We are pursuing listings for AutoCAD in every relevant directory and are beginning to get announcements published. An article in ISO World got about 200 responses. We are sending announcements to about eighty industry analysts and a couple of hundred OEMs. An important goal now is to get a number of retail dealers around the country, who can answer questions and give demos. Of course, we went to two trade shows in January.
There was a longish discussion of where we should spend money in promoting the product, particularly whether we should buy into a mailing of card decks by the S. Kline Newsletter. For instance, if we burn most of the card decks we get, why think that everyone else won't burn theirs? The upshot was that we should budget $1,000 for Mike Ford to try out what he wants. It will take a month or two before we have enough cash-flow information to allocate a proper budget for advertising.
One of our objectives is not to be the Electric Pencil of the CAD industry (90% market share in word processing in 1978; zero in 1982). To do this we want to nail down as many manufacturers as possible, so that the next product to come along will find very little market left.
We are working with USI, which makes a cheap ($300) mouse and wants to use AutoCAD to push their product. We have sales now at Ford and Shell in England, with prospects for very large sales in the future. Houston Instrument plans to use AutoCAD to demonstrate its products at shows. Texas Instruments has an evaluation copy and is of course going to require 10,000 AutoCADs on its new IBM clone.