Thursday, April 27, 2006

An Essay on Change

Mullet. – Haircut, business in the front, party in back.
I invented this hair cut in 1981, I also invented the bald look in 2002. When I see a mullet today, I know I’m looking at someone that has trouble with change. I ran into a CAD mullet today.

CAD Mullet. – Person who has found what they believe is the perfect process and is now frozen in CAD history letting every new technology past them by.

This gentleman is one of the sharpest AutoCAD people I have ever met. This guy can quote the Help file from 2002. But somewhere in 2002 he hit CAD nirvana. He had found his comfort zone and will not leave it.

Now when I see a mullet on some one or somebody wearing spandex running shorts I first stare, then smile and I am able to say to my self that they are happy. They are not hurting anyone. Maybe they are making a statement on individualism? Maybe they think “if I looked good in 1981, I look good now… don’t I?”

Well, I can enjoy this behavior in fashion; I am truly concerned when it shows up in business. I believe that if you think you have hit the perfect place and business and intend to just continue to do what you have always done, you should retire. Thinking that the world is not changing around you is crazy. Thinking the Pony Express can compete with FedEx is even crazier. If it could, we would still have the Pony Express. If you think you have learned all you can about AutoCAD and you can ride your job out indefinitely on your current knowledge, prepare for some snot nosed punk to knock you off the wall and soon. You don’t have to be psychic to see the future, it’s already here. Does Revit or BIM mean anything to you yet?

I say this, because there was a time when I was the biggest fish in my pond. I got so big and confident in my skills, I grew feet and walked over to the lake across the street where I immediately got ate alive by some considerably bigger fish. What did I learn? Even though I am now about 10 times the fish I was in my pond days and I can hold my own in the lake, there is an ocean right next door and I’m not spit over there.

Here are a couple of hints on growth and change for you.
-If you are great at AutoCAD, learn ADT or Revit just as well.

-If you are the smartest CAD guy in your office, Get the Hell out of your office. Go to or start a User Group, take a class or get close to your local reseller’s AE. Playing Jr. High kids will not help a college team improve, playing against the professionals, you are bound to learn something to improve your game. is a huge resource. May I recommend their training program?
AUGI Training Program

I used to tell my drafters “If you don’t like change, I suggest you get another job.” I will always believe that is true. I can’t think of a business that has survived any length of time sitting still and you are no different. The last thing I want for any of you is to have you suddenly realize that times have changed and you were left behind wearing spandex and sporting a mullet.

Lead or be left behind, it’s your call.
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