SCDsource – born from the minds of engineers
The idea for launching SCDsource was conceived in the summer of 2007. It was clear then – from the growing numbers unemployed press (who after many years of service were ‘let go’), and the ever shrinking volume of in-depth technical coverage – that the state of the electronics media as we once knew it was rapidly deteriorating.
The loss of seasoned and technically savvy editors, along with their fair and balanced electronics industry news and analysis, had a negative impact upon the electronics industry and its community of creative and resourceful design engineers. Information on new solutions, emerging technologies and their companies, as well as well-researched technical articles and “how to” content was growing increasingly difficult to find because of its growing scarcity – the result of fewer knowledgeable members of the electronics press.
In light of this electronic media deterioration and the growing electronic news gap, the time was ripe for the birth of a new media outlet. After conducting numerous Focus Group studies and engaging in one-on-one interviews with respected design engineering managers, SCDsource was developed to serve as an online news and information site dedicated to helping design decision-makers make better design and purchasing decisions.
Searching for Solutions
Our studies revealed that design engineers were spending an average of 2.5 hours a day on the World Wide Web looking for solutions to their design engineering challenges. While engineers sourcing news and information turned to electronic media as their first port of call, common complaints included “poor search function” and very disappointing search results.
As an alternative, engineers turned to the industry-leading global search engine, but found that search results were only marginally better. The broad market search engine algorithms were never developed to comprehend the varying unique needs of a design engineering community. Candid and insightful engineers participating in our Focus Groups revealed that not only were design decision-makers challenged to find tools, technologies and methodologies to address their pressing design problems, but that reliable sources of electronic industry news, information and analysis were being replaced with lighter, less technical (and only minimally-researched) content.
For SCDsource planning and development purposes, we took strong guidance and insightful feedback from our Focus Group participants and individual interviewees. They spoke candidly to us about their many challenges: rising design complexity, tight budgets, limited engineering resources, as well as their experiences with customer-oriented solution providers. They spoke to us about the various pain points in their design flows, their need for best-in-class solutions and interoperability, and about what they really wanted from their suppliers, as well as what they looked for when sourcing a new vendor.
Engineers all across the board agreed that global search engines lacked the level of necessary refinement and design engineering awareness to quickly or easily locate needed solutions. All too often, new standards, new solutions or privately-held providers were wholly overlooked, and searches were incomplete or off the mark entirely.
Not surprisingly, engineers collectively shared with us their disdain for the all-to-common “welcome” ads and “peel back” ads that have proliferated media sites over recent years to make up for the loss in print advertising revenue. We have pledged not to offer such web advertising options on SCDsource out of respect for the hundreds of design engineers that shared so openly with us.
As we are growing, we are also opening an office in the eastern part in Liverpool to distribute the Stranger around Liverpool and Manchester. The office will be next to William Hill-Odds, UK’s biggest online and brick and mortar gambling brand behind William Hill Casino, William Hill Poker, etc. The office is planned to be opened in the next couple months.
You talked, we listened
Armed with these findings, mountains of valuable data and innovative new ideas about what an online media outlet could do to alleviate the burdens of design decision-makers worldwide, the privately-funded Tech Source Media, Inc. was founded and became the online publisher of SCDsource.com.
Driven by the information gathered from the minds of engineers, backed by industry veterans and a led by a respected editor-in-chief, SCDsource began its existence, albeit in mostly stealth mode while the site functionality was under construction.
The SolutionSource™ Supplier Directory and ‘design aware’ parametric search On Tuesday, February 19th, SCDsource unveiled a first-of-its-kind SolutionSource™ supplier directory – a directory entirely ‘sponsored’ by its growing list of providers. Powered by an internally-indexed parametric search engine that intelligently comprehends the world of design engineering, registered site visitors will be able to quickly and easily find a rich variety of information about the listed solution providers. Upon entering the ‘members only’ directory, registered visitors can explore new technologies, tools and methodologies from established and emerging companies alike.
The parametric search engine serves as a means for design decision-makers to quickly and easily find what they need, when they need it. Targeted searches for a wide variety of companies, technologies, products, datasheets, whitepapers, demos and more can be accomplished far more quickly and easily than ever before.
With the unveiling of the SolutionSource supplier directory, it will also be possible to send emails to any number of identified experts, asking for their advice to specific design engineering problems. Should registered users wish to learn even more about a given solution or supplier, a click on the special Request for Information button will send an immediate email notification to the given supplier allowing users to find answers to their specific needs.
The SolutionSource directory can be easily searched by exploring branches on the decision tree which is organized according to a basic design flow. Searches can be conducted using a single word, phrase, technology, product or company name. The directory of suppliers can grow quickly to contain a wide range of solutions, including EDA and IP providers, as well as semiconductor, foundry and service suppliers. (Solution suppliers to the design engineering community, please click here to request details on how you can be added to the directory.)
Since our October 17th, 2007 new media unveiling, SCDsource readership has grown by more than 10X. We began by emailing a weekly newsletter to a modest ‘opt-in’ list of 5,100 engineers and engineering managers. Today, our readership numbers over 53,000 and spans more than 70 countries. We would like to extend a warm “thank you” to all of you, our readers, for this rapid growth rate. And for those of you who have shared with us that you are passing along our weekly newsletters and your favorite hyperlinks – we give an extra big thanks!
Happily, our readership consists of a growing number of decision-makers – senior engineering managers and corporate executives – with the current count at 22% of our total readership. We will continue our concerted efforts to address the needs of our readers, and to improve our understanding of your many business and technical challenges. We welcome your continued feedback to our site content and subsequent unveilings, and thank give specials thanks to those who have you participated voluntarily in our Focus Groups and one-on-one discussions.
More will be revealed in the coming months and years ahead – more of what you, the community of creative and insightful design engineers and engineering managers, have asked us to provide.
Our mission, and our sole focus, will remain on finding ways that we can empower and enable better design and purchasing decisions, as well as more rapid and efficient delivery of innovative and well-differentiated electronic products – the kind of products that will not only meet your customers’ discriminating needs, but that will help drive your company’s continued growth and prosperity.
So, please tell us how we’re doing – what you like and what you don’t. Send us your contributed article ideas, viewpoints and opinion pieces. Tell us about the things you are doing to address current or emerging design challenges. Introduce us to your engineering experts so that we can interview them for Expert’s Corner articles. Give us your feedback on the site’s development, editorial focus or anything else that you might want to draw to our attention. We want to hear from you. Keep the calls and emails coming!