I’ve always thought that corporate historians gathered history nobody cares about. However, based on traffic to a YouTube video from last year about Revit release 1, I thought it might be convenient for people who find my blog based on searches about my history at Revit Technology (surprisingly, there are more than a few) to find the video here.
So, here is the video and my notes.
This video produced for Revit release 1 was intended to be the product’s “manifesto.” Revit Technology Corp. promoted Revit as a revolution in architectural CAD, a claim we offered to prove. Revit Technology was no shrinking violet when it came to calling out who we thought was holding architectural CAD back. The target was 2D CAD, exemplified by AutoCAD. Our product matched our swagger effectively enough that Autodesk — our competitor — bought the company in 2002. (Contemporaneous fears that they bought Revit to kill it have turned out to be unfounded.)
Of historical interest: the product screens shown were from pre-release versions of the product. We set up a Dell Pentium laptop in the studio and one of our systems engineers used the product while we shot the video. If you look closely, you can see how rudimentary the product was at that time as well as the promise of a truly 3D parametric building modeler that would change the way architects design buildings.The music was an original composition (not stock music). I had just come back from an assignment in Asia and was taken with the drums and rhythms I heard in ASEAN and so I asked the composer (who I’ve forgotten, unfortunately) to come up with something different. The soundtrack is my favorite part of the video. And it makes great ringtones. Download it, edit in Audacity and see for yourself.
Revit was launched in Philadelphia at the AIA 2000 convention, Revit rented a 20,000 watt stereo system and mounted it in a 16-foot glass tower to overpower the competition. (I was repeatedly warned to turn the soundtrack down; I somehow failed to comply. 🙂 ) The video was produced on a then massively sophisticated Avid system with something like 54 layers in Watertown, MA.
We shipped a copy of this video on every Revit product CD, which was the source of this upload. Actually, this video was ripped from the very FIRST Revit CD ever made — a souvenir I have to this day. There was another version (now lost) which we used at trade shows in 2000 and 2001 that specifically called out AutoCAD in one of the word graphics.
Writing and producing this two-minute video took months off my life. But I still love it for its honesty, vision and aggression. And for the amazing soundtrack.