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Design a Better Business by Maarten van Lieshout, Erik van der Pluijm, Lisa Kay Solomon, Justin Lokitz, Patrick Van Der Pijl

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Autodesk, a large software company mostly known for its founding flagship design software, AutoCAD, has been developing and selling design-related software for more than 30 years.

BEYOND COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN

While many people may not know Autodesk by name, their software has touched most people’s lives. Most human-created things on earth (designed and made in the last 30 years) – from the chair you’re sitting in, to the building that it’s housed in, to the car you drove in on, to the special-effects blockbuster you watched – are likely to have been created, at least in part, by Autodesk software.

As pervasive as Autodesk’s software may be, the company’s leadership has for the last decade been aggressively exploring what’s next for the company. Beyond incremental improvements to its legacy products, Autodesk has been developing new tools to solve the design problems that its customers will face in the future.

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An illustration of The San Francisco Ferry Building from the graphic novel Prelude to Then.

Carl Bass, Autodesk’s CEO, a hardcore “maker” himself, was not only interested in finding potential markets to expand into. He was also interested in prototyping early and often in order to get real insight into what would matter to the company – and its customer – in ...

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