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CommentaryKerfuffleMatterport Competes with MSPs

Matterport Shoots Self in Foot Again (and Matterport Service Providers)11318

WGAN Forum
Founder
Atlanta
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
WGAN-TV Town Hall - Matterport New Pricing (Thursday, 26 May 2019) with Matterport Chief Marketing Officer Chris Bell, Matterport Vice President of Product Management Damien Leostic.


WGAN-TV Live at 5: Matterport Ecosystem Town Hall (27 February 2018)

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Above: Two previous examples of Matterport shooting itself in the foot (and Matterport Service Providers).

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Matterport Shoots Self in Foot Again (and Matterport Service Providers)

Hi All,

In 2019, a Venture Capitalist (VC) that was considering an investment in Matterport reached out to me and asked, “How is Matterport different from other 3D/360 virtual tour platforms?”

I answered by explaining why Matterport is creating a spatial data moat and why that’s good news for Matterport Service Providers.

He then asked me, “If I was given $10,000 to invest, would I invest it in Matterport or another company?” I replied that I would invest the money in Apple or Amazon. Given that I am a huge fan of Matterport – including because Matterport is creating a spatial data moat – he asked me why. I answered that Matterport lacked a vision and strategy for Matterport Service Providers.

Today (28 March 2020), Matterport’s lack of vision and strategy for Matterport Service Providers was first confirmed publicly in the We Get Around Network Forum by Member @Bollingerphoto with this extraordinarily bad move by Matterport:

Matterport recruiting Pro Service Providers to compete against indepen…

Unfortunately, Matterport shot itself in the foot (as well as shot Matterport Service Providers).

Matterport is engaging Matterport Service Providers for 4 cents to 6 cents per square foot for residential Matterport scans and 1.5 cents to 6 cents for commercial Matterport scans: dramatically competing with other Matterport Service Providers that bought the Matterport Pro1 or Pro2 Cameras and subscribed to a Matterport Cloud account.

This disastrous Matterport strategy will have earthquake-size unintended consequences for the entire ecosystem.

Matterport - a technology company – is now moving to also become a service company: Matterport-as-a-Service (MaaS). (An oxymoron for Matterport Service Providers). Matterport will accept orders for Matterport digital twin virtual tours; subcontract the tours to Matterport Service Providers and handle the client fulfillment.

I could imagine that Matterport thinks that it is doing the entire ecosystem a big favor. Wong-Wrong-Wrong! While this may be true in the very short-term, in the long term, Matterport lowers all boats (including investors).

I could imagine that Matterport will defend its vision by saying things like enterprise clients need to be able to place one order for multiple markets. The market is not growing fast enough. Matterport Service Providers only want to shoot: not develop business and get paid. Matterport Service Providers are not servicing clients properly. No Matterport what problem Matterport thinks that is is solving by accepting orders, MaaS is simply the wrong strategy.

While I agree that big brands need to be able to place one order for multiple markets, these orders should be channeled to photography agencies - and other companies - like Meero and IFTI/PROVision respectively – that provide one order for multiple markets at scale.

Matterport’s vision is wrong-wrong-wrong. Matterport should pivot back to being a technology company - it may already be too late to do damage control - and embrace its Matterport Service Providers.

Matterport should be in support of companies and photography agencies – in various verticals to handle one order for multiple markets at scale. And, why invade the real estate agents and brokers turf of Matterport Service Providers? By competing with this channel, Matterport will reduce or eliminate the number of companies that want to offer Matterport at scale (and will choose a different 3D/360 virtual tour platform to offer).

Matterport should want Matterport Service Providers to earn the most money: not the least amount of money. I could imagine that Matterport makes the difference between what it charges clients for Matterport digital twin tours and what it pays Matterport Service Providers. In the long run, fewer real estate photographers will use the Matterport (who will choose a different 3D/360 virtual tour platform to offer). Now imagine thousands of professional real estate photographers - the boots on the ground - selling/championing different 3D/360 virtual tour solutions.

Clearly - based on the compensation offered by Matterport - it is focused on market-shared growth at the expense of profit. Matterport Service Providers do not have the benefit of not caring about making money. Again, in the short-term, this will help Matterport and in the long-run: disastrous consequences for Matterport the company; Matterport the platform and Matterport the camera.

And ...

