Red Herring

redherring_cover.jpgThe issue of Red Herring that hits newsstands today includes a feature article on religious software, with Logos receiving the lion’s share of their coverage of Bible software.

Red Herring is a national print magazine that reports on the business of technology; it’s read by technology company execs and Fortune 1000 execs, with a subscriber base of around 45,000.

The article is not yet posted at RedHerring.com but the October 3 issue is available at Barnes & Noble and Borders. Here are a couple of excerpts:

God is getting many more clicks these days, powering up a niche software segment…

What seems clear is that more Americans are using PCs as a medium to God. Bob Pritchett, founder of Logos Bible Software, saw this coming nearly 15 years ago.

…Today, Logos has 5,000 titles and its products accounted for 65 percent of dollar sales in the top 10 Bible Reference Software Category titles in 2003, according to Packaged Facts. Last year, Logos had revenues of $8.9 million.

The company’s pitch is simple: There is no higher purpose for your computer than using it for Bible study. Its goal is to replace every Bible with CDs.

“We are out there to take market share from the books that people have [spent] years accumulating,” says Mr. Pritchett, whose customers are largely pastors and seminary students.

I’m pretty sure Bob didn’t say that we want to replace every Bible with CDs (see our stated mission). Had this reporter done the interview in person rather than by phone she would have seen the heavy-laden bookcases in Bob’s office and known better.

But I think it’s safe to say that we’d love to put Logos Bible Software on the computer of every serious student of Scripture.

One quote that the magazine got dead-on was this:

“I don’t believe in luck,” says Mr. Pritchett, “and I am quite certain that the success we have seen at Logos Bible Software is not due to my own brilliance, but rather to God’s choosing to use us to accomplish His purposes.”

Amen.

What People Say About Logos

magazines2.pngDuring the past four years, Logos Bible Software Series X has been reviewed by well over 100 magazines, newspapers and theological journals…and that number continues to grow. For each one, an independent reviewer installs the software, surveys its contents and functions, and records his or her impressions.

You can read 93 of these reviews on our Reviews page.
If you’re researching Bible software prior to purchasing, this page is a goldmine of information. If you’re already a user, point a friend or colleague to the reviews so they can see independent confirmation that Logos is the smart choice. Looking at the comments left on the reviews, it’s clear that some users also find it interesting and encouraging just to see what people are saying about Logos.

Because Logos Bible Software has been reviewed by a wide range of publications which serve various audiences, you’ll find evaluations of the software aimed at the twentysomething, business person, Christian counselor, parent, seminary student, preaching pastor, youth pastor, biblical scholar, classical scholar and Bible translator…not to mention all the different denominational publications represented!

The common thread in all these reviews is that Logos Bible Software is an essential/invaluable/useful/amazing/insert-adjective-here tool for Bible study and exegesis. (Did you expect them to reach any other conclusion?) :-)

As new reviews are posted, they show up on the Logos.com homepage and in the RSS feed. We are usually granted permission to post the full text of the review on our site and link to the reviewing publication so that readers can learn more about what kind of publication it is.

Expect to see some reviews of new products soon, such as the The Parallel Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture by Prof. Emanuel Tov and Works of Philo: Greek Text with Morphology.

Later Learners

I have the utmost respect for anyone who takes on the challenge of learning to use a computer at an advanced age. I am of the sandwich generation (Gen X); growing up in rural Michigan, most of my peers did not have a computer at home and so were not exposed to computers until high school. When we got to high school, the “computer lab” still had a mix of typewriters and 286 IBM clones.

My family, however, owned a Commodore 64/128 (we later upgraded to an Amiga 500). The C64 was a great platform for games, but I can remember doing some word processing on it as well, using GEOS. Happily, I avoided ever having to type a paper of any significant length on a typewriter.

Having a computer at home meant that I was exposed to the technology sooner than most of my friends and so learned to use it without much effort. Just having the time to “play around with” computers meant that I could build confidence and mess around with stuff without worrying that I would break anything. That’s a skill I use to this day, “What does this do? Click it and find out!”
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Logos in the Local Press

Northwest Business Monthly Cover FeatureLogos Bible Software is the cover feature for the September 2005 issue of Northwest Business Monthly, a regional business magazine.

