🏗️ How Autodesk builds the world
The Hustle

🏗️ How Autodesk builds the world

{date(‘MMMM dd, yyyy’,time(“now”))}

Alaskans may not know much about personal income taxes, but they sure do know how to play the market.

The state owned 43k shares of GameStop stock last December (worth $802k at the time). Since then, the position has jumped in value to $8.2m.

In Q2, Alaska’s stock portfolio popped 7% to $9.9B.

We see you, Alaska!

The big idea

Autodesk is the most important software company you’ve never heard of

Software may be eating the world, but it’s also responsible for building it.

The leading firm in that space is Autodesk, which has seen its market cap jump from ~$14B to $65B over the past 5 years.

Engineers use Autodesk’s software to build slightly important infrastructure such as water treatment facilities, railways, airports, commercial buildings, and highways.

Autodesk has become a market leader thanks to 2 big bets

  • A focus on higher education: Getting leading universities hooked on their certification program has ensured that up-and-coming engineers use their products as early in their career as possible (also, it’s become a ubiquitous LinkedIn profile padding CV booster).
  • A pivot to subscriptions: Making the transition from perpetual licenses to SaaS was a risky move that paid off — offering customers more flexibility and boosting cash flows.

The benefits of these moves have compounded, thanks to natural virality

Most construction projects require multiple partners that benefit from having a unified solution across all parties. That means if one contractor is using Autodesk, all of the partners follow suit.

This dynamic has helped Autodesk grow organically and increase lock-in across their customer base.

Autodesk faces a long list of competitors

As Netscape founder Jim Barksdale famously put it, “The only way to make money is bundling and unbundling.” While competitors go head-to-head against individual product lines, Autodesk is poised to offer a one-of-a-kind bundle going forward.

As a leading creator in 3D animation and construction, Autodesk has the AR/VR chops to become a critical building block of the metaverse.

Given the scrutiny that comes with more headlines, Autodesk is probably perfectly happy flying under the radar.


Inflation nation: Consumer prices jumped 5.4% last month, the biggest YoY increase since 2008. #ecommerce-retail

New hire: The Senate picks Jen Easterly, previously with the NSA’s counterterrorism division, as head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). #privacy

What’s competitor tracking? Sam Parr’s idea for a startup. More here. #mfm

The Emmy nominations are out. HBO and HBO Max led with 130 noms, but streaming service Netflix was close with 129. Disney+ nabbed 71. #big-tech

Never nice: Apple’s weather app avoids 69 degrees Fahrenheit. But is it because we’re immature or because it’s converting and rounding from Celsius? #big-tech

Home sweet 3D printed home: Startup Mighty Buildings raises $22m to 3D-print sustainable houses. #emerging-tech

London police seized $249m in crypto as part of a global money-laundering investigation. But they didn’t say which crypto it was. #fintech-cryptocurrency

A proposed $100B renewable energy hub in Australia would be the world’s largest and could crank out 3.5m tons of green hydrogen a year. #clean-energy

Shop With Bots

Is c-commerce the key to ecommerce?

Here’s a stat that seems obvious but is still impressive: 2.8B+ people use messaging apps to chat.

And now a lot of those people also use them to shop.

It’s called “conversational commerce” (AKA c-commerce) and, according to The Economist, it’s hot in online shopping.

Conversational what now?

In c-commerce, businesses use AI bots on platforms like China’s WeChat, Apple Business Chat, and Facebook Messenger to connect with customers.

The bots help them browse and find products, book services, make purchases, and track delivery info. It’s fast, convenient, and works even if your internet is spotty.

Example: In 2017, Lego launched Ralph, a friendly bot that helped shoppers find the perfect gift for building-block enthusiasts.

Other big brands including Ikea, Sephora, Walmart, and Coca-Cola are all aboard this train, too — and it’s no wonder.

AI-powered chat…

… could power $142B in retail spend by 2024, per Insider Intelligence (that’s up from $2.8B in 2019).

And supplying chat functionality is a growing business, too: Yalo has raised $100m+ to help businesses onboard to messenger platforms like WhatsApp (where customers exchange an eye-popping 175m messages per day with business accounts).

What’s the best use of all this fancy AI? Chatbots that send you pizza.


Just how big can Ryan’s World get?

Ryan Kaji (and his parents) are absolutely crushing it.

They’ve already built a media empire around Kaji’s “Ryan’s World” YouTube channel.

Now they’re dipping their feet into consumer footwear with a new Skechers partnership.

Here’s the deal

For the project, Kaji teamed up with Skechers designers and Pocket.watch (whose catchy slogan is: “Forging billion-dollar franchises with kids’ favorite stars!”).

Skechers says it’s the first global footwear deal for a YouTube kid.

As for the shoes, the lineup includes:

  • A light-up, slip-on sneaker called Ryan’s Challenge ($59)
  • A toggle closed-toe shoe called Gamer Ryan ($62)
  • A canvas mid-top called Red Titan ($57)

Just how big is Ryan’s World?

Kaji boasts some of the best numbers out there, let alone for a 9-year-old.

His resume includes:

  • 30m+ YouTube subscribers and 47.8B+ YouTube views
  • $29.5m in 2020 YouTube income, split between toy unboxing videos and his cut of branded retail sales (totaling $200m+ over ~5k items)
  • $200m+ annually from branded retail sales of ~5k items

Not bad for a kid.


Meet the billion-dollar man, Dharmesh

Cat’s out of the bag. And this one’s pretty rad.

Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot co-founder and CTO) delivers the inside scoop on the $25B SaaS platform that acquired us back in February.

Listen to HubSpot’s biggest stakeholder shoot the shit with Sam and Shaan on episode #197 of My First Million.

Featured: why a SaaS company like HubSpot bought The Hustle

The crew also digs into blockchain for LinkedIn, the origins of HubSpot, and the future of software.

Follow MFM on your favorite streaming service today.

More like My First Billion →

2 Facebook Ads to Validate Your Business Idea…

Just yesterday, we dropped a brand new Trends deep dive outlining the Facebook ad strategies that one of our members, Brian, has used to kickstart some incredible businesses (and even sell a house).

These are tactics you can start using today.

When you read through the article, you’ll learn:

  • The 2 very simple types of Facebook ads you can use to validate ideas
  • How one Trends member sold a $700k house using only $328 in Facebook ads
  • A tried-and-true framework for scaling ads while remaining profitable
  • And much more.

If you’re not already a member of Trends, sign up today for a $1 trial to get access to the full report.

See the full report →
Design of the day

Trippy! (Source: Autodesk)

Autodesk is using AI (of course) to soup up its design software. Using a process called “generative design,” a designer can set certain parameters for a product (e.g., minimize material usage) — and Autodesk will work some magic.

Volkswagen partnered with the software firm to create a showcase vehicle. Check out the lightweight wheel design here:

It’s definitely interesting, but we think we’ll pass on the “alien chic” look:

Personalize Your Snippets →

(It takes less than 30 seconds to get a shot at winning!)

We’ll be giving away 100 hoodies, t-shirts, caps and stickers to 25 lucky winners this week.

P.S. Already personalized your Snippets? You’ll be entered to win too.

P.P.S. Want more Hustle swag? Go here and share your referral link.

Ends 7/16/21. Void where provided. Only U.S. or residences are eligible to win. No purchase necessary.

How did you like today’s email?

Get the 5-minute roundup you’ll actually read in your inbox​

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less​

Exit mobile version