Here are some of the unintended disastrous consequences topics that I will explore at length in the coming days, weeks and months about Matterport's disastrous-horrible vision for itself and the ecosystem:

✓ Why hundreds - if not thousands - of existing Matterport Service Providers will switch to a different 3D/360 virtual tour platform (or exit the space entirely)
✓ Why potential Matterport Service Providers will embrace a different 3D/360 virtual tour platform (or avoid offering 3D/360 virtual tours entirely)
✓ Why new Venture Capital for Matterport will end
✓ How other 3D/360 virtual tour platforms will differentiate their platform by promising not to compete with Service Providers
✓ Why large photography agencies that offer Matterport will switch to a different 3D/360 platform
✓ Why photography agencies that are considering Matterport will choose a different 3D/360 platform
✓ Why companies that special in a vertical such as hotels and construction documentation that offer one order for multiple markets will switch to a different 3D/36 virtual tour platform
✓ Why none of this should be a surprise to Matterport

Today (Saturday, 28 March 2020) - the first day that Matterport as a Service (MaaS) plans were first publicly revealed - is a seminal moment in the history of Matterport and 3D/360 virtual tours. Today is the first day that it is obvious that Matterport shot itself in the foot (as well as Matterport Service Providers).

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Matterport shot itself in the foot (and consequently Matterport Service Providers). (See two WGAN-TV Town Halls at the top of this post.

New Pricing: WGAN-TV Live at 5 Town Hall: Matterport New Pricing 16 May 2019
Terms of Service: An Open Letter to Matterport CEO Bill Brown
Kerfuffle: pitching and poaching MSP clients

Are you a Matterport Service Provider?
Are you considering buying a Matterport Pro2 3D Camera?
What are your thoughts?


Stay healthy,

Dan
Post 1 IP   flag post
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Member
Cleveland, OH
CTownMedia private msg quote post Address this user
Great write Dan, I find myself dancing the line between loving the output and possibilities of my pro2 and being an MSP, but frustrated by those things MP is doing (and not doing) to actively hurt the MSP's they initially set up in order to help.
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rafrenteria98 private msg quote post Address this user
I read that this morning... My knee jerk reaction after looking at that price sheet was being dumbfounded and angry for MSPs. But it also led me to asking, "Was this the plan all along?"

I do not believe anyone at Matterport acts with malicious intent, but it got me thinking.

So at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I wondered if it was ever in the plans to sell the Matterport system as a business opportunity, seed devices across the world, and then once enough adoption occurred, they would then leverage that global network of devices to get scans done for cheap once deals are closed from the corporate end.

When I mentioned this to a friend, we thought it was a pretty bold move to ask MSPs that invested thousands of dollars of their own money into the Matterport system (Which they may not have seen an equal return on) to shoot spaces for a large operation for almost nothing.


I also had some questions about the terms of that agreement that was posted this morning @Bollingerphoto : If MSPs agree to shoot these spaces for pennies, do they not pay for fees associated with processing, hosting, etc? Do they get to claim they captured the model and use them as examples for their own tour businesses?

I have no interest in attacking anyone, I am just putting thoughts out there and want to know more. Thanks!
Post 3 IP   flag post
CharlesHH private msg quote post Address this user
In business for 40 years. I learnt a long time ago to never compete with your customers. It NEVER ends well. It was a major part of Kodak’s decline if you need a photographic example.
Post 4 IP   flag post
ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
With such as great initial concept, which was one reason I jumped onboard. I also got to admit over the last four years it's been rocky and hard to push Matterport. Again still one of the best concepts and products, but I am slowly feeling I invested in a Sony Beta VCR and not the standardized open market of VHS. Similar concepts BETA video recorder better quality viewing but Sony did not move forward with the best ideas like VHS did. Low and behold VHS stayed into the market place till it was displaced by CD's. Its unfortunate for us that jumped on and MP not seeing a clear vision moving forward. Especially now you would think Matterport would want to change to stay in the 3D market space and become bigger and stronger. I seriously think with a few tweaks and like Dan pointed out it would move forward. I see its going in a bunch of different directions, sell to agents, reduce prices under cutting services providers.
Just another side note, I had a larger water mitigation company want to hire me to scan there jobs using Matterport. Signed up for the Beta program and ran one scan. I showed the project manager the product preparation to move forward with the beta testing. The project manager noticed a few irregularities and ask me to rescan those areas. I said no problem, the rooms did not change just some equipment moved. I set up scanned and kept getting an error message for a room no bigger than 25' by 30'. Unfortunately the PM wanted to watch and after 45 attempts and previous scan deletions I was able to rescan an area that over scanned initially with 6 scans. PM not impressed and said he was no longer interested. You might say why didn't I do a new scan, one selling feature was with minor changes they would not have to pay full rescan and processing. Moral of the story over the years and several attempts to show MP of other issues and short coming and not listening or taking the input seriously, I made no attempt to share this with MP.
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Expertise private msg quote post Address this user
Just want to volunteer my services here. If Matterport wants to pay me $.05/foot to scan residential interiors, I'm all in. Let's do 5/day to start. Then we can ramp up to 10/day. Around here that would be $5500/week.

