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Old 04-09-2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default A lesson in marketing via Cobb Tuning

Cliff notes: MSpeed owners complain, Cobb quits development.
Found this very interesting, as it's been circulating quite a few of the mazda boards:


For quite some time, the MAZDASPEED community has, in large part, been confrontational, disrespectful, unprofessional, vulgar or childish regarding any announcements and/or business decisions COBB Tuning has made on public forums. Responses ranging from outrage and profanity to threats of intellectual property piracy have become the normal reaction when things don't go exactly to their wishes. No amount of professionalism, realism or rationale has worked in turning these communications into more constructive discussions.

Although COBB Tuning is a business, it is made up of enthusiasts that work here and they love what they do. Everyone gets a lot of satisfaction from taking on the hard projects like cracking and controlling the MAZDASPEED ecu and making it do what no one else does. When ongoing criticism to these efforts is "**** COBB" or "I'm going to hack your software and give it away" or "**** these OTS maps" or "Hopefully Cobb will get it's head out of it's ***", it tends to make everyone less enthusiastic about working on it.

We have decided to bring MAZDASPEED development to a close because no one at COBB finds it rewarding to put in the hours and hours of effort just to have so many people spouting negativity and insults. In fact, many of our pro tuners have been monitoring the MAZDASPEED forum discussions to gauge interest and have come back with "Uh, nevermind...not worth dealing with it" responses. It's a shame that while the MAZDASPEED community is demanding more performance products from manufacturers, the tribal infighting, Lord of the Flies atmosphere and unrestrained attitude displayed on the forums is actually driving choice and new development out of the market. It might be fun for some, but the entire community suffers as a whole.

Regards,

Gary Sheehan
Director of Marketing
COBB Tuning

Thread here... makes for interesting reading.
AccessTUNER Race for MAZDASPEED3 & MAZDASPEED6 Discussion - Page 2 - COBB Forums
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:37 PM   #2
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Wise decision!
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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When I bit off more than I chew I usually blame other people and throw a hissy fit too!
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #4
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If I were a business, I wouldn't keep doing stuff that wasn't fun and didn't make me rich either. whiney internet bitches!
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:58 PM   #5
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Hmm. I wonder which is it really. Did the community really **** them off or did they need an out because they couldnt deliver on their promises?
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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Hmm. I wonder which is it really. Did the community really **** them off or did they need an out because they couldnt deliver on their promises?


Probably a bit of both, but the "you guys are poopy, I'll take my ball and go home" attitude is fucked up from a vendor. People tend to remember that.
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:24 PM   #7
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New MS owners (MS3/MS6), I am a fully dissatisfied one of them, usually turn into a disgruntled bunch right out of the box. The most common reason is that Mazda seemingly designed these cars to be anti-aftermarket. The ECU's have literally taken 2 years to hack... and there is only 2 companies that I know of who offer solutions, at huge prices. The small number of cars produced means tuner options will be limited and hi-priced. The tuner industry knows that any particular MS vehicle will enjoy a maximum 2year run before being scrapped. Again, ZERO incentive for the aftermarket.

It took the aftermarket over a year to learn that the reason the ECU throws up a brick wall at 5000rpms isn't due to the huge amount of fuel being thrown in, it's that the ECU closes the throttle plate (fly-by-wire) to just 30%@WOT when in boost. WTF??? It took another year to learn how to defeat it... at the cost of about $600 just to get your stock ECU modified to leave the throttle plate open... which is mandatory to making any kind of power up high. How ******* pissed would you be at Mazda when you found out you're making 16psi, but the throttle is almost closed... and that's why you run out of steam just as you're parallel to that semi on the onramp.

The MS6 in particular is poorly engineered vehicle, period. The clutch is horrific, the tune is abysmal, the AWD system feels like it was designed by Yugo... it's just plain bad. The MS3 is a much better car, but shares the engine/tranny/ECU and has had a host of electrical problems that require warranty work. Service departments will tell you straight out that they will not perform warranty work on a modified MS vehicle. The MS3/MS6 forums are full of stories regarding warranty denials on major driveline components due to something as minor as a test-pipe install, or requiring guys to revert completely to stock before doing something like replacing a window motor. Mazda is vocally fighting the aftermarket in the same manner that Subaru and Dodge embrace it. Hell, in an article I read about the new Hyundai Genesis, the spokesperson was bragging about how easy it was going to be for tuners to get 300whp out of the base 220whp I-4 turbo motor.

