Users come to Autodesk University to sharpen their skills, learn from instructors and each other. Many are already power users, having used Autodesk software for decades. In a time when few users get to go anywhere, much less Las Vegas, those that have attended multiple AU wear their badges proudly, many decorated with ribbons attesting to their skills and associations. This year, it cost $2,175 for the full conference pass. They are used to some gratitude from Autodesk for their attendance and years in service.
At AU2017, things were going to be different. There was a new sheriff in town. Andrew Anagnost had risen to the top, replacing the avuncular Carl Bass. Andrew was the architect of Autodesk’s total switch to term licensing. Many of those in the audience have paid up front for their software and expect to not keep paying. They were about to feel less welcome.
“Someone who is not paying us is not a customer,” said Andrew.
Not a happy customer. Autodesk critic, Steve Johnson, reacts to Autodesk CEO definition of customer as one who keeps paying.
For many, it was like children who learn they are adopted. Do Mommy and Daddy still love them? If they weren’t customers, what were they? Bastards?
On Twitter, Autodesk critic Steve Johnson (also in attendance) felt the burn. Having spent thousands of dollars on Autodesk software, was it only the newborn of noble blood who remained in Autodesk’s good graces?