Autodesk isn’t Just AutoCAD Anymore… and That’s Just Fine

It’s hard to imagine a single company that has physically changed the world as much as Autodesk. Caterpillar perhaps? Microsoft maybe?

I doubt it.

I can only imagine a long time Autodesk executive looking over that same Las Vegas skyline that hosts Autodesk University and wondering how many of those buildings, bridges, roads multimedia shows, or individuals have been effected by Autodesk software.

A lot, I would guess.

Autodesk has arguably and considerably changed the world in the past thirty or so years and many individuals, companies and industries have been left considerably better or worse in the wake of the growth of this company.

It is as if the chorus of those proclaiming that Autodesk is taking over the software world is growing with each passing year. Over the past twenty years the software company has acquired nearly 40 corporations to expand the product line from the earliest versions of AutoCAD to industry leading software in engineering, architecture, gaming, film and product design. Maya, Navisworks, Mudbox, Revit and Land Desktop are just a few of the examples of products that were purchased and eventually melded into the Autodesk product lineup or ultimately dropped.

The result of these acquisitions have been a mixed bag depending on who you are asking. Many entrepreneurs have walked away from these deals as brand new millionaires. Others who have built careers and businesses around specific software, however, have been left out in the cold after a product has been purchased and either dropped or significantly changed or absorbed into something else.

And now, over 30 years after AutoCAD was first released, Autodesk stands as an entirely different company with strongholds in various industries such as AEC, film and gaming. You will have to look long and hard to find any major studio in any of these industries without an Autodesk software product on board. The company has grown from 16 to thousands.

No one will tell you that Autodesk is the same little company that produced groundbreaking CAD software decades ago. But they don’t have to. Autodesk is a world leader and whether you use the products or not, technology has advanced faster and the world has changed because of this unique company.