Yes, people don't like COBB for the same reson they don't like Apple or Sony... they create something proprietary that's an excellent product, but don't let anybody else play. Business is business. MS owners are lead by the hand to dealerships with the exciting Zoom-Zoom comercials and that makes the dissapointment 10x worse when it comes time for more boost.

In the end, I'm not so sure it's COBB's business practices that are making MS owners mad. They're really mad at Mazda, and COBB was easy pickings.
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:52 PM   #8
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What a shame, I was just getting $$$ saved for my MS3! Had some cool ideas and actually liked what COBB made for the WRX STI and whatnots.

No doubt that the market is full of ****** that for some reason or another liked to **** on Cobbs stuff; but fact of the matter is that they did have a pretty good grasp on what they were doing. Installed many parts from them on friends cars with very few issues.

Oh well, too bad for us. Shame that Cobb was so easy to **** off.

Cheers,
Prospero
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:11 PM   #9
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When I bit off more than I chew I usually blame other people and throw a hissy fit too!
I doubt that's the case. Cobb handled the Suby ECU well and it's probably more complex than the MS stuff. I'll bet they realized that there wasn't enough money in it to deal with the complaining bitches. The Suby aftermarket community included the WRX/STI/Forest XT/Legacy/Baha that needed aftermarket ECU work. How many models does MS have and how many units do they sell?

**** it, let some open source geek hack it.

Frank
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by fmowry View Post
I doubt that's the case. Cobb handled the Suby ECU well and it's probably more complex than the MS stuff. I'll bet they realized that there wasn't enough money in it to deal with the complaining bitches. The Suby aftermarket community included the WRX/STI/Forest XT/Legacy/Baha that needed aftermarket ECU work. How many models does MS have and how many units do they sell?

**** it, let some open source geek hack it.

Frank
Eh, not so sure the suby ECU was more complex then the MS one. Either that or they released the product before really developing it. There was a lot of **** about their first version maps for their standalone (100-102) being useless pieces of ****. Something to do with the direct injection of the MS3.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:44 PM   #11
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who cares? New cars are stupid anyway.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:02 PM   #12
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Gee I remember Cobb tuning when they were just a repair shop and getting into the subie tuning market. They would do stuff like take metalmaster brake pads ($45 a set) put them into a Cobb tuning box and charge $150. Their M.O. at the time was to take other peoples products (MRT suspension anyone?), place their sticker on it, tell everyone how different and better it was then up the price on it.

But people have the memory of about 5 minutes...and business flourished...especially when they landed the deal with selling cobb tuned subarus at the dealers.

This is the first I have heard of them in the mazda business...
You couldn't pay me to buy anything from them...(yep I meant it just as it sounds)

Oh and yep, opinions are like *** holes..everyone has got one...and this one is mine.

Last edited by oconnor; 04-10-2009 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:03 PM   #13
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their


Opinions are like ********, and your girlfriends tongue is lapping mine opinion like a doberman on peanut butter.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:56 AM   #14
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I *heart* hustler.

I had the recent opportunity to test drive by friends MS3 right before the was trading it in. It had a sad powerband...definitely something fucked up there.

I think it's cool Cobb posted that. It made me laugh.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:12 AM   #15
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I have given this more thought and I think they acted a little to hastily. You cant just ditch people like that. People were pissed because they couldnt do what they promised and go even more pissed and resentful when they got abandoned basically. I dont think anyone intended for them to back out like that. Both sides are wrong obviously. The people should have been a little more constructive with the criticism so COBB could actually do something about it, instead it just turned into a giant **** slinging fest.

