CoCreate origins go back to the 1980s when HP took its in-house CAD system and spun it off, selling it under the names ME10 (for 2D) and ME30 (for 3D). It was reinvented as CoCreate a few years later, its name emphasizing collaboration. In fact, users in different location could work on the same model simultaneously.
That did not catch on, explains Ulrich Mahle, who heads CoCreate's marketing and R&D. "We found designers did not want to continually show their changes. They would rather just show the finished design."
So without the unique selling point suggested by its own name, CoCreate seeks to differentiate itself by another way and now seems to have found it. They call it "dynamic editing," the ability to change a solid model without constraints, unencumbered by its history. Given that the current crop of popular solid modelers (SolidWorks, Pro/E, UGS, more) are all history based. clearly CoCreate has a challenge in convincing potential customers.
CoCreate is also different from other CAD companies in the following ways:
- Its product development cycle is characterized by quick 3-week iterations in which a task (like a new feature) is created and tested, rather than the more conventional one long development phase after which are code base are gathered up. In addition, programmers work in pairs, each complementing the other. Daily show and tells keep the whole team aware of individual and total progress.
- CoCreate has no large overseas development staff. A main reason is the interplay that the above-mentioned iterative development process demands. According to CC, overseas development offers a false economy and its onsite developers are each worth multiple offsite developers.
Six week vacations are the norm. But when they are working, they put in the hours. "Nobody works an 8 hour day." Food at the very nice cafeteria is subsidized. I should have asked if CC is accepting applications.