Greetings everyone! I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Gear Fisher, and I’m the new CEO of MakeMusic. I thought I’d take a moment to update you on some of what has taken place since I became involved with the company a few months ago. These are exciting times and a lot has been happening behind the scenes.
First of all, as you may have heard, the company is currently in the process of moving to Boulder, Colorado. We have completely remodeled a new office space and we’ll be starting the move-in during the first week of December. About 30 people from the existing Minnesota-based team will be making the move to Boulder, helping to ensure that we maintain continuity and consistency for all of our customers going forward. I’m incredibly appreciative to them for their commitment and dedication to seeing the future of MakeMusic continue to thrive. We’ll also be hiring for dozens of new positions from product development to marketing, support and beyond. If you are interested in being part of a great new team, keep an eye on our careers page. It’s no understatement to say that we are completely re-imagining the company, and the future holds tremendous opportunity.
This is also a perfect time for me to introduce the new MakeMusic leadership team:
- Adam Wig, Manager, Customer Success Team
- Sonia Bertek, Director of Marketing
- Michael Johnson, Director of Engineering
- Mark Adler, Notation Product Manager
- Fred Flowerday, VP of Product
- Michael Good, VP of Research & Development
- Stephen Hancock, VP of Sales
This group of exceptionally talented individuals will oversee the future of MakeMusic. If you will be attending the Midwest Clinic, NAMM or one of the many Music Education Association conferences across the country, I hope you’ll introduce yourself. We are dedicated to establishing trust within the community, and delivering excellence in our products. I am personally committed to SmartMusic and Finale, and focused on making those two products better than ever.
With today’s release of 2014d, I want to reassure everyone that we are fully dedicated to Finale’s future. You’ll note that I’ve appointed two professional musicians, Mark and Fred, to oversee its development. They are both longtime MakeMusic employees, highly respected, and incredibly passionate about enabling improved workflows, speed and quality within Finale. The first order of business will be to shore up and modernize the systems and processes we use for building Finale, which means we are not racing to release another upgrade. Look for us to deliver several more incremental updates over the coming year to improve stability and speed. We’re going to take the time to get it right. Quality is paramount; it leads to trust, and I’m focused on earning it. It will take time, and it will take action, and it will take some patience on everyone’s part.
The 2014 back-to-school season saw growing adoption of SmartMusic across thousands of schools. We have continued to develop exciting new content for SmartMusic and we’re working to add much, much more. From a product development standpoint, we have a lot of work to do to improve the user experience for both educators and students. We need to improve workflows and make it easier to onboard both the educator and an entire classroom of students. Gradebook usage continues to grow, but it is still underused by the vast majority of teachers. This incredibly useful and powerful resource provides qualitative, objective assessment as well as straightforward tools to deliver and receive assignments. Look for us to make it easier for every student to use SmartMusic, both on their computer and iPad in the coming year.
Overall, I want to see Finale become more integrated with SmartMusic. We need to make it easier to publish content into SmartMusic and help teachers, students and performers discover and use that content. This will be an over-arching goal for MakeMusic going forward.
With all the change going on, it would be easy to be overwhelmed, but we have tremendous enthusiasm and commitment across the company and the future is bright. I’m out to build a world-class company that delivers world-class products. That’s my life’s work, that’s what I care about, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead MakeMusic into the future.