MCADCafe Weekly Review November 20th, 2017

Autodesk’s President and CEO, Andrew Anagnost, kicks off AU 2017 with a unique perspective on automation and the Future of Work. Passionate about the topic, Andrew gives you the confidence to embrace this new future, and guest speakers share insights to help you thrive in this new world of working. You are left informed and excited about this future.

SPEAKERS

ANDREW ANAGNOST

Andrew Anagnost is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Autodesk. Anagnost’s career spans more than 25 years of product, business, and marketing experience focused on driving strategy, transformation, and product development and includes positions at Autodesk, Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company, and EXA Corporation. He also completed a doctorate degree at Stanford University and worked at NASA Ames Research Center as an NRC post-doctoral fellow. Anagnost began his career at Autodesk in 1997 and has held a wide range of roles in the areas of marketing, new business development, product management, and product development. Prior to becoming President and CEO in June 2017, he served as Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of the Business Strategy & Marketing organization. In this role, Andrew served as architect and leader of Autodesk’s business model transition moving the company to become a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions provider. Previously, Anagnost held various executive positions across Autodesk. Early in his Autodesk career, he led the development of the company’s manufacturing products and grew Autodesk Inventor revenue to over $500 million. Anagnost is a member of the Autodesk Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the California State University, and holds both an MS in Engineering Science and a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford University.

Although I’m not much of a fan for Las Vegas per se, I do enjoy attending Autodesk’s annual spectacle that attracts at least 10,000 attendees to Sin City — Autodesk University.

This year’s event was markedly different than ones in the recent past. Different because:

  • This was the first AU presided over by Autodesk’s new President and CEO, Andrew Anagnost
  • The attention the Forge development platform received
  • AEC and construction seemed to take center stage for much of the event and the exhibit floor
  • Generative design and Fusion 360 were emphasized on the manufacturing side of the business
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is getting a lot of attention fro Autodesk and will be coming out of the shadows very soon
  • The “cloud” was everywhere, including the addition of AnyCAD into Fusion 360

I’ll briefly discuss each of these bulleted items, but will cover each of them in more detail in coming weeks

 

Words From The New CEO

Having been the President and CEO of Autodesk since June, Andrew Anagnost took the stage the first day of AU in his relatively new role to talk about the theme of this year’s AU, which was designing more things, designing better things, and accomplishing this with less — materials, staff, resources, and time.

Andrew Anagnost, AU 2017 Keynote

Anagnost said the panacea for making this happen is automation that will actually increase jobs and productivity. We shouldn’t be so concerned about if automation take our jobs as we should be of the opportunities of where automation will take us. With so much happening so quickly on the automation and technology fronts, the problem is not so much a scarcity of jobs as it is a scarcity of skills to benefit from the opportunities.

An interesting numerical comparison he made that back in the day there were approximately 300,000 drafters in design, manufacturing, and architecture. Compare that to today’s approximately 10,000,000 design software users and you appreciate how things have changed by the sheer number of people involved on the creative design side.

This week Autodesk also announced that it has formed a new partnership with Village Capital to fund the creation of their workforce development and transition initiative, focused on entrepreneurship, job training, and upskilling in a world of automation. The company is also teaming up with LinkedIn Learning to offer free access to more than 40 courses in multiple languages, relevant to the architecture, infrastructure, construction, and manufacturing industries.

Technology can accelerate solutions to our most pressing problems, such as anticipated global population growth of 30 percent by 2050, but only if people are prepared work with machines in new ways. These are the latest moves in Autodesk’s efforts to prepare the workforce to thrive in a future that will require people to make and build more, do it better, and with less negative impact on the world.

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