On Adobe’s anniversary, execs consider accomplishments, choices, and opportunities.
Written by Jim Dalrymple, Macworld
Adobe is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2007. Adobe executives took some time to reflect on its accomplishments, its relationship with Apple and what lies ahead for a company that has done so much in the industry.
A Bit of History
Adobe was founded in 1982 by John Warnock and Chuck Geschke, and incorporated in 1983. Named after Adobe Creek that ran behind Warnock’s home in Los Altos, Calif., Adobe has gone on to employ almost 6,500 people and reported revenues of $2.575 billion in 2006.
The company has introduced several market changing technologies and products over the years including Postscript, PDF and, of course, its flagship product, Photoshop. Adobe also controls other popular applications like Dreamweaver and Flash, through acquisitions.
Adobe began buying companies in 1994 when it bought Aldus. Over the years they purchased several more companies including Frame Technology (1995), GoLive (1999), Accelio (2002) and perhaps the biggest acquisition of all, Macromedia in 2005.
The Apple Relationship
Adobe and Apple have a very important strategic relationship. When you think of design, Adobe comes to mind and with that, you obviously think of Apple’s Macintosh computers. That relationship has flourished for many years, but occasionally it appears the companies may butt heads.
One such occasion was when Apple was rumored to be making a Photoshop killer. The industry worried that Adobe may abandon the Mac if Apple competed with it head-to-head on a photo application.
As it turns out Apple introduced Aperture, which is more of a workflow tool that complements Photoshop. However, Adobe countered by offering its own workflow application shortly after called Lightroom. The stage was set for a showdown, but both companies took the competition in stride, insisting there was room for both in the market.