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CommentaryDystopianMatterport EcosystemNews

What Bill Brown Said. (With responses)6413

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Dear Chris,

Hey Bill!

I hope you’re enjoying the new year so far. It’s been an exciting time at Matterport as we’ve recently crossed several key milestones, with over 800,000 spaces captured and more than 330,000,000 visitors to those spaces since we launched our system in June 2014. We couldn’t have reached this point without you, so I wanted to say thank you!

You're welcome and I am having a GREAT 2018! I've only contributed about800 scans since buying in, but I'm proud to be one one-thousandth of your stat!

I’m also writing to you about an important initiative; the Matterport Ecosystem.

Oooo interesting! Sounds big!

At Matterport, our mission is to give people the freedom to experience any place at any time. We see a day when there is a Matterport True3D™ digital copy of every property in the world; that’s over 1B spaces.

I like this True3D concept. It differentiates the fact that Matterport is a full navigable 3D space with three distinct modes that seamlessly transition between each other with panoramic imagery enhancing the fixed points we can stand in when in inside mode. It needed a name and I noticed that you guys won a patent on the technology you made. Good job there.

A True3D copy of every property in the world? Don't you think that that's just a bit excessive? Many homes on my block have the same floorplans save a few tweaks here or there ... and what really differentiates them are how they are furnished inside. I am not sure that this is necessary

We expect these Matterport Spaces will be used to help people experience and understand properties, and ultimately to more efficiently make better decisions, save money, and get more enjoyment from those properties.

I like that idea. I wonder how that would work!

You are a big part of this vision, and we want to support your business by providing you the most cost-effective solution we can as you capture properties and use Matterport to help make your business successful!

I know you guys just released the Pro-2 Lite. For me, it's more expensive in the long run and has less battery life. I'm interested to know how are you making your product more cost effective for me and maintaining my ROI/Opportunity Costs.

Expanding the Matterport Ecosystem

We want Matterport True3D digital copies of properties to be easy and inexpensive for anyone to get, which is why we make our system available to anyone who wants to capture a space.

Inexpensive from a service provider's standpoint means that we still keep our margins and our opportunity cost doesn't go through the roof. So - I'll infer that you're thinking about Fast Capture saving us money and time, thus making it more inexpensive to operate the camera on a daily basis.

We also want Matterport Spaces to be valuable beyond the initial purpose for which they are captured.

Makes sense. I always suggest to the home owner or Realtor to get your awesome Matterport Showcase iOS app so that they can download a personal copy and keep it forever! Sometimes they want to know if there's an Android version and I feel a bit awkward in telling them that they have to use Apple devices. Some people are pretty loyal to platforms -- like a lot of us are to yours! It takes a lot to get someone to swap over!

We want to make them readily available to the property owner or resident since they benefit the most from their existence (and if you think about it, they are the source of the funds that are ultimately used to create the Matterport Space in the first place).

I'd like to think that for residential scans it is the Realtor that is paying out of pocket in hopes that they get the commission on the sale. The home owner can swap horses and then the Realtor is out of their investment. I haven't had that happen personally, but I think that this statement bends things a bit.

It's silly, but ultimately, my mom and dad are the source of my client's scans because they created me, but I don't bother getting into that because it's not really applicable to reality. I mean, Matt Bell is ultimately the source of the product in the first place, which is the source of why we get these funds.

I do about 33% of my business for Realtors. The other verticals are home builders and apartments.
With those clients, I LOVE your collaborator feature as I provide this to my clients so that they can freely place Mattertags in their models, use the labels feature, take snapshots and change any information on their details when necessary. I've told them all about your RoOomie partnership, which they are VERY excited about. I'm considering moving their tours to separate accounts when that happens so that they don't have to go through me to pay for these services. We have a good relationship and I'm not scared of them having their own accounts -- I think it's a win-win for all of us!

