Silence = Class

After the SolidWorks 2013 media day a couple weeks ago, we heard people coming out of the meeting saying that “solidworks handled it with class“, or something to that effect. Enough people said it, that it had the sound of being prompted.

When you’re on top, reacting to competition can only call attention to your competition. In this case, silence has nothing to do with class, it has more to do with fear. Fear that you could tip people off that there is another choice out there. I know first hand that there is a fair amount of information that users would find valuable, but SW withholds just because of fears of what the competition would do with it.

Second, when you lob a grenade into your customer’s idea of the future, and then clam up, I don’t think silence is classy in that situation either. Making a statement on media day doesn’t count as communication with customers, and it doesn’t make up for 3 years of silence. Further, avoiding what you know to be the real questions is just more of the same nonsense. It’s not like you don’t know what the questions are, and it’s not like you don’t know they aren’t important to customers. It’s just that you know your answers will not be satisfactory.

Third, I’ve had a couple of individuals make overtures at communication, and then not follow through. That is definitely not classy.

And finally, there are a couple of individuals who take a lot of sniping shots at critics. And that isn’t classy.

I do give SW credit for the information that did come out of media day. Thankfully I didn’t have to travel and waste a couple days to get a canned demo and a couple of newsworthy sentences. I’m not sure you can blame them for only saying what they know you will like, stopping short of telling the rest of the story.

Now I don’t claim to value “class” much. It’s a perception more than anything, and I think there are other things that are far more valuable. Honesty for example.  But this is a company that wants you to think that starving you for information is a good thing.

Posted in wtf

8 Replies to “Silence = Class”

  1. Richard Doyle has contacted me to say the post was accidentally removed and I could repost if I wanted.
    I will generously accept that explanation and as a goodwill gesture decline the opportunity to repost recognising they have had a tough week and my forthright comment doesn’t make it any easier to be a SW employee at the moment. 😉 Sorry to double park it in your blog Matt.

  2. Neil,
    Some Solidworks bugs are almost worth the trouble. I love your honest and humorous responses. DSS has certainly taken the fun out of CAD.

  3. Starving you for information…and denying you a voice..
    Well now here is an interesting email I just received from some anonymous person at SW. Doesn’t say anything about being confidential so I thought I would share it with a wider audience. I find it hard to see whats so wrong with the posted content myself. I didnt start the topic and it doesnt appear to violate any forum rules. Maybe someone can enlighten me. Being silent and enforcing silence is obviously a serious mission for SW these days. Maybe someone just didn’t like the honest opinion expressed but I was* genuinely contributing to the topic of a lukewarm reception for conics . Can I appeal about unwarranted arbitary censorship or complain about victumisation? Doesn’t seem likely.
    Not praise = rejected.

    >Hello,

    You have received this email because the content you posted below has been rejected by our moderators. Re: The lukewarm reception to Conics posted Oct 8, 2012 5:18 PM

    While the arrival of conics is welcome, once again SW havent delivered enough first time to be genuinely useful IMO.

    I wish they would change their approach given the feedback they have had over the years but nope.

    I can hear the words ‘half assed’ echoing around from times gone by and unfortunately I think it applies here too.

    To me it seems as though they have hastily dusted off some old project that was put aside when the cloud was deemed to be the big future.

    In fact I vaguely remember Mark making a brief passing comment about a reason why we wouldnt be getting conics…but enough said about the interpretation of historical events…

    Presumably they will drip feed some small improvements out over a few releases to make the most out of subscriptions and help fill the Whats New stockings.

    The trouble is that knowing SW itself may have a limited future more than offsets any interest in it for standoffish customers like myself.

    If they had delivered a nearly complete conics implementation, well they might have impressed me enough, but as it is it isnt convincing or ultimately that enticing.

    Looking back through the Whats New since I abandoned subs I am a little ‘meh’ about whether the accumulated difference amounts to enough to warrant the expenditure.

    Sorry guys. Maybe next release. By then we should have seen and passed judgement on the first installment of Catia-lite, or whatever it is to be called, as well.

  4. I think that “class” is a statement about the quality of the snacks served at breaks.

    Can you give us a reference to the content of the press releases?

  5. I really can’t rationalise the self harming mentality that has taken hold of this company in recent years. The ongoing damage done to customer relations during this fiasco is all so unnecessary. I know honestly is a lonely word in these times of billion dollar fumbles but I for one am going to insist on it. Don’t try to BS me anymore DS.
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?feature=related&v=4pjSzsTZb8w
    Hey DS do you know your customers are really annoyed/offended that you won’t explain what’s happening and why? Over 3 years you haven’t answered one question put to you. Not one. You announced it and then disowned it. Do you regard your customers as being worthy of contempt, as trailer trash or peons? Certainly seems like it.
    I know, how about you guys just stop talking about dangerous things like browsers, clouds and rent, and refer to something obscure and curiously evocative like a Conceptual Mechanical Design System and that will make all the fears and criticism go away. Close your eyes, turn around three times, and say loudly ‘I believe in digital fairies, I really do….’ , until those mean, horrible, and unconstructive customers have gone away.
    Don’t you realise how ridiculous stuff like this looks from the outside. Its up there with more search engines for non existant information. You obviously rate your customers as being a pretty dumb lot… When Uncle Bernard throws the stick, you *fetch* it. Got it!…
    And no more silly excuses that you have to hide your technology from the competition or you simply don’t know what it is until its here. The competition are laughing their heads off at the foolishness of this situation. You did this, not your customers being anti-this and anti-that, not your competitors throwing FUD, you. It was butchered, it was mangled, it is a mess and the tragedy all round is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?feature=related&v=axcXYkiO82Q
    The way this whole matter has been handled is not the least bit classy, its downright low, degrading and ultimately it has been been plain cowardly. Of course if you have an *attitude* you probably didn’t notice or don’t care…either that or you are a prisoner in a corporate pigeon hole….and it must be an even more uncomfortable position if you are a person with a religious bent, but we won’t go there today…
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?feature=related&v=G6J1jgQs1Cg .

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