This is one of a series of posts covering an extensive interview with Bricsys CEO Erik De Keyser and COO Mark Van Den Bergh. In this post, the dynamic duo explain the mystery of how Bricsys can sell smaller numbers of a more capable product than AutoCAD for a fraction of the cost – and still make money.
Steve: It’s kind of interesting that your product is so much cheaper than AutoCAD, and more capable. They’re making a loss and you’re making increasing profits. How does that work?
Erik: I think it has to do with being lean and being focused. I mean, we’re talking about Autodesk, and we’re talking about AutoCAD and Revit and Inventor, but did you have a look at all the products they have? The managers that have to work on those products… I don’t study the detail of their annual figures, but I think it’s obvious that if you have that ton of products, not all of those products are profitable. Of course, not all of them are losing money, but you can’t call it lean.
What we are doing is… we are forced to be profitable. We force ourselves to be profitable. And then we have to be lean. We have four developers that constantly automate our systems, and that four will be extended again. That pays off big-time. It’s an investment; continuous, continuous, continuous. To invent new things where we can improve to be lean as well.
Mark: Stressing again that Autodesk has one hundred products, we basically have one product. We can see for mechanical, we can see for BIM, basically it’s one product.
Steve: It’s the same core.
Mark: It’s the same core, absolutely. So when we started to develop BIM, we used the same toolset as we used for sheet metal; exactly the same. Of course it’s tweaked to be used in BIM or sheet metal, but in the ground it’s the same.
This is the complete set of links to this interview series:
- The big Bricsys interview 1 – why invite the press?
- The big Bricsys interview 2 – making money
- The big Bricsys interview 3 – looking after people
- The big Bricsys interview 4 – thank you, Autodesk
- The big Bricsys interview 5 – perpetual licensing and choice
- The big Bricsys interview 6 – lean and focused
- The big Bricsys interview 7 – the applications ecosystem
- The big Bricsys interview 8 – boundaries and BIM
- The big Bricsys interview 9 – treading on developers
- The big Bricsys interview 10 – platforms
- The big Bricsys interview 11 – free viewer?