How to lose developers and influence no one
Nov 10, 2011
Yea, I thought the title would be cute :)
Adobe strategy changes this week:
To be clear, I’m actually glad Adobe has announced their changes more publicly this week. However, like so many things at Adobe, they don’t execute things particularly well or communicate their plans. In the future, they have to be more careful in making these types of moves and not disrupt the trust and loyalty of their developers
In the last earnings call, Shantanu made it pretty clear that Adobe was moving away from Flash and "doubling down" on HTML5. Sadly, over the past several months, while they are going in another direction, they failed to let their development community know about it. For example at MAX, Adobe felt it better not to be completely up front about this new strategy and said some pretty silly things like "we’re doubling down on Flash too", etc. For many people, the news this week came as a complete surprise. There’s one thing you don’t do in this business is completely surprise the developer base that is spending time, money and energy building applications on your platform that you are, mean while, planning to cut. You will alienate the very talented developers you need to grow your business. As Steve Jobs once said in an Apple’s earnings call, this is simply a "battle for developers". I see Adobe, in many cases, losing that battle. Just this past month, the last big CF shop here in Atlanta is now making the move to .NET, and UPS corporate is dumping Flex.
I do hope they can turn things around, but I’m concern that the current senior management, who are largely responsible for the mess so far, are not able to properly execute this new vision. As a disclaimer, I do, sincerely, hope I’m wrong.