They say "life begins at 40." Well, we at Autodesk are about to find out. Autodesk was founded by John Walker 40 years ago today. The company got its name because the founders thought that they were going to automate the businessperson's desktop with software such as word processing, electronic Rolodex, and spreadsheets; however, when inventor and programmer Michael Riddle brought the beginnings of a computer-aided design program to the party, the company pivoted. Providing visualization, accuracy, and precision in only 640K on the Microsoft Disk Operating System (DOS) was the company's first innovation. The goal was to envision a better world where mom-and-pop architecture shops could perform CAD electronically (instead of by hand on a drafting table) on a moderately-priced personal computer instead of an expensive workstation.
A lot has happened in 40 years. Although AutoCAD was Autodesk's first product, today it is only one of many that we offer. Although Architecture, Engineering, and Construction was our first industry, today we also serve Product Design and Manufacturing and Media and Entertainment. PCs have come a long way since the days of DOS, and our applications have grown with their abilities to not only address geometries of projects, but also cost, schedule, quality, analysis, simulation, building, fabrication, production, and collaboration. We've expanded from the desktop to leverage the power of the cloud where near-infinite computing via servers, single source of truth data storage, and real-time connectivity are the state of the practice. And in turn, the needs of our customers have grown where projects are more complicated, file sizes are massive, and the number of stakeholders has blossomed.
Given our past, the years ahead look equally bright. There are technologies on the horizon that we wish to fold into our solutions.
Thanks to all of our customers who have taken us this far. Your experience shapes our technology. Here's to the next 40 years.
Celebration is alive in the lab.