Greg Smith's OpEd piece, "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs," in the New York Times is receiving lots of attention today:
Greg provides his reasons, in embarrassing-for-the-company detail, as to why he is leaving Goldman Sachs. Having read it, I felt fortunate not to be in a similar position. I thought about Autodesk CEO, Carl Bass', company motto that he wants Autodesk to be a good, great, and important company.
Good in terms of being a good corporate citizen. We care about sustainability. We watch how much we travel, how much electricity our computers use, and even use compostable eating ware (i.e. forks, spoons, and knives made from corn starch) in our company dining areas. Heck the second floor of One Market Street, where I work, is one of only two northern California LEED Platinum certified commercial interior renovations. In addition, our software provides analysis capabilities that enable our customers to analyze the sustainability issues surrounding the designs they create.
Great in terms of the return on investment to our stockholders. Yes we are a business. We never lose sight of that, but we also do things like provide educational versions of our software to students free of charge. We package our design applications into suites, so that yes, we collect more revenue, but in turn customers get more value for their money than if they had bought the applications separately. It's a win-win.
Important in terms of enabling our customers to make a difference in the world. We have to serve them best so they can do their best. Projects like prosthetic limbs from Bespoke Innovations or wheelchairs from MagicWheels tug at our heartstrings, but equally important are the automobiles, buildings, bridges, and mechanical parts that comprise the everyday world around us. And what's not to like about the special effects that dazzle us in TV shows, commercials, and movies. Our software allows our customers to experience things before they are real. Their work is important. Our work is important.
I am proud to work at Autodesk. I will stay right here. To borrow some words from our book edited by Autodesk Fellow, Tom Wujec, we really do want everyone to IMAGINE, DESIGN, and CREATE a better world.
Conscience is alive in the lab.