Will they build the CAD system of future?
Scott doesn’t normally call me, though we’ve known each other for 18 years or so. In this case, he wanted to tell me something: that morning a corporation had been formed. By him (of course), Dave Corcoran, Tommy Li, Mike Lauer, John McEleney, and, as CEO, Jon Hirschtick.
That’s all. He was just calling folks he knew in the CAD industry to let them know. Just a courtesy call. Some other people I know got similar calls, either from Scott, or John. (It could be that all six of them were making such calls.)
What will the company do? They’re exploring that right now.
Are they looking for publicity? No; just letting folks know what they’re doing. (Reminds me of when John McEleney stepped down as CEO of SolidWorks. He took the time to make personal phone calls to a lot of people, me included, to give them a heads up. Class act.)
Why does it matter?
It’s not quite like the Beatles getting back together, but these are some of the key people who launched SolidWorks, and made it one of the great success stories of the CAD industry. For people who know the players, the most interesting question is this: Are they hiring?
A few weeks back, Jon gave a keynote presentation at the CIMdata PLM Road Map conference in Detroit. One of the things he talked about was that CAD is not done. There’s still work to be done to make CAD what it can be. I talked quite a bit with Jon at that conference, and got the sense that he’s still exploring possibilities.
As for this group: my guess is that they’d like to do something of substance, that has the potential to be of great value to engineers and designers. If they were just about the money, it’d be easier to do something totally unrelated to engineering software. Like maybe create a photo sharing site, and sell it to Facebook for a billion dollars.
I think it’s an interesting question to ponder: If you had a team of experienced and smart people who really know how CAD systems are built—a team as good as this—what problem would you tackle?
Would you build the CAD system of the future? And what would that system look like?