Right Hemipshere: still grasping at straws

Let me say right off the bat that I know that I really should get over it. I should stop being so competitive that I am willing to blast former business competitors for things that no longer matter to me (or the descendants of the original competition).

But I can’t help it. It’s just part of me. I still like to throw an occasional lighted one at Microsoft (I’m still brooding over the 1990’s battle between Notes and Exchange) or Autodesk (we got a blessed divorce in 2002).

Today, it’s Right Hemisphere’s turn. These are the guys who took government money from New Zealand, then took money from SAP, undoubtedly turning their cap table into a cross between the Auckland and Walldorf phone books, then called themselves a startup and hired a marketing team whose first apparent deliverable to the marketplace in 2007 was an 18-page glossy brochure. (Now, I know some people love brochures, but they are both expensive and passe. Ask RH how many of those are sitting in boxes collecting dust in the marketing group’s area at HQ.)

When I was with Seemage, we never really considered RH much of a competitor, what with their message being….well, what exactly was their message? Can’t seem to remember it. Think it had something to do with Adobe, then SAP, then servers all over the place. OTOH, at Seemage it was simple: we were about CAD reuse on the desktop without the heavy costs of PLM.

OK, so what’s the proximate cause of this screed? After all, Seemage is gone…and I’m no longer consulting for Dassault. In a word, it’s RH’s new “blog.” After a couple of years, it looks like RH finally wants to try to grasp the power of community….by copying the old Seemage formula of an in-your-face blog.

At Seemage we had 3dmojo.com. And for a while, it was all we had. But we poured our hearts out. And it was an incredibly effective way for a great product (and a pretty damn good company, IMHO) to get noticed. No fancy stuff…just a direct conversation with the 3D CAD community, who listened intently (and who still do).

We said what we meant and we weren’t afraid to say practically anything (a representative sample is here), as long as we passionately believed in it. A sales rep crashed a competitive trade show using an iPod to show what was then called Seemage (now 3DVIA Composer). It was such a success that we started a podcast that goes on today. Traffic built because we had something to say that was intelligible and cogent.

So, now imagine you are RH. You’ve got questions: your brochure is gathering dust…people come to the seminars at the Capital Grille for the steak, not the software…and little ole Seemage went on to greater glory inside DS. What was the magic about them? Ah ha! It had to be their blog. Gotta git me one of them! Voila: deep3d.com.

A more banal corporate blog I don’t think I’ve ever seen. They have nothing to say. Rehashes of trade shows from the vp of marketing. An SE kowtowing to Adobe Flex (big surprise there). The CEO reprising their SAP deals. (I’m beginning to feel the warm excitement of SAP as a new target…check out the stunt we pulled at SAPPHIRE.)

In short, the reason people who are imitated don’t usually feel flattered by the imitator is that, by definition, imitations lack inspiration. Go ahead, RH: paint a happy face on your toy blog. The only thing apt about it is that the name is somewhat onomatopoeic: this blog is going deep6d very quickly.






6 responses to “Right Hemipshere: still grasping at straws”

  1. […] often use my blog to diss marketing that’s stupid, misleading, dangerous or derivative.  This time it’s my pleasure to share marketing that’s on it…at the […]

  2. […] fact that we used community to start a discussion about those ideas simply blew competitors away. Right Hemisphere is still trying to figure out what happened to them, long after Seemage went onto greater glory in […]

  3. Todd Allen Avatar
    Todd Allen

    Your right, I am going to go re-read the Right Hemisphere and Seemage blogs…hang on. Yes, I see your point, and actually both Right Hemisphere AND Seemage’s blogs are lacking. They lost credibility with me the minute I noticed that they don’t have a picture of a little toy “phone-car” on their blog like you do. Do you have matching pajamas?

  4. Alex Neihaus Avatar
    Alex Neihaus

    Hi, Todd.

    Thanks for worrying about my employment status, which is just fine. (-:

    I didn’t set out to help you (or anyone else) evaluate RH vs. 3DVIA Composer. I don’t have a dog in that hunt.

    I am expressing my opinion — on my blog — about a company that is both derivative and drifting. You don’t have to read it…you don’t have to consider it.

    You want Right Hemisphere? Help yourself. No skin off my back. But there’s one thing you should consider: what I say about imitation is a valuable clue about what using their software might be like.

    All software is intangible (though I suspect you are trying to make it less so in your evaluation). How often do evaluators get an inside look at the competitive dynamics between alternatives? That’s a more reliable metric than feature checklists, IMHO.

    For the record, I am not “bitter and angry.” I just think their blog is terrible. And if they don’t like the feedback, then they don’t belong in the blogosphere.

    Good luck to you.

  5. Todd Allen Avatar
    Todd Allen

    I’m surprised that you couldn’t come up with a better commentary than this, especially being unemployed. I love the internet and all it offers, until I read something like this and realize: anyone with some time on their hands, a new dictionary and a chemical imbalance can write a blog.

    I am not a decision maker, just a grunt on an evaluation team that is looking at both Right Hemisphere and Seemage. Both have great stories and good products, but biased rants with no substance do not help me and the rest of our team evaluate software. You seem like a somewhat intelligent person, and can’t help but think you could come up with some concrete pros and cons for the public to digest.

    My summation of this article….boring, bitter and angry. You must be struggling on those unemployment checks…whoever you are.

  6. 3DMojo » Blog Archive » Technology Asset Yard Sale

    […] that is a sarcastic stretch… but for a really good rant on Right Hemisphere you should read this blog post by our former head of marketing). Regardless, it sounds to me like they are prepping to be bought […]

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