If you want to know why Sketchup and Layout seem/are stalled, read Trimble's annual corporate report

If you want to know why Sketchup and Layout seem/are stalled, read Trimble’s annual corporate report:

Sketchup is not mentioned. Trimble’s focus is:

"Our growth strategy is centered on multiple elements:

Increasing focus on software and services.

Focus on attractive markets with significant growth and profitability potential.

Domain knowledge and technological innovation that benefit a diverse customer base.

Geographic expansion with localization strategy

Optimized go-to-market strategies to best access our markets.

Strategic acquisitions and venture fund investments. Organic growth continues to be our primary focus, while acquisitions serve to enhance our market position. We acquire businesses that bring domain expertise, geographic presence, technology, products, and distribution capabilities that augment our portfolio and allow us to penetrate existing markets more effectively, or to establish a market beachhead. Our success in targeting and effectively integrating acquisitions is an important aspect of our growth strategy. In December 2022, we signed a definitive agreement to acquire Transporeon valued at approximately €1.88 billion or $2.0 billion, which is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to regulatory approvals. Transporeon, a Germany-based company, is a leading cloud-based transportation management software platform that connects key stakeholders across the industry lifecycle to positively impact the optimization of global supply chains, in alignment with our Connect and Scale strategy. We believe the acquisition will advance our sustainability strategy by reducing under-utilized carrier capacity and “empty miles” and increase our international footprint and long-term Transportation opportunities.


Have a read. Sketchup works so they are focused on bigger fish. The software has gotten better but I think Rhino, Vectorworks and Archicad have made superior progress.



Compare with the much smaller, privately held McNeel:

Robert McNeel & Associates, (TLM, Inc.) founded in 1980, is a privately-held, employee-owned company…
We are most successful when we partner with our clients to shape emerging technologies into productive and profitable tools.

For the first fifteen years, we focused on replacing drafting tables with productive AutoCAD systems. Much of our new software development focused on using AutoCAD drawings and related data in all business processes, including design, planning, marketing, and maintenance.

For more than 20 years, we also focused on developing, publishing, and supporting Rhino and related products for designers, engineers, fabricators, and their support staff.

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Hmm :thinking: I guess the real question is if Trimble has it’s eye on acquiring some “ready-made” BIM software to rival the Revits & Archicads (for example by buying the smaller, but rather nifty ArchlineXP), or whether they think that the Sketchup/Layout bundle can be dragged kicking & screaming into the 21st century & finally deliver complete & reliable BIM interactivity for architects who work on small & medium projects…
It really depends on numbers I would guess, so we’d need to know how many of us smaller architects are out there battling to stay up with the pack in an increasingly BIM world & even just trying to exist in a world where “small to medium” appears to be looked down upon with distain !
Not sure the odds are in our favour, but some of us are not ready to give up yet - vincit qui patitur !


I would guess no. They are already a market leader in BIM for structural engineers with Tekla so they would probably make an architect-oriented version of that or something in that direction.

@Anssi Oh, right, maybe… But since they have SU, they could develop a whole BIM suite for that instead ! (obviously I’d prefer that :slight_smile: )

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I’m working in Asia on rather big projects, with big companies. And not everybody is entirely happy with Autodesk suite here.
Skill-wise and money-wise…
SketchUp is user-friendly enough for construction companies to leave laptops on site with the SU file open for involved workers of any background involved to check. From providers to clients, lots of folks who don’t want to spend time and hefty money on CAD softwares find in SketchUp a nice middle ground.


@JosephK Oh wow, I’d love it if we could do that ! :slight_smile:

Increasing focus on software and services.

That’s what SketchUp is! Of course it would be fun if leadership called us out every time they wrote a report but Trimble has other successful software products too. How would it make employees working on other products feel if they singled out SketchUp every time they mentioned software? Also, investors probably don’t want to hear something that sounds like all of Trimble’s eggs are in one basket.

Anyway, it’s a big company. Big companies write boring reports. While SketchUp enthusiasts tend to be very interesting people, most wealthy investors are pretty boring people. I think we’re just confusing the intended audience.


