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
This is Revit – a software from 1999.
This is Sketchup – a software from 2000
This is BricsCAD – a software from 2002
What users think of legacy software firms
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
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 ?
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
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
Again: anecdotal, but you find more of these anecdotes… do your own research.
Meanwhile, in the UI/UX design stack:
In my opinion:
Incumbents’ 3D and CAD software have a huge problem. They are built on older stacks. When I look at it, I see clunky, swiss-army-knife style software that requires a ton of training time and locks users in by making any switch away as hard as possible.
On top, legacy CAD firms treat users not like kings. Prices seem to get hiked, license structures changed, service seems mediocre.
And users take notice. It seems they took notice for a long time. And they vent. A lot.
Legacy CAD firms don’t seem to care much. It looks like they double down on their strategy. By buying, and buying, and buying more independent software firms, sunsetting software, and closing it all off.
The disconnect seems real. Employees at legacy CAD firms seem to love their life and strategy.
Users not so much.
Meanwhile, the UI/UX design stack has delivered the blueprint for how the exact same situation has played out there.