Ch-Ch-Changes

Job Changes
A lot of ch-ch-changes happening in my life right now. I’ve been in talks with MSC Software to join its exciting rebirth. This wasn’t an easy decision. If you read my blog, you’ll know that I’m totally passionate about and focused on whatever product I choose to support. I talk about this stuff way too much… ask my wife.

Yesterday was my last day at SpaceClaim.  It was the bittersweet end to 2 years and 2 months of working in the trenches of an unknown product in an unknown category of engineering software.

The term “History-Free” or “Direct Modeling” was completely foreign to 90% of the people I spoke with in 2008. And, forget about “3D Concept Modeling” or “Bid Modeling.” CAD was CAD and that’s all anyone knew. Today, most people are aware. And the industry is rapidly changing for the better.

My previous posting with CFdesign was the same in this respect. Back in 1999, everyone looked at me like I was nuts when I suggested that BSME Engineers could (and often should) perform CFD simulations. Now, Upfront CFD is a rich category with real competition. (PS: It’s not a real category until there is valid competition.)

Today, I’m satisfied that a new era of engineering productivity and creativity is upon us. Given the hyper-speed of market forces, and the trend towards mass customization- companies need to innovate more quickly than ever before. Traditional CAD (limited to the hands of a minority of drafting experts) ain’t the right vehicle for that.

Health Changes
I’ve struggled with weight and fitness for many years. I finally got serious about changing my habits on December 26, 2010. Through a simple program laid out in The Four Hour Body, I have already dropped 10 pounds and am feeling great. I believe the tide has turned. Proper diet and regular exercise are now a priority in my life.

Time Management Changes
Read this article on my new GTD system. ‘Nuff said.

Connectivity Changes
My Twitter experiment is over. I deleted my Twitter account today. While I now understand the value people find in Twitter, I just don’t see enough practical value for me. In fact, it can be dangerous. And, it can eat up a lot of time with a low ROI.

Don’t come at me with reasons to stay on Twitter. I’m not saying it is worthless. I’m just saying it fits squarely in my “Professional Wrestling” category. Millions of people love it. And, I don’t hold that against them. It just ain’t for me.

If you want to communicate with me. The best options are:

401-405-1196 (mobile phone)

jeff AT jeffwaters DOT com

Or, if you know my address, send a letter or knock on my door.

Blogging Changes
I expect this one isn’t going to be well received by many of you.

When I started blogging in September 2007, I had no real plan or reason. I just knew I had amassed a lot of expertise around helping companies to effectively implement CAE strategies… and this whole “social media” thing was all over the news. So, I jumped in.

Unlike my experience with Twitter, blogging most definitely IS for me. I’ve enjoyed an amazing collection of conversations and new relationships with people who found me strictly through this blog. I routinely have people contact me to ask if I’d let them bounce their CAE situation off me for advice. I’ve even had a few companies pull together some decision makers to conference call me about products and categories I don’t even represent!

These are the rewarding experiences that have kept me excited and writing here. I want to encourage you to contact me anytime with these requests. My door is open. And each experience helps me as much as it does the askee.

With that, I’m announcing my blogbatical. While I do fully intend to continue writing in the future, I am imposing a 3 month (minimum) break. MSC Software will be taking me into some great new CAE territory. The company has a wide selection of products for different needs and applications. I need to focus on learning as much as I can about these offerings and industry challenges as quickly as possible.

Fire hose inserted, ready to drink.

On the upside: when I do return to blogging, I’ll be coming with a brand new collection of fresh insights and observations. The easiest ways to get notified of my return:

  1. Subscribe to my blog feed with an RSS reader
  2. Subscribe to my blog through email notification

Thanks for being such a great audience!

Sincerely,

Jeff

17 comments

  1. Good luck Jeff, with the new job and the other changes. I am going through a similar “reinvention” now, and know what you mean about dedicating your attention to the new challenges as they come. Keep in touch.

