Does PLM industry have “Fathers and Sons” Problem?

Does PLM industry have “Fathers and Sons” Problem?


It has been Halloween night yesterday. This is a time to bring something spooky and scary to my blog. What’s about Fathers and Sons problem? You think I ate too many candies yesterday night? Not really…  But here is the thing. My attention was caught by repeating meme “Not your father’s CAD or PLM” that came from vendors and publishers recently.

You can see “Not your fathers…” meme related to the domain of CAD and PLM. I captured few examples from Autodesk,  PTC, and DE.






It made me think about Nihilism. Well… this is probably not obvious comparison to some of my readers. In my mind it roots back into Russian literature and Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons.

Famous Russian novel Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev is a symbol that refers to the growing divide between the two generation of Russians. Main character, Yevgeny Bazarov, a nihilist who rejects the old order.

Turgenev wrote Fathers and Sons as a response to the growing cultural schism that he saw between liberals of the 1830s/1840s and the growing nihilist movement. Both the nihilists (the “sons”) and the 1830s liberals sought Western-based social change in Russia. Additionally, these two modes of thought were contrasted with the Slavophiles, who believed that Russia’s path lay in its traditional spirituality.

Ask me how is that connected to CAD and PLM? Here is the thing. CAD and PLM companies are aging. Most of them were founded 25-35 years ago, software and people are passing through the lifecycle of changes and transformations. Existing rules and established norms that worked for the last two decades are going to be rejected by a new generation of CAD and PLM systems.

What is conclusion? Not your father’s meme is of course journalist joke that supposed to bring readers to the article. However, as every joke it has an element of serious message. CAD and PLM industry seen little change for the last decades. Aging products and vendors shows no paradigm change. It sounds and looks like engineers and companies are looking for a change. And sometimes, it starts from an article meme. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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