IPoC interview – David Kingsley – part 3

Welcome to the second in this series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). David Kingsley has had a long and interesting career, was present in the early days of CAD adoption, and served as an AUGI board member for years. Here is the third and final part of David’s interview. This was the most interesting part of the interview for me, but unfortunately much of the more hilarious anecdotes and other discussions were off the record so I can’t share them. I hope you enjoy what’s left! Steve: What are you most proud of achieving with AUGI? David: …

IPoC interview – David Kingsley – part 2

Welcome to the second in this series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). David Kingsley has had a long and interesting career, was present in the early days of CAD adoption, and served as an AUGI board member for years. Here is the second part of David’s interview which covers his involvement in AUGI, the controversy over how it was managed, and how that ended his involvement. Steve: What was your first involvement with AUGI or NAAUG? At what stage did you get involved? David: I think it was NAAUG in Philadelphia. Paul Jackson came up to me …

IPoC interview – David Kingsley – part 1

Welcome to the second in this series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). David Kingsley has had a long and interesting career, was present in the early days of CAD adoption, and served as an AUGI board member for years. Here is the first part of David’s interview, which covers his career. It’s a long career, so this is a loooong post! Strap in tight for a candid discussion of solar plants, a couple of US Presidents, primeval Autodesk University, Autodesk before and after Lynn Allen, a personal opinion of the current CEO, sailing on an America’s Cup …

IPoC interview – Heidi Hewett – part 3

Welcome to the first in this new series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). First up, Heidi Hewett. Heidi has a long CAD history and is well known for being outstandingly good at her job. She made big news recently by shifting camps from Autodesk to Bricsys. Here is the third and final part of Heidi’s interview. Steve: Did you go to Gent? What were your impressions of the people at Bricsys? Heidi: Yes. After my initial discussion with Don Strimbu, he invited me to Gent to visit Bricsys headquarters and meet the team. While I wasn’t yet …

IPoC interview – Heidi Hewett – part 2

Welcome to the first in this new series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). First up, Heidi Hewett. Heidi has a long CAD history and is well known for being outstandingly good at her job. She made big news recently by shifting camps from Autodesk to Bricsys. Here is the second part of Heidi’s interview. Steve: Did you have much involvement with AUGI? Heidi: I haven’t had a lot of involvement with AUGI aside from presenting at CAD Camps they hosted almost a decade ago. I thought they were great events and was sorry to see them fade …

IPoC interview – Heidi Hewett – part 1

Welcome to the first in this new series of interviews of Interesting People of CAD (IPoC). First up, Heidi Hewett. Heidi has a long CAD history and is well known for being outstandingly good at her job. She made big news recently by shifting camps from Autodesk to Bricsys. Here is the first part of Heidi’s interview. Steve: You’ve been doing this a long time, but was there a pre-CAD part of your career? What did you do before Autodesk? Heidi: I didn’t have much of a pre-CAD career. I started college at Colorado State University as a Computer Science …

Interesting People of CAD interviews (IPoC)

A new series is going to be introduced to this blog very soon: Interesting People of CAD, or IPoC for short. I have interviewed two very interesting people already, with another big name in the pipeline and more to come later. The first instalment will be published within hours. This person has a long CAD history, is outstandingly good at the job they do and has made big news recently. Want to take a guess who it might be? If you want to suggest other IPoC to interview, please add your comments to this post. If you think you have …

The big Bricsys interview 11 – free viewer?

This is the final post in a series covering an extensive interview with Bricsys CEO Erik De Keyser and COO Mark Van Den Bergh. If you’ve made it through to the end of this series, congratulations! I hope you found it illuminating. In this post, R.K. McSwain asks a question about a possible BricsCAD-based DWG viewer, which turns into a brainstorming session! R.K.: Do you guys have a viewer? A read-only viewer? Is it something you’re looking to do? Erik: No. BricsCAD classic costs, you know, $400. Steve: Autodesk is giving one away anyway. R.K.: They give it away, but …

The big Bricsys interview 10 – platforms

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, R.K. McSwain asks about BricsCAD running on three different platforms. Erik explains why BricsCAD for Mac (and Linux) is so much more complete than AutoCAD for Mac, which has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese. R.K.: Do all three platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac) contain the same functionality? Erik: Yes. Sometimes it’s a bit hard with the Mac to bring it along but so far, so good. The only problem sometimes is …

The big Bricsys interview 9 – treading on developers

This is one of a series of posts covering an extensive interview with Bricsys CEO Erik De Keyser and COO Mark Van Den Bergh. Erik explains that Bricsys won’t trample over its application partners in Autodesk-like fashion, except… Steve: Autodesk is known for treading on its third-party developers and replacing their market. Can you tell us about your attitude to doing that? Erik: We have always said that we are not stepping into any application market. We will not do it. There’s only one exception, that’s where there is no [other] possibility. There was no sheet metal. There is no …

