Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Blog URL

Our blog has moved! Please update your bookmark.

The new blog has way more news than this one, so be sure to check it out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reved Up Families at Revit Market

Revit Market, being a new-fangled thing, is going through its early adoption phase. A few brave souls glimpse the future, and decide to participate in making it happen.

That's how it is with Reved Up Families, a collection of 400 high-quality Revit families. Reved Up has decided to put their entire collection up for sale at Revit Market.

"We are extremely excited to be publishing our Revit content on Revit Market," says Guillaume Belgique, co-owner of Reved Up Families. "We believe that Revit Market will become THE website that users will go to find quality Revit content. We're excited to be a part of Revit Market's growth and success, and know they'll be an integral part of our growth and success as well."

I've had several inquiries from libraries and users in this week alone who would agree. Revit Market was shown at three recent Revit user group meetings (and those are just the ones I know about). A recent AUGI article about our Revit user survey has gotten the word out even more.

Having lots of families published will be key to the success of Revit Market. If we build it, the people will come.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I've been getting a lot of phone calls from users recently. I like it. My Revit people, calling me to talk about Revit Market.

One of the big questions that comes up is about liability. If a downloaded family leads to structural or cost errors, who is responsible, the creator/uploader or the downloader/user?

The answer has to be the user. It's the only way that makes sense. The user has the power to use the family any way he or she chooses, and to make changes to the family before using it.

Our End User License Agreement (EULA) specifically states that the purchaser, not the seller, is responsible for how a family is used in a design. The seller makes no warranty about the accuracy or usefulness of the family.

This is similar to the EULA you sign when you purchase software. The manufacturer actually states that they're not responsible for whether the software works. If it doesn't work, you would, of course, return it and expect a refund. What they're really protecting themselves from is you using the software in a manner they didn't intend or expect, or experiencing occasional software failure. (Imagine if you could sue Microsoft every time Windows crashed! What a different world this would be.)

Our EULA serves a similar purpose. We don't guarantee that the item will be useful for any one user, or even that it will work. We give refunds on non-working models and families, but you (and we) are not liable if the user doesn't bother to check a family's integrity before using it for BIM or building instructions.

At TurboSquid, we've been doing this marketplace thing for 8 years, and we've worked out all the kinks in the EULA. We've never had a single problem with this issue. So, go ahead and publish your families with impunity!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Manufacturer vs. User-Generated Content

One of our Revit Market publishers asked me an excellent question today.

"Are you in contact with manufacturers to create or get their content?"

The answer is No, for the simple reason that TurboSquid doesn't deal with manufacturer content. Allow me to elaborate.

There are three types of RFA files:
  • RFAs that come with Revit
  • Manufacturer-specific RFAs, available from Autodesk Seek, and manufacturer websites, among other places. Examples are Pella windows and Kohler faucets. This content is usually free.
  • Everything else: User-generated content that isn't manufacturer specific. This content can be free or for-purchase.
Autodesk Seek does the second, Revit Market does the third.

In my early interviews with Revit users, some claimed that there was no need for user-generated content; the built-in families and manufacturer content were enough for all. After a bit more questioning, I found that every Revit user makes their own content sooner or later, or goes looking for downloadable families online. It's just that no one wants to admit they're doing it.

In fact, they're doing it in droves. See my Survey Says post for the facts: 66% of Revit users need custom families for more than 50% of their projects.

What are these families that people have to make themselves? Everything from furniture to fixtures to construction vehicles. I'm conducting a new survey to find out what customers are looking for in user-generated Revit families. I'll be sure to post the results here when they come in.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year from Revit Market

After a short hiatus for the holidays, I'm back to toot the Revit Market horn again.

Our publishing team has stayed busy over the holidays. Our most prolific contributor has been New Zealand-based RVT Pacifica, with a wide selection of doors and windows, and a smattering of other household items like gas ranges, refrigerators, and showers. To see their offerings, type in "RVT Pacifica" as the search term.

Another newsletter will be coming soon, so as always, you can email me to get on the list. I'd also be interested in finding out what kinds of topics you'd like to hear about in the newsletter.

Michele Bousquet