Its like if tomorrow BEGI decided to stop making parts because I harass them every chance I get. Id feel pretty ******* bad about it because I secretly hope they heed my advice but ill also be pissed that now there is no alternative for parts, no one making headway into new parts and the community loses something. Something is better then nothing. I think COBB didnt get the idea and bounced instead.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:22 PM   #16
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Maybe we could really a bunch of people to gripe about FFS and run him out of business

But then who would we pick on for telling us such truth-inspires fact like "you don't need an intercooler", "turbo IATs are over 1400*" and "danger to teh manifolds" ??
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #17
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hustler:

Hahhahhahhhaaaha haaaahahahaa

oh and fixed the spelling...thanks...
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Newbsauce View Post
Cliff notes: MSpeed owners complain, Cobb quits development.
Some hours later:

"I have had some time to reflect on the developments over the last couple of days and I feel that I owe the MAZDASPEED community an apology.

I am relatively new here at COBB Tuning and am very excited to be a part of this team. I believe in what COBB Tuning is trying to accomplish in the marketplace and know that we have the talent to accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves. I have a great deal of respect for the engineers and calibrators that dedicate so much of their time and put forth huge effort to make the AccessPORT products the best they can be. I see the long hours that sales and tech support put into taking care of our customers' needs. Over the past six months I have come to know the people that are the driving force behind the company you know as COBB Tuning. In my enthusiasm for being a member of this team, I have taken the comments on several MAZDASPEED forums as personal attacks on me and my fellow COBB Tuning employees, and have vented my frustration in an inappropriate way.

I allowed a small minority of offensive forum members to get the better of me, and in lashing out at them, I have inadvertently offended a large population of the community that was not the target of my criticism. The part that I find most embarrassing is that I was influenced by people that have no interest in our products whatsoever, who post solely to stir controversy. I want to offer my sincere apology to the entire MAZDASPEED community for comments that you found offensive and promoted a negative stereotype for the community as a whole. Just like all other forums I have participated in, the vast majority are good natured people sharing a common enthusiasm for a cool car. I do know better, yet I let my emotions cloud my judgment.

I would also like to offer an additional apology to all of the MAZDASPEED enthusiasts that have supported COBB Tuning throughout the development of our products and stuck with us through the difficult times as we explored and learned about this platform. Although it was not intentional, I do see why my comments were perceived as a "slap in the face" and how you feel you are being unjustly punished and abandoned. Our decision was based on the actions of a minority, and the COBB supporters that have remained quiet and faithful, anticipating future features, were the ones we asked to bear the burden of that decision. That was not a fair decision for us to make.

In an effort to make reparations, COBB Tuning will move forward with implementing the Launch Control and No Lift Shift features on the MAZDASPEED AccessPORT that so many have been waiting for. Launch Control and No Lift Shift will be implemented in the same form as on other platforms. Launch Control will allow the user to set an RPM that the engine will rev to, building partial boost pressure, while the clutch is in and the throttle is at maximum. No Lift Shift will allow the user to set an RPM that the engine will maintain between shifts while the clutch is in and the throttle is at maximum, maintaining partial boost pressure. Development on these features is not complete and we will provide availability dates when we are 100% confident in their accuracy.

We understand that many of you just want to use the AccessPORT with OTS maps, but variance of the MAZDASPEED from the factory has prevented our OTS maps from working properly on some vehicles. In an effort to assist these customers, COBB Tuning will release a full featured beta version of AccessTUNER Race software for the MAZDASPEED3 & 6. There will be no charge for this beta version of AccessTUNER Race and the software will be released on April 20th as previously stated.

In closing, I must admit that this has been quite a learning experience for me. For what it is worth, I assure you that I will not let my emotions generate another outburst like this in the future. I hope that each of you will accept my apology and not allow my indiscretion to tarnish all of the positive advances that my COBB Tuning colleagues have brought to MAZDASPEED enthusiasts.

Sincerely,

Gary Sheehan
Director of Marketing
COBB Tuning"
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:51 PM   #19
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i changed my mind. the internets may be lame, but that guy is a fool.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:52 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by y8s View Post
i changed my mind. the internets may be lame, but that guy is a fool.
splain yourself.

Other then the fact that people on the internet dont understand human emotion, or sincere apology, or respect, or really any sort of normal human interaction and that this apology wont be accepted the way he anticipates.
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