August 02, 2013

“The path less traveled”

One of my favorite benefits of working at Adobe is the sabbatical program. Starting at one’s 5-year anniversary, you get an extra three weeks of paid vacation time (which grows longer on subsequent 5-year marks). Adobe Life Magazine has published a nice piece about a number of employees who’ve elected to spend time serving others during their sabbaticals. In it I talk a bit about the brief time I spent last year in Guatemala.

Tangentially related, I’m also proud that Adobe matches each employee’s charitable contributions up to $10,000/year. I think that speaks to the fundamental decency of the founders, Chuck & John.

Posted by John Nack at 10:36 AM on August 02, 2013


  • Daniel Swanson — 7:36 AM on August 03, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this, John.

    I’ve been with Adobe–as a customer–for almost those same 30+ years of its existence. I’m glad you mentioned “the fundamental decency of the founders, Chuck & John” because that reminded me of a major part of my own inspiration, at the age of 37, for my second career, as a fulltime freelancer.

    I was first attracted to Adobe after reading its “Red Book” on PostScript. I was impressed with the elegance and potential power of the language after writing some simple Postscript commands in a text file and then “uploading” it to the Postscript interpreter in my Apple Laserwriter.

    That’s where the “desktop publishing” revolution started.

    I was drawn like a moth to a flame to a local printing company which bought one of the first Linotronic image setters which also had a Postscript interpreter. As an early Adobe site, they also started selling Adobe software, one of the first examples of which was Adobe Illustrator 1.01.

    That was 1987. With the uncertainies of my future as a freelancer, I plunked down my $500 and took my own “path less traveled.” But I was just mainly very excited to have this new software tool which I knew would help me make the kinds of drawings I always wanted to make.

    Speaking of Mr. Warnock’s decency, I loved the little video he appeared in personally demoing the product. That showed me his own sincere enthusiasm for it.

    Though I have over the years been a little envious of the various Adobe employees I’ve met, and sometimes imagined myself being an Adobe employee, I would then awake from that dream and realize that, no, an artist characteristically shuns “employment” as it tends too much to violate is innate self-determinism. And I’ve been nothing if not SELF-DETERMINED most of my life.

    Being so self-determined, I can also say that I wouldn’t have been a happy Adobe customer without MANY good reasons–those being the relentless improvements and diversifications over the years, as outlined on the welcome page of Adobe Life Magazine.

    Seeing Adobe Creative Cloud as one of those milestones, further cements in my mind the significance of that event. It has certainly been a welcome enhancement for me in my own universe, which has been enjoyably parallel with Adobe’s for these past three decades.

    Well done, John, for your particular contributions to Adobe and for your own paths less traveled.

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