Our vision is that the Matterport Ecosystem should enable these property owners or residents to privately access and use a copy of the Matterport Space of their property, and to make it available to the goods and services providers they rely on for so many aspects of their property through its lifecycle. Making Matterport Spaces available to people throughout the entire lifecycle of a property is a key part of the Matterport Ecosystem.

That's my vision too! I'm always happy to share a space as I hold the copyright to the imagery and have the distinct pleasure of doing this! It hasn't happened yet I guess that it's too soon to really think about this. I know some people who have rescanned the same home or reshot the same home as sometimes the same Realtor who was the buying agent becomes the selling agent when that family wants to move to the next place. It's a fringe example of how this could work. I'm ready to let the tour be reused in that case -- especially as it would be the same client anyway! Plus, that Realtor is always welcome to contact me if the person who bought the home has questions about the space. Remember, I always tell people that these are public spaces and that they can download a copy to the iOS app.

Since my clients can download a copy to the Showcase iOS App - it would be cool if that's how RoOomie worked. You'd likely need to setup some licensing changes / TOS stuff to allow this to happen,
but it would be cool!!!!

This is obviously great for property owners and residents and the companies that serve them, but we also believe that by leveraging Matterport Spaces created to promote a space for sale or rental, we will spark the creation and growth of a strong ecosystem of applications that will drive demand for new content creation (and demand for more capture services). We’re giving property owners, residents, and people who market to them a reason to capture spaces again in the future. That is a win for everyone using Matterport!

Sounds good... but remember, these are my spaces -- I'm subject to hosting fees on them, so I have do have an investment in my own spaces. I got an e-mail about Matterport finally charging me for having > 300 spaces, so this is something I'm feeling concerned about.

Today, we’re taking an important step to develop the Ecosystem by changing our terms of services

Oh no! Home Depot is going to be running short on torches and pitchforks tonight.

[...] so that Matterport is granted a very limited license to use the 3D Spaces you have captured and made public when a property was sold or rented.

I thought you guys already have that in the TOS.

This limited license will allow us to use a copy of these once-public 3D Spaces, privately, for the benefit of subsequent property owners or residents of the property.

So if a Realtor pays me for a tour to sell a home - you're giving it to the buyer to use? That's kind of odd.

Keep in mind, this limited license in no way prevents you from doing anything you are currently able to do with your Matterport Spaces, it just helps to make this unique and powerful ecosystem possible.

This “ecosystem license” will only apply to a Space that you have previously made visible to the public.

If I made a tour, made it public, then private, it can be used? That doesn't seem right.

Also, the license does not entitle Matterport or anyone else to publish these Spaces publicly,

That's good. People would be really upset about that.

[...] it merely allows us to make the space available privately to a confirmed and authenticated owner or resident who has logged into the system, or a service or goods provider they authorize.

Yikes, you have your hands full on this one.

Are you guys going to start sending post cards with confirmation codes on them? I always hate those - they take a few days to arrive and at that point, I've lost interest in the reason I had one sent.

Your processing system is so fast that I could imagine it being FASTER to just send an MSP out that the homeowner requested, getting a new scan, and having a brand new scan that was 100% up to date with the state of the property and 100% up to date with the latest and greatest Matterport True3D technology. More scans = more revenue for Matterport and MSPs! Less postcards.

Finally, in what we expect to be rare cases where a home seller or current property owner does not want the subsequent owner to have access to a 3D model of the property they just bought from them, Matterport will provide a means for the current property owner to directly request that their property not be included in this ecosystem license.

Eeek. The postcard thing sounded like enough trouble for you guys to have to deal with. Now you're vetting home owners? I guess that postcards could work there too ... although you know me, I'm almost willing to break US Federal Law to see what happens if I request a take down on a home and then stalk the mail man, steal the post card, and basically 'hack' a competitor's account by getting homes removed. They'll never know it was me

Free long-term hosting for ecosystem Spaces: We will also be changing our hosting pricing for Matterport Spaces for single family residential real estate properties.

This makes sense. If you guys are hoping to become a more open platform like SketchFab or YouTube, then hosting fees are an outdated model.

