Autodesk's Turnaround Secret

How the CAD software maker reinvented itself by refocusing on its customer segments, product differentiation, and a new sales model

In the early days, fortunes changed swiftly for Autodesk (ADSK). The computer-aided design (CAD) software company advanced from being described in the pages of BusinessWeek in 1985 as "a high-tech issue that may not fly" to a "Hot Growth Company of the Year" for two successive years, in 1986 and '87.

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