Posts Tagged ‘web 2.0’

Leverage Can Be Your Friend

Monday, September 29th, 2008

During these last few weeks of the subprime mortgage crisis in the US, many of us have become all too familiar with the term “leverage” as it applies to those entities that used to be called investment banks.  That kind of leverage is very powerful and is also very dangerous, as we all found out.

There is a 2nd type of leverage that we engineers learned about in basic physics. As Archimedes once said, “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.”

But there is 3rd type of leverage that is “the power or ability to act or to influence people, events, decisions, etc.” Some people call it ROI. I’d like to share with you three examples that recently came to my attention whereby one small EDA company in our industry is using the principles of leverage to try to “move the world”.

Productive EDA

I came across these guys through my Google Reader when the President, Jeremy Ralph, posted the following new product announcement to the OVM World blogs.  Jeremy cleverly used the power of OVM World to reach hundreds (thousands?) of potential customers.  And what did he invest? Only the time it took to write the blog post and put it up.

That’s leverage!

But wait, there’s more.  Jeremy caught my interest when he called the SpectaReg product a Web2.0 application, so I clicked to view the press release and was pleasantly surprised to see that their “products are available online, at lower cost, as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)”. Well, I had been fooled just last week into thinking that Cadence was completely entering the SaaS market, so I wanted to make sure. After all, as President George W. Bush once cautioned, “fool me once, shame on…shame on you…you fool me, you can’t get fooled again.” So I spoke to “President Ralph” on the phone, and indeed, this truly is a Web-based Software-as-a-Service, pay-per-use offering. Using the power of the internet and SaaS, his company is able to deploy its software to virtually any customer of any size anywhere, all from their office in Vancouver, BC.

That’s leverage!

But wait, there’s still more. I pointed Jeremy to xuropa.com, a recently launched online electronic design community and tradeshow platform, that I covered back in June and again three weeks ago. To his credit, Jeremy was already aware of Xuropa. I’m not sure where that will go, but his small EDA company would be able to reach even more potential customers worldwide and provide product training and evaluations through their online labs.

That’s leverage!

Leverage can be your friend. These new media business-to-business (B2B) strategies can enable smaller EDA companies like Productive EDA, which is exactly the type of company that I was considering when I wrote on my blog three weeks ago:

The pieces are coming together for a revolution in EDA. Like most revolutions, it is starting small, hardly noticed by the big guys on the block. In the next 5 years, it will change our industry forever by leveling the playing field, allowing smaller EDA companies to compete with larger ones, giving customers greater flexibility on how and when they access tools and which vendor’s tools they use.

Indeed, leverage can be your friend.

harry the ASIC guy

Xuropa Unveiled

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Towards the end of my last post I mentioned a new company called Xuropa that is offering a Web 2.0 style Online Tradeshow Platform. As it turns out, Lou Covey covered them in his State of the Media blog today and also interviewed Xuropa founder James Colgan. Check it out.

FYI … You should also be able to meet James Colgan at the Bloggers Birds-of-a-Feather session at DAC.

What the heck am I getting myself into???

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

As a veteran ASIC designer … EDA applications engineer … consultant … project manager … biz dev manager … I’ve played a variety of key roles in the development of dozens of complex ASICs and SoCs. I’ve seen the industry from many perspectives … technical, managerial, financial … and I’ve seen what it takes to be successful and how little it takes to fail.

But, what fascinates me the most is the people. It’s the reason I left a desk job doing hands-on design at TRW to become an applications engineer at Synopsys working with people. And with the advent of new internet technologies (Open Source, Web2.0 …) the people are becoming even more important as they find new ways to work together and support each other. And turn the industry on it’s head.

Still, I don’t hear much about the people aspects of ASIC design from EDA vendors or trade publications … it doesn’t sell tools or subscriptions. And I don’t read much from the other industry blogs, many of them excellent for sure, as they focus more narrowly on rapidly evolving EDA technologies like verification.

For this reason, I started theASICguy.com … to share my insights into the people aspects of ASIC engineering for those who, like me, feel they are under-valued. I hope you find these insights to be thought-provoking and of practical value and I welcome your insights and comments. After all, several thousand heads are better than one :-)

harry the ASIC guy