I have been using Altium/Protel for 26 years (wow that feels scary). Good on Nick for taking a tiny Tasmanian company to the global stage, but boy have there been missteps along the way. The constant non-sensical renaming of the product. The continual crashes which have only really gotten better the last few years. The features that seem to have been created by the marketing department and the folly or FPGA, when they really should have been making bugs go away and core layout routing features better. Still, it is a great product but I glad I don’t work for them! Dave has an interesting rant here http://www.eevblog.com/2013/09/27/eevblog-527-altium-entry-level-pcb-tool-rant/
@Robin: ...the 2000 acquisition of San Diego based EDA company Accel...
That's a really good point -- I did wonder whether to mention the various acquisitions (like Altium buying Morfik, which was interesting because the founder of Morfik, now CEO of Altium, was one of the original guys in Protel).
My problem is that I can easily wander off into the weeds, so I tried to restrain myself to the main story.
@labnet: Good on Nick for taking a tiny Tasmanian company to the global stage, but boy have there been missteps along the way.
I met Nick several years ago at an ESC conference in Silicon Valley -- he's a real nice guy -- we wended up chatting for an hour or so abdout "stuff" -- it turns out we are both around trhe same age, and we both used to watch Dr Who from behind our respective sofa's when we were 6 years old LOL
Nick is no longer with Altium. The people at Altium's U.S. Location have known about the move for a few weeks now. Max is right that one of the reasons for the move is to continue developing business in the Defense and Government industry that is a growth sector for Altium, but continuuing to have Corporate Headquarters located in China would be problematic.
I know -- I was blown away when he was forced out (click here to see my blog at that time).
It must be terrible to be forced out of a company you founded -- but I also know that the folks who start up new companies and grow them often aren't the best when it comes to taking them to the next level (click here to read my evolving thoughts on this topic with special regard to Altium)
Of course, you are right @Max but such long distance relocations can be extremely disruptive so I hope it's worth it. I break out in a cold sweat just thinking about moving our lab to a different floor! ;-)
On the other hand, Altium has had plenty of practice!!
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