In a recent, surprising move, Autodesk announced some of their educational apps and programming will be available for free to students, teachers, schools, and colleges.
More than 680 million students and teachers will benefit from this worldwide, and it could impact as many as 800,000 schools in nearly 200 countries.
Their software will give students access to design tools and programs, helping in a wide array of industries.
From engineering to manufacturing, Autodesk helps users gain the skills to solve important, relevant challenges.
This is an important day for the educational community, and other companies are taking notice. It’s a big move by Autodesk, and may change how software programming is distributed in the future.
Only time will tell, but, thanks to this decision, we foresee big changes coming.
What This Means for Entrepreneurs
A few lessons can be learned from Autodesk’s decision to invest in the educational community. Whether you’re a startup or an established software company, here are some immediate takeaways you may find valuable.
1. Education is important.
From a public relations perspective, Autodesk’s strategy is crystal clear. By investing in education, they are showing that they care about the next generation and are willing to aid in their growth.
It’s about more than offering a free product; it’s about extending goodwill where generosity is needed. As an entrepreneur, the takeaway is that investing in education can provide excellent PR benefits.
2. Build from the ground up.
When marketing an existing product, repositioning an old product, or launching a new one, it’s important to strategically build on a solid foundation.
For a company that makes money by supplying the workforce with design tools, it only makes sense that they would start with the next generation of the workforce.
By focusing on students who are five or ten years away from becoming potential customers, Autodesk is planting proverbial seeds.
3. Develop a unique product that retains customers.
By utilizing innovative, proprietary software features, Autodesk is setting certain standards that users will begin to expect. Once users become used to the features offered by Autodesk, they won’t ever want to part ways.
Strategically speaking, Autodesk is choosing to become a leader in the industry, as opposed to a follower or imitator. People will continue to choose Autodesk, not because they have to, but because they want to.
4. Consumers want ease of use.
While Autodesk’s latest announcement about their new business model is certainly interesting for those involved in the software development industry, more telling are the various types of products and services they offer.
When analyzing Autodesk and other companies like Invision, a workflow collaboration tool for mobile app designers, it’s becoming clear that the future of the industry lies in ease of use. Designers are looking for clear features that minimize misunderstandings and maximize output.
5. Resources are available.
Never before in the history of the world has there been so much technological capability and key resources. When looking at Autodesk as a whole, entrepreneurs should be encouraged.
They should be excited about the capabilities and resources available at their fingertips and enthusiastic about how they’ll help them accomplish tasks and collaborate in the future.
Invest in Learning
As an entrepreneur looking to develop products and services that reach millions of people and successfully satisfy the need for creative design platforms, it’s up to you to learn from the best. Companies like Autodesk and Invision are widely considered leaders in the industry and provide aspiring entrepreneurs with plenty of life-lessons.
Not only do they provide a solid picture of what it looks like to invest in consumers, but they also supply valuable insight about the future of the design industry, and what you need to experience long-term success. Follow their example, and you’ll likely encounter success in the future.