As reported by Michael Santarini in:
Cadence is holding an event in San Francisco on July 24 and 25 in direct opposition to the DAC Conference. The event is proudly titled â€œTech On Tourâ€ and, according to a comment from a defender of the event who signs himself (or herself) â€œDeepsheepâ€, there will be no French Maids involved. I suppose French Maids are another example of marketing innovation Cadence brings to the industry: mentioning and denying at the same time is a clever communication technique to raise interest.
I have been in EDA for 38 years and I must confess I have never had the need to mention the availability of any maid, French or otherwise, when discussing or defending either our industryâ€™s technology or public events. I do have a problem with Cadenceâ€™s behavior, because it is a further indication of a managerial trend I find troubling. I must confess that Cadence has not taken me in its confidence and thus I am ignorant of the details of the event, but it seems to me that â€œTech On Tourâ€ would have been a wonderful theme for its booth at DAC. Doing a little arithmetic, this is too trivial a case to employ mathematics, I came to the conclusion that holding the event at DAC would save Cadence money. Thus, Cadence management must think that isolating itself from the rest of the EDA industry is worth money. It makes no sense whatsoever to me.
Michael Santarini compares Cadenceâ€™s behavior to Intelâ€™s, a company known for its self-righteousness and self-importance. For many years Intel was the 800-pound gorilla, and remains a heavyweight today, in the MPU business, so, even if not excusable, its attitude was explainable. But Cadence does not enjoy such technical or market lead over its competition. Its technology, in fact, lags the competition in many areas and the results can be seen in its market share in the various Dataquest market segments.
As other commentators to Michaelâ€™s article have pointed out, a technology leader should not be afraid of the competition: on the contrary what better than a public forum with the rest of the EDA suppliers to showcase its leadership. Instead Cadence wants to set itself apart from the rest by playing in its own sandbox.
As Intel teaches all of its managers: you got to be paranoid, and I was an Intel manager. So, what possible motives can Cadence have to hold its own show while benefiting from the influx of designers and managers brought by DAC? Some people have mentioned exclusivity. Cadence gets to show its tools and avoid direct comparisons. I do not agree with this opinion. To do so would be a disservice to the DAC attendees. Any self-respecting engineer or manager getting a private demo from Cadence a few blocks away, will go to the exhibit floor at DAC at find a way to see the competitive demos. Some have mentioned corporate profile. Cadence shows that it does not need any industry wide event to showcase its technology. I do not buy that either. If this is so, then why not hold â€œTech On Tourâ€ as a special session of â€œCDNlive!â€? And why hold it concurrent to DAC? Certainly not for the benefit of the attendees who have to leave the Moscone Center and spend additional hours they would have spent otherwise in order to pay homage to the revenue leader of the industry. Cadenceâ€™s behavior in this case shows that our industry is not immune from the decline in ethical values in business. How can Cadence justify taking advantage of the marketing pull of DAC in bringing to San Francisco a significant number of attendees and not repay DAC for the trouble?
I am trying very hard to find a logical and constructive reason for Cadenceâ€™s behavior, but I cannot. Anyone at Cadence is more than welcome to enlighten me. To find new sales leads one must go where it has not been before: a private event is not such a place. In an industry where integration of tools from other vendors is a necessity, and where leading edge designers and managers find themselves forced to work in teams with other companies just to get the product out on time, on budget, and with reasonable yield figures, setting oneself aside sends the wrong message. Cadence should be proud of its marketing and sales force that has propelled the company to the number one place in revenue, but it should mingle with the troops, not built itself a private country club just to show off its good fortune. If they truly believe in Open Access they should show their Tech on the DAC floor proudly and without fear. Hiding away as if they had the industry jewels and where afraid of thieves is not the correct behavior from a company that knows it cannot be beat. Cadence did have the courage to bring outside executive management to an industry that may be too inbred. And newcomers need to make a few mistakes as they search for innovative approaches to the business. OK, you just stepped in it: this is your opportunity to improve.
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