Post DAC Thoughts: “More than I expected”…Executives Thoughts on DAC…Synopsys Steps Up… My Thanks…

Executives Thoughts on DAC... Synopsys Steps Up…

I truly cherish writing this column. It was a great gift given to me by David Heller, the President of IBSystems, publisher of EDACafe, My dear friend David realized that my knowledge of, and contacts in, EDA were quite extensive. He liked that I had a different perspective on our industry and asked me if I would like to join the EDACafe team and write a column on Careers. I thought for 3 seconds and said resoundingly, YES! While I have been asked to write columns in other periodicals, I do not proclaim to be a writer. Evidentially from what I am told, my occasional grammatical mistakes are far overshadowed by the content I write. So I ask you to respect that although I give it my all, I might not always be grammatically perfect, all the time. My intent is to simply write an informative column that speaks not only to aiding and helping those looking for work (or those that are hiring), but to also offer a non-technical take on several areas that affect everyone in EDA. I am grateful that when I go to shows like DAC so many, and I do mean so many of you, (from CEO’s/Presidents and all through the spectrum) are extremely flattering in your comments about the column, and equally thankful for the perspective I provide. EDA is wonderfully covered on the technical side; my column is just a fresh and unique alternative. Thanks again for your wonderful support.

I just felt that after all these years; I had to honestly say how I feel.

OK, most of us already know that the DAC numbers were down this year. Well, a smaller footprint and less people, does not always tell the whole story. I have a few thoughts on what I believe need to be considered when discussing DAC.

First, as we all know, DAC is not a consumer show, so mass numbers are not critical. DAC is clearly a targeted TRADE, EDUCATION and INFORMATION Conference, and most of who we wanted to be there, were there. Granted, not the numbers that used to come, and not even all the companies, but most nonetheless. Bottom line, it was still a great gathering for a barrage of reasons. (Executives share their reason further in this column).

DAC was incredible for me, and as you will read in a few lines, the same is true for many. I personally left with close to 20 new job requisitions for positions GLOBALLY. I had incredible non-stop appointments with the major players who really know this industry, and received some incredible insight. This insight is what always helps me write my column. Even more important, (I had to get this in) the White Jacket was a smashing success as numbers of you stopped me in the aisles to talk, knowing me only by my “White Sport Coat”. (I knew you wanted to know that). The Denali part was great (you go wild man Mike Mercado; he won the Denali talent contest)…umm if you can call it that.

As for DAC…it is funny, not ha ha funny but yet almost comical. Over the last MANY years I have rarely heard anyone say, “WOW what a great show, look at how packed it is”. (Not that I know anyone that necessarily talks like that). There is never a show with enough people buying, or enough traffic to impress. And certainly DAC has fallen into that category. I remember DAC’s (after the Internet bubble burst) where the aisles were scarily empty, and the show was bigger, I do not think much more was happening then, and surely similar conditions certainly still exist now. I am not a fool (usually) but the fact is, most of the people did pretty OK this year, even with lower attendance, and even for being in Anaheim.

Here is what some said….

Kevin Chou (VP Engineering) Altos Design Automation…This was a great DAC for us. We saw increased traffic and interest in our solutions.

Carol Hallett (the wonderful VP World Wide Sales and Marketing) Real Intent Inc….DAC is an important venue that allows us to further develop our relationships with our customers, create new ones, and continue to cultivate our professional friendships. This year was no exception.

Bala Vishwanath (President) Physware… As always, a once-a-year opportunity to showcase innovation and learn about EDA trends….

Greg Lebsack (President) TannerEDA… DAC 2010 was a very successful event for us. Our Exhibitor Forums were well attended – creating great visibility for our new products and initiatives. We also had strong interest at our booth, with demos and customer meetings consistently active and engaging.

Lauro Rizzatti (VP Marketing, GM EVE-USA) Eve…Despite the lower attendance in exhibitors and visitors we have been very pleased by the turn out: 400+ registrations after removing competitors, partners and students.

Andeas Ripp (VP Sales and Marketing) MUNEDA… DAC 2010 was again a very useful event. The quality of the exhibition visitors was very high. Traffic on free Monday was not as high as expected. DAC’s shrinking more and more reflects the concentration process in the industry. Low visit of Japanese customers reflects the over-proportional depression in Japanese industry.

Ravi Subramanian (President/CEO) Berkley Design Automation …We are very pleased to have had an excellent line-up of customer meetings for all three days at DAC 2010. Nanometer analog, RF, and Mixed-Signal is becoming critical to our customers - and it's getting more and more attention at DAC.

Anonymous (One of my good friends felt it smarter not to mention his name)…It is a great place to see your industry colleagues. Very expensive with little gain for the smaller guys, especially those that must travel internationally. However, if you are not there, the industry thinks something is wrong. I was not happy to see the placements of all the big 4 at next years DAC, but we will be there :)

Bottom line, I cannot remember a single year when I heard the words GREAT DAC. Every year the same old complaints…not enough traffic, the right people are not here, less people are exhibiting etc. etc. etc.

So here are my thoughts after hearing from a lot of people…

Most EDAers feel that DAC is critical to our future, and has to be in San Francisco every year to maximize attendance, which in effect for most, will keep travel costs down. In as much as I love going to San Diego and Anaheim for a change. I, like you, know that the business is NORTH, and the cost to put on, and travel to DAC, is far less when in San Francisco. That being said, those that clearly understand DAC’s intended purpose, know that who they want to see (for the most part) will be at DAC. If an exhibitor did not see them, or have enough pre set appointments, then that is not the fault of DAC. The right personnel know the right people. Often it takes having those people on board to get who you want, into your booth. Overwhelmingly, and I do mean most everyone I spoke with, felt that while they would have liked more, the show was an overall success. Lots of ideas and pleasantries exchanged, old friends staying acquainted and discussing next steps, and most of all BUSINESS was being done. This is truly what DAC is all about.

One last point on DAC…REMEMBER, THIS BUSINESS DOES NOT TAKE A LOT OF MEETINGS TO MAKE IT SUCCESSFUL. Even 2-3-4 good meetings a day can yield volumes of results going forward.


DAC had some good news as well.

Promoting competition is what drives innovation and venture.

Kudos to Synopsys for being the first major EDA vendor, to stop the buy 2 get 1 free practice. (Or is it buy 1 get 2 free, or is it…the big boys say it is not that way, but when the package is the same price with or without, you tell me what you call it?)

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