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What do we do next?

On the operational side, I think we should pledge a significant effort to doing this job of being a public company right. We showed the Silicon Valley cynics and the venture capitalists how a bunch of dedicated, talented people could do a start-up company right. Now let's show Wall Street how a small public company should be done. What I propose is that (all within the limits of the law, of course) we treat our stock as an Autodesk product. Let's put together a shareholder communication program that rivals the ones we've created for our dealers and users. Let's put on shareholder forums at our annual meeting just as we do for the dealers and conference speakers. And let's have an informal shareholder forum at the 6 month point between meetings. Shareholders can be a pain in the ass, but they do own the company. And let's see what we can do to make this perceived as a very special company to own stock in. We must be open and candid. We must present realistic numbers and always meet them. If we're not going to meet our numbers, we must give warning as soon as we know, and have explanations ready to deliver. These acts will build loyalty that will stand us in good stead when times get tough.

Editor: John Walker