2019-10-28 3 min read


Planning & Strategy.

  • CAD software giant PTC acquired Onshape, the browser-based CAD startup founded by Jon Hirschtick, for $470M. Hirschtick, also one of the founders of SolidWorks, is nothing less than a legend; he has arguably had as large an impact on engineering software as any other living person (note that I interviewed him in a panel back in 2017, when Onshape was valued at around $800M, and found him to be friendly and very passionate). Onshape's primary selling point always revolved around shareability (multiple users can edit the same design at the same time) and mobile (Jon was ebullient that design changes could be committed via iPads on jobsites), and their freemium model (which is similar to GitHub's) extended the classical disruption strategy that SolidWorks used so effectively. But while SolidWorks claims millions of users, OnShape is being acquired with "more than 5,000" - which, assuming a mix of "standard" and "professional" licenses, means an ARR in the neighborhood of $9M and a per-user valuation near $100K. PTC says that "this acquisition is the logical next step in PTC’s overall evolution to a recurring revenue business model;" the question that I'm still skeptical of is whether browser-based software makes any sense whatsoever for the CAD industry. Nevertheless, Onshape's open source data is remarkable; see this repository of over a million CAD models from Onshape user data.
  • McMaster-Carr's API documentation.
  • Adafruit and Digi-Key are donating one Circuit Playground Express to Black Girls CODE for every unit purchased.
  • A now-old NYTimes profile of New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens (NUMTOTs).
  • NYC will invest $1.7B on 250 miles of protected bike lanes, protected bus lanes, and transit signal priority traffic lights. This would be about 5x as much bike infrastructure as was evaluated in this study, which (you'll recall from 2019-10-14) resulted in a cost per quality-adjusted life year of just $1300.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


Inside the world's first long-term storage facility for radioactive nuclear waste.

Read the full story

The rest of this post is for SOW Subscribers (free or paid) only. Sign up now to read the full story and get access to all subscriber-only posts.

Sign up now
Already have an account? Sign in
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Scope of Work.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.