Follow the money. How much money does Sketchup bring in? Compare that amount to the other products in their portfolio. Does the time and money required to improve Sketchup and Layout–relative to their peers and industry standard products–justify the expense? No, it doesn’t but acquiring and adding other products to Sketchup/Layout and then charging $995 a year does. Adobe has done AMAZING work improving their flagship products InDesign and Photoshop. Same with McNeel and Rhino. Or Graphisoft and Archicad. The question is why Sketchup and Layout have lagged. The answer is in the report.

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I’m just a developer and don’t know what the answer to your question is, but looking from the inside I do not see how the report gives you the answer either. I’ll take my leave with a link to my separate rant on this topic.


How much revenue does Sketchup bring in at $300 a year? $1000 a year? Everything eventually will be monetized like the components warehouse. That’s where this is going. Adobe Photoshop brought in $12.9 billion in revenue in 2020 with 10 million users. How many subscribers does Sketchup have? If you do the math the revenue from Sketchup is a rounding error compared to Trimble’s other products. It certainly was at Google. So development in the eyes of investors is geared to adding revenue producing add-ons like Sefeira or, soon to be, the online components library rather than creating the best product experience like Adobe does with the totally new graphics end on InDesign or what Nemetschek did to speed Vectorworks up. Both efforts were HUGE and helped raise the bar in their disciplines. Trimble’s Sketchup division is a very different company than McNeel Labs

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That report was about 2022, not to long after, Trimble aquired Revit Ryvit:

Trimble acquires Ryvit to connect construction workflows - AEC Magazine.

SketchUp is not a rounding error for Trimble.
Google is a $300 billion revenue company. Trimble is about $4 billion.

And I can assure you that development on neither SketchUp nor Layout is stalled.

There are very few software products mentioned in the annual report. I actually wish they would have named more products in there, but I think @paul_hudlow probably is close in that we are not the intended audience and that investors don’t care to see a whole bunch of product names - they want to see broad corporate strategy concepts that indicate how the company is going to succeed next year!

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Why isn’t the software any better? At the end of the day it hasn’t gotten much better compared to its peers. Try rhino eight and compare it to rhino seven or rhino five

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William – why are you still here on this forum?

If the competition is better, why are you wasting your time on SketchUp?

If I felt the way a number of people do who are constantly banging on about how lacking SketchUp is versus the competition and I had no faith in Trimble giving a ■■■■ about SketchUp – I would have jumped ship already.

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Because I believe in excellence and I think Trimble can achieve it. You should try it.

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I do William

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My first experience with any CAD was Autodesk, I used it thoroughly from ~1995-2014, which was when I started having to make SketchUp work for my needs as I was now on the hook for my own licenses. I’ve come to really appreciate the upfront simplicity paired with being able to customize tools via extensions.

2 years ago my work had changed a little and I was provided a Civil 3D license, and I can’t stand it. It’s just too much. Too much functionality, too much trying to make the work automated, too much of a memory hog…it’s all just too much. And I’m finding even the CAD technicians I work with - who spend every single day using it and managing drawings - only use the very basic functions still.

I’ve been very happy with SU over the years. It can be easily used by beginners but it can also do some pretty amazing things.


Maybe I am missing something but my search of the Trible Financials does not name any specific software products owned by Trimble. But the word “software” appears 120 times. Software development appears to be central to Trimble’s business model.


I enjoy SketchUp and I don’t think at the moment I would go another direction if they left it as it is or didn’t update “annually”. That being said, it isn’t a perfect product and it would be nice to know it had some attention.

I think what some folks don’t realize is how big Trimble actually is. SketchUp has never been their core product or service. In fact, it typically makes up less than 5% of its annual revenues (by accounting standards anything less than 5% is considered “immaterial”).

As for Layout…in my opinion Layout has been a massive weak link, I honestly barely use it as it is just a horrible way to convert drawings to something shareable in terms of construction drawings.

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