Apr 06, 2023

The 3D design stack is under attack: Part 1 ─ Why incumbents have a huge problem in 10 pictures

stating the obvious: this post is my opinion

Over the next weeks, I will be sharing a series of posts explaining our view why the 3D design stack is not just ripe for disruption – but why it is already in the middle of it – and what our thesis is.

To begin, it’s important to pin down the problem.

And no better way to show you the problem than visually.

In this initial post, let me use just 10 pictures.

This is AutoCAD – a software from 1982

Image source: David Cohn, https://www.digitalengineering247.com/article/whats-new-in-autocad-2021

This is Revit – a software from 1999.

Image source: Archdaily, https://www.archdaily.com/943691/become-a-bim-professional-with-the-autodesk-revit-architecture-course

This is Sketchup – a software from 2000

Image source: Archdaily, https://www.archdaily.com/871893/how-to-improve-your-sketchup-skills

This is BricsCAD – a software from 2002

Image source: AEC Magazine, https://aecmag.com/news/bricsys-launches-bricscad-v23-and-makes-flexible-licensing-promise/

What users think of legacy software firms

Image source: Trustpilot, on April 4th, 2023, https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.autodesk.com
Image source: Archpaper, https://www.archpaper.com/2020/08/open-letter-to-autodesk-swells-over-100-signatories-and-supporters/

Autodesk has by far the most reviews, hence using them as an example, but they do not seem to be a singular exception in this regard.

How users are treated

Image source: Reddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/3dsmax/comments/u3m6rk/has_anyone_else_received_a_threatening_email_from/

Anecdotal, but you find more of these anecdotes… do your own research.

Incumbents are in the business of buying, sunsetting and closing-off software – do they also build software ?

Image source: Zippia, https://www.zippia.com/autodesk-careers-1125/history/

You can’t read the whole damn list ? Yeah, that’s because incumbents buy a lot of independent software…

What employees at incumbents think of their strategies

Image source: Glassdoor, on April 4th, 2023, https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Autodesk-Reviews-E1155.htm

Seems that life’s good at these legacy software vendors. Employees appear to think the product and strategy work just fine for them…

What users think of the incumbents’ “innovation” strategies

Image source: Reddit, https://www.reddit.com/r/cad/comments/smoi5c/why_does_everyone_crap_on_autodesk/

Again: anecdotal, but you find more of these anecdotes… do your own research.

Meanwhile, in the UI/UX design stack:

Image source: Trustpilot, on April 6th, 2023, https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.adobe.com
Image source: Trustpilot, on April 4th, 2023, https://www.trustpilot.com/review/figma.com


In my opinion:

Continue: Part 2 – Our thesis for the attack vectors in the 3D design stack