The wisdom of non-CAD, non-PLM crowds


Chris Williams, our CEO, and I were looking at a competitor’s website today, comparing their capabilities to ours. This is something everyone does…checking each other out is normal. (You should see the domain names that Google Analytics records as having visited both and

So, there we were…looking at that claim, evaluating that feature…when the real difference between Seemage and this other product leaped off the page into clear view: this competitor has designed its product for CAD-literate people. Seemage is all about enabling non-CAD, non-[tag]PLM[/tag] content creators outside the engineering group.

Chris picked up on this immediately, describing the competitor’s approach as flawed both technically and in its business-model. Technically, requiring scripting and programming skills of users outside engineering groups means that departments who have content creators making product deliverables like procedures, animations and documentation could never be successful with this product. These users have expertise in their product. But they don’t have and don’t want to have the CAD and programming skills this product demands to be able to use its central feature.

It’s a business-model flaw because to be successful in our marketplace, you must attract and support non-CAD users. If you design a product that has the design “ethos” of a miniature CAD system in its features and user interface, you’ll never grow in the marketplace because everyone already has a CAD system (or two).

This why I think Seemage is so brilliant: it’s designers and developers have always known precisely for whom the system was designed. They’ve done the hardest thing in the CAD world: design a product for non-CAD users that delivers all the capabilities of the underlying 3D design data without any of the complexity of the CAD system that created that data.

In short, they’ve ignored the wisdom of the CAD crowd.

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