Late adopters of 3D: the time is now

crossingthe3dchasm -- a little late

In high tech circles, Geoffrey Moore’s 1991 book, Crossing the Chasm, is considered gospel. In it, Moore talks about the stages of technology adoption and groups users into stages based on their relative enthusiasm for new technologies. The last (and largest) group of people to receive the benefits of any new technology are the “late adopters”.

I been thinking about what I heard Jeff Ray, CEO of SolidWorks say at DS’s industry analyst event last week. Jeff said that the opportunity to convert users from 2D is orders of magnitude larger than winning customers from competitors. (On that point, the competition is seriously left in the dust based on what I’ve seen of SolidWorks 2008).

Then, last week, I came across this very interesting article by Luke Davis from Cadalyst which is clearly targeted at the late adopters. It’s written in a way that tries to pry 2D electronic CAD pencils from users’ cold, dead hands by pointing at least one serious issue with creating designs in 2D.

My message is simpler: get with it. If you’re stuck in 2D, you haven’t just missed out on the benefits of today’s high-performance 3D systems — which are thoroughly proven – you are also missing out on the next wave of technology, like Seemage, which are built on an assumption of 3D digital product definition data.

By missing not one, but two waves of technological revolution, you are seriously hindering your company’s ability to compete and are holding onto technology that can best be described as antique.

Moore’s theory is that late adopters wait (nearly forever) to cross the chasm. Based on what I’ve seen of Dassault’s 3D current and future technology in the few short weeks since we’ve been acquired, late adopters are going to fall behind faster and farther. That’s because the rest of the world is so over the 2D/3D controversy. Now, businesses are implementing systems that rely on 3D for many critical business functions beyond design and engineering. What the late adopters consider difficult or controversial has been settled by the majority in favor of 3D.

Don’t be left behind twice.

One comment to Late adopters of 3D: the time is now

  • David Locke  says:

    The last market is the non-adopting market. The next to last market is the phobic market. The one immediately before the phobic is the laggard. And, the one immediately before that is the late mainstream market.

    Some people will never adopt it whatever it is. Marketers don’t even try. The phobics will wait until it is embedded into something they use without knowing it is there. We have computers in our cars, but only hobiest and professonal mechanics are going to get involved with those computers.

    The late market wants it to be easy, but powerful. If 3D isn’t being adopted, don’t blame the market. Fit the market. Rewrite the software to get rid of feature bloat.

    I bought a 3D application long ago. I didn’t have time to play with and learn it, because the application wanted me to do had very little to do with what I wanted to do with it. I was trained by this to ignore 3D. I’d love to use 3D, but it won’t happen.

    I’d love to build a GIS application, but physical geography isn’t what I want to use it for, so I’m out of luck for now.

    I don’t feel left behind. I’m quite comfortable with what I have.

    As for market populations crossing the chasam, I’m sorry but it is emerging categories that cross the chasam to reach the market populations. The customers don’t cross the chasam.

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