2001 – Student Version Experiments

As I wrote in an earlier post when I was a student and wanted to buy ArchiCAD I got a bit of a shock when I found out the cost of [a commercial version of] ArchiCAD.

Therefore in 1997 shortly after I had joined Cadimage we launched a student version from memory we charged 10% of the standard ArchiCAD Price so around $795.00. From memory I think this was going to be an annual cost (our very first subscription maybe??) and I think we still supplied a commercial license as there was no education version.

Anyway, this first (of what turned out to be a number of experiments) experiment failed after we sold maybe 1 or 2 licenses that year. We dropped the price to $695 the following year and continued with a low uptake.

So, we tried again, the details are a bit sketchy, but I think we got the price down to $200 for a 200hr keyplug and students could buy again and again as required.

We kept this in place for a couple of years and sold a license here and there but no real success.

While Cadimage was the distributor for ArchiCAD we only sold to the upper North Island and we had dealers in the lower North and South Islands.

Well, it was during a regular ‘dealer meeting’ in 2001 when we were discussing the student version, and someone asked 

“why don’t we offer it for free?”

The first response was not very positive, but the more we threw the idea around the more it seemed to make sense – basically lower the barrier so all NZ Architectural Students could get ArchiCAD for nothing! We all agreed this would be a long-term strategy but as our clients were always demanding more and more ArchiCAD trained staff it made perfect sense (at least it does in hindsight!)

So, after we all agreed, we had to convince GRAPHISOFT – which we did!

We were still using the commercial version, but we printed our own CDs to clearly brand the product as a Student version. 

In 2005 GRAPHISOFT launched the Student Version as a free download globally (by which time the commercial and student versions while the same had different file formats)

This wasn’t the only time the New Zealand ArchiCAD market proved to be a good testing ground for GRAPHISOFT and we would lead the world in other initiatives as we progressed through the years.

Education became a key pillar of Cadimage’s success and in 2008 we reinforced this with our long-term sponsorship of the NZIA Cadimage Student Design awards:

Student Award Season [2009]

And the winner is… [2010]

NZIA Graphisoft Student Design Awards 2011

And the 2012 winner is…

2013 Student Design Awards

Student Design Awards 2014

Student Awards 2015

At the time of the 2015 Awards I was unaware that within a year I would have sold Cadimage and that these awards would my last.

I am immensely proud of my personal 7 year association with these awards and the investment we made in New Zealand Architectural Education


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