You probably know that SolidWorks World 2012 is coming soon, but did you know that another SolidWorks World took place only a few weeks ago? In fact, I was there with some of the team.
Of course, I’m talking about SolidWorks World Japan, which takes place every fall; however this year was a little different. In addition to the usual Tokyo event on November 9, there was a second event in Osaka on November 11. So when you add in SolidWorks World Russia and SolidWorks World Israel, that makes five SolidWorks World events this year.
You may recall that I visited Japan earlier this year, and was impressed by the way the people of the country pulled together in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in March. That continues to be the case—in fact, there was record attendance at the Tokyo event with over 1000 people participating. The event in Osaka drew 250 people, with an additional 250 people tuning in later online for an archived broadcast. That’s not bad for the first time around. A few highlights:
- I was truly inspired by the keynote speech by Professor Ei-ichi Negishi of Purdue University. Professor Negishi was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry last year. What struck me most was his assertion that he never set out to win accolades or prizes—he simply wanted to do work that he thought was meaningful. The point he made was that success comes from doing work that you truly believe in, and that if you are passionate about what you do, it will drive you to do amazing things.
- The SolidWorks Japan team hosted a CSWP party, similar to the one at the larger event. This was the first event I attended since becoming certified myself, and the team presented me with a customized event bracelet to show my status. CSWP certification is highly valued in Japan, and it was a real honor to be part of this celebration and talk with our Japanese customers.
- I also got to meet with Masanobu Higashino and Makoto Yamamoto, winners of the SolidWorks 2012 and Enterprise PDM 2012 beta contests respectively. It was great to talk with both of them about the importance of beta testing, and also to get their opinions on SolidWorks 2012!
- The Swiss may claim to make the world’s best watches, but I would be willing to bet that the Japanese make the world’s best elevators. I was really impressed by how smooth they were. It may sound funny, but it takes real engineering skill to design something that works so well under repeated use. In my mind, the teams designing the elevators in Japan are true experts.
Of course, there were lots of training sessions, user presentations, and even a special SolidWorks User Group meeting—more than I can go into in a single blog entry. But what really made me excited was seeing that the SolidWorks community remains vibrant, dynamic and positive, despite the challenges facing the country. Our Japanese customers, resellers and employees have done some amazing things in the last eight months, and I am excited to see what they have in store next year. If you have attended SolidWorks World Japan before, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.