My apologies being a bit late getting a blog posting out this week. I have been busy pulling together several demos of software partner apps from the Autodesk Exchange Apps store to present at Autodesk’s upcoming Technical Academy (in Dallas in just over one week). My doing software partner app demos in front of what could be near two hundred “professional” demo jocks and jockettes (all Application Engineers working for Autodesk and Autodesk Authorized Resellers) has me scrambling to not look foolish. Though I am pretty good showing off AutoCAD (if I may say so myself), showing off software partner apps for Autodesk Inventor, Revit and Civil 3D, products I seldom touch, and all in one 90 minute class, is a real handful. I may even demo a software partner app for Autodesk Maya – a too cool and entertaining partner app and demo that has me speaking into my computer microphone with a character then lip synching in near real time. But I’ve never touched Maya before – and of course that means I have a bit of thrashing in front of me as I learn Maya basics.
Of course I need to show the Application Engineers a few partner Cloud and Mobile apps too.
See my problem?
All this has me writing my weekly blog entry on a Friday evening. Lucky for me I have a great team “hand feeding” me this cool – and in most cases free to our customers - software partner technology!
The Opportunity to Dance in the Cloud
The design and engineering software (and now web services) industry is still grappling with how to best leverage the Cloud – from the basics of what you can do with Cloud technology to what the future ”killer web services” will be for design and engineering customers. Yes this is already old hat in some industries – consumer, ERP, and more – but graphics and processor heavy design and engineering are coming late to this party.
Because of the historically “heavy” nature of design and engineering software solutions, the elephants are not of one mind – which is a direct reflection of their customers being unsure too. Some of the elephants get it and some say they get it – but not all have fully embraced the Cloud (something about the inertia of large organizations).
This is understandable when there is a major industry shift – not along just one axis – like price performance – but along two axis at the same time – price performance and collaboration (how designs are communicated and shared).
Confusing things are industry pundits who at one time where thought leaders – but many of which are also less then sure the role of the Cloud will play. They give elephants plenty of excuses to wait or move slow – or for some of the elephant’s employee’s to drag their feet while others are pursuing dramatic change.
Have no doubt, the Cloud creates a once in a decade (or so) great opportunity for small start-up software developers to innovate – and position themselves for acquisition by an elephant struggling with the difficulty of driving change from within. There is no faster way for an elephant to accelerate change within their organization then to bring in new people, new thinking, and new approaches through acquisition. Are you pursuing this once in a decade technology shift (PC in 1977, Internet in 1995, and now the Cloud in say 2007) – or are you still investing most of your time, money and efforts in desktop solutions? There is nothing wrong with desktop solutions - but it’s not where the big opportunity is to create big value in a short period of time (whatever you think of Facebook’s recent purchase of Instagram for near a billion dollars, even if Instagram created ten million dollars of value in their two years of existence, that’s a lot of value creation in a short time).
Unsure? I have two boys in University. Should I advise them to pursue a career in desktop software – or in Cloud and Mobile based solutions? Where would you advise your children (if you have them) to pursue a career?
Lots of opportunities for innovative software developers to create, and monetize, great value by dancing with the elephants(s) in the Cloud.