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Onshape for Entrepreneurs

tl;dr: Basically another request for a lower cost subscription model, but to fulfill a niche

Some backstory:  I worked at a startup, where one of my jobs was to design a plastic housing that would fit various sensors / electronics in it.  Solidworks has a program called "Solidworks for Entrepreneurs" so we thought lets give it a try.  Terrible experience, you essentially throw out 200 dollars for no guarantee that you'll even get a license (which yes, it does say this on the website, but that's still asinine w/ no refund).  Licensing is limited, and if I use my license on laptop and desktop, I knock out 2/3 of their licenses.  On top of that, we waited months to hear anything about it. Also, if you call Solidworks directly, 90% of inside sales has no clue about the program, and no clue who to direct you to (their operator does though).  Turns out it's run by one guy, who happened to be on an extended vacation.  So bad timing, bad implementation, and bad communication made this an overall terrible experience.

The Solution:  Offer a lower cost product to entrepreneurial ventures.  Maybe give them a year or two at the reduced price, then raise the price as they (hopefully) succeed.  It's the drug dealers model: Get them the good stuff for cheap, then raise the price after they're addicted (note: probably don't brand it that way).

The Potential Partners:  I spent a lot of time in coworking, incubator spaces, and accelerators during the last year. I see a huge advantage to using Onshape in this sort of environment. The Solidworks link above has a section for incubators / accelerators, but I think a company like Onshape could do way better than dassault by partnering w/ entrepreneurs and incubators to offer their tenants / "incubees" a reduced rate.

Comments

  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,327 PRO
    Well put.

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 476 ✭✭✭
    An Entrepreneur Plan would work for me as well.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,387 PRO
    I suppose this same 'program' could serve small companies moving from single user to company wide accounts. If I could 'try it out' cheaper for couple of years having few more accounts and use the management tools etc. there is a chance that it would pay back even with normal price. But at the moment I'm happy to pay for single pro account but having another doubles the price and they would be completely separate accounts without any centralized settings and documents.

    I think they should give 1 additional account for boss with any company account purchases. This way also the person who makes the decisions would have access to cad and that might lead to more accounts for employees in small company environments. And all accounts under company should be able to use company settings and labels etc..
    //rami
  • sean_blanchardsean_blanchard Member Posts: 31 ✭✭
    @brandon_zschokke great idea. As a new entrepreneur, I would truly benefit from a discount. It's said to say, but some competing MCAD solutions, are implementing a similar strategy. And it's safe to say, it works.
  • Markku_LMarkku_L Member Posts: 30 PRO
    Also, I would give a free license for everyone who develops stuff with featurescript/API and share their stuff for everyone 
    br
    Markku
    www.sloworks.fi
    www.stepcraft.fi
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,387 PRO
    Markku_L said:
    Also, I would give a free license for everyone who develops stuff with featurescript/API and share their stuff for everyone 
    At least sort of Edu / Nonprofit license, which would have Pro functionality but not allowed to use for contract modeling. It would be difficult to manage who is actively developing FS/API stuff and where to draw line between active and sleeper though..
    //rami
  • Markku_LMarkku_L Member Posts: 30 PRO
    3dcad said:
    Markku_L said:
    Also, I would give a free license for everyone who develops stuff with featurescript/API and share their stuff for everyone 
    At least sort of Edu / Nonprofit license, which would have Pro functionality but not allowed to use for contract modeling. It would be difficult to manage who is actively developing FS/API stuff and where to draw line between active and sleeper though..
    SW has that (full premium license for developing only) kind of system for partners who develop something SW related (software, hardware etc.). On the other hand it's really nice, but for me for example, it doesn't give anything...I have already SW Pro and my products are not related to Premium, so I don't really need the development license...It's like getting nothing, for me. Except the Partner status for my products that happen to be free nowadays :-)

    I think it would be easier to check who's active and who's not than checking who's doing contract work with illegal license. 
    br
    Markku
    www.sloworks.fi
    www.stepcraft.fi
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 142 PRO
    3dcad said:


    I think they should give 1 additional account for boss with any company account purchases. This way also the person who makes the decisions would have access to cad and that might lead to more accounts for employees in small company environments. And all accounts under company should be able to use company settings and labels etc..
    I like this idea. It seems similar to the "light" users available with an enterprise system. In our case, we have two engineers designing. So, its a little ridiculous to increase our subscription cost 50% to get upper management or QA approvals in our Release Management workflow. We'd be doubling our cost if we had both. So, we have a separate change approval documentation process outside of Onshape and just reference those documents we we approve a release in Onshape.
  • brandon_zschokkebrandon_zschokke Member Posts: 3
    Looks like it finally happened!

    https://www.onshape.com/programs/entrepreneur
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 2,327 PRO
    By the way of customer feedback there is no way in a million years we'd pay a full CAD license fee just for a manager to be able to sign off drawings.
    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 857 ✭✭✭✭
    It's the drug dealers model: Get them the good stuff for cheap, then raise the price after they're addicted (note: probably don't brand it that way).
    :lol:
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 304 ✭✭✭
    Serious question. Why should a “start up” get free software when an established company doesn’t? Developing products is a risk for everyone and not confined to start ups. 
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 476 ✭✭✭
    Serious question. Why should a “start up” get free software when an established company doesn’t? Developing products is a risk for everyone and not confined to start ups. 
    To my mind, the start up shouldn't expect free software.  It might make sense for Onshape, though, if it stimulated future sales as those startups mature.

