Digital Builder Ep 35: Embracing Industry Transformation

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What was it like working in Autodesk 25 years ago? How can today's construction professionals advance their careers? These are just some of the questions that Jim Lynch, Senior Vice President & General Manager for Autodesk Construction Solutions, answers in today's episode. 

We sat down with Jim live at Autodesk University 2022, and we had an exciting discussion about the industry's transformation over the last few decades. And the best part? We caught the entire conversation on video, which you can watch on demand.

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On this podcast episode

Having joined Autodesk 25 years ago, Jim has seen it all. From the rise of construction technology to the evolving needs of our customers, he has witnessed tremendous changes in the industry. As a veteran in the construction space, Jim also has a lot of valuable insights to help AEC pros advance their careers. 

Watch the episode now, or check out snippets of our conversation below. 

Looking back at Autodesk and anticipating what lies ahead

Jim kicked things off by doing a quick recap of his career at Autodesk. 

"This is a walk down memory lane. Twenty-five years ago, I joined Autodesk in Portland, Oregon; that's where we were building a product that is now known as Inventor. I was responsible for the part modeling technology within Inventor, and my days back then were about making sure we had a clear vision for our part modeling solutions."

Fast forward to today, and Jim is leading Autodesk Construction Solutions and delivering competitive products and services that add value to all stages of the project lifecycle. 

"We're chasing the industry and delivering on not just what happens out on the jobsite, but in preconstruction planning and making sure that we're connecting back to the design solution," remarks Jim. 

Embracing endless opportunities in construction  

As a company, Autodesk has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and the same thing can be said about the experience at Autodesk University. 

As such, there are a lot of people who are just starting their careers or are attending AU for the first time.

If you’re one of these people, Jim has one key recommendation: "Breath it all in."

"AU is such an amazing experience, and you see what this company really is all about. Autodesk is on a mission to help our customers make a better world."  

As for career advice, Jim recommends embracing all the opportunities that the industry has to offer. 

"The sky is the limit. Don't stop, don't doubt yourself, have confidence in your ability, but deliver on the commitments you make. Be collaborative and chase after those opportunities."

Choosing partnerships over transactional vendor relationships  

The relationship between technology providers and customers has also evolved over the last several years. Today, construction pros aren't just looking for tech vendors; they want technology partners.

As Jim puts it, "There's a lot of technology vendors out there. Customers are looking for a true partner who's invested in their success.”

He says that Autodesk has fully embraced the mindset and practice of cultivating partnerships with customers. 

"I am so proud of all the teams across ACS and how driven they are to want to serve the customer," adds Jim. 

"Whether it's customer success, whether it's the product team, whether it's the sales team, marketing team... I genuinely believe everyone is working in the service of the customer, and our customers notice it."  

Nothing beats in-person interactions  

Jim wraps up the conversation by reiterating the value of in-person events and functions. 

He says that face-to-face interactions were some of the biggest highlights he's had during AU 2022. 

“I'm an extrovert. I like to see people, I like to talk to people. So for me, it's really all about face-to-face interactions. It's the excitement I see on the faces of our customers and our employees, which I find truly rewarding and something I cherish."    

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Watch (or listen) to the episode for more about Jim's vision for the future of construction and his experience working at Autodesk for the past 25 years.  

Catch this special episode of Digital Builder by watching the entire video or listening to the podcast on:

Eric Thomas

Eric is a Sr. Multimedia Content Marketing Manager at Autodesk and hosts the Digital Builder podcast. He has worked in the construction industry for over a decade at top ENR General Contractors and AEC technology companies. Eric has worked for Autodesk for nearly 5 years and joined the company via the PlanGrid acquisition. He has held numerous marketing roles at Autodesk including managing global industry research projects and other content marketing programs. Today Eric focuses on multimedia programs with an emphasis on video.