And all you MSPs that want to sell your Pro2s and go buy whatever... I will raise my hand on that action too. Since we all agree that MP is a bad business proposition I won't be able to pay you much though.
Post 6 IP   flag post
ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
@Expertise for all that it is worth I hope you get the 5 cents a SQF and 10 jobs a day, it will be nice to see someone profit from this.
Post 7 IP   flag post
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Garnetwest private msg quote post Address this user
Dan, you are a voice of reason, and as leader of WGAN you must have the ear of senior leadership at Matterport. Perhaps you can arrange formal discussions with them so that our collective voices can be heard. While not a complete solution to the core problem, for starters I'd suggest a discussion about raising their published rates so as not to cannibalize the market. More importantly though, I think we need a inside understanding of the direction that they are looking to take the company so that we can make intelligent decisions on how we'd like to proceed...or not.
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WGAN Forum
Founder
Atlanta
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by @Garnetwest
Dan, you are a voice of reason, and as leader of WGAN you must have the ear of senior leadership at Matterport. Perhaps you can arrange formal discussions with them so that our collective voices can be heard. While not a complete solution to the core problem, for starters I'd suggest a discussion about raising their published rates so as not to cannibalize the market. More importantly though, I think we need a inside understanding of the direction that they are looking to take the company so that we can make intelligent decisions on how we'd like to proceed...or not.


@Garnetwest

Thank you ... first, I would like to hear from more Matterport Service Providers on their thoughts on this topic.

Perhaps I am wrong that Matterport Service Providers collectively think Matterport accepting orders directly is a bad-bad-bad strategy?

For example, @Expertise says it is a good idea and would like to be contacted by Matterport.

Dan
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Wingman private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Expertise
Just want to volunteer my services here. If Matterport wants to pay me $.05/foot to scan residential interiors, I'm all in. Let's do 5/day to start. Then we can ramp up to 10/day. Around here that would be $5500/week.


Are you saying you can do 110 000 sqf per week or 22 000 per day? I really doubt that anyone can do this volume even for empty spaces not to mention furnished residential properties. If you do not skip and want to deliver a clean dollhouse view I would say it is about 2200 sqf /hour top but that's without setting up, packing and driving between properties. It can be even half of that if properties are small.

Just from the last two jobs. 3150 sqf space took 2 hours to scan plus 1.2 hour on driving, setting up, & packing. Plus 1 hour at home cleaning. So that's more than 4 hours for 3150

4500 sqf space took 3 hours to scan plus 3 hour on driving, setting up, & packing. And I still need to work on the model before I can release it to the customer. So that's more than 6 hours already. The client paid me for driving 120 km to them but it is only $50 USD for 3 hours of driving in total and fuel cost was about $12

My price is about US$0.2-$0.12 per sqf but I am in Australia so it is almost double in AUD I am happy to scan at these rates.
Post 10 IP   flag post
ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
Dan, you are what I believe as level headed as they come and fair, but I have been on MP service providers list and got only a few referrals and no jobs out of it. I would love for someone to say that they recieved a lot of referrals. So does anyone think this is going to generate work from MP. Again just my opinion.
Post 11 IP   flag post
Wingman private msg quote post Address this user
As for MSPs, we do not even have new marketing material and have to use one from 2-3 years back. They say it is coming on the MSP portal but it actually should be there already if Matterport really cares.

And if Matterport wants to expands globally their marketing material should be tailored to each country not just to be focus on one region only.

That's why I do not see any reason to pay WGAN membership to Dan. I cannot use videos for example because they are all say agent will offer a tour for free. No agents in Australia will do that.. may be just few.

And I am still not happy to what kind of awareness Matterport has in different countries. At least Matterport has invested some money for articles in tabloids, videos and promos with agents. But when I see a member of Real Institute of one of the australian state saying the word Innovations and then mentioned Facetime and Skype as the alternative to show houses during the covid-19 I realise that I am doomed with this technology because they either never seen it or do not want to use it even now.

If you do not know this institute is a kind of a regulator of real estate market. They do training for licensing as well.

So I am kind of spending a lot of money on ads just to build this awareness. That's not really a service provider job and I believe it is not how it should work.
Post 12 IP   flag post
coulee360 private msg quote post Address this user
@Wingman

I totally agree on what you've said. They're marketing material on the MSP are severely outdated. I do like some of their recent videos over the years but they in no way can be catered for MSPs to use as they are directed toward real estate agents to buy the camera from them and not to hire a MSP to scan for the agents.

I also wish they would create something similar to the website Promo.com where you can select bits and pieces of video and put them together to create a custom video catered to your needs and wants. Allow you to cater to agents only or to businesses, contruction, etc. Charge the MSP $40-60 USD for the ability to have custom videos and even some print marketing material.

They just over promise on everything they say and hardly ever deliver.
- More advanced integration with VR headsets (would be nice to have a MP app to load on Oculus Quest
- Updated marketing material
- Couple years ago the virtual staging feature with Rooomy

They won't even discount services during the worldwide pandemic where other companies are doing so. Seems more MP cameras are going up for sale more now than before because people aren't getting jobs due to restrictions in place and can't keep paying. Not to mention people are not wanting to work with a company that doesn't care about their main clientele base.

