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RedSpark Closes This Month

Citing weak manufacturing economy, Autodesk Ventures closes spinoff By Elise Moss
After finding it tough selling its services to manufacturers, Autodesk Ventures spin-off Redspark.com is closing its doors. The closure affects 42 employees, some of whom were formerly with Autodesk, such as ceo Dominic Gallello and marketing vp Amar Hanspal. Although the www.redspark.com Web site is still operating (and has no news of the closure), repeated phone calls go unanswered.

RedSpark is giving pilot customers 30 days, and trial customers 10 days, to back up their data before service is disconnected.

Autodesk had spun off Redspark April 12, 2000 -- a month after NASDAQ reached its all time high, and had begun its unending slide. At the time, the Autodesk press release exclaimed, "New B2B Dot Com Sets Out to Transform the Manufacturing Supply Chain For Direct Materials and Capital Equipment Online - With a Target Market Representing $1.8 Trillion in the U.S. Alone."

Speculation is that Autodesk will adopt some of Redspark's RAPIDteam technology, and perhaps hire some of its programmers -- as they did with their AEC-oriented Buzzsaw.com spin-off. Autodesk owns 60% of Redspark, with other investors and Redspark employees own the remaining 40%.

Interestingly, Autodesk just dropped a huge amount of money to buy back Buzzsaw.com, but they didn't feel as kindly towards bailing out RedSpark.

How this will affect the RedSpark tie-in with Autodesk Inventor remains to be seen. The Inventor's Release 5 includes a catalog featuring RedSpark's logo and name that replaces the Fasteners library. The catalog does not require a live internet connection, so RedSparks' demise will not affect users' ability to access the updated Fastener Library. In the Release 5 menu, under Tools, there is a drop down sub-menu for RedSpark after the RedSpark Content is installed. Of the menu items, the only one that will no longer work is the On-Line Catalogs, which is currently in German, so of limited use anyway.

Elise Moss is President of the Silicon Valley AutoCAD Power Users
PO Box 62515
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

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