SolidWorks Real Reward (Smart Button)

SolidWorks USB Web Key Smart ButtonSolidWorks has a new Real Reward program.  This new marketing scheme is being kicked off by mailing out these USB Web Key smart buttons.  All you need to do is plug this device into your USB port and press the button.  It kinda reminds me of the easy button from the commercials of one of those office supply stores.  Of course, those easy buttons pretty much solve whatever problem with which you happen to find your self.  This smart button does one thing.  It takes you to the SolidWorks Real Reward program website.  Oh, and it has an LED that glows at you all day (assuming you leave it attached to your computer).  No matter how many times I press it, it always takes me back to the Real Reward program website.

Yup, it did it again.

The Real Reward program allows you to give the SolidWorks Marketing Department all of your friends and family email addresses so that they may email them with an offer for a 30-day free trial of SolidWorks, along with online support and training.  Matt Lombard’s recent post about the Walmart dollar bin comes to mind for some reason.

Once I plugged it in, I pushed it.  It went to the Real Reward program website.  Oh, dang, I just pushed it by accident and it opened up my web browser and did it again.  The documentation that was included with the smart button suggested that the button was programmed with two websites, but unfortunately, both actions with the button goes to the Real Reward program website.  It would’ve been cool if the second setting went to the main SolidWorks website or something so that I have an excuse to keep it plugged in for more than 5 minutes.  Marketing, huh?  Oh well.

Anyway, I then started looking for ways to reprogram this dang thing to make it actually useful.  No such luck so far.  I’ll report if I find a method.  In the meantime, it will light up my desk with its tiny LED reminding me to sell my friends and family’s email addresses for free to SolidWorks so they can promote a $6000 program to them.  I’m sure my Aunt Cathy (a nurse by trade) will appreciate the offer and snap up a copy as soon as she tries it out.

Oh, I didn’t mention the best part.  See, you don’t really sell the email addresses for free.  I was exaggerating.  Here’s the deal, if the people you refer actually buy SolidWorks, you start collecting prizes!   Seriously, check it out.  There’s some pretty cool stuff.  Maybe we can all send in each other’s email addresses so everyone gets credit for everyone else’s purchases so we can all get the free computer!  Oops, did I already find the MLM loop hole in this Marketing scheme?

Update (12/18/2009)

This program was cancelled by SolidWorks Corp as of December 2009.  I am not able to fulfill any further submission requests for the trial version of SolidWorks.  It is my understanding that SolidWorks still has other programs available.  Please contact a local VAR for details.  To find a local VAR or for information about current offers, please see the website.

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SolidWorks World 2008 Animation

SolidWorks World 2008 Inspired to Design VEXplorer Video from Solidsmack on Vimeo.

This was the introduction animation (linked above) used each day at the start of the General Session.  In a presentation with Jeff Ray, VEXplorer was introduced.  This is a Student Design Kit where kids of ages 10 and up can build their own robot, and design other variations with the Student Edition of SolidWorks, which is now provided for free with the robot kit.  Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed with the robot itself.  I saw the live demonstration of the robot in the Partners Pavilion.  It would be fun for one or two uses for one or two times.  I don’t see what would keep the average kid coming back to it.  However, it is a start in the right direction to help inspire kids to explore design at a younger age.  It is certainly a good way to expose kids to SolidWorks as the preferred software for accomplishing engineering tasks.