Some people fight the introduction of new technology. Some embrace it and become early adopters. Then, there's that class of people who immediately recognize the value of new technology, adopt it, and use it to change their industries. Call them technopreneurs. They invent new ways to use it that others have to take advantage of.
The Internet has spawned a few technopreneurs, and their ideas are having widespread impact.
For example, Frank Perna, chairman of MSC.Software, has redefined and repositioned one of the pioneering companies in the field of finite element analysis software. When he took over the reins of The MacNeal-Schwendler Corp., it merely developed software, including Nastran. Now, the company, with its new name, is an application service provider, enabling engineers to get analysis and other services over the Internet.
Michael Bussler, of Algor, is another technopreneur in software. Very early in its life, he saw the potential of the Internet and began using it to sell his analysis software and train people in how to use it.
Jim Cashman, of ANSYS, also has brought an Internet focus to his company. He launched the latest release of ANSYS Professional via a webcast.
Bruce Morgan, president of Spatial, Inc., turned that company from one that only developed a solid modeling kernel (ACIS) to a leading application service provider. Under the new moniker PlanetCAD, he is offering a host of new services, including a module to enable engineers to get custom design help on line.
Paul Grayson, chairman of Alibre, and Barry Mayer, of Collabware, are making it possible for engineers to design products with CAD systems over the Internet—without the need to actually buy CDs of the software.
And Bob Schrader, president of Pacific Bearing, has launched an effort—allpt.com—that could very well point the way to economical e-commerce for power transmission components suppliers.
Each of these technopreneurs is bringing new ideas and new energy to their companies and their industries. They are showing us all the potential the Internet holds.