There have been a couple of rumblings of Jon Hirschtick and his team coming back to the product development scene. Evan Yares and Ray Kurland have mentioned this on twitter. Nothing specific at this time. We all can feel it’s time for another breakthrough in CAD. Dassault is not going to provide it, that’s clear. Pro/E is lost, believing their own bs. Autodesk is … just Autodesk. Siemens has some great products, but few people are seeing the value that I think is there. There is no lack of good ideas, but right now no one is capitalizing on them.
The market has changed in the last 10 years. Vendors are all pumped up about a broader PLM market, but CAD users don’t see it. I think any “product development” effort that seriously tries to lump CAD into PLM is first of all, negating the passion of CAD users. I think it’s impossible to get really pumped up about PLM. PLM is accounting, clerical stuff, very boring. Sure those customer’s money is green, but they don’t have the excitement about what they do, and the software is not bought by the people who use it, it’s bought by their boss’s boss. CAD users – midrange CAD anyway, if there still is such a thing – are closer to the source, and much closer to the excitement.
Not to say that product development vendors shouldn’t make and sell PLM software. It’s clearly needed, and can be profitable. Just don’t forget that the real excitement in product development is in CAD. Concept. Development. Virtual Testing. Documentation. Nobody is really catering to excitement in CAD right now.