Having worked for large companies like Honeywell, GTE, and Océ, I am a fan of the movie Office Space. So when I first started producing monthly reports for Autodesk Labs, I named my reports the Technology Preview Strategy Report so it would be TPS Report for short. I now produce them quarterly, but the name has stuck. One of the things that the TPS Report does is look at the number of participants for each active technology preview.
When a product development team decides to host a technology preview on Labs, they have a target number of participants in mind. They do so because too few participants decreases the chances of the team getting the feedback they are seeking. On the other hand, too many participants could result in a flood of feedback that the team would not have the resources to respond to. Recall that the technology previews come from the same teams that do the product development, so those developers have day jobs in addition to supporting the technology preview.
With this in mind, here's what we saw in the latest TPS Report.
Project membership size is a good proxy metric for number of downloads.
Some technology previews are small in membership size on purpose.
There are different types of technology previews. (See the Labs versus Beta chart.) For technology previews that are wide-open to the public, where everyone who wants to join gets in, number of participants is a good indicator of popularity of the idea around the technology preview. For other projects where the number of participants is controlled (e.g., Project Arro, Project Draco, Project Scandium, and ReCap 360 Mobile), this is not the case.
The Molecule Viewer is a timely technology.
The media coverage of the Zika virus resulted in an increase in the number of participants for the Molecule Viewer technology preview from 302 at the beginning of the quarter to 398.
Since the number of participants is often a good indicator of customer interest, the more, the merrier.
Some technology previews have graduated or retired this quarter. Since those are closed for membership, they are not listed in the graph for this section of the TPS Report. The following active technology previews are looking for increased membership:
- Molecule Viewer
- Project Arro
- Project ECMFin
- Project Monolith
The next Autodesk Labs newsletter can feature these technology previews to try to Increase participation.
So for technology previews that are looking for additional participants, feel free to go to the Autodesk Labs page and join one or more of these projects.
Membership counting is alive in the lab.