Well said, and I heartily concur with your points. For myself, an older guy that networks large automation systems, I’m always on top of the next tech, so that aspect of using Zwift and the others out there have been really cool. I’ve never been into gaming … (well at least not since I binged for 3 days and night on Nights of the Old Republic while a Butter Bar (2nd Lieutenant), and realized that video games would lead to a lifetime of poverty lol), but this aspect of combining an RPG with real world health benefit is pretty amazing. That being said, this is simply a tool for me to stay in shape here in the monstrous North Dakotan Winters. Zwift has taken on a culture of it’s own like any business or community and will go through the similar cycle of small beginnings, growth, success, arrogance, out of touch, losing customer base, decline, listening, back in touch, and again growth, which I have witnessed many times. Sometimes this circle can be very quick, if those at the helm are wise enough and open minded to the degree they can see what is happening. Apple is a perfect example. I purchased my first Tower / Pro back in 2008 for my recording studio after having done a personal time study and realizing 30% of my time was spent tweaking my software and gear to get it to work with PC, I rarely turned that computer off for 6 years and had zero problems… now I have to buy 3 year old Macs simply because the new ones have been both unreliable and lacking in various ways from what their “Pro” or Pro-sumer base really need, and after years of waiting they come out with a $6k desktop with a $1k monitor stand?! … enter the golden window for PC (just like Microsoft gave Mac back with Windows 8.0)… and Microsoft / the PC world is primed to take the opportunity. I see Zwift in a similar light. If they listen to their user base and make correct conciliations not only will it grow our loyalty and appreciation for Zwift as a company but will keep us using their product. On the other hand, there are definitely great alternatives out there if they don’t, Rouvy is one of them. I originally was going to go with Rouvy but found my trainer was working more accurately with Zwift. This update with the huge variance on the gravel areas is making my training more unrealistic on Zwift so I may take my $15/mo somewhere else. Curious to see what happens in the next 3 months.
I’ve really enjoyed this community overall, and Zwift has a better picture of who is using their services, or who might want to than either of us. If the majority paying for Zwift are the racing community it would make sense to appeal to them, if there has been a large request for MTB routes and features (makes sense) they should expand in that direction as well… just not at the expense of those who have enjoyed and based their training and metrics on existing Routes and conditions.
And I completely agree with being able to construct your own Route, this and at least knowing when a Route ends to me personally seem to be a baseline feature set which should have been there at the rollout of these updates, but as a coder, I also know at times certain things are more challenging to develop than users understand.
Good thoughts, thanks Chris!