People are always afraid of what happens to a space if they decide to move on to a different career or fail to pay a bill. Clients are a bit worried about MSPs providing hosting and being responsible for the longevity of their tours. Sounds counter productive to the Ecosystem to keep hosting locked to the MSP.

When the change takes effect, Spaces that are public, part of the ecosystem license, and have a validated residential address entered...

So if I don't have a validated address, it doesn't go to your ecosystem? So that means we can opt-out of the Ecosystem. FANTASTIC. I was really worried that this was a mandatory opt-in. So really, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO BE CONCERNED AT ALL!!!!! That's great, because now I can continue reading and decide if I want to opt in.

...will be free for you to continue hosting on Matterport after the first 12 months for as long as you have your account.

That's a bit confusing. It should be free the moment it enters into the Matterport Ecosystem as technically, you are accessing content that you may be assessing us a hosting fee on, and you know that that's not right. Besides, this is confusing.

They will not count toward the hosting limit of your Cloud Subscription. This enables you to continue to host residential property Spaces for your customers after 12 months for free.

This is going to save me some $$$$. Wasn't it $60/mo for every 50 models over my quota? If I have that right, I'm going to save $120 a month that I was planning on having to choke up. That's pretty cool. I'm not really doing anything with those models beyond having them on my portfolio, so I like that. Still, why after 12 months?

Promotion of your business for future services: In addition, Matterport will provide information about the capture service provider to the subsequent property owner or resident to help them find you should they want to have the property captured again in the future.

Oh, sweet! So, if the property owner wants to re-use the space with RoOomie but needs it updated, you'll put them back in contact with me so that I can update it? If that's the case, it sounds like a GREAT deal. We're then ALWAYS the MSP for the houses we scanned!

Private Spaces are not included: We acknowledge that some of our existing customers create sensitive content, for example, sites under construction or secure locations, which might be inappropriate to share, even with a downstream property owner or resident. In these cases, these Spaces are typically set to Private to share with colleagues or clients by adding them as collaborators directly on those Spaces. This ensures that sensitive private content will never be accessible - even by subsequent property owners or residents - without your express permission and transfer of the Space.

What about spaces that are private, but that we want to embed behind a password protected system?I still think you guys need to come up with a solution there. You might sell some more cameras with that feature.

To be clear, as a result of the ecosystem license, Matterport will look to generate revenue from goods and service providers by using the 3D Spaces and our SDK to enable them to engage with property owners and residents through the Matterport Platform.

... huh? Are goods and service providers us or third parties? Are you saying that Matterport is looking to generate revenue? Well, if I read that right, at least you're being honest.

These future revenue streams will fund new technology development like our SDK and a multitude of features, and will allow us to continue to deliver advanced 3D media solutions that make it inexpensive and easy to capture and utilize immersive 3D media.

Hey, that's important to me. I believe that Matterport is a healthy business and that you guys are managing things in a way that keeps investors happy and makes good on the investment that they made. It's important that you continue to grow and find win-win scenarios that keep your business successful!
Bill I'd like you and your family to take a MASSIVE vacation this year and live like royalty for a week. I imagine that you spend a LOT of time at work and as long as you are steering this ship in the right direction, we want you to be happy as the leader of this company!

We also have a number of other initiatives in place to bring this ecosystem to life. Among them are the following:

We released the SDK in January, to enable developers to build important applications on top of the Matterport platform and continue to add features to our SDK.

I'm having a BLAST with the SDK. I have some things I need you guys to do for me and I think that the SDK folks are a bit distracted right now. I have some exciting things I'm working on!!!!

We will be announcing, later this month, a capability which will allow you to transfer Spaces to your customers, so that they can maintain them.

That's cool, but I don't see the need for that. You already have collaborator accounts and I let my clients do this already. This would be cool though as a general purpose ability. We've been asking for this for a while.

We also plan to introduce free limited hosting accounts for consumers, for their private use, to work with the new transfer capability. This will enable you to give closing gifts or leave-behinds to your customers and to move certain Spaces, as appropriate, out of your account.

