Could it be? Revit for free!
We all know that Revit is most certainly not free nor will it probably ever be. This article has risen up over the past few weeks and because of dozens of discussions about the cost of Revit and the negative impact on a small firm or individual that is trying to “keep up with the times”. The cost in some cases is simply outrageous and cannot be completely justified by a small firm. These arguments of course lead me to think about a free version of Revit or how could Autodesk make Revit free. This of course would be a very joyous occasion for us all, right? In a perfect world this would be amazing news, but at what cost to our overall Revit experience? Lets look at a few areas that I believe Autodesk could borrow some notes from its up and coming villain in the modeling world Google Sketchup. Yes, Google! For some I just lost you because the thought of “taking notes” a semi-competitor is just as outrageous as the cost of Revit, but hang in there it gets better! I am specifically taking about the use of “ads” something that Google is very familiar and good at. I am not taking about ads in their current super obtrusive; get out of my face, annoying way. I mean a new generation of ads; ads that are seamlessly integrated into a program to the point that they become invisible and actually begin to add to the overall experience. For me, product placement within Revit could be a great way for Autodesk to lower the price of the software dramatically. Autodesk already has all of the key elements inside of Revit to make this a viable and realistic option.
One way for these product placement ads to work are within families or components. Instead of leaving Revit to go to Autodesk Seek or RevitCity the user could browse through an interactive panel with 100’s, 1000’s, or millions of components without ever leaving the Revit interface. The user would have the ability to sort and search for the needed components, select them, and then boom, it populates in the model. I see this even going a step farther. What if at the end of the project you could actually order all of the components that were populated in the model from Revit directly? Cool, huh? No more placing generic items in your plans, then have an Interior Designer pick furniture that looks nothing like the Architectural Plans causing mass confusion, then ultimately still have to call or place orders with all of those manufactures one at a time. It would be a “One-Stop-Shop”!
For those that are still wondering how this could result in a “cheap” or free version of Revit its simple! It basically pulls knowledge from the likes of Google and Amazon Affiliates by allowing a new purchaser of Revit the ability to earn a percentage back from what they (and the client) buy from the suppliers in this newly integrated system I mentioned within Revit. The purchaser could basically subsidize the cost of Revit and potentially make money over time by integrating the components of manufactures that are integrated with Revit. What about the free version of Revit though? That’s even simpler and is played out all over the Internet. Instead of the purchaser making money every time a product is bought, Autodesk keeps all of the revenue from the items sold through this new system. The possibilities for product placement are endless in Revit, from materials and chairs to waterproofing membranes and paint selections.
The biggest hole I see in my “pitch” is Autodesks ability to sign contracts with all of these companies and suppliers so the experience in both positive for them and the Revit user. You don’t want only 50 companies inside of this new interface and ultimately everyone passes them up because it’s taking away from its true focus or use. Autodesk would also have the daunting task of proving to these new businesses that this new system will actually increase their business and is will worth their investments.
Part 1 of ??? I could keep discussing these ideas in detail and more than likely will over the next month if everyone is interested.
Here’s to a somewhat half-baked attempt at making dreams a reality but providing everyone with the joy of Revit! There is of course good and bad in this business model and I am curious about what your think.
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