October 06, 2011
The Photoshop Team Remembers Steve Jobs
Great recollections from Russell Brown, Mark Hamburg, and many others.
Dreams deferred, and realized.
I dreamt all last night, as I have many previous nights, about hanging out with Steve Jobs. As usual it was fascinating, combative, funny, and enlightening. As usual I wish I could remember more details. And as usual, I woke up, and it was just a dream.
I never did get to meet Steve. I’d see him in the grocery store or at a conference, but I never wanted to bother him. I thought I might meet him at the D3 conference, but no joy, and I made this little self-deprecating graphic to amuse my wife & friend (click to enlarge):
So it goes.
To all us perfectionists–would-be “unreasonable men”–Steve’s example was a beacon: it said that sweating “the tissue-thin difference between a thing done well and a thing done ill ” would matter. People would care.
When OS X 10.4 was announced, some Mac engineers visited Adobe to show the new features. One pointed at Dashboard’s analog-style clock: “Do you have any idea how hard it was,” he asked, “to make the quartz movement of the second hand measure up to Steve’s standard??”
Ironically, it was Steve’s example that caused me to pass on joining Apple. Back in ’06 Intel-based Macs had just shipped, and Mac customers were stuck with Photoshop running slowly in emulation mode. I spent all summer waging a crazy, unreasonable battle to launch the first (and so far only) public beta of Photoshop, bringing native performance to hundreds of thousands of Mac customers six months earlier than we could have otherwise. Yeah, working at Apple sounded great, but nothing was more important than seeing our mission through. The Photoshop team was willing to be crazy ones, and I couldn’t walk away from them. It remains my proudest achievement here.
I’ll close with the one mail I ever got from Steve. During the whole Flash/iPad controversy last year, many at Adobe questioned the wisdom of building iPad apps, or whether we’d even be allowed to ship them. I opted to bypass the bureaucracy & just ask the man himself. He replied,
“We’d love some kick-ass Adobe apps on the iPad… Hope this helps.”
It very much did, and I promised we would. The best tribute, the best thank-you I can devise for a great creator is to go out and create.
And so, back to that work.
The Lightroom team on Steve & the Mac
From the team’s Facebook page:
Photoshop was invented on the Mac. The Mac is a key development platform for the entire digital imaging team, particularly Lightroom that was first launched at Macworld. Steve Jobs was a visionary who inspired tech innovation. We are grateful for his contributions and sorry for this loss. – The Lightroom Team
Adobe’s founders remember Steve Jobs
“We met Steve Jobs about 3 months after we started Adobe. He called us and said: ‘I hear you guys are doing great things – can we meet?’ He came over to our tiny office in Mountain View and saw the early stages of PostScript. He got the concept immediately and we started about 5 months of negotiations over our first contract. Apple invested $2.5 million into Adobe and gave us an advance on royalties. This allowed us to help Apple build the first LaserWriter. Without Steve’s vision and incredible willingness to take risk, Adobe would not be what it is today. We owe an enormous debt to Steve and his vision.
“We have always had great admiration and respect for Steve. The world is a better place because of him, and his absence will leave a huge hole in the world of technology.”
And from the Adobe.com home page:
“Steve was a unique visionary and his influence as a technology innovator will be sorely missed. This is a sad day for the entire industry, and we offer our deepest sympathy to his family.”— Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Adobe Systems
LayerVault: “Simple version control for designers”
The service promises simple cloud backup & versioning of PSDs & other formats:
If the LayerVault guys can crack this particular nut, God bless ‘em. Years ago Adobe Version Cue tried integrating check-in & versioning into Creative Suite apps, but designers didn’t bite. Later GridIron Flow arrived with what I thought was brilliant auto-versioning, but I haven’t seen it get wide adoption. It’s just hard to move people beyond the dirt-simple “final,” “finalfinal,” “finalfinal02,” approach they’ve used for 20+ years.