That's cool too. There are some people who use Matterport for floorplans and OBJ file creation only. This will save them some $$$ as I believe that they should be able to upload to these accounts and not pay a SAAS fee ... although I'm confused ... the SAAS fee subsidizes processing fees, so it's a good deal all around. I guess that not having a monthly commitment has some benefits for some users.

I like that Matterport is interested in solutions that have fringe benefits and I guess that these spaces that you are going to be 'copying' for use with 3rd party solutions would be copied into these accounts, so these things work hand in hand. I'll be interested to see what this looks like.

We are breaking new ground by creating what will be a massive ecosystem around the capture, distribution, and use of Matterport Spaces. We’re looking forward to working with all of you to make a True3D digital copy of every space on the planet available to the people who can benefit the most so we can all deliver maximum value to the world!

Thank you.

Pretty cool - I can't wait to hear more.



Bill Brown
Matterport, Inc.

Hey, don't be a stranger! I'm glad you wrote to us and I hope you'll be connecting more.

I've decided that I am going to Opt-In -- by verifying my addresses and continuing to do so in the future.

I've seen people getting really upset about the TOS changes and this e-mail seems to clarify the vision a bit more. I don't really understand why some of these things are necessary, but I'm sure you guys will figure it out as you go.

You know, everything in life is a beta test really. We try new things, see what works and build on them. When things don't work, we take a step back and evaluate things.

I'm excited about this RoOomie partnership as it means a lot to my multi-family and home builder clients. I can imagine more companies in those verticals jumping on board with Matterport.

Please consider my thoughts on hosting. Being personally responsible for the well-being of hosted tours on behalf or mid-sized to large companies really does limit the trust we can have with them. Having to send them to set up a hosting account with you guys is awkward, especially as then they get emails about buying cameras. Weird for everyone.

I think that you guys should move to a YouTube/SketchFab type model wherein hosting is something you just DO! We cover the expenses related to content creation - and one of those things is utilizing your amazing cloud processing platform. If we are all uploading to the same ... 'MatterVerse,' it will break down some serious hurdles for adoption and as the MSP, we simply have admin access to the models and can assign our clients with admin access too (it's called Collaborators -- it's just marketing, right!)

If we assign collaborator access to the client we purchased the tour for, then we've allowed them to use 3rd party services, right? Sounds like in the scenarios above, all that someone who wants to repurpose a space needs to do is ask permission, right? The first step will be for them to be able to find the space though -- otherwise, how will they know it exists?

I propose:

1. Matterport launches a public database "MatterVerse" -- Think, YouTube, etc.

2. All models are on the MatterVerse unless set to private.

3. Each MSP gets their own page with a link to their company's webpage and socials and visible view stats, maybe comments, etc. -- thus, participation is desirable.

4. Non-MSPs can sign up for accounts and can EASILY favorite tours, build their own lists, etc, and then use any one of the 3rd party services to play with public spaces.

5. If a Non-MSP purchases a 3rd party service, there's a revenue share that the MSP gets.

6. Tours on the MatterVerse do not count towards hosting limits.

Maybe this can be an idea you guys kick around? I think it's a win-win for everyone!


Again, I want to be 100% onboard with the new TOS and everything you guys are doing. It's a bit scary to wake up to a mandatory TOS agreement and to have to read through a lot of new information. I think this can be the BIGGEST WIN-WIN that Matterport has with its clients after the initial camera purchase - it just has to be executed right! I'm always wanting to do what I can to add value to the Matterport Ecosystem and have some GREAT ideas that I'm working on with the SDK.

This post is my contribution to the TOS changes and vision. I posted it here because We Get Around has a passionate group of MSPs that were, initially, a good representation of the core users of your camera and platform. This site also gets a lot of good SEO -- so positive and negative posts alike end up in Google for a long time! Public perception holds a lot of value these days and I wanted to share my thoughts where people would be able to find them!
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