Let me say right off the bat that I know that I really should get over it. I should stop being so competitive that I am willing to blast former business competitors for things that no longer matter to me (or the descendants of the original competition).
But I can’t help it. It’s just part of me. I still like to throw an occasional lighted one at Microsoft (I’m still brooding over the 1990’s battle between Notes and Exchange) or Autodesk (we got a blessed divorce in 2002).
Today, it’s Right Hemisphere’s turn. These are the guys who took government money from New Zealand, then took money from SAP, undoubtedly turning their cap table into a cross between the Auckland and Walldorf phone books, then called themselves a startup and hired a marketing team whose first apparent deliverable to the marketplace in 2007 was an 18-page glossy brochure. (Now, I know some people love brochures, but they are both expensive and passe. Ask RH how many of those are sitting in boxes collecting dust in the marketing group’s area at HQ.)
When I was with Seemage, we never really considered RH much of a competitor, what with their message being….well, what exactly was their message? Can’t seem to remember it. Think it had something to do with Adobe, then SAP, then servers all over the place. OTOH, at Seemage it was simple: we were about CAD reuse on the desktop without the heavy costs of PLM.
OK, so what’s the proximate cause of this screed? After all, Seemage is gone…and I’m no longer consulting for Dassault. In a word, it’s RH’s new “blog.” After a couple of years, it looks like RH finally wants to try to grasp the power of community….by copying the old Seemage formula of an in-your-face blog.
At Seemage we had 3dmojo.com. And for a while, it was all we had. But we poured our hearts out. And it was an incredibly effective way for a great product (and a pretty damn good company, IMHO) to get noticed. No fancy stuff…just a direct conversation with the 3D CAD community, who listened intently (and who still do).
We said what we meant and we weren’t afraid to say practically anything (a representative sample is here), as long as we passionately believed in it. A sales rep crashed a competitive trade show using an iPod to show what was then called Seemage (now 3DVIA Composer). It was such a success that we started a podcast that goes on today. Traffic built because we had something to say that was intelligible and cogent.
So, now imagine you are RH. You’ve got questions: your brochure is gathering dust…people come to the seminars at the Capital Grille for the steak, not the software…and little ole Seemage went on to greater glory inside DS. What was the magic about them? Ah ha! It had to be their blog. Gotta git me one of them! Voila: deep3d.com.
A more banal corporate blog I don’t think I’ve ever seen. They have nothing to say. Rehashes of trade shows from the vp of marketing. An SE kowtowing to Adobe Flex (big surprise there). The CEO reprising their SAP deals. (I’m beginning to feel the warm excitement of SAP as a new target…check out the stunt we pulled at SAPPHIRE.)
In short, the reason people who are imitated don’t usually feel flattered by the imitator is that, by definition, imitations lack inspiration. Go ahead, RH: paint a happy face on your toy blog. The only thing apt about it is that the name is somewhat onomatopoeic: this blog is going deep6d very quickly.