Want to understand Adobe? Look to its past. Adobe bridges different silos… whether that’s connecting any computer program to any printer, or making it nearly as easy to design for one screen as dozens. Adobe has a history of advancing new platforms atop which it hopes to out-innovate in services. Adobe can be clumsy and slow — very consensus-driven internally — but also tends to do the right thing.
I’ve been re-reading this Sept08 Knowledge-on-Wharton interview with Adobe founder Charles Geschke, conducted and transcribed by Kendall Whitehouse… worth reading in full, or you can skim through my prior excerpts on how the business has evolved. A lot of Adobe’s success has been when it has developed new technology platforms to help reconcile the needs of different groups of people.
If you have the time, I’d really recommend reading through that interview on how Adobe was formed… both warts and beautymarks, shows you a lot of how Adobe is put together.
Just one quote to give a flavor:
Knowledge@Wharton: What do you think is the biggest challenge Adobe is facing going forward?
Geschke: Inventing the future. We’ll never succeed unless we continue to open up new vistas.
Uniting silos, making it easier for creative people to reach their audiences… that’s pretty much the long & short of how the business works.