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Pursuing a Vision

By Ron Fritz • 
April 4th, 2022

Let's talk about what makes a good vision, why it's essential, and what our vision is here at Tech Soft 3D.

A company's vision, when done well, serves as a north star - providing a powerful directional guide for all levels of the organization. With a steady eye trained on a clearly articulated vision, management is better able to make consistent decisions. The 'why' behind strategic choices is clear to every team member.

The analogy of teams' rowing in unison is often overemphasized. It makes for a nice visual on a poster, but companies are more like a fleet of boats on a long voyage engaged in regular skirmishes with the competition. The changing competitive landscape, technology trends, new competition, and other forces are like the sea - sometimes calm and sometimes stormy. Yet, with a clear vision, these boats, even when unable to communicate in real-time, are clear on where they should be headed and continue to make progress in the same direction.

Externally, a well-articulated vision helps attract potential customers who resonate with that vision and want to be 'on board' with what you're trying to achieve. This is an added benefit, but it pales in comparison to the importance of being that 'north star' for the organization.

So, what makes a (good) vision statement so powerful?

Put simply, a good vision statement paints a clear and compelling picture of a company's future – one which we're uniquely inspired to make come true.

When I read vision statements of other companies, I'm drawn to those that are not about the company itself. I find it much more compelling if the vision is focused on the impact they want to make on society at large. And it can't just be some financial target. That's not inspiring (except perhaps to bankers). It must be for something lofty enough to be worth pursuing.

Ultimately, that vision should be bold and idealistic – even to the point of being something others might laugh at for being unrealistic to achieve fully. However, the secret of visions is that it's not important if they are fully achieved. No, the important element is not the ultimate achievement of the vision, but rather the clarity it provides when an organization asks, 'what are we striving toward'?

Some might find it counter-intuitive to set a vision and then accept that it may never be achieved, but a vision is not the same as a goal. With a vision, even if it is never fully achieved, the simple act of getting closer will still make a clear, significant, and lasting impact.

Now that you know my view on vision statements, let me tell you about our vision here at Tech Soft 3D.

Our vision, like any good mission, fits like a puzzle piece alongside our mission statement, so I'll start from there.


Here at Tech Soft 3D, our mission is to Fuel Innovation. That mission is what drives us. It's why we do what we do, what gets us out of bed in the morning, and what feels so rewarding to us about what we do.

We understand that our primary driver is to put powerful tools in the hands of software developers so that they can build a wide range of innovative applications. We take on much of the underlying hard work about building 3D applications so that the developers we partner with can focus their time, resources, energy, and brain cycles on innovation. Today, we serve more than 700 software companies that rely on our tools to help them build more than 1,000 unique and innovative applications. We're helping Fuel their Innovation.

But the fueling of innovation doesn't stop there. Those 1,000 unique applications are used every day by literally millions of engineers, architects, designers, and others doing innovative things in the world. They're doing things like designing more energy-efficient cars & planes, creating custom prosthetics, ensuring buildings can be built and maintained sustainably, inventing new and more efficient ways to make, use and dispose of all the built things we see in our world.

Every day, millions of people are using applications powered by Tech Soft 3D technology. So, in that sense, we're at the base of an inverse pyramid of innovation – playing a fundamental (even if largely hidden) role in all of that innovation.


Our vision flows from that mission because we know that making our vision come true (or even mostly true) will help us to Fuel even more Innovation in the world.

Our vision is to create a completely intuitive and frictionless world for developers to create impactful engineering software.

That's something we're uniquely qualified to do, given our position in the market as a provider of core technologies to developers of engineering software. This is how we can best serve our mission of Fueling Innovation.

We only just put this statement down on paper last year, but it has animated virtually every strategic decision we have made over our 25+ year history.

From the outset, we set out to make intuitive APIs (and sometimes we succeeded)! We began work on integrations between our components and other popular components like Parasolid to remove developers' need to make that connection themselves. We started writing 'operators' for common functions like rotate, pan, select, insert cutting plane, etc. – over time, morphing our lower-level graphics engine into a higher-level framework for developing commercial-grade engineering software.

We also expanded our portfolio of components to solve more of the challenges developers face when creating 3D applications, such as CAD data import/export, 3D data publishing, model clean-up & simplification, meshing, solving, CAE data mapping, web visualization, etc. We were also integrating technologies so they could be more easily used together.

All of that was driven by this desire to make it intuitive and frictionless for developers to create impactful applications.

We've invested heavily in creating a 'self-service' experience with our tools to remove friction from the evaluation process in recent years. This means strong documentation and more extensive sample code, tutorials, etc. We've also tried to simplify the process of accessing, evaluating, and licensing – all to reduce or remove friction from the process.

This concept of increasing the intuitiveness of our tools led to the recent creation of a role for Director of Developer Experience to make sure that the 'customers voice' is part of our product planning and SCRUM meetings as we consider usability.

In addition, we've launched a series of online training sessions, created an Innovation Lab to showcase new ideas, established a community initiative to help developers learn from and assist one another, and announced an Integration Partner Program so that complementary SDKs can be pre-integrated with our HOOPS platforms to ease the development burden on our customers further.

We don't list all of those to say that our vision has been fully realized. We know there is still much work to be done, but it illustrates how a vision can help share priorities and spur initiatives geared toward achieving that vision.

Looking forward, the clarity of our vision will keep us relentlessly pursuing making it easier for developers to create impactful software with our tools. To a large extent, that means more of what we have already been doing; more online training, more sample code, more tutorials, more focus on 'usability' when our APIs are being designed, more engagement with our partners through the community, more integrations with complementary components.

In addition, we will continue our focus on product stability so that developers can spend more time innovating and less time tracking down issues. We will continue to work on our internal systems to shorten release cycles to get our latest builds into the hands of developers as quickly as possible. We will also continue to search for other components to build or acquire to expand our portfolio so that we can solve even more of the challenges developers face as they seek to build impactful, commercial-grade engineering software.

Tomorrow, the day after that, and the day after that, it will become increasingly intuitive and frictionless for developers to create impactful engineering software as we get closer to achieving our vision and serving our mission to Fuel Innovation.

Does this resonate with you? From your experience, how could we improve? Let me know what you think. Leave a comment.

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