Tag Archives: Autodesk subscription

Autodesk’s Greed Imposed Fatal Hemorrhage

FEED ME Seymore

FEED ME Seymore

As short as two and a half years ago I was in awe of the assembling of the pieces of a software juggernaut. HSM and Delcam had been bought up by Autodesk under Carl Bass who was himself a man who actually used this stuff and understood shop floor manufacturing. From an actual user viewpoint and not like the current head mucky muck with Autodesk who can only count dollars. There is a huge difference between these two mind sets. But I figured that Carl was putting together a manufacturing ecosphere and getting this set of tools in front of students and future business owners/ operators in ways that would bear large amounts of fruit in years to come.

Just as fascinating as it was to see the assembly of the juggernaut is the speed with which it all now comes crashing down. It looks like perhaps Carl was also an advocate of subscription Hell for Autodesk’s customer base. Whether he was also for the gutting of R&D for product development and the huge price increases I will never know. I like to think he left the company because the Anagnost faction conspired with the new hostile investor types who had bought their way to seats on the board to remove him. Unbridled greed with the Anagnost and hostile investor types VS the guy who may have wanted subscription Hell to but perhaps would have stayed closer to the Adobe model than the rape and plunder Anagnost model.

To me Carl showed foresight and planning and methodical conquest of rivals but still providing value to customers. Anagnost on the other hand is the bare face of greed and conspiracy with people who do not use their software products and could care less about users. All they see is someone who promises to deliver a captive market held not by voluntary exchange of money for goods and services but rather squeezed out of people who theoretically have to pay and have no alternative to paying whatever the extortionists want. Living in a purely capital gains world unlike anything this country has seen before quick quarterly stock manipulation to generate fictitious improvements is the new way. These guys want to cash out and then leave when it all turns south and find another Vulture’s roost to occupy for a while. No longer is it what goods or services will make money but how can we lie to the world about share value so we can churn the market and get rich through theft. This then is the new Autodesk.

Remember when companies were bought and sold for steady revenue streams and stock buyers looked for steady dividends to live on? Capital gains were considered the icing on the cake but not the cake. It was something to be hoped for but dividends were king. This was the historic norm up until the late 90’s when the consequences of Clinton selling the Lincoln bedroom to influence peddlers freed banks to embark on wholesale plunder of manufacturing by being able to invest or offer financial services not at all related to lending. This has led to stocks being grossly overvalued by historic norms by the traditional metric of cost to dividend ratios being chief amongst investor considerations.

So we come full circle to the world of Autodesk today. Autodesk sells software products to people like me. Well let me rephrase that, used to sell to me. We make long-term use of the software to build real world things and we use it for decades at a time throughout careers offering services and physical goods to customers who have a standard of quality we must meet. If we don’t they will go elsewhere. We have to take a long term view of the productivity and stability and the improvement of our software tools because it is our life blood.

Piranhas now inhabit the Autodesk leadership and are creeping onto the board and what can we chew up and on today is now the future planning metric. Feed me so I can leave when the body is consumed and go find another body.

Here are two links. https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/moving-to-subscription/bd-p/2017 will take you to an Autodesk forum they would rather you did not know about. Spend time here and see what actual users who have to think in terms of decades and careers think of what Autodesk is doing. Next up is http://www.seekingalpha.com/amp/article/4077637-autodesks-position-continues-become-precarious for a stock analysts thoughts on Autodesk’s eight underwater quarters in a row and their future.

One of the huge things hardly discussed in my opinion is the forcible breaching of security and losing the ability to protect IP by Autodesk forcing people to have to work online. The most egregious offender is Fusion360 which demands you go online and save all edits and files to a remote server where you have to rent your data back forever to use it. Apparently Autodesk is also working on license verification which has to allow online access from your workstation which is supposed to be secure and not go online to get permission to run. Theoretically this was supposed to happen “only” once a month but comments on the Subscription forum are indicating this could be as much as a daily occurrence or more. This is for all subscription services and automatically breaches all your confidentiality agreements when you are forced to go online to check in. It is just a matter of time before huge breaches of security occur to an Autodesk customer because of this. Autodesk is certain this will happen to by the way and you can verify this by reading the TOS where they spell out they are NOT liable for any damages incurred by having to go online.

This then is the true regard this new wave of management has for its customers. Sit down shut up pay up and don’t whine and complain. FEED ME SEYMORE!!! The only important thing in this whole wide world view of theirs is their plans to get in and cash out (wouldn’t you like to see Baked Bean Anagnost’s golden parachute he is assiduously preparing so no matter what his rear is covered in gold).

You buy anything from Autodesk and pin your future livelihood to it you better think long and hard about how they regard you. Most telling I think is the bean counter mentality referenced in the Seeking Alpha article where Autodesk states they are cutting R&D. Now this coming from a company that has already dropped the ball on adding value to existing software through improvements is quite revealing. Years go by without significant program improvements and problems linger for years without being fixed. Read what is said by satisfied customers about this on the Subscription forum.

