Myself and our Founder, Paul Dean recently returned from a trip to San Francisco and Las Vegas – we learnt a great deal whilst in the home of the 49ers and the gambling capital of the world.
San Francisco was supposed to be the home of the SaaStr conference, which was postponed the day before we left. Given we had a range of meetings already organised there, and Conexpo was still on, we decided to follow through with the trip.
Silicon Valley meetings were an eye opener, the Land of the Free is certainly a powerhouse of very smart individuals and companies who have a truly global view of the world. We walked away with a broader view of where we are going and a new perspective on the strategic direction of Plant Assessor. Oh, and Alcatraz was cool too.
Conexpo in Las Vegas was still extremely busy, not as busy as 2017, but it seemed that there were more decision makers there even if numbers were down. There was no handshaking, but other than that social distancing was not really understood or observed.
We met up with a range of software providers whilst at the conference; and were very happy with the progression of our discussions with those parties in terms of working together, and possibly heading towards a product launch in that market.
The US software market has advanced at an amazing pace in 3 years, and the offerings from companies dedicated to the construction industry are truly impressive. The market looks fundamentally different than it did 3 years ago, with the behemoths of construction software in a race to build empires of software servicing construction from bid to delivery.
Between Autodesk, Oracle, Trimble and relative newcomer Procore, there are acquisitions and integrations happening at a frenetic pace. It seems that COVID-19 may play some havoc with these strategies, but probably only for a little while.
We also got to catch up with our old friend, James Benham, founder of the Contech Crew podcast. If you haven’t tuned into this awesome podcast, do yourself a favour and sign up.
We obviously love our construction, ag and transport equipment, and the show was a feast for the senses in that regard. Check out some of the gear we saw when we were there.
All in all, even though in hindsight we should not have gone, we did get a huge amount of value out of the trip. Next Monday we will be out of isolation.