February 26, 2011

MBAs: Want to work on Lightroom?

Alright, crafty business brains: if you’ll soon have an MBA & if you love digital imaging, we may have a great job for you:

Interested in helping define the next generation of a product line used by millions of people? Like working with experienced, smart, passionate people? Enjoy making customers smile by finding elegant solutions to their problems?The Photoshop Product Management team leads the business, product strategy & product development for Photoshop, Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. This Product Management position will focus on Photoshop Lightroom.

Full details are online.

Posted by John Nack at 10:21 AM on February 26, 2011

Comments

  • A. Dias — 6:45 PM on February 26, 2011

    Do you need an MBA for that ?!?

  • melgross — 9:25 PM on February 26, 2011

    Honestly John, I don’t understand why you’d want someone with a degree in business management for product development. The two concepts are diametrically opposed. MBA’s deal in money management in a company more than anything else. They’re part of the bean counting team, not the idea portion of the business.

    Want someone to manage your supply lines, then an MBa is great. Want someone to manage your product development, then an MBA is the wrong guy. unless, you’re very lucky.

    I’ve had two businesses, and I wouldn’t let an MBA anywhere near the people doing product strategy or development.

    • imajez — 11:29 AM on February 28, 2011

      I’ve known people with MBAs and they are certainly not bean counters, maybe you are confusing them with accountants….
      An ex of mine did an MBA and she’s done plenty of product development including starting up her own successful business based on her product ideas.

  • A. Dias — 12:15 PM on February 27, 2011

    I agree with melgross. John should hire an advanced amateur photographer with a technical background to fill that position.

    • imajez — 11:21 AM on February 28, 2011

      Did you look at full job description? Looks more like a marketing job than product development. Which is probably why an MBA is asked for.

      • melgross — 4:48 PM on February 28, 2011

        It certainly wasn’t described as a marketing job. I’ve worked with MBA’s in my own businesses. Unless you’ve got an unusual one, product development isn’t their thing. Working on running a business is their thing.

    • melgross — 4:45 PM on February 28, 2011

      Uh, I certainly wasn’t suggesting that!

  • Mark — 12:20 PM on February 27, 2011

    Hey!

    It’s Silicon Valley. If you make fun of MBAs then they are going to hire someone to cut you.

    Of course, first they’ll do a broad-based survey to see if “cutting someone” is still perceived of as a harsh but effective punishment among the potential customer base. Then they’ll do a B2B survey to see if “cutting someone” can reasonably be expected to generate real-world results proportionate to the prospective incurred costs.

    Then they’ll hire someone to cut you. Maybe. If there seems to be a consensus for cutting you among the focus group participants, of course.

  • Aaron Spence — 3:56 AM on February 28, 2011

    Hehe, Can’t wait to see the creative directions a new MBA bean counter takes Lightroom.

    I know Adobe is a business, so maximum profit trumps all other decisions… but an MBA to define the next generation of Lightroom?

    [Tom Hogarty has been the LR PM for 5+ years and has an MBA. Has he been building a bad product all that time? (He's sticking around, BTW.) --J.]

    Surely Adobe can be a little more subtle about a monopoly business, that supplies almost all the software used by creatives today, being run by bankers, accountants and MBA’s.

    [I know that Lightroom has been kicking Aperture's can, but I'd hardly call it a monopoly. --J.]

    As a Digital Photographer and fulltime user since Photoshop 3, it became obvious a loooong time ago that bankers and accountants were now making the big decisions, seemingly unlike the early days.

    In the early days Adobe pushed hard into uncharted territory and supported users on the cutting edge, later on 2000+ seems the bean counters realised it was much cheaper to support the mainstream user and leave the cutting edge ‘Pro’ to fend for themselves.

    Case in point… no support for 64bit computing in PS until years after 64bit OS’s became available. That’s a bean counter decision, not a decision to benefit creatives/photographers.

    [You're mistaken: it was a decision based on bang-to-buck for customers. Moving to 64-bit computing was a huge investment (ask the Apple app teams, whom we've trounced in bringing 64-bit versions to market), and devoting all those resources had a real opportunity cost (i.e. not being able to make other customers happy). I wish we could do every good thing, and do it all tomorrow, but the job means weighing groups' needs relative to one another. --J.]

    But at the time I recall you saying that 64bit made basically no difference… if we had more than 4Gb of RAM (and what power user didn’t) Windows would use it effectively as a RAM disc of sorts.

    Yet when 64bit PS came out… it was all about how superior 64bit computing was. (Now that it was close to mainstream and much more marketable)

    [So, should we be aiming at features that are not yet highly mainstream & marketable? We get slapped for that, too (e.g. building a 3D foundation). Or do just mainstream, meat & potatoes features and you'll be accused of lacking imagination & ground-breaking features. "Everybody must get stoned." --J.]

    Rant over. Just hate seeing bean counters making cheap decisions about products that are vital to my livelihood.

    [Adobe *is* a business, and a public one at that. I often wish I had more resources to apply to a given project, Photoshop included. Sometimes the demands of Wall St. strike me as foolish & counterproductive, but this is the game we've signed up to play. Adobe's existence is, for me, a means to an end--something I simply try to leverage to produce great products. --J.]

