Graphisoft Managing Director, Steve Benford Responds to CNBC Report, Autodesk Actions

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Immediately after the story entitled “Building Better, Cheaper and Faster” featuring Kit Johnson aired on CNBC, Graphisoft contacted Paul Sullivan, Senior PR Manager for AEC Solutions at Autodesk, and CNBC reporter, Amanda Drury and Drury’s executive producer, Lisa Hughes. Although both Autodesk and CNBC acknowledged the representation of Kit Johnson’s work in the story is misleading, they maintain the story itself is factually correct.

As of today, CNBC has refused to issue a correction or retract the piece.

Autodesk is happy to let the misrepresentation stand, which is bad enough, but the company even goes a step beyond passive acceptance of a glaring error. Autodesk went so far as to boldly claim the project and the architect as theirs.

They did so on their Facebook page and on their Twitter page.

CNBC’s position is as unfortunate as their reporting is slipshod. By getting the facts wrong they forfeit objectivity and we suffer a collective loss from their failure – the market needs more and better insight into how building information modeling is reshaping the AEC space and by extension our communities and lives.

Autodesk’s position is craven, despicable, unprincipled and many other syllables inappropriate in this forum. Their knowing disregard of the facts makes them the nonpareil leader in shamelessness, a laurel they should add to their other claims of market leadership.

From my perspective it comes down to this: of all the thousands of Revit users in North America, they evidently could find none that are using Autodesk building information models to build buildings better, cheaper and faster. So they highjacked one of ours.

Kit Johnson does great work and we congratulate him for it. His accomplishments make all of us better and we’re proud and honored to count him as an ArchiCAD user.

We stand up for and stand behind our users. Always have. Always will.

Autodesk? Who knows what they stand for.


  1. jan

    Yeah:) They been too busy by coping Archicad in couple past years that they aren’t able to spot difference between Archicad and Revit now…

  2. kim

    Autodesk is archaic albeit their struggle to catch up.

  3. Mike may

    You are just bitter because you know that Revit is actually better. Anyone that compares the tools side by side knows it.
    In regards to the story…. Whatever people can see for themselves if they do a true side by side that Revit is better.

  4. Dan

    ArchiCAD is amazing!!! Revit is not!!!
    After using ArchiCAD for several months (not just a trial), I realize how and why Revit waists time and fails.
    I would not go back to Revit.
    Join the leaders and innovators.
    Join ArchiCAD.

  5. Didrik

    I have seen 3D models presented in public as done by software XYZ, to support sales of software XYZ, when in fact the models were created by other software. Sometimes this is the result of copy and paste from one slide presentation to another. Sometimes it’s a thinly veiled “generic” presentation about modeling in the AEC industry, that typically culminates in the question “what software produced _that_?” and a false answer is provided. In some cases, the presenter probably has no idea what made the models they showed, and disconnects the question: ‘what software made that model?’ from the question ‘what software do you use?’ Caveat emptor!
    Comments on this current issue that emphasize one software as being better than another (“anyway”), seem to miss the points about journalistic integrity, and corporate marketing accountability. If we set aside for the moment that CNBC is a generic news organization that cannot be expected to get technical issues correctly reported, which of the _professional_ technical AEC industry press _will_ flag this story as a blooper? That will be a measure of whether an information industry is becoming delusional to the point that it no longer cares to get simple facts straight, because it believes most of its readers don’t care either.

  6. stefkeB

    By mis-representing the facts, it does say something about the “integrity” of the news site. Just in case I happen to know something about a particular domain, proves me that they might as well make such errors for other domains in which I am no expert.

    Please let this thread be about the particular incident and not about comparing ArchiCAD with Revit, as both of these programs have their problems and their merits.


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