So today I read that Karsten Newbury has left Siemens.
Well first off I want to say that there are two people who I hold most responsible for the brief renaissance of SE and a period of time for hope for bigger and better things. Now Dan Staples is high on my list too but for technical reasons and not as a spark plug for serious growth in numbers and community for Solid Edge. Dan is perhaps more than anyone else the reason Don and Karsten had something truly great to sell to the world. But with Don and Karsten was hope for better things personified and moving forward in tangible ways that could be seen and touched.
I remember getting a call from Don about five years ago when I was expressing frustration in public with Siemens who seemed dead set on hiding SE under a rock and keeping it there. He told me he had a guy who was going to call me that I would find of interest. Karsten called shortly after and told me what his plans and goals were and we basically wanted the same thing. SE to take its place as its capabilities deserved as the company that would overtake SW. This began a five-year journey where at times it was kind of surreal. I mean just how in the world a single man shop ends up helping to influence the outcome of the software he uses is still something that surprises me. I guess I was a pretty good litmus test for how users felt about things and so off we went.
I can say as a guy that had a peek way behind the scenes of SE that neither Don or Karsten ever said they would do something and then not do it. They had a vision and goals and were steadfast to both SE and it’s customers as tireless advocates for the product and it’s users. They were serious about SE and us.
While I have fallen out of the “inner circle” so to speak of SE and Siemens and don’t have much contact with anyone there any more I do wish to say this. I have nothing but admiration for Dan and Karsten both as corporate figures and personally. They both had correct visions of how things should be and could be and eminently qualified plans on how to get there. Over the last year and a half though it became clear to me that they were being hampered in their efforts by Siemens.
I knew these guys and their goals and it was clear people above and around them did not share the same vision. Primarily North American UGS guys who had convinced Siemens that SE was a threat to NX. I think they were becoming quite alarmed at how good SE was becoming and the true potential that SE under Don and Karsten represented in possible sales. I consider Siemens to be quite anal and navel gazers to boot who sadly are stupid enough to believe these UGS guys, some of who have had a real hatred of SE that surpasses mere protection of NX sales. They have deliberately starved SE of funds and permission to market themselves adequately and the really sad thing is that this was with the very money SE had earned for itself. It is so pathetic that the public face of SE through the website had an $80,000.00 a YEAR budget and thought control police who hated SE making sure nothing right or wonderful could ever happen there. Matt Lombard with a following that was staggering at one time was brought in by Don and Karsten as part of a master plan to eat up SW. Right off the bat Matt was shoved of to the side and deliberately throttled and his value to SE killed.
So in my opinion to protect a few lousy seats of their precious NX they sacrifice tens of thousands of SW conversions and increased overall profit for Siemens. And sadly really talented guys like Don and Karsten who are not going to work for people like this forever. Can you imagine being in charge of something as wonderful as SE and then have board room politics by simple-minded venal corporate turf protecting back stabbers shooting you down? Would you stay under those conditions? So the Siemens quality filter works and good people leave and the bad ones stay and now the whole future of SE looks bleak. Yeah, SE is not going away but until there is a shakeup of upper level management SE is doomed. It going to become like one of those little orange and black spotted Salamanders. They are around but you have to turn over rocks to find them. We have now gone full circle and the bad guys have run off the good guys and SE will once again take its rightful place as the best software you won’t hear about. It is clear to me the Siemens/UGS people who hold SE in contempt have won and will win for some time to come.
I would say that it is Don and Karstens gain and Siemens loss but that presumes Siemens even has the corporate mental capabilities to understand that losing a right hand is not a good thing. They can have a bunch of meetings and talk about all this while they try to figure out if losing body parts is good or bad. I guess the old adage about body parts and who really runs things at Siemens is true. The brain says it is in charge of things and other body parts chime in with why they are the most important. But the winning body part of this debate is the North American UGS a– hole that says if I close myself off none of the rest of you are going to work.
Guys, best of luck in your new jobs and I sincerely hope you both prosper at whatever you do. Your abilities and dedication deserve to be rewarded by someone who judges on merits and not short-sighted little boardroom weasels with axes to grind.
An additional comment.
Sometimes the sublime humor in life comes from strange places. Perhaps there is also more than a little bit of truth to saying like what goes around comes around. Just for the heck of it this evening I went to read the spam posts that accumulate with the filter WordPress provides. The post most frequently generating spam mail is, are you ready for this, “The Destructive Siemens Corporate Mindset”. Uhh well lets see. Brilliant minds think alike, birds of a feather flock together. Just some amusing thoughts going through my mind right now. Feel free to post any witticisms you might have in regards to this to dear readers.