March 29, 2012
When you create a new product or service and release it into the world, it can be scary. Will people like it? Use it? Hate it? Slam you on their blog or Twitter or industry forum? Figuring out a way to measure usage is critical, and even more so for something highly technical – like, say, Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools.
Boise, ID-based Command Trends was launched to fill that void in the CAD world. Their analytics tool will help you save time and improve productivity by visualizing CAD command usage patterns, allowing you to measure yourself against the crowd. You’ll not only know if people are using your tool, but also how they are using it.
Like many startups, Command Trends began when co-founder Ben Jones wanted to know how people were using the CAD productivity tools for an engineer-to-order manufacturing company. His co-founder, Ken Wiley, who has a background in 3D modeling and engineering analysis tools, started out as a sounding board for Jones as he developed this idea. Wiley explained how big the void is that they’re filling:
“Ben spent years deploying training and customization for CAD software. His company invested in numerous training sessions, software upgrades, and custom automation. For all of this investment, all he could provide back to the business was very rough ROI estimates supported by anecdotal evidence. The problem is that rough ROI’s and anecdotes are easy to disprove, and yet this is standard in the industry. Companies need hard answers on whether they are seeing returns in their CAD investments.”
So far their customers use Command Trends to identify opportunities for automation, education, and training. “Many of the individuals using our toolset are tracking their pattern of use, and discovering ways to become more efficient Computer Aided Design (CAD) users. There are over 1,200 commands within AutoCAD [the CAD platform of choice], and many of our users are surprised at how few (less than 10%) of the commands they use. It’s driven them to broaden their horizons through training and education.”
While most of their customers are manufacturers, Wiley said they also have customers in architecture, home building, civil engineering, and construction. So far, customer acquisition has been going really well – they’ve been getting great user feedback, and Autodesk asked them to be part of their app store rollout this year. For those who don’t know, Autodesk is the CAD platform of choice, and because the the Autodesk app store is accessible right from AutoCAD, Command Trends will hopefully get great visibility – plus, it will make the installation of Command Trends seamless.
Command Trends will be a showcased startup at our Boise mixer event next week, so if you’re going, be sure to stop by and say hi to the team.
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