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I'm not sure this is the kind of discussion you all had in mind, but I'm hoping to compare and contrast the two publicly held big dogs in this sector. Not just in terms of their general focuses, but also management, style, and competitive advantages.

I'm no expert in this field compared to others on this board. My current hypothesis is that DDD is a bit better positioned than SSYS, given its focus on certain vertical industries and design solutions. SSYS seems to be stuck on the analogy to the 2D printer industry, and wants to make its money selling "ink and cartidges." While that approach may have worked for HP, I'm not sure the analogy will stand the test of time in this space. In my opinion, a verticals/solutions approach in the technology space creates much greater customer loyalty and a wider moat. At least that's been my experience from certain successful tech companies I've owned in the GPS space (especially Trimble) and elsewhere (MICROS Systems).

Of course, I'm saying all this without making any references to the stock valuations. Just looking at the businesses.

Since I'm just throwing out a hypothesis, I'm sure there's plenty that I've missed (or misunderstood). Thoughts anyone?

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