Getting through to Wall Street

Dan Nenni wrote this week that Wall Street Hates EDA.  He's not far wrong.  His post demonstrates the investment community's utter ignorance of what EDA actually does.  For example, Dan quotes a Deutches Bank AG report that says Synopsys "tests semiconductors."  

Now those in the engineering world know that was an ignorant statement.  Synopsys does a lot more than test.  But we have to consider that Wall Street is not an engineering audience.  They don't make things.  They make money off of companies that make things.  They are interested in what the financial upside is of any business, and EDA marketing does nothing to explain that.  Here's why.

Ask any EDA executive, from engineering to sales to the C office who they sell to and they will all say the same thing.  "We sell to engineers."  Every bit of communication created is designed to convince engineers to use their products.  And since EDA considers EDA the penultimate level of human evolution, they believe that everyone "beneath" that level should make an effort to understand what it is they are saying.  Whatever information is needed that does not relate to the engineer's needs is unnecessary.  

So whenever a financier, who is not an engineer, asks for a simplified version of an engineering term, the response is, "It's complicated.  You probably won't understand.  Give me some money."

And that sums up the relationship between EDA and Wall Street.

Almost every common term in engineering means one thing to an engineer and something else to everyone else.  I did a quick run through some EDA terms in a thesaurus and came up with some interesting results.

Engineer:verification
Common person : test

Engineer:  validation
CP:  test

Engineer : test
CP: test

And here's something that is stated over and over in EDA:  Verification and validation takes 70 percent of the time and budget of any design, and that percentage is growing.

So when you ask a common person what EDA does, based on what he has been told by the EDA industry, what will be the reply.

"They test semiconductors... I think."