LAS VEGAS, NV (Autodesk University) - Autodesk has come out strong in favor of online CAD (many new apps are browser-based, require online access) and cloud technology. This years AU, both Carl Bass, CEO and Jeff Kowalski, CTO , rolled over opposition to online apps and cloud technology in the press Q&A session.
The Jeff and Carl at AU2013: We're online and in the cloud.
In response to Autodesk's adamant stance on online sharing and collaboration, a press member from Argentina said, "We don't like to share." Another from India said "Only 6% if us are online."
Suddenly the world we in the US take for granted --24/7 broadband access, smart phone always in hand, iPads at the airport, one step from having our toasters text us when the toast is ready --has collapsed into its true size.
That's about a billion people right there who can't see the modern picture. Add to that most of Africa, the rest of Asia and Latin America and you have the majority of humans that are a long way off from having the online tools and toys we take for granted. Do tech execs dismiss them as irrelevant?
I feel ashamed. Aren't those countries the growth markets we are always going on about? Don't we pat themselves on the back for sending them baby incubators made from car parts1 or low emission high-tech cooking stoves2 so everyone in the mud hut doesn't die of respiratory failure. We drop coins in the beggar's cup but we think no more of him when we clink our wine glasses
Consider the plight of Rwanda, for example. Landlocked with uncooperative neighbors and denied access to Internet submarine cables (which is how most of the world gets access) it has to rely on expensive satellite signal, which is split so many ways that the few connections that available are spotty. A tech school3 a hour's drive from the nation's capital has been trying to get Internet connection for years.
The privileged few that set the tech policy really ought to get out more.
2. Customer Stories BioLite, Inc.: Biomass Stoves - case history by Autodesk
3. SolidWorks Visits ETO Gitarama in Rwanda, Roopinder Tara, CAD Insider, May 9, 2010