Matterport execs and the board and VCs, etc need to listen to the MSPs and other camera owners. But they don't want to. They just care about the money and not the business. They've lost touch with reality and don't seem to be making important strides in business to compete as much anymore. Look what eyespy360 is doing with the Live Chat feature.

Wouldnt be hard for them to implement that and also to have the ability for password protected tours. So many features Matterport could integrate into their eco-system but choose not to and just tell everyone that its coming or that its too complicated
Post 13 IP   flag post
bryanhscott private msg quote post Address this user
I could have accepted a new Matterport initiative that sold leads to area MSPs, requiring them to compete for end-user, customer business, but a direct servicing offering to the customer, then offering wages, which turn MSPs into their own 1099 contractors, without healthy and reasonable profit margins, is (to me) a violation of integrity and ethics.

If any of us need more proof that the MSP program is dead, this would be it.

Any would-be, or direct competitor to the Matterport Pro2 eco-system, be advised, the timing for your next product is now.

To anyone willing and ready to accept a larger gig at $.02psf, poof, you just became a low to mid-grade handyman working for Angies List and Home Advisor. Congratulations!

This is the poster-child for why we should band together all public forum members, create a cooperative and build our own eco-system.
Post 14 IP   flag post
Expertise private msg quote post Address this user
Are you guys really getting $.10/sf? How many scans are you doing a year? I'd love to be able to get that, but it is not realistic in my market.
Post 15 IP   flag post
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Member
Brooklyn, NY
Oboldyrev private msg quote post Address this user
If this grows legs, I believe class action law suit will be in order for predatory business practices.
First Matterport offered MSP's to build businesses based on it's platform. And once businesses were built, Matterport is undercutting prices to put MSP's out of business. Simple as that. If we all stick together on this, we can definitely make an impact. And believe me my heart bleeds to say this. I am always the first one to show Matterports benefits and quality over other platforms. This however is predatory business practice and need to be stopped. But we would have to stick together on this. In Lehman terms, imagine if McDonalds sold millions of franchises and then started opening up it's own stores and selling burgers at half the price.
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Expertise private msg quote post Address this user
We could do 22,000 sf/day easily. We have 3 set-ups and 5+ cross-trained people.
Post 17 IP   flag post
WGAN Forum
Founder
Atlanta
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Hi All,

Reminder that this Matterport webinar starts at 11 am ET today (Thursday, 16 April 2020).

Dan

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanSmigrod



Screen Grab of eBlast sent to Matterport Service Providers [likely in Target Markets]


Matterport Recruiting Matterport Service Providers to Compete with MSPs

Hi All,

Above is the eBlast sent by Matterport Marketing today (Thursday, 9 April 2020) to recruit Matterport Service Providers to compete with Matterport Service Providers.

Thursday, Apr 16 from 8:00 - 9:00 am PST / 11:00 - Noon EST / 3:00 - 4:00 pm GMT.

Matterport Register Now Link

Below is a screen grab of the landing page that this link goes to.

Your thoughts?

By the way ...

I could imagine that Matterport will say that it's not competing with Matterport Service Providers because large accounts would not engage MSPs individually and that this business is only possible because Matterport is handling it directly.

I would not object if this was a 3rd party company or agency that was recruiting Matterport Service Providers for projects because they are not the same company that sells the camera and sets the rates for processing, hosting, publishing to Google Street View, 2D schematic floor plans and likely other services in the future.)

Plus, Matterport IS establishing benchmark pricing of what MSPs are getting paid. Never mind that Matterport is excluding the process, hosting, etc. because ... potential clients will just see the Matterport pricing and soon MSPs will be asked by their client to honor the pricing that Matterport is paying you.)

When Uber started out, they only offered rides form limo drivers. Eventually, Uber offered service from all drivers; thus, competing with those it said it would originally help.

Thanks,

Dan

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Screen grab of the Matterport landing page for its Matterport Register Now link in the eBlast above

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Body Text of eBlast

Last November, we announced that we were working with fellow MSPs and customers across industries to explore more efficient ways to support the growth we foresaw for scanning services. At that time, we projected that the demand for high-fidelity, professional scans would continue to rise among businesses and consumers in 2020.

The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the rollout of this new program to meet the urgent need for Matterport 3D scans from enterprise customers with regional or national reach.

We’re excited to tell you all about the new scan services program and answer any questions you will most certainly have.

Please join us on Thursday, Apr 16 from 8:00 - 9:00 am PST / 11:00 - Noon EST / 3:00 - 4:00 pm GMT.

We look forward to seeing you on the 16th to share the opportunities ahead of us.

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eMail confirmation for attending this event
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