A year ago Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) declared it would stop issuing standalone lifelong licenses for its desktop software. Rather it would sell subscriptions. Last month it started applying that approach. By mid-year the switch will be completed and the organization’s older items will no longer be avilable.
As part of its revamping efforts the company shed 925 jobs. Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk described the ongoing transformation as painful. The company used to get $6000 per license now it gets only $2000. He commented that in large companies when a transformational change happens it’s easy to motivate all to do it. Large companies are relatively hard to move. However, when you get them to move one can make a tremendous impact.
Carl Bass said Autodesk has been acquiring many companies. Some of them are excellent and the bedrock of multi-hundred million dollar enterprises. While some of them are relatively useless. The company has acquired certain entities that he regrets.
In his opinion, there are three types of companies. The first one possesses technology that Autodesk wants to develop further. The second are mid-sized companies selling products and the third is big companies. What Autodesk would like to is acquire many companies in the first category, a few in the second and very rarely large companies.
He was queried on Autodesk prototyping unit on a pier in San Francisco and also the reasons why an IT company would develop it. Bass replied that people think that just because a shop was created on a pier it’s very expensive. However, the price of space on a pier is one-seventh the cost in the city. As the city was unable to invest in the piers any improvements that entities put into it is reduced from the long term lease. The company also creates software that runs machine tools and assists people to get ideas and convert them into physical representations. Autodesk set up on the pier is their laboratory. Autodesk lacks a corporate venture division. Still it has built two $100 million funds recently, one for 3D printing and one on Internet of Things (IoT). Bass said that the reason for creating funds is because the company has obtained excellent return on the money invested.