Today regard the new Autodesk Juggernaut. Rather than eating up market share it will be eating customers. Autodesk is looking for new hors d’oeuvre’s,
customers and it could be you if you are silly enough.

Matt Lombard’s Dezignstuff Returns

It is with sadness and a grin I see Matt’s blog revived. Happy to see him back without the shackles of corporate droids tied to his hands and mind. Sad because in some ways Matt’s departure and the ending of the multi day national event Solid Edge University represents to me the closing of the final chapter of Solid Edge’s foray into the user community.

Now what is about to be said is my opinion based on people I have known over the years who were in positions to be aware of what was going on internally with UGS, Siemens and Solid Edge. It also is based upon personal observations of things seen with my own eyes. Corporate can be so ugly and petty and being privy to what goes on behind closed doors is often more disgusting than it is a privilege.

Some years back the discussion of reaching out to the user community and potential customers was a desirable thing. The halcyon days of Karsten Newbury and Don Cooper running Solid Edge and actually caring about the outcome for both users and Solid Edge. They believed as I did that Solid Edge was the best and should become #1 in sales in its category. As an aside here after exposure to Inventor for three years and seeing how terrible it is compared to SE it amazes me there are so many Inventor users. Drink the Kool-Aid I guess and use a program that is far harder than SE to work in.

Matt was part of a plan to appeal to SW users and also give insight into how SW users worked, what they expected and how to set up SE to make the transition from SW easier. And of course Matt had a monster blog with numbers you would not believe and was the author of the popular “SolidWorks Bible”. Sad to say from the very beginning people in the PR departments of Siemens and UGS and SolidEdge resented his arrival. Not one of them had ever accomplished what he had nor will they ever. Company programmed droids far more fond of meetings to decide everything and then more to talk about prior meeting conclusions. Bereft of any personal initiative and eaten up with all the rules that say you can’t do this or that, off they went to slay this dragon that suddenly appeared in their midst. Make no mistake Siemens has a culture of meetings and don’t rock the boat and an almost petrified approach to progress. It is why the company is in trouble and is nowhere near as profitable as it could be. Self imposed paralysis and never-ending turf wars.

Like the one the NX UGS guys have waged against Solid Edge from day one. They bought SE for Synchronous. Something they did not create but could appreciate. But once you adopt the Red Headed B——- ya gotta work to hide him from proper company. They did this and the fight was constant. Moving SE forward was as much fighting against those internal corporate saboteurs as it was the market place where it is difficult at best to get people to switch CAD programs. I believe Matt was contained in a hermetically sealed room insulated from his potential market appeal and severely limited as to personal initiative. Something the droids hate with a passion because if someone ever did prevail in a big way in the personal initiative arena they just might look as bad as they really are. Questions could be asked and that’s a no-no. Can you tell I have nothing but contempt for these people? These people who have conspired to make a brilliant product be hidden from public view as much as is possible. It continues to this day and who knows what pissy little company droid was finally responsible for running the last vestige of the good old days off. Matt’s departure is the final closing of the make SE bigger and the community better as far as I am concerned.

Writing a blog when your heart is no longer in it can be difficult. I hope that Matt can find a love for blogging again and these corporate idiots have not beaten it out of him. Speaking from personal experience when you spend lots of uncompensated time doing something as silly as being a “fanbois” for a product you like and use it is discouraging when A, companies take you for granted or B, even worse conspire against their users which in my case means me to. I don’t quite know where Matt will go with his new-found freedom nor what he is going to write about as an underlying theme with his blog. I suspect he has not fully decided either but you know what?

Welcome back to the real world Matt and I wish you the best.

Now for the sordid Autodesk world as it revolves under the onerous hand of Andrew “Baked Beans” Anagnost. “Blog Nauseam” is the very best aggregate blog site I know of to keep up to date with the shackles of slavery being formulated for Autodesk customers and has been added to the blog roll. Steve Johnson is meticulous in his documentation of current Autodesk events and has tons of people feeding him information. You have any interest in Autodesk products you need to read his blog. While primarily about Autocad the slave owner problems are universal for every Autodesk customer of any Autodesk product.

This betrayal of a customer base is unprecedented in the software industry. Yes I know Adobe but they are far from being an industrial design build civil engineering motion picture studio tool like Autodesk is. Autodesk just needs to fail completely and miserably in this extortion effort. If you are currently a perpetual seat holder with Autodesk make your rational plans to leave. If you are thinking about buying into Autodesk think again. If you do go along with or buy into this new Autodesk world there is something wrong with your decision-making process. Willful masochism and a total lack of regard for IP security from forced online exposure comes to mind and you go there. I am not. The clock is ticking and my perpetual seat renewal is this coming December and Autodesk will never see another penny from me.