Yeaaaah... I'm going to go ahead and disagree.
Where's the HUB for Mechanical Engineering and Document Control? Anyone... anyone... Bueller? Wherever it is - it sure isn't BOSTON. The only way you could make this conference more expensive would be to conduct it directly in Manhattan.
Value for customers? Really? I found it fascinating that the Mythbusters basically hate each other. Joseph Gordon Levitt was so bad and so boring I actually stopped watching his movies. Stopped clocks are more thrilling. And what in the name of all that's HOLY did either of those presentations offer to customers?
For every young adult thrilled by IoT toys and AR gadgets, you'd find several veteran users ticked off at the lack of relevant content and the heavy-handed overwrought sales onslaught. In my opinion, PTC/User should bear a fair amount of the blame for this, too.
Who didn't see this coming? PTC takes over... useful event becomes a huge sales pitch. It's really no different than any other PTC project. How often has this been repeated: PTC buys a company, becomes fascinated with what they've bought for the next year or two, throws all their money and effort into promoting it, then loses interest and buys another new company to play with.
Supposedly there's new blood at PTC now, though... supposedly guys that "get it" that Creo and Windchill are still critically important. Well, if they "get it" and they're reading this, here are my unsolicited suggestions:
1. Quit firing all your longtime employees and PLM managers in favor of younger, dumber, less expensive sorts who know nothing of your products, their history, or the promises PTC made to customers in years past
2. Focus on what GOT you to the dance. Focus on your core products (Creo, Windchill in my opinion). Try as you might, Thingworx is not your core product. You might want it to be - but the product is barely ready to install in a production environment. And I mean b.a.r.e.l.y.
3. Quit focusing on hiring celebrities for your keynote speeches - make the keynotes about something. Occasionally you have a winner... but most are snooze-fests and useless celebrity worship.
4. Move the conference around the country. Focusing on Boston is horrendously unfair to the rest of the country. Not to mention, you're exposing yourself to a rather embarrassingly large Achilles' heel which, apparently, no one at PTC has ever figured out. (Don't look at me, I'm not giving it away!)
5. Focus on content... remove the focus from flashy sales presentations. I can only see an Augmented Reality demonstration one or two times before it's no longer cool and starts becoming an annoying distraction. Show me how you're going to streamline my workflow and processes to make my life easier. AR adds more stuff to the pipeline... it's not streamlining anything whatsoever.
6. Spend some money upgrading Creo and Windchill... fix the annoying bugs. Quit playing "catch up" with SolidWorks and NX and pass them already. Pour some of that IoT money into your other products. You're wasting a ton of money and what you have so far in ThingWorx is clearly not worth the investment.
7. Run the company like a tech company... where people, innovation, and intellectual property hold all the value. Quit running it like a sales company where all that matters is offering some new carrot to extract a few more bucks out of your customer's wallet.
Anyway... longer than I'd anticipated. In short... Boston again? Boo. Bad move. But that's typical PTC... lots and lots of bad moves justified by flawed logic and a myopic focus on the wrong aspects of your business. What else is new?
Thanks everyone for your feedback (and well wishes for me) on the Celebrity Speakers/keynotes - noted and already passed on to our content folks. I forward all feedback on the event to the appropriate individuals.
I'm always in a bit of an odd place with PTC. I absolutely must foster strong relationships with PTC representatives, application engineers, support personnel, and training resources. My job depends on them. Yet, after dealing with the company for nearly 30 years, I believe I have earned the right to call them out when they're doing the wrong thing.
In my opinion, they're doing the wrong thing with Liveworx. I hope this year's event takes some of the Community feedback into account.
Awesome response! Having only went to one of these (WAY back in...2005 maybe?), I was eager to ask my new boss about letting me go to this one. Especially since I have grew up in Burlington (right near Boston) and family in CT I haven't seen in many years. Knowing and respecting Brian as much as I do, and seeing how PTC has behaved over the years, to me as well, I'd have to agree with his statements here. I'm appalled that it's always going to be in Boston, and I cannot justify the expense of the outrageous hotel (and everything else) prices, so I'm not even going to ASK him if I can go. I refuse to pay those kind of hotel prices even if he agreed to let me go. Bummer.