Greetings from Chicago. I’d hoped to be bringing you a rollup of the Adobe MAX conference by now, but after spending the morning flitting in and out of “Boot Camps” for AIR, Flex and LiveCycle, my afternoon was hijacked by a couple of calls, some paperwork and an overdue trip to the gym. A newly crash prone Firefox isn’t helping matters a great deal, either.
But while the in depth reaction will have to wait, the gist of MAX is continued progress. That’s to be expected on the technical front, of course, but of greater importance to me has been the sophistication of the message and an evolution of the culture.
I’ve had my issues with the Adobe’s NIH-like culture in the past (who hasn’t, I know), and the “forking the web” flashing lights still go off from time to time, but generally speaking the conversations I’ve had with Adobe employees and users here alike speak to complementary rather than competitive usage. A subtle but important in the culture, for those who follow such things.
Interesting also has been the observation that despite its incremental evolution, Adobe’s culture remains unique and un-enterprise-like even as they aim for those same dollars. I’m glad, in retrospect, that I left the Brooks Brothers’ analyst uniform at home, because it would not have meshed terribly well with the black t-shirts and mohawks.
Unless you have the time to sit through extended Adobe product roadmap sessions, it’s difficult to comprehend how far their reach is. Most of us view them through a particular lens, such as the providers of CS. Or the PDF people. Or, now, the Flash folks. Rare is the occasion that you’re afforded the opportunity to sit back and look across their portfolio and see how, if they’re clever and can execute, the dots may well connect in interesting ways. Particularly if excellent but generally invisible products such as Connect can be marketed more effectively, augmented with projects like the Pacifica VOIP layer, and priced to appeal to a volume rather than margin audience.
So that’s it for now, and if you have specific questions for the in depth review let me know and I’ll try and get them answered.