[cad-linux] Why I believe in an Open Source/GPL'd CAD future...

  • From: john kosty <john_kosty@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cad-linux@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 11:09:20 -0800 (PST)

Some have asked why I have such an axe to grind
w/proprietary CAD programs/companies even though I
claim to like or even love a couple of them.  Here's a
rant from about a year ago, re: Revit.  Admittedly, I
was pissed at the time, but I think it still sums up
my disillusion fairly well...


alt.cad.revit   >>   Revit answers "directly" on 2 Jan

Subject:  Revit answers "directly" on 2 Jan '02...  
Date:  25 Feb 2002 21:57:03 -0500  
From:  "John K" <john_kosty@xxxxxxxxx>  
Newsgroups:  alt.cad.revit  


...3. Have your company's founders ever openly
discussed what we like to call the "What would be our
price to 'go away'?" -- Not trying to act like a
smart-ass here, we're quite serious. At some point, I
can envision a rep from Autodesk showing up with a
suitcase full of money and asking nicely for you guys
to leave the playing field. I expect to see lots of
FUD on the web on this very same topic. I would like
to be able to give our boss a well-thought-out answer
because he got burned several years ago when Arris
left the UNIX platform. We like what we've seen thus
far and are seriously considering a phase-out of our
current setup. 

RSVP & thanks, 

John K 

And their response: 


Subject: RE: Ping... [Quick question] 

Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2002 17:41:05 -0500 


That's a fair question. Rather than bore you with a
treatise on the AEC CAD market, here are some facts to

Leonid Raiz and Irwin Jungreis were part of the
handful of thinktanks that started Parametric
Technology Corporation's rise to stardom. They are
trained mathematicians and founded a new type of math
called parametrics. Once they understood the power of
this invention, it was to be an obvious aid to anyone
or any software program that must keep track of
objects and the relationships of these objects to one
another. Rather than taking this invention to an 

established company, selling it and retiring at a
young age, they stuck with PTC. That single invention
launched a product called Pro/Engineer. Right now PTC
is a multi-billion dollar company and is the defacto
standard for manufacturing engineers. (Interestingly
enough, once PTC started kicking the crap out of
Autodesk, Autodesk "discovered" the AEC market and
started working on what would end up being
ADT....which they claim to be what...parametric. 

It's not in the slightest.) So, in essence, rather
than fight something 

that is clearly superior, Autodesk chose to run. 


DASSAULT SYTEMS: Dassault Systems is the #1 maker of
CAD products in Europe and has beaten Autodesk in
nearly every arena except AEC. It just so happens 

that while Autodesk was sleeping, Dassault bought the
code for the "kernel" 

that Autodesk has used to build every version of
AutoCAD right out from 

under them. It is the essence of the product. Right
now, Dassault accepts millions of dollars a year from
Autodesk to give Autodesk the rights to use the engine
to their own software!! Rather than developing their
own architectural software, Dassault is funding Leonid
and Irwin's proven genius against Autodesk. You see,
it's not as simple as Revit deciding to sell, we would
have to run it by the board, which has Autodesk
killers on it. 

3. WE DON'T NEED TO: I was the second salesperson
hired at Revit. I have watched it grow from a group of
developers to an industry force. We were so
immediately successful in the US during the summer,
that we opened up shop in London and started selling
the U.K. and Europe in the fall. By last spring we had
set up distribution channels in the Middle East and 

Africa. This past fall we expanded to Australia and
the Far East. This is no garage operation. It's been
exciting to watch! 

4: I BELIEVE THEY'VE ALREADY TRIED: Simple answer from

We are determined to go public and become the defacto
standard in the architectural industry. Despite
architects in love with the status 

quo, we have grown at an inspiring pace. We are
mentioned in the AEC CAD press right alongside of
companies that have been putting out software for 15
years. If we are comparable (perish that thought!) in
two years of selling, what will we be in another two?!

We have already seen firms large and small use Revit
to much success 

both in the US and abroad. Success aside, Revit is
making them more money with less tedium. It is
allowing them to explore more design alternatives in
the same amount of time and is giving their
consultants the raw data from which to extract the
information they need to actually get things in the
ground. Revit is allowing the architect to once again
be the "master builder", 

who has all the the data on hand. 

If I spent a few more minutes at this, I'm sure I'd
have a few more points for you, but I think this is
enough for now. 

By the way, take a bow. The VP of Client Services
answered your 

questions. Imagine getting anyone with a title at any
other software company to pay attention! That is just
one example of why we are different and why we are

David D. Northup Regional Manager - Southeast U.S.
Revit Technology Corporation 

OK, the shock has worn off and I'll likely hold onto
my (personal) subscription for the moment but all bets
are off since my CAD manager and the owner of the firm
heard the news... 


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