Poll: If you had money to invest, would you invest it in a company that makes translation tools?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:52
SITE STAFF
Feb 12

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "If you had money to invest, would you invest it in a company that makes translation tools?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Feb 12

Except for the amount of money, time and experience I brought to my own ‘business’, I don’t view myself as an “investor”…

[Edited at 2020-02-12 08:23 GMT]


Dr Dominique Elser
Yetta Jensen Bogarde
Michael Harris
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:52
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
No Feb 12

These companies have sufficient funds as it is, so why should I invest in their business?

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Only if.. Feb 12

"If you had money to invest, would you invest it in a company that makes translation tools?".


- Only if the key people were known to me personally as honest and competent, with a proven track record.
- Only if they had a coherent and credible business plan.


Dr Dominique Elser
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:52
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Deepl Feb 12

... but they seem not to admit / need any investors from outside, and for good reasons. They will become filthy rich, among others by the help of our data bases.

Tom in London
Michael Harris
Ian Keith Jones Williams
Anja Hajek
 

Gitte Hovedskov
Denmark
Local time: 05:52
Member (2019)
English to Danish
+ ...
No, development too slow Feb 12

No, if I wanted to invest, I would want to see returns within a limited timeframe.
With developments in the CAT business being so slow, I wouldn't have the patience...


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Probably not Feb 12

ProZ.com Staff wrote:
If you had money to invest, would you invest it in a company that makes translation tools?


If I had money to spend, would I spend it in a company that makes translation tools? Yes, sure. But if I had money to invest... no, I don't think I would invest it in a company that makes translation tools. You can either buy shares in a large, established company, e.g. Trados, or buy shares in a smaller company that shows technological growth potential. The problem is that it is very difficult to predict what technologies will become profitable in the near future.

You can buy Trados shares (strictly speaking "SDL shares") for GBP 6.00 per share, but last year's dividends were less than GBP 0.10 per share, and five years ago the dividends were as little as GBP 0.03 per share. On the other hand, if you're the type of "investor" who makes money through buying and selling, the share price did go up about 10% over the past year, which is not terrible.

But... are we talking $1000, $10 000 or $100 000 here? $10 000 will buy a single developer for a 2-3 months, but how do you know that the developer will actually produce something useful in those three months, and that the thing he produces can be used to make money, and that the the translation tool company itself will have the necessary business skill to achieve that? I don't know... it looks a lot like high risk, low yield.

With some CAT tools, if you want a certain feature, you can pay for it to be developed. A number of features in OmegaT, for example, were developed after specific users requested those features and negotiated a development fee with the developers. However, it's not always easy to calculate how much money a certain feature will save the translator (so that he can calculate how much is fair to spend on paying for its development). I'm not sure if this can be called "investing", though.

I was unable to find information about how much money plugin developers make who sell their plugins via the SDL app store. So, I can't tell if it's a good proposition to hire a developer to develop some of the more frequently requested features in Trados and then sell the plugin via the app store. That said, a killer feature that people would be willing to pay money for may be a good "investment".


[Edited at 2020-02-12 10:57 GMT]


Mariana Borio
Yaotl Altan
 

Egmont Schröder  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:52
Member (2013)
Chinese to German
+ ...
No Feb 12

A diversified investment is more in my interest, I don't want to check the stock market regularly. It is exhausting and stressful.
I'd rather invest in index funds and real estate funds.


DZiW
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:52
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not likely Feb 12

CATs are relatively new in the market, and if we consider the two market leaders, Trados and MemoQ, we'll notice these tools are still pretty far from ideal. They are quite problematic, full of bugs, consuming an astronomic amount of RAM, etc. We still don't have a great CAT tool that will troubleshoot all these bugs. When it shows up, the other ones will be history. So, investing in that industry is too much of a risk right now. Maybe in the near future.

 

Jan Truper  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:52
English to German
+ ...
Other Feb 12

I would buy the stock majority of Kilgray and force them to make a Mac native version of memoQ with a few enhancements to my liking.

 


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