Now I will be the first to admit that I am not this great Genius that knows all the solutions to fixing our image, but seriously friends; it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that EDA does indeed have a major image problem. We all know it; we have all read or heard about it. The issue here is not whether EDA is a valid and thriving workspace; we all know it is. The trouble is it is measured against other more thriving growing industries. Somehow we need to know how to make people realize both the potential and the stability of EDA so that they CHOOSE it as their career CHOICE and equally or more importantly, CHOOSE to STAY in EDA.
Like I said, I will be the first to admit that I do not have all the answers. So, here is a problem and within it lies a solution. We are an extremely diverse culturally different industry, and therein lies the solution…we are an extremely diverse culturally different industry. How do we sell that? How do we get more people to realize that within that diversity is a plethora of new ideas and world-class thinkers? How do we bring some excitement into this industry and show the world that we are the creators of all things electronic? We need to scream…EDA…ALL THINGS ELECTRONIC START HERE!
We will never be the most exciting industry for Software Developers or Hardware Designers (or similar). That is something we all know, but we can create a much more alluring, tantalizing image of who and what we are. We know EDA is not at the forefront of the social media boom, which is clearly a more enticing, exciting reality in today’s software world. But we are still nonetheless important, and this industry still has value and a future.
Wake up Wally, Aart, Rajeev, (and whoever is running Cadence these days) (just kidding). You guys need to join together with all the start-ups (big and small) and start to create an energy that permeates our industry and beyond. We need to start a think tank, a way to market this business better and make it a little more tantalizing and exciting. We don’t have the liveliness of Google, or the sizzle of Facebook, but we should be able to match NVIDEA and similar others for allure. Thank goodness for the little hokiness at DAC, (not that it comes from any of the big boys, which it should). If not for the magicians and games and giveaways, people would be yawning in the isles. We need to ask the question: “What more can we do to make DAC more exciting?”, especially on a Monday when so much young future talent is roaming the isles. After all, these young graduates are our potential future!
Some of the answers lie in what will hopefully be a very successful IPO for Apache. For starters, a successful IPO should point the financial sector towards our industry. The buzz around Apache’s (finally) announcement is amazing and so exciting for all of us. Remember several years back when 4 or 5 EDA companies went Public? We were getting our fair share of attention then and those of us in EDA saw that as a bright spot in the landscape. It gave hope to the people that worked in the industry that there was more than one exit possibility.
Another thing that will help the image of EDA is if people like Andrew and companies like APACHE and ATRENTA (as they have already done several times) offer smaller EDA companies an alternative to the big boys. And while APACHE and ATRENTA are great examples of companies that can also acquire other companies (as I have written in previous columns), more smaller struggling companies need to join forces when they have flows that work well together. By merging smaller struggling companies into stronger more viable businesses, they stand a better chance of competing more successfully.
Ultimately the image of EDA ties directly back into careers in EDA. With a more polished image, with more promise of a good future, with more excitement in and around our industry, with more profitable business models (which mean stronger profits), more and more people will want to stay and or even hopefully come back. When people feel good about being a part of a thriving industry, when there is good news and a promising future in our industry, people will then want to be part of our industry and that is good for EDA. In turn, that will be good for jobs and that, my friends, makes me a very happy guy as well.