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Posts Tagged ‘Carl Bass’

Q and A with Carl Bass, AU2012

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

In a press Q&A with Carl Bass and Jeff Kowalski, the following questions were asked:

What are some of the most important areas you are entering into?

Bass: Change in the industry is slow. It’s been 12 years since BIM and people are still trying to figure out how to get the maximum benefit from it. Construction is one of the most important areas we’re entering into and manufacturing is the other.

Why do you think the consumer market is important?

Bass: Maybe you shouldn’t care about consumers, on the other hand, we have the interaction of culture and technology. We’ll have something like 100 million users that are engaged in creative and design activities by the end of the year. I wouldn’t have thought that population existed a few years ago.

There is a huge amount of attention paid to Autodesk by the media now because of our attention to consumers. 50 percent of our media attention is coming from consumer stuff. We don’t want to detract from our professional customers doing what they want to do. We will always be a company providing solutions for design.

What is the importance of 3D modeling?

Bass: Moving to 3D modeling has never been the goal in itself. We’re nowhere near having the ability and the depth to be able to move it through process.

The core model data is not important in Fusion 360. We should get as flexible with our tools as we do with drills, etc. We are tool-centric in our use of data. The learning curve for some tools is so heavy we try to use those tools for everything.With Fusion 360 we want to be able to use the best tools for the job.

Carl Bass Q&A at AU 2011

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

One of the best parts of Autodesk Media Day yesterday was the Q&A conducted with CEO Carl Bass.


Q&A session with Carl Bass

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Carl Bass on infinite computing….


What will we see in terms of cost for infinite computing after it’s in place?


You have two things going on simultaneously: you have a deep curve into the climbing price of computing – computing is the only asset that’s going down in price while everything else going up. From the commercial perspective we’re shifting some of the costs from customers back to us. Generally people providing this today are not as computer intensive – like


We’re affordably doing it; you can now try AutoCAD LT running off the cloud.


Right now the spot price for cloud computing is at 3 cents an hour.


If I’ve got infinite computing available, when and where do I make the decision to use it?


We’re going to have a hybrid computing model. Because of the tablet, there is incredible computing power and you don’t need to be connected. You’ll continue to have local devices – and the cloud for compute intensive jobs. We don’t build out our own cloud, for most of them we are trying to use commoditized resources, if you need an answer within short period of time you pay more; there are some models like this. What if people are able to solve problems they were never able to solve before?


We think the cloud is a choice. Some customers no longer want the local choice, where they need power and resources; they want another choice of deployment. Choice is available to all customers. Pricing models are changing; mobile devices are putting pressure on the market. The way we can use infinite computing is by offering different models for those who only need this software two hours a month.


I’m not sure if it has any fundamental pressure on pricing in general, what pressure it does introduce is offset by greater capability. The price of fundamental resources goes down while capabilities go far up.


What kind of delivery models will you see?


You’ll see electronic software downloads rather than boxes, some people deploying through streaming, etc., and other services that purely exist in the cloud only. You’ll have a variety. We’re looking at our subscription program for people to get information on options.


What about Autodesk’s growth?


Our business without acquisitions is no better or worse than other years, we have 12-15% growth rate in 2010, and that can be changed by economic conditions and by acquisitions. We have factored in the idea of infinite computing but at a low level.


Are you addressing multicore?


We have done a lot of multicore work on our products. It works only when you’re doing a lot of the same thing, like sorting a lot of data items. Our studies show it accounts for only about 15 percent of what engineers do. That’s why the breakthrough is making the cloud available. We can run a larger analysis process across more iterations.


We have some amount of work in foundation stuff, there are some ways to do things in a multithreaded way. It’s a valuable technique, not quite as valuable in general purpose computing as you might think. We’re much more interested in what allows you to optimize an answer to a question.


What about the consumer market?


Our customers are mostly professionals, 1 percent top account for 30 percent of our revenue, 70% of customers account for other revenue. Historically we haven’t done much with consumers, SketchBook Pro is way past 2 million people who have downloaded it, and it has done amazingly well. It’s phenomenal in what it’s been able to do in terms of generating awareness. Selling SketchBook at $8.99 is not a way to make profitable business but it has done a great job of raising awareness, to understand also what people are looking for. There is a greater influence of the consumer market going back into the professional market.


