Friday, August 25, 2017

Depiction Inc. has closed it's web store and will be ceasing operations shortly.

 August 25, 2017

Dear Depiction Customer

I am writing to you today to let you know that after almost 11 years Depiction has closed our web store and will be shutting down our business soon.  While we were able to raise $3 million dollars to develop the software and had 14 employees at our peak,  once we launched the software we didn’t have sufficient funds to properly market it.  We relied mainly on word of mouth referrals, and unfortunately this didn’t create enough sales to make Depiction a viable company.

I and other members of my family   invested in the company in 2008 and then in 2009 I got involved as the CFO on a pro bono basis.  In 2011 the company founder had to get a job as he hadn’t taken a salary in 5 years and had invested most of his savings in the company.  At that time, he asked me to take over as president (pro bono) and run the company with the remaining 4 employees. By 2013 we were down to myself and 2 employees and by 2014 it was just myself and David Li trying to keep the company going without salary.

We have been trying hard to find a partner or buyer for the company for the last few years and this is why we have kept it alive as long as we have. We had hoped to find a home for the software and a company that would continue to support our customers. We are currently in negotiations with a company to take our IP and develop it into a new product.  Time will tell of this partnership comes to fruition but if it does hopefully this new product will  be compatible with your existing Depiction files and will be made available to you for purchase once it is ready.

Not knowing how well or if this company would be able to support our existing customers we have decided to create a new build of Depiction. We will be making this build freely available to you.  This new build will remove the licensing activation function.  We also hope to add most of the add-ons into the main build.  We also currently host a few of the quick start data sources on our server.  Those quick start sources will be removed.  We are trying to make Depiction a standalone product that will continue to run independent of any external sources.  However, Depiction does rely on external websites for geocoding, background tiling, quick start sources and other functions.  These are accessed within Depiction via API’s (application program interface).  These external websites from time to time change their API or stop providing the service. When this occurs that function within Depiction will cease to work.

And as mentioned earlier, hopefully, the new developer will have a new working version sometime in the near future that will keep things up to date.  If for some reason the new developer does not create a new version in a timely manner or if we are not able to come to an agreement with them, then we will make the code open source and  hopefully developers in the community would take on maintaining the software.

We think Depiction software is great software and serves a real need in the community and we are sorry that we couldn’t make a go of it.  We are very grateful to those of you that purchased the software and have continued to use it.

The most difficult part of pulling the plug was that we didn’t want to leave our customers in the lurch with a product that no longer functioned which is why we are developing the no-license required standalone version.    We will be keeping the website up for a few more months and will be maintaining the email addresses (richards@depiction.com) for a while longer and will try and answer any questions you might have.

On the short term you will be able to down load the new build from this location www.depiction.com/finalbuild once it is available.  However, it might be awhile before this build is available since I am relying on David Li to make the changes and we haven’t paid him for a few years, he has another job now and he is also doing this without pay. So keep your fingers crossed.

As long as we are able to maintain our servers, which may only be for a month or so longer, I will continue to be able to add activations to your license if you move to a new computer or have a hard disk crash.  However, once we shut down our servers I will no longer be able to add activations nor will you be able to activate the software, so when that happens, which could be soon, you will just have to wait until the unlicensed version is available.

I have also created a blog at this location.  http://depictionmtm.blogspot.com/  I will try to keep this up for  as long as necessary to give you the latest news on the status of the free version or other news of interest.

This may be the last newsletter so please look to the blog for information.

I want to pay special thanks to our two fearless developers. Thanks to Jason Overland for hanging on for as long as you did and to David Li who has hung on to the bitter end.

Thanks again to all of you  for being part of the journey.

Richard Smith
President
Depiction Inc.

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