Adobe is a household name, if you do not use any of their creative softwares you have definitely used their free software which is their pdf reader Adobe Acrobat.
Adobe was a garage start up and like many startups they built a relevant software, but needed to reach the right market and break even. John Warnock and Charles Geschke, the founders of Adobe, left their employer Xerox Parc to create their own business after Xerox refused to commercialize a technology the two developed. Sometimes building a great product does not mean you will get the right support. At the time they were nobodies and resonantly wanted Xerox a well known brand to climb up the ladder however all did not go as planned and they realized it was better to build their product outside of Xerox.
The technology they built was called PostScript, and today it is still the graphics industry standard for printers. As we know now, the decision to leave Xerox was a brilliant one.
Why they chose the name Adobe is a rather simple one. It was the name of a creek that ran behind Warnock’s house. The logo, which has undergone a few changes over the years, was originally designed by Warnock’s wife who was a graphic artist.
How did Adobe gain popularity and become successful? Adobe’s original success came due to a huge risk the partners took. At the time, dot-matrix printers were the norm. The technology used printed dots to form shapes but struggled with images and typography since those shapes would always be blocky and imprecise. The next generation of printers was able to overcome this problem thanks to the postscript code the Adobe founders created.
Warnock and Geschke eventually led the way to the computerization of graphic artists. At the time, no graphics artists used computers at all, making their push for software to support them a huge risk. That risk, clearly, paid off.
Adobe is a household name because of its tenacity, and the resilience to build a product that stands the rest of time. A product that is truly valuable. However like many companies they have had their fair share of “drama” . For example how the founders refused a buyout offer from Steve Jobs, also how one of the founders was taken hostage for ransom, and how they grew the business substantially into the behemoth it is today.
Let’s look at how Steve Jobs was interested in Adobe for a second. In 1982 which was the early days of the adobe systems , Steve Jobs expressed interest in acquiring the company Adobe This happened after Jobs saw a demonstration of Adobe’s printer technology PostScript which made desktop publishing possible. A decade after offering to have Apple buy Adobe, Jobs was railing against Adobe’s Flash platform, and how it was both riddled with bugs and energy inefficient, wearing down the batteries in mobile devices.
He found Adobe’s Flash software so bad that he dictated it would not run on the iPhone and iPad, and publicly criticized Adobe. Jobs was also upset at Adobe’s decision to abandon the Mac OS for certain video applications, which led Apple to offer their own video and photo applications. At the time Jobs appeared to take it as a personal affront that Adobe would not offer their tools on the Mac OS.
Interesting story huh, well some still think that it will be a relevant move for Apple to buy Adobe today. While Adobe’s Flash was pushed into oblivion by Apple’s founder, and Adobe has even conceded defeat and acknowledged that Apple was right in not supporting Flash. Adobe renamed their Flash tools as Adobe Animate, and is de-emphasizing the Flash file format as the web community as a whole has moved on to HTML5 and CSS3. With the personal history of Steve Jobs feelings towards Adobe also out of the way, with new CEOs at both companies, making a return to the early discussion of Apple buying Adobe more plausible.
What do you think? Would this be a good move for Apple? Or a terrible one for Adobe?