February 22, 2007

On the personality of apps

Apropos of the "Macromedia will take Adobe clubbing" thing & the Lightroom team’s musings about the personality of applications, I was reminded of a little anecdote from a few years back (before the companies got together) that you might enjoy:

A research team asked a group of young designers to describe their software tools as if each one were at a party.  Photoshop, they said, was kind of like a gray-bearded professor, maybe an older guy in his 40’s (I know, I know)–really smart, really respected, but not someone you felt you could just start chatting up.  Illustrator was a beautiful, glamorous woman standing on the periphery–amazing, mysterious, and not so easy to approach.  And Flash, meanwhile, was the cocky young guy at the party–talking to all the girls, maybe getting a bunch of drinks thrown in his face, but going home with a handful of phone numbers.

–J. (stroking his metaphorical, not-so-gray beard, sitting among the Flash UI designers in the former Macromedia office as he types this, thinking this is the strangest life he’s ever known)

5:42 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

Adobe, minivans, promiscuity (?!)

Heh–if that doesn’t get your parental antennae buzzing, I don’t know what will. ;-)  I got a kick out of seeing these characterizations of Adobe, spied by John Dowdell, in a pair of articles:

  • "In the software world, if Oracle Corp. is the monster truck of corporate acquirers, showily flattening competitors as flash pots explode," writes Olaf de Senerpont Domis, "Adobe Systems Inc. is the humble minivan, patiently trundling from point A to point B."  I think there’s some truth in that.  Headquartered in unassuming San José (the minivan of cities), Adobe doesn’t do a lot of the chest-thumping I see from other companies–a modesty I’ve always appreciated.  And having (grudgingly) swapped a Miata for a minivan during college, I can tell you: respect the van.
  • "Going forward, the Gartner trio predicts, Adobe will promiscuously embed collaboration features across its product lines," reports Stephen Swoyer.  Facilitating collaboration has been a passion of mine for a long time (e.g. getting feedback tools into Photoshop’s Web gallery engine in CS1; embedding Flash in Photoshop CS3), and we’ll keep cranking away, but now it sounds so much more… salacious. ;-)

When the Adobe-Macromedia deal was announced, a designer remarked, "Adobe will make Macromedia grow up, but Macromedia will take Adobe out clubbing."  So, we may be rocking a minivan here, but you know there are hydraulics under there…

12:31 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]
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