands - A business perspective explanation approach/discussion

Post by NiandoBG » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:27 am

Hi Dwarven Forge Fans,

after reading the discussion at Facebook, I thought to open a thread to discuss some things about KS 7 and beans.

I think that the discussion is better done in this forum than on the facebook page.

First of all, I was quite surprised how much Stefan was involved in the Facebook discussion and I really appreciate it and thank him for the “preview/bean picture”
Thanks Stefan.

Despite all other arguments, which you can add for the discussion or are already mentioned by someone else, I can totally understand the closed shop approach of Dwarven Forge.

I worked for some time in Product Management and know that you have to look at your competitors and to have plans in case your competitors react at your innovative products/ products in development.

So let’s make a list about potential competitors (especially for Wildlands):
  • Reaper Miniatures: They seem to have a similar business model and production and material competence. Additionally they already offer “Dressing Pieces”
  • Wizkids: With their announced 4D Dungeon Tile line they can become a big competitor. Their biggest USP is the FLGS Distribution (in US and Canda; not in Europe)
  • Mantic: They had 2 successful Kickstarters with their Terrain Crate. A lot of pieces of the first Terrain KS come into my mind if I read Wildlands.
  • Games Workshop: The largest? tabletop company. They offer scatter terrain pieces because they are “essential” for tabletop games.
  • Hirst-Arts: Old School but still there.
  • Ziterdes: a German company offering resin models as well as foam dungeon and scatter terrain. They have a huge variety of scatter ruins.
  • Tabletop Troubadour: A Weta Workshop Company who did their first successful Kickstarter and has plans for “Wildlands Scenes” already shown.
  • Toy Companies: Just think about the trees we have from different toy companies…
You may add a lot more competitors, if you like…

With “Wildlands” Dwarven Forge is not any longer in their own well know comfort zone. They go into areas where tabletop companies are strong and have often? cheaper or well known products. Maybe that is one of many reasons why KS 3 and 4 were compared to the Dungeon und Cave KS not so successful (based in KS $). But with the enormous feedback for Dreadhollow in CD and us their fan base, they give it a try, knowing that wrong decisions or plans that won’t work out accordingly may have severe consequences.
With this in mind I can understand why Stefan and his team don’t like the latest KS Tree Campaign….

If you look at all the competitors, in my opinion the 3d-Printing Companies are the biggest threat. A printer for terrain costs only 200$. There are companies out there who copied almost every Dwarven Forge Tile and nowadays even do their own designs. Due to the fact that they “only” have to design and not to produce the stuff, they can be much faster that Dwarven Forge or any other “conventional” company ever will be.
If Dwarven Forge shows to early too much of their upcoming Wildlands campaign certain companies will offer the stuff much earlier than Dwarven Forge – a risk I would consider as high with a high likelihood to become true.

Look at other industries and you recognize the pattern.

If I would be in their situation and would look from a business perspective I would do a closed shop as well and do a big bang instead of a lot of beans.

I’ll stop my argumentation at this point to give yourself
a) room to thing about my purely guessing thoughts about why DF act as they do at the moment and
b) enough room for a discussion from a business perspective instead of “only” a fanboy perspective.

Looking forward for the discussion.

more than 2,800 self painted dwarvenite pieces :)

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