We need to pay attention to the consumer market and see what is going on, such as the community that gets created around Flickr, that social community around professionals. I don’t think our business will change to become a consumer business, although we have more people coming in at the entry stage as new users and students, a feeder population, and are getting people interested in design and math.


We need tools that everyone can take advantage of.


People are more interested in moving things to mobile devices. Open source was the end of an era – commodization. There is still open source software out there successfully deployed in server based environments, but most of our software doesn’t fall into that category.



Q&A with Autodesk’s Carl Bass

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Carl Bass outlined the advantages of web-based computing in a Q&A session with the press on Tuesday at AU:

1) Project Twitch can run computers within a computerized data center. The user is experiencing a desktop application, and he describes it as “a really really long monitor cable.”

2) Side by side two people can co-edit simultaneously. A native application actually manages data on a server, with multiple people accessing it, and the client is just a browser. Software is designed from the ground up and deployed that way.

Project Dragonfly similar to the co-editing in that it’s native, written for the web, and deployed on servers.

“One places an opportunity for all of us to use the computing power that’s avialable for a web based model, for peak demand loading, for rendering animation and simulation and analysis,” Bass pointed out. “What if you could run a hundred Moldflow applications and the whole thing takes an hour?”

Bass said within three to five years, we will all be running variants of this and most software will be deployed this way.

Apple Mac – Bass pointed to the rising market share of the Mac, and the fact that they see a lot of Apple hardware running Microsoft. Also there are more Macs in entertainment than anything else. At one point Autodesk stopped developing AutoCAD for the Mac because there wasn’t enough user interest.

Most people have no idea that there is so much 3D in AutoCAD. The other 3D products from Autodesk have some other conceptural model underlying them. AutoCAD LT is strictly a 2D documentation system. Bass also talked about offering products at four different price points: Sketch, AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD and Project Cooper.

He said the market is changing, manufacturing is picking up faster and media and entertainment is also picking up. AEC is trailing because it will take longer for the construction business to recover.

He mentioned that about 6,000 people attended the physical AU and 16,000 people attended online. He also said he thought there would always be a reason to hold a physical conference.

Bass said relative marketshare for Autodesk in AEC was approximately 50%, manufacturing 35%. Autodesk has reduced the number of individual products by a third, and has moved a number of products together into suites.

When asked about interoperability, Bass said, “The way people work today they have less need for interoperability, but we will exchange file formats with anybody. They’re adequately served, and many companies are investing in translators.”

The big five design technologies

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

At this morning’s Autodesk University General Session/Welcome Address Keynote event, one of the first things I heard an attendee say: “I’m one of thousands of architects in San Francisco looking for a job.”

This was followed by Autodesk evangelist Lynn Allen announcing an Elvis clone singing an Elvis song with Autodesk-centric lyrics about a disclaimer that new products discussed are not intended as promises of products to come. No photo-taking was allowed at this event, which was rather unusual.

Then CEO Carl Bass said that he was encouraged by “signs that the economy is getting better.”

He added that in talking to customers around world they say their primary challenge is in trying to stay competitive. Because of the tough economy and more complex projects, customers need to work more efficiently.

Using a timeline, Bass showed how successful technologies move from impossible to impractical, then possible, then to expected and finally to required in a continuum. He pointed out that flying was considered impossible except by those like Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s required in today’s society. Timing of the technology is a critical factor, if it’s too early, it won’t be embraced, people aren’t ready for it; if it’s too late, it misses the boat. He gave the example of the Newton PDA which was ahead of its time, while now it’s almost required that everyone have a mobile phone with a lot of features. In this continuum there is a sweet spot.

Five design capabilities or technologies are currently moving from impractical into the sweet spot, said Bass:

Exploration, analysis, storytelling, collaboration, and access.

The technological development accelerating these technologies is cloud computing – or web based computing, which is “becoming as cheap and reliable as electricity, so we can take greater advantage of computing power,” said Bass. It is a very big platform shift, and he said a shift like this comes along every ten to 20 years – that changes the way we use computers and do design and engineering work.

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