  • db — 6:46 AM on February 28, 2011

    >Interested in helping define the next generation of a product line used by millions of people?

    Yes!

    >Like working with experienced, smart, passionate people?

    Yes!

    >Enjoy making customers smile by finding elegant solutions to their problems?

    Yes!

    >This Product Management position will focus on Photoshop Lightroom.

    Awesome!

    >”if you’ll soon have an MBA…”

    Oh. Hmm. You had me until there. I think I’d be good at this role but I have a tech and tech management background. I wonder who wrote this requirement. Did you participate in that, John? I know you were a Product Manager working on the core Photoshop product but I don’t recall you saying you had an MBA in your background. Not trying to be snarky about that but curious if you think that’s vital to success for this role.

    Maybe unlike some others here, I don’t mind that Adobe makes decisions that benefit them as business. That’s the interesting challenge: to balance that and customer needs.

    Curious what this means for Thom Hogan. Apparently he’s moving on to a new role…

    [Who's Thom Hogan? Tom Hogan the golfer? Thom McAn? Thom Yorke? Oh, you're thinking of Tom Hogarty, to whom this new hire will report. --J.]

    db

    • melgross — 4:51 PM on February 28, 2011

      Thom Hogan is a writer of photographic books, reviewer of equipment, usually Nikon, and has a website about same.

  • db — 10:09 AM on February 28, 2011

    Oops! I did know that. Guess I deserve the response. :-)

    What is your honest take though: non-MBAs need not apply?

    [Not for this specific role, but for others, sure. --J.]

  • Darren — 1:46 PM on February 28, 2011

    Instead of hiring one MBA please hire 100 professional developers for the same price. The quality of Adobe products is going down with every year.
    The only product that crashes less than 2 times a day is Photoshop. It’s the only one that really does what is supposed to do in all Adobe family.

    Flash is synonymous for crash. Just type flash and crash in Google. They are brothers. They born together and continue live together. Flash is cancelled by Apple not because of Steve. But because it is the most buggy thing on earth! Flash Pro environment is a bulky crashing monster. Does anyone from Adobe team ever try to use the Bones, so fabulously advertised? I guess, the QA men were asleep when the product was shipped.

    Illustrator? It doesn’t change through the years. Selection tool acts like a crazy maniac. Filters are rudimentary poor guys from 90′s and scripting is a way to ruin your data.

    Premiere? Premiere is a joke. And is becoming more and more funny with the latest releases. I’m from video industry. People avoid this thing – it is huge, slow and crashing. You cannot load older projects because you have to manually edit Premiere files to change “,” to “.”. There is tool to do it automatically which is written on Python! By 4th party person. How are you going to install Python on 450 production computers? Premiere can crash with a speed of film – 24 times per second. And sure, it doesn’t save your data in the process. Starting projects from scratch – that’s my new job.

    Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is a nightmare. HomeSite was a great prog until it became a Dreamweaver. On Dreamweaver you can wait for 20 seconds when you switch the language! Dreamweaver won’t upload files to FTP. It will change encoding the way it likes it. And it has those 200 shiny amazing MBA buttons in the UI, that you don’t need at all!

    Flex. Oh that Flex. It’s a part of the world conspiracy to destroy all brain cells and ruin all your projects from the beginning. It can crash to the point you have to reinstall it and then activate by using technical support – because it crashed ruining all your Adobe Master Collection activation. The Flex SDK is a nightmare from hell. TileList from SDK 3.0 – is a synonymous to “burn down there forever”. What does Adobe answer? Use SDK 4 “Hero”? Does it have the same bugs? Sure it does! And new ones!

    Lightroom. That bulky evil. It will eat your computer all way to the point of no return – with the new Import dialog (invented by an MBA, I guess). It will import your photos five times and make five previews for every of them, so your new 1TB disk is covered with garbage in minutes. Why no one bothers to fix it? It is as slow as 10 copies of 3dsmax running simultaneously. It will become more slow with the 4th generation, I’m sure – with all those MBA’s in place.

    I’m covering here only 1% of the problems which I’m sure Adobe is aware of. I filed bug reports many times – no one bothered and no one from Adobe even bothered to answer.

    Please, remove this position and hire good old American developers that at least can… well… develop. They don’t have to be able to sell. Just for one year, please – to fix all what was made before them.

  • Aaron Spence — 4:08 PM on February 28, 2011

    Thanks for your thoughts on my rant, it is much appreciated.

    You are right, most bang for buck, for most users is how decisions are usually made. Those decisions will usually result in the most money too.

    I still feel that back in the day when Adobe had competition, (Talking more PS than LR which is Off Topic I know) they were hungrier to support the Pro/early adopters, as the trickle down from those users would keep the mainstream using the product too. As generally where the pro end of the market went, so went the mainstream… eventually.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the products Adobe put out… Premiere CS5 is simply stunning with its hardware accelerated ability to playback almost anything natively in realtime. PS CS5 also has a boatload of amazing features, while I have plenty of 3rd party applications to plug holes in photoshop for my particular needs… high end/high rez panoramic photography.

    Thanks again.

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