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    A cloudy focus

    Alan Smith
    |  April 12, 2016

    There’s been some discussion on our new Forum about our plans for “all this cloudy stuff”. Some of you have asked why we have this focus. Some have questioned why we’re bothering when we can’t “even fix the so-and-so bug in the so-and-so editor in Altium Designer® ”. I think our response to this is to remind everyone that this is not about the software, but about what you do with it. It’s not about AltiumLive, but how you exploit AltiumLive.

    There’s been some discussion on our new Forum about our plans for “all this cloudy stuff”.

    Some of you have asked why we have this focus. Some have questioned why we’re bothering when we can’t  “even fix the so-and-so bug in the so-and-so editor in Altium ”.

    I think our response to this is to remind everyone that this is not about the software, but about what you do with it.

    It’s not about AltiumLive, but how you exploit AltiumLive.

    Both Altium , especially now in the context of the software being updated continuously (see the new content in our Shanghai ), and AltiumLive are always going to be “snapshots” - latest versions of an evolving ecosystem.

    So it’s about making a choice (because that’s what we hope we’ve given you): choose to ignore what’s not quite perfect or not quite what you want, in favor of what it lets you do today that you couldn’t do yesterday.

    Focus on how you’ll translate that to deliver something new tomorrow, not just something better.

    Focus on creating a new status quo on your terms, using the tools to help you.

    And never forget that the initiative comes from you, not our software.

    In the movie Apollo 13 (but not in real life), flight controller Gene Kranz says that ”failure is not an option”.

    I think that to design safely is no longer an option. I don’t mean introduce recklessness into what we design and how we design it. Rather, designing a product that’s slightly better than its predecessor product is too safe to be design option. Any product so designed will be too safe to survive, because there will be another that also does the job, has similar improvements, and so on, tomorrow (or next week).

    So our product must exceed its brief, be one that does more than “just” its job.

    In the future, AltiumLive will let anyone willing to do so get quick access to technology, ideas, suppliers, partners, customers, investors. And from this, we think, will come the ability to unify

    the design process, the supply chain, and the services delivered through connected devices to the customers - with you making this happen.

    We’re not sure how or when this will exactly play out, because we can’t predict the future. What we do know, though, is that the electronics design process never flows in a straight line, nor do we want it to.

    So take those first steps into the cloudy future.

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