Last year, Tech Soft 3D’s leadership team established an annual “Day of Equity” in honor of Juneteenth. Creating a culture of inclusion and diversity has always been a priority for the company, however there has been an increased focus in this area in the past few years, and in particular, for CEO Ron Fritz. This annual day of action is just one example of how he and his team are making that happen.
The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming what work looks like and how it gets done in a variety of industries, and manufacturing is no different. Looking at the products and solutions that support manufacturing and some trends that are taking shape around them helps reveal the changes that are already taking place.
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:
The concept of “Strategic Technology Partnerships” has described our approach to business relationships from the very beginning. While it sounds natural to us, like with lots of “tribal language” it may be less clear to those outside our organization who are not yet partners of ours. Here’s exactly what we mean, one word at a time.
In 1996, it would have been impossible to imagine that 20 years later I would be sitting here writing this particular blog. At the time, when Gavin, Yanick, Rob and I spun the HOOPS Visualize technology out of Autodesk, we could hardly have been a more scrappy, scruffy start-up. We had no funding, were squatting in Autodesk offices, had no clear idea of how to run a company and certainly no clear idea of how we would grow over the long-term. We did know that there were customers relying on the HOOPS technology and we were determined to take care of them as job #1. Beyond that, I suppose like any start-up, we were hoping to survive long enough to not only support those partners, but also to eventually fuel innovation for many more development teams.