The big Bricsys interview 8 – boundaries and BIM

This is one of a series of posts covering an extensive interview with Bricsys CEO Erik De Keyser and COO Mark Van Den Bergh. Erik discusses where Bricsys can go in future and the place BIM has in that. Cyrena: So what is your vision, ultimately, of what Bricsys will become in tandem with your partners? Do you have limits or boundaries of which markets you will address and which you won’t? Are you going to be bigger than… “somebody else” one day? Erik: If it comes to the number of customers, challenging AutoCAD is difficult. 12 million registered users. …

The big Bricsys interview 7 – the applications ecosystem

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, Erik discusses the Bricsys efforts to work with and assist third-party developers. He does this without being prompted by a question – it’s obviously very important to him. Erik: For our future growth it’s very important, the ecosystem of the applications we have now. We have talked a lot about what we are doing and about our own products, but we should maybe have spent more time on the importance of the ecosystem. …

The big Bricsys interview 6 – lean and focused

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 …

The big Bricsys interview 5 – perpetual licensing and choice

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, Erik confirms the Bricsys commitment to perpetual licensing. That’s a statement important enough to preserve, so here’s the recorded audio for posterity. We also learn what proportion of CAD customers choose perpetual licenses over rental when given fair pricing and the choice. Hint to Autodesk: it’s not 0%. Steve: Are you committed to the perpetual licensing model? Erik: Yes, yes. We are committed to choice. If somebody wants another way of licensing our …

The big Bricsys interview 4 – thank you, Autodesk

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, we learn that Autodesk’s move to all-rental has helped drive BricsCAD sales higher and continues to do so. Cyrena: Backing up just a step to sales, were you able to track any impact on your sales numbers with the chronology of Autodesk’s announcements of ending perpetual? Did you see an effect that you could map to that? Erik/Mark (together): Yes. Erik: We see that especially with large companies. I hear it from Mark …

The big Bricsys interview 3 – looking after people

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, I learn about Bricsys’ astonishingly good staff retention record and the reasons behind it. Autodesk likes to periodically pat itself on the back for being a great employer, but history shows it’s a company that discards about 10% of its workforce every few years to keep the share market happy. I suspect another round is coming up soon, unfortunately. There’s a stark contrast between a company that disposes of its chattels in that …

The big Bricsys interview 2 – making money

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, I ask about Bricsys’ profitability and growth. Steve: Do you publish your numbers? Erik: No we don’t. We are a private company. Steve: Can you give us an indication of what’s happening with your sales at the moment? Erik: Last year we grew in revenue 25%. First quarter this year was up 27% over the same quarter last year. If you compare the sales in total of 2016 compared with 2015, it was …

The big Bricsys interview 1 – why invite the press?

This is the first in a series of posts covering an extensive interview with Bricsys CEO Erik De Keyser and COO Mark Van Den Bergh. On April 26 and 27, I attended Bricsys Insights, a press event in Ghent, Belgium. Other attendees included Cyrena Respini-Irwin (Cadalyst editor in chief), R.K. McSwain (CAD Panacea), Ralph Grabowski (upFront.eZine), Randall Newton (GraphicSpeak), Roopinder Tara (Engineering.com), Martyn Day (DEVELOP3D), Jeff Rowe (AEC Café), Anthony Frausto-Robledo (Architosh) and Paul Wilkinson (pwcom). Although Bricsys has invited some of these people (including myself) to previous events, this was the first gathering of such a significant number of …

Carl cashing in his chips

Here’s an interesting Carl Bass exit interview with Roopinder Tara at engineering.com. If you’re wondering just how much stock Carl offloaded in those planned sales, here are his reported sales of Autodesk stock in the weeks leading up to the resignation: 11 Jan 2017 $7,894,150 9 Jan 2017 $7,888,768 5 Jan 2017 $7,694,038 23 Dec 2016 $1,971,715 22 Dec 2016 $1,968,935 That’s $27m, give or take. Carl’s reported as having sold over $49m of Autodesk stock over the last three years. While Carl still has tens of millions of Autodesk stock, dumping that much of it before leaving doesn’t strike …

Autodesk Cloud interview May 2010 – Part 3

Steve: Another issue I have with Cloud-based environments is the lack of customisation. One of the things that makes AutoCAD so efficient for people is that they can get it exactly the way they want it. With a browser-based environment, we’re pretty much stuck with what you guys decide to give us. Can you see any solution to that in the longer term? Tal: From a pure technical point of view, there’s not a lot of difference in terms of the way you can customise an application on the desktop versus customising it on the web. I think AutoCAD, having …