If you are not a leader in the CAD market, then you probably perceive the world as not fair.In a perfect world, a product is picked on its merits. And every so often, a product would be reevaluated, compared to its competition. And so, in a perfect world, companies 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.
Hmm… a similar methodoly would also get rid of fat cops. But I digress.
For products like SpaceClaim, who just know they are better than the market leaders, a lack of fair evaluation has them tearing their hair out. What the hell do you do when most of the seats are taken? When new users nowadays just 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 determine what CAD program to choose... Oh, don’t get me started.
I imagine nonleaders 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 current leaders have used to arrive at their vaunted spots. Autodesk rose to be a billion dollar company but it was not with brilliant technology. To us in the press, all we saw were marketing, marketing and more marketing. For all we knew, a handful of programmers toiled in the bowels of the company. Their mere existence was a rumor. SolidWorks may have paled next to Pro/E technically but that was a low hurdle for the marketing genius of John McEleney (VP of marketing who would later become its CEO).
“But things were different 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 them. And people were shopping at tradeshows. But both venues have been marginalized by the Web. Instead of a fearless leader, we have 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 out. Because the next AutoCAD or SolidWorks will come from someone understands and can harness the potential of social media.