by Roopinder Tara, Tenlinks.com
If you are not a leader in the CAD market, then you probably perceive the world as not fair. In a perfect world, products are picked on their merits. And it used to be that every so often, products would be reevaluated, compared to their competition. And so, in a perfect world, CAD operators would be guaranteed the best tools. Incumbency would be devalued.
Certainly, we do this with our politicians. With each election, the incumbents are evaluated against the challengers, and if found wanting, they are shown the door.
For products like SpaceClaim, who just know they are better than the market leaders, a lack of fair evaluation has them tearing out their hair. What do you do when most of the seats are already taken? When new customers nowadays follow the leader, like sheep? They could hope for a leader to emerge from somewhere, someone who has kwowledge, wisdom, and who is beyond rapproach, who would show the way, point them to the rightful choice....
Wait, I was dreaming again. Back to reality. Without a leader, a CAD Olympics might help deter...
Oh, don’t get me started. I imagine non-leaders in the CAD industry gathering to cry in their beers as they size up the unfair successes:
“Autodesk just rode the PC wave with AutoCAD.”
“SolidWorks only had to compete against Pro/E.”
But each lament ignores the marketing skills that current leaders used to arrive at their vaunted spots. Autodesk rose to become a billion-dollar company, but it was not with brilliant technology. To us in the press, all we saw was marketing, marketing and more marketing. For all we knew, a there might be a handful of programmers toiled in the bowels of the company. Their existence was mere rumor. SolidWorks may have paled next to Pro/E technically but that was a low hurdle for the marketing genius of John McEleney, its first VP of marketing who later become its CEO.
“But things were diffferen then,” I can hear the contenders claim. “All SolidWorks had to do was swing a couple of magazines, go to a couple of trade shows.”
Yes, back then there were only a few influential CAD magazines. At one time, users looking for someone to believe could have believed in them. And people went shopping at tradeshows. But both venues have been marginalized by the Web. Instead of a fearless leader, we have many loud voices, some knowledgeable, some credible… others, not so much. And new voices are heard every day.
The old guard had better get off their barstools, and figure this one out. Because the next AutoCAD or SolidWorks will come from someone who can figure this out, and harness the potential of the social media.
[Reprinted with permission of CAD Insider.]