Don’t be a technology lemming

Don’t be a technology lemming

In response to Shaan’s variant on the old “if you question the value of any change you must be a Luddite” argument, I was going to write a lemming-based parody. I didn’t, mainly because I didn’t want to perpetuate the lemming mass-suicide misconception. Instead, I’ll answer the point more directly.

Autodesk will acheive better success in convincing customers about Cloud computing and other concepts by actively and interactively engaging with them. Addressing their specific and legitimate concerns has a chance of success if the concepts have merit. Insultingly likening customers to allegedly stupid animals isn’t going to convince anyone.

Besides, the point has little validity. Armadillos have 20 species, are currently dramatically increasing their territory in North America, and have been around rather longer than humans. Maybe we should wait until we’ve been around a few tens of millions of years longer before we get too cocky about how terrible those stupid armadillos are at surviving.

Edit: Shaan has responded to this post on his own blog, deleted my reply and closed comments. He seems rather upset about something.

Edit: …and has now restored my comment and opened comments again.


  1. R. Paul Waddington

    Shaan, Shaan, Shaan,
    Looked at from my perspective your Armadillo analogy, Shaan, can easily be applied to Autodesk (YOUR EMPLOYER) and many Autodesk staff. People who have chosen to follow a software development path of SELF convenience with NO intention of changing direction to accommodate existing customers’ real requirements.

    What you are alluding to is rubbish and you should have known better and displayed some wisdom by keeping your – initial and I’m offended – comments between your ears*.

    As for your comments, in general and as a whole; no disclaimer can remove the fact you are a well known Autodesk employee and as such ALL your comments are linked to Autodesk whether you like it or not; again the application of a little wisdom would not go astray.

    1. R. Paul Waddington

      I will be of interest to some my post titled Shaan, Shaan, Shaan was posted to Shaan’s blogs just prior to posting it here and guess what; it does/has not appeared and Shaan has closed the comments.
      Shaan you may be an Autodesk Technologist and you what you just did by limiting criticism of your actions on your blog may well be an indication why Steve used his; he could have been expecting the same treatment.
      By clamping/preventing free speech/criticism you have become the brick wall. An obstacle in the path of customers who have their eyes wide open and know what they need but who do not need to go down the path you wish them to tread; the Autodesk (your) way or nothing.

  2. As Shaan has decided to deny me the right of reply on his own blog by deleting my reply and closing comments, I guess I’ll just have to reproduce it here instead. It’s kind of sad that I was bang on the money with my censorship comment:

    Shaan, if you put your opinions out there in public you should be prepared for public responses. I actually started writing my response here [edit: meaning on Shaan’s blog] but as my response grew longer and included links it became cumbersome so I did it on my blog instead. Nothing rude about that at all. It also gives my opinion equal exposure, total editorial freedom and no fear of censorship, such as your removal of the links from my post above. Good move all round, I’d say.

    I don’t consider my particular response insulting, either. Certainly nowhere near as insulting as the implication in your post or your childish insults and collection of straw men in the comment I’m replying to. [edit: again, meaning the comment on Shaan’s blog]

    You might recall that I was earlier into the CAD-related online world than you were, back in the CIS:ACAD days. I’m very happy to see the benefits the Internet provides when it’s used appropriately. The online world has many advantages, and one of them is that people are free to discuss subjects as they see fit and disagree with personal and corporate viewpoints.

    The Internet doesn’t belong to Autodesk. You have no control over it, and never will have. So get over it and put away the hypersensitivity, it’s not a good look. Instead, why not do something positive? Take the advice in my blog post and investigate ways in which Autodesk can actively and interactively engage with the concerned community about its Cloud push.

      1. R. Paul Waddington

        Yes Ralph, you are correct and Autodesk managers have made it an art form. Tho’ on this occasion Shaan did change his obstructive direction, if not his thinking,

  3. James Maeding

    wow, Shaan closed the comments. What is the point of a general blog post “change or perish…” if not to start conversation?
    Shann is one of the guys with enough history to actually discuss the issues too.
    Come on, its not like some anti-technology person with money is going to read that and decide to put that money towards Autodesk products.
    It might, however, be the perfect way to draw in critics, only to get attention, then explain specifics people might ask about. That does have sales potential, by encouraging people to explore workflows. But, closed comments???

  4. James Maeding

    note that Shaan reopened the comments. That is a gesture of cooperation so is appreciated. What we all want here is to have more dialog with Autodesk, to influence them and us for the good (and $ profit). It is my belief that sites like Blog Nauseam are the most valuable to Autodesk, as we do not hide the truth to try to be buddy buddy with them. Too many features get screwed up by gntle reviewers that assume whatever is missing will be fixed in the future. Their software shouild stand on its own, and should live up to their marketing claims. In that spirit, my reply to Shaans post would be “give us software worthy of change, and we will gladly pay for it, use it, and re-advertise it for you.” That’s all general though. I would say Shaan is obligated to comment on this whole “acad SAAS is coming” theme rather than just stay general. Autodesk should not simultaneously grandly advertise the cloud, then be silent on implementing that vision with its main product.

    1. Yes, I noted above that Shaan re-opened the comments. He must have had a bad week or something, because he’s still pretty angry that I called him out on this one. Ah well, his problem.

      I’ll gladly go along with the “give us software worthy of change, and we will gladly pay for it, use it, and re-advertise it for you” sentiment. I’m happy to point out changes that benefit customers. I wish I could do it a lot more often.

  5. James Maeding

    I hear yah. Sometimes I wish I really knew what the political atmosphere is for Autodesk employees. At some point, the technical people must be fed up with the marketing side. All this playing around with half finished features each year, and not enough investigation of how they affect real companies. These are not slimy people, yet the marketing screws it all up. Sometimes I think they must have the attitude “we will create great software despite the marketing folks”. I hope they continue to fight the junkiness the yearly releases cause.

    1. ralphg

      The inside political atmosphere is the same as at any company: positive news is considered neutral (ie, normal), neutral news is seen as negative, and negative news is unacceptable (time to into armadillo mode).

  6. James Maeding

    Steve, Autodesk pulled another classic move, automatically upgrading Civil 3D 2014’s to the suite product for everyone. they then allow an “opt-out” at a later time.
    Here is the lingo in the email:

    Dear Autodesk Subscription Customer,
    As a follow-up to the previous email you received regarding the upcoming AutoCAD® Civil 3D upgrade offer to Autodesk® Infrastructure Design Suite Premium we wanted to make you aware that AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014 has been released. Under our current upgrade offer, you will not receive AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014 but will receive Infrastructure Design Suite 2014 Premium once available. At that time, you will be able to opt-out, if you choose.

    Lst time I checked an offer had nothing to do with a decision. THe offer is from them, decision from me. They own both now though it seems.
    Oh well, guess I will just do whatever Autodesk tells me to from now on…

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