One of my favorite selections,

“There is a lot of great technology and ideas, but you build around the customer not the technology,” [Bob Pritchett] said. “I think that’s what happened with the whole dot-com phase – their failing point wasn’t their product, it was not having a customer.”

With the goal of becoming an essential source for people doing serious Bible study, Pritchett said that Logos’ market is fairly stable.

“The shifting tides of world religions doesn’t really affect us,” he said. “The Bible is the best-selling book of all time.”

“By focusing on the pastors, we’re focusing on a long-term investment—not the guy who decides if he’s going to church or not every week,” he added. “We want to build tools that improve the quality of their teaching. Nobody has time to sift through 250 books in preparation for a sermon each week.”

If you’re looking for more information about Logos, you’ll find it in the About area of Logos.com, which includes a Logos chronology, mission statement, and current job postings.

Books That Last

When we marketing types at Logos talk about the benefits of electronic books over print, one benefit we include in the list is that electronic books are not easily destroyed. We like to point out that our books do not mold, mildew, fall apart, or fade over time. And when a hard drive crashes or computer is stolen, book files are easily replaced and licenses restored from our servers.

The durability of electronic books can seem like a theoretical benefit until some kind of personal catastrophe or natural disaster makes it very real.

I’m reminded of this as our support department reports they are beginning to hear from users who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina and are calling to request a set of replacement discs and a regenerated license file. Having access to one’s books is certainly a very small comfort in light of the massive losses sustained by so many, but I’m glad that we can help provide even that small step in a return to everyday life.
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Photos from a Logos Fan

Not only do our users send us random shipments of hot sauce from time to time, but sometimes we get photos like these sent from Logos user Michael Sinclair. Click either photo to see a larger version.

Michael is running Logos on Windows XP on this dual-boot Shuttle XPC (a compact PC). Notice the Logos wallpaper layered onto the front of the machine.

The shuttle coexists peacefully alongside a dual processor Mac G4–Michael says he plans to install Logos Bible Software for the Mac on that in December.

Thanks for the pics, Michael! You’ve got a cool setup there…

The Logos Seal of Approval

Soon after we posted the TNIV to our prepublication program I received a personal email from a user who was troubled and disappointed that we would digitize this (admittedly controversial) Bible version.

I appreciate that this user took the time to write and am grateful that he expressed himself in a loving manner. Two lines from his email really stood out to me and seem worthy of broader discussion. He concluded his email, “I had thought Logos far more worthy of our confidence than this last example. If you continue to make offerings like this, you will soon lose your reputation for being a leader in producing first class materials.”

This is not the first time I’ve heard statements along these lines and it seems to point up a disconnect between what we see ourselves as doing and what at least some of our users see us as doing.

Statements like these suggest to me the presence of an idea or expectation that Logos serves as a content filter for the material we digitize. It approaches an implicit assumption that the books we publish somehow bear the “Logos Seal of Approval.”
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Hello, My Name is Daniel

SnapshotAnother introduction…I’m Daniel Foster and I work in the marketing department at Logos. We get a lot of grief from the developers about belonging to “the Darkside” but they still share their hot sauce if we ask nicely.

Could be their suspicion is aroused by the motto on my whiteboard: Marketing: We don’t make the things you want…we make you want them!

But in truth, our job is simply to get the word out about Logos Bible Software and all the great things it can do. As soon as someone sees and understands what the software will do to revolutionize their Bible study, they’re sold!

I get to do a lot of PR-related stuff, which means I’m the face of the organization to product reviewers and press reporters. In addition to reviews, I work to get us press in various magazines and journals, whether Christian or secular. I’m also involved in writing for and helping to maintain the content on the website, managing our affiliate program, and working on various other super-secret projects I can’t reveal.

I’ve been with Logos for 3 1/2 years and moved out here to Washington from the Midwest where I was raised among Yoopers. My schooling thus far has consisted of 4 years at Hope College and 2 years at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Foremost among the delights in my life are my wife, Rachel, and two girls, Karis (2 1/2) and Esther (16 months). Rachel and I have also been blessed to have traveled in Europe and lived in Brazil for 7 months in 2001.

“Português é a lingua mais linda do mundo.”

There you have it…my introduction.