Who's really gaining market share?
When you listen to certain CAD ceos, you would think that all of them are gaining market share. That's where everybody gets a bigger slice -- of what? At Autodesk's conference call with financial analysts last week, Walter Pritchard of Citigroup wanted to know how "everybody" could be increasing the size of their slice.
Mr Pritchard: "We talked to other players in the space. Everybody sort of claims that they're gaining share, and defending turf, or expanding into new turf -- mostly around manufacturing. (In the AEC space, not so much contended.) But just curious, is it market industry estimates? Or is it your own work? O is it anecdotal that convinces you're gaining share in manufacturing. Just a little bit more detail on that would be helpful."
Carl Bass, Autodesk ceo: "I always find this slightly amusing. That mathematical fact is the subject of so much argument by anecdote. It seems much better to go back to the math. I think there are only two ways to look at market share: One is you can look at the number of seats, and the other is to look at the amount of revenue.
"I think if you do the math by those measures on any apples-to-apples comparison, I think that's where my comments come from. So I always find it amusing when somebody says, 'Our CAD business is growing by [a rather small] 3%, but we're gaining share'. I just don't know the how that's mathematically possible."