    1. Thanks, James. Focus is key! I know you’ll succeed no matter what you set your mind to. Glad to have had the chance to work with you.

  2. Dave Borzillo · ·

    Looking forward to read many more wonderful insights later this year. All the best to you and your new opportunity.

    1. Ok, now I’m blushing. Thanks Dave!

  3. Joe Galliera · ·

    Wow, Jeff big changes! Best of luck with them. I understand you’ll be very busy for the next few months, so I’ll keep an eye on your blog to see when you start writing again, and maybe then we can meet up as earlier planned.

    1. Thanks Joe, absolutely! Let me know when you’ll be in town. Of course, if you find yourself in RI, that would be much easier for me. Shoot me an email when you get a chance and we’ll set it up.

  4. Jon Banquer · ·

    I did not realize you had left SpaceClaim. I’ve been very vocal on Twitter saying that SpaceClaim has gone through far too many people. FWIW, from an outsiders point of view, it does appear that SpaceClaim is doing better and finally focusing more on the tools that manufacturing people really need. Hope I’m not wrong about this and that the tools I’ve been so vocal about wanting appear in SpaceClaim soon. I’d also like to see development increased on SpaceClaim. Perhaps I’m impatient but I think development on SpaceClaim is still to slow.

    Jon Banquer
    San Diego, CA

    1. Thanks Jon. I know that the folks at SpaceClaim are aware of your suggestions. They are juggling a lot of priorities, but I would say to hold on awhile longer… I think you’ll see some of those come to fruition.

  5. Jon Banquer · ·

    With wins like Tyco Electronics and TRUMPF and a U.S. manufacturing economy that’s clearly turning around I don’t get why development isn’t being accelerated on SpaceClaim. My position remains that some of the stuff I’ve requested should have been in the first release of SpaceClaim and I continue to be disappointed with the employee turn over at SpaceClaim. Of course if they replace you with a CNC machinist / CAM guy who has recent experience and who gets a CAM company with a decent product to port to SpaceClaim then I might feel differently. ;>)

    I would like to see something better than Twitter appear or at least their text limit for typing tweets quadrupled. I’d also like to see more machinists active on Twitter. Have you considered abusing Twitter like I do instead of just permanently throwing in the towel? ;>)

    Jon Banquer
    San Diego, CA

    1. No, I had not considered abusing Twitter like you do. 🙂

    2. Anonymous · ·

      @Jon – sites like Posterous and Tumblr may be what you’re looking for: medium-form blogging that’s between a microblog like Twitter, and often (though no real restriction is in place) shorter than full-on blog platforms, like WordPress.

  6. Hey Jeff, good luck with the new gig.

    Surely it’s time to start your own consultancy? How much more experience at top flight companies do you need? 🙂

    Will miss your productivity links/tips on twitter 😦

    All the best

    1. Rich, you’re not the first person to suggest that. Who knows, maybe one day! Really appreciate the good words.

      BTW: Though I’m not personally using Twitter, I would love it if people who do continue to tweet my articles.

      As for productivity links– here are 2 that have my eye right now:
      http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2363572,00.asp
      http://www.crunchgear.com/2010/02/10/fujitsu-scansnap-s1300-hits-the-streets-an-impressively-powerful-portable-scanner/

      Both of these also integrate directly with Evernote. Super small, and scan both sides of a document simultaneously. I see myself finally going full paperless for bills and such.

  7. All the best, man. Inspired by the health kick, need to get back at it myself. Always interested to hear your side on things, so I am very anxious for the blogbatical to end and truly get an insider’s voice on MSC. Always seemed like descent technology that needed a kick in the seat.

    1. Thanks bud. Yup, I’m convinced there has been some seat kicking recently.

  8. Best of luck with the new gig. I’ll be interested to see new things from MSC. Glad to see another GTDer in the CAE biz. See you again on the internets in a couple months.

    1. Thanks John! Meantime, you can bet I’ll be looking forward to more Horse Bits:
      http://horsebits-jrc.blogspot.com/