I joined Autodesk 4 years ago when they acquired a startup that my dad and I founded. We had bootstrapped to get our company off the ground, which in our instance meant doing everything as lean as possible since we had little money. Whenever I needed to travel to attend a conference or visit a customer, for example, I would try to host a paid training event in that city to offset the cost of my travel. Eventually, this exercise, which began as an effort to stay cash-flow positive while supporting travel, ended up being an invaluable mechanism for gathering feedback on the product and building the foundation of a community on a very small budget.
While there are advantages and great lessons to be learned as a small startup, I’ve come to really appreciate the unique investments that Autodesk makes as a large company. I’m still somewhat in awe of all of the cool things being invested in making it a really fun and exciting task to be a product manager here. Want an amazing CAD technology? Odds are that what you need is available in the Autodesk portfolio.
It seems like every time I visit our headquarters in San Francisco or visit Pier 9, I see some new invention or advancement. I’ll post about one of these in my next post. But today, I’d like to talk about something else I was recently exposed to – the depth of work that Autodesk is doing in the work of innovation. Much of this is encompassed in the Autodesk Innovation Genome, which I saw recently shared with a key customer. This seemed like such impressive stuff that I was a bit surprised to see it posted publicly.
If you’ve got 12 minutes, I’d suggest watching this to see how you can innovate practically and quicker. We’re already using this in our team to help focus our big ideas when we innovate and select which ones to execute on.
As an automotive innovation company, when you are deciding on which features, design, or new opportunity to place your bets, are they “wild” and “worldly” enough?