April 30, 2010

After HP buys Palm, some fantasy matchmaking :

Adobe and Microsoft. If Apple keeps hammering at Flash then maybe Adobe has to cuddle up somewhere. What Adobe and Microsoft have in common is that they're good old-fashioned desktop application companies and don't really know how to be anything else. The combination, if not exciting, is at least comfortably compatible.

OTOH, here's what would be exciting : Adobe and Behance. (or Adobe and DesignOutpost etc.)

Apple are dominating markets for creative work through iTunes and the app-store. They're gunning for the rest of it with the iPad as book / magazine / news market as well.

Adobe is the only other brand with such a high profile among creative professionals. It should ask itself whether it's in the business of providing commodity video stream plugins, or whether it's really in the business of helping creative people to produce great work, to distribute that work to their audience, and to get paid.

Why is Adobe not running the most popular site for web and print designers to host their portfolios? Why can I not go to an Adobe site to find a freelancer? (And why are Adobe not a clip-art company? A photo-agency? A talent agency for the kind of people who work on Avatar?)

Adobe is never likely to compete directly with Facebook. But the world is going to get more niche and specialist networks. Adobe ought to grow a presence there; one that will, in turn, help it to understand the creative community it caters to.

Even better, what about Adobe and Ponoko? The future for creatives is to go beyond traditional print / video / web design and move into making : physical objects, product design, smart-materials, desktop manufacturing, etc.

Adobe started as the company that made a programming language to drive laser printers. Where is the programming language to drive RepRaps and the coming breed of 3D printers? Where's the design software for the art school student that wants to design printable furniture? Or jewellery?

Update : Adobe and Behance? It happened!
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