As rapid-fire advances enrich the 3D-printing landscape, file formats have to keep pace to support these changes, or there’s a risk of neutralizing further progress.
Tech Soft 3D has been around now for 21 years and yet, just last week, someone I was talking to on the phone referred to us as a “start-up”! This has been happening on a pretty regular basis over the last 21 years. At one point it was certainly a true description of the company. But now? With 20 years of profitability and growth, offices around the world, and over 100 employees, we’re far beyond the start-up phase. So what is the threshold? Is it when you go public, or get acquired, or reach a certain annual revenue? It’s puzzling.
But it got me thinking.
Here in the U.S., hitting the age of 21 matters. (Barbarically) it’s when we can finally legally drink alcohol, and while quite a few rights come our way at 18, 21 is more often considered the real threshold into adulthood. A young adult, yes, but an adult nonetheless.
But if it takes a person 21 years to be grown-up, by the time a company is 21 years old, it’s considered quite seasoned. Yet in both cases – for individuals as well as organizations – there is still plenty to be learned by combining the benefits of experience with the qualities of youth.
That’s what we try to do here at Tech Soft 3D and perhaps that’s why, even after 21 years in business, people can still refer to us as a start-up. I like to think it’s because we’ve done a pretty good job of retaining the best parts of youth, including:
In my previous blog, I mentioned what we learned from our acquisition of Tetra4D. Now I’d like to share the positives we discovered. These are a few upsides we see already, but we expect more to emerge. Though we had to learn some lessons along the way, there haven’t been any serious downsides, just new and interesting challenges to grapple with. In short, I would absolutely do it again.
In a previous blog, I noted how incredibly rare it is for a company to give an honest assessment of how things panned out after an acquisition, both positively and negatively. In the heady first days, there is always talk of synergies, new markets, revenue growth, combined talents, etc. But we all know that things very rarely go exactly as planned, which means that there are surprises (of both the positive and negative variety) to learn from. If only those lessons were routinely and widely shared.
This is truly an interesting time in the world of design. How do I know? It’s the first time I can recall hearing smack talk since around the time of the first desktop CAD solid modelers.
During the first week of October I was in Munich, Germany. As you might expect, there were plenty of highlights. Drinking beer at Oktoberfest was pretty great. Attending a Bayern Munich match with a friend was fun. Working on 2015 planning with my Tech Soft 3D colleagues was fruitful.
In my last blog I talked about the challenge of holding two true (though seemingly opposing) views at the same time. These are a) your company is a great and special place, even while b) there’s much that needs improving.
Can a company be both excellent and in serious need of improvement? If we’re being honest, the answer is yes. It’s only a dichotomy if just one of them can be true at a time – and they are definitely not mutually exclusive.
A couple of weeks ago I was speaking with a fellow CEO, and the topic of executive coaches came up.
Dateline: 30,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean in that strange twilight created when traveling from Asia back to the U.S. - where you cross the international date line and “re-live” a calendar day. It’s the closest thing I know to time travel.