    Or maybe turn the question around - why should the startup pay full boat for Onshape when products like F360 are available for free or at a lower price?  There's an opening for the marketing folks <g>.

    I'll also make my periodic suggestion that Onshape have some sort of hobbyist tier pricing.  I'm semi-retired and do a bit of outside engineering design for pay but my annual CAD-related sales would pay for only a fraction of the annual Onshape subscription price so I continue to do that paying CAD work in my old CAD program Alibre.  I much prefer Onshape's approach though and use that for most of my hobby work.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,387 PRO
    @kevin_quigley
    As 2nd gen entrepreneur in company established in 1972 I really don't understand why start ups should receive any additional support with lower terms than existing company. I don't even understand the word 'start up' - it's what used to be called as a 'new company' right?

    I would understand a lot better to ease up fund raising and other licenses (like cad package for example) for ANY company who does something new. Or work in fields like curing cancer or so..
    //rami
  • shaun_singhshaun_singh OS Professional Posts: 11 PRO
    Serious question. Why should a “start up” get free software when an established company doesn’t? Developing products is a risk for everyone and not confined to start ups. 
    You are right that it shouldn't be free, but the starting phase of a new business is by far the riskiest phase.

    I think a subsidised option, which is limited in its timescale, is a good thing for the start up businesses but also for us. The more people using Onshape, the better it will become.
  • dapugdapug Member Posts: 6
    edited August 6
    I agree with helping startups AND small business.  It's not about how young your company is, rather, how small.

    OnShape is losing a HUGE market of hobby level folks. They think the free plan is for them - wrong.  They are also losing a HUGE market of small business users. If I make custom beehives as a hobby or even a small biz, for example, I might sell a few in a year.  That's less than $10k revenue. And it doesn't justify $1500 subscription for the year AT ALL.

    OnShape desperately needs a sku that addresses revenue size of a company as the limiting factor.  Less than $100k/yr, offer a cheap plan.  Then jump up to your standard $1500 sku.  This issue was raised YEARS ago when OnShape first hit the streets, and they appear to not care about this opportunity.  Meanwhile, we are stuck using a competition Fusion360 that supports this type of revenue-based subscription plan. Lame. I tinkered with OnShape a while back, then was forced to quit and go back to competitors for this reason. Missed opportunity.  Carry on I guess.  Let me know when to return.
  • tim_hess427tim_hess427 Member Posts: 142 PRO
    @dapug - I've used both Onshape and Fusion360 thoroughly, and easily prefer Onshape. From the tone of your post, it seems like you would prefer Onshape too (if not for the price). While I would welcome a price decrease, I'd rather pay the premium for Onshape rather than be stuck with the alternative. At the end of the day, I think Onshape is pretty reasonably priced - it's just not a consumer or hobbyist product. Its a professional tool with a professional price tag. 

    As for startups and small businesses, I think we're all kidding ourselves if we think Onshape would give startups a discount just because they're nice. They would be discounting their product on the front end in hopes that the startup grows, sticks with Onshape, and continues to keep adding licenses as they do. 
  • larry_haweslarry_hawes Member Posts: 400 PRO
    I think there' a disconnect from what many smaller users think we want and what really makes sense for the business model within  Onshape's hallowed halls. That business model can't be known nor fully understood by the user base but is certainly driving the decisions to offer plans X, Y, Z, for $x, $y, $z. My guess is it just doesn't make business sense to offer lower priced alternatives even though there are many users who would come and stay on board - me being one of them.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,387 PRO
    dapug said:
    I agree with helping startups AND small business.  It's not about how young your company is, rather, how small.

    OnShape is losing a HUGE market of hobby level folks. They think the free plan is for them - wrong.  They are also losing a HUGE market of small business users. If I make custom beehives as a hobby or even a small biz, for example, I might sell a few in a year.  That's less than $10k revenue. And it doesn't justify $1500 subscription for the year AT ALL.
    So if a hobbyist or small business have some transportation to do every now and then they should get full blown truck with all the bells and whistles for the price of used van? 

    Professional tools have professional price - I think that's fair. But as software doesn't have 'material cost' and giving out 2nd 'boss license' for any company wouldn't cause too much usage costs either that would make Onshape good friends with bosses. I think it would ease their way on selling more licenses..    
    //rami
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