MAX 2013 and Our Creative Evolution
The energy at Adobe’s MAX Conference was incredible. More than 5000 gathered in the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles and tens of thousands more joined live over webcast, it’s clear that MAX is one of the leading creativity conferences in the world.
From Postscript to Photoshop to Creative Suite and today Creative Cloud, Adobe’s mission has always been to help creative people create. I am incredibly fortunate to have spent the last 15 years here working with teams to bring great creative products to market. As I look back, several milestone events stand out in our journey:
My first major event was March 1999 – Seybold Seminars, the leading industry conference for desktop publishing, printing, and graphics. We launched InDesign at that show and revolutionized graphic design, giving designers amazing new levels of freedom and control in layout and typography. It still amazes me the kind of masterpieces that people create with InDesign – initially for print magazines, catalogs and newspapers, and more recently immersive and interactive digital magazines and apps on tablets and smart phones.
In 2003, we first introduced Creative Suite at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Many customers were already using Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat, and what they wanted more than anything was for our products to work better together. Creative Suite represented close to a decade of innovation focused on addressing the challenges our customers were facing in producing great creative on the desktop. It started with many of the basic Suite capabilities that we all now take for granted – a common user interface and consistent handling of fonts, printing and transparency – and extended to include web, video, interactive media, and more magical new features.
At the last MAX 18 months ago, we unveiled the next step in the reimagination of the creative process: Creative Cloud. Our goal is to make the creative process simpler, more connected and more collaborative – and we believe Creative Cloud is the answer. Creative Cloud is a membership service that enables us to bring frequent updates to our applications and services to our customers. This is a win-win for our customers, who get new technology at frequent intervals, as well as our engineers, who get to bring new features to market on a continuous basis. We have introduced a ton of new innovations since we first launched Creative Cloud last year. At MAX this week, we released a major update to the service. We showcased a stunning new set of CC applications, cloud services to access and publish content anywhere, and integration with Behance, a vibrant creative community. We also announced that Creative Cloud will be where we focus our innovation moving forward.
Each new generation of innovation at Adobe – desktop publishing, Creative Suite, and now Creative Cloud – has been driven by what we believe is the best way to solve the challenges our customers face. Our goal is to over-deliver on our customers’ expectations and our employees are already hard at work on building new Creative Cloud innovations that take advantage of the power of cloud computing, tablets, and touch interfaces. The creative community has been at the core of Adobe’s business since our company was founded over 30 years ago. It’s why we get up every morning. There has never been a more exciting time to be a creative and there has never been a more exciting time to be at Adobe.
The best part of my job is hitting the road to hear about what’s on the minds of our customers, partners and employees. In the past two months I’ve clocked more than 34,000 air miles doing just that. From the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to the World Economic Forum in Davos, from London to Sydney to New York, Digital Marketing has been on the mind of every CEO I meet. It has definitely gone broadly into the mainstream and into the boardroom, well beyond the confines of the web team.
Most recently, we had three terrific days in Utah at the annual Adobe Digital Marketing Summit where 5,000 people gathered to hear about the latest innovations in digital marketing solutions. Every company needs to become a digital-first organization and I spoke about the three marketing mandates that I believe all companies need to focus on:
1. Engage everywhere – Gone are the days when your digital strategy is just about driving customers to your website and converting them. Whether it’s app stores or retail stores; on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest; on a PC, phone, or laptop; you have to go to your customers or they won’t come to you. Successful marketers are integrating all channels to engage their customers wherever they are.
2. Embrace rocket science – Every business is swimming in data, and many are struggling just to get backward-looking reports. But the real value of data is predictive, harnessing math and machine learning to take marketers’ intuition to a whole new level. Many of our customers are already doing this with Media Optimizer today, where you can predict the optimal media mix and automate the buying across display and search advertising. The next frontier is to take all of your marketing – across social, mobile, web, real-time, historic, qualitative, quantitative – and reliably predict and execute the perfect campaign to maximize sales. That is rocket science becoming real.
3. Connect the dots – Organizational change needs to happen internal to every company in order to thrive in this new digital age. I live this every Monday morning at 9 am when I have the team report to me on their metrics. The product organization, marketing organization and sales and finance are working together to drive the results in a way that never used to happen.
Thanks to everyone who made Summit such a great event. Next up: Adobe MAX in LA. I’m excited to hear what our community has to say about the future of creativity!
Happy Anniversary, Adobe!
In December we celebrated our 30th anniversary, a major milestone for technology companies. We are in very rare company of those who have thrived over such a period by both making the billion-dollar-a-year and billion-dollar-a-quarter milestones.
This success over the past 30 years is the result of a relentless focus on innovation and customers first set by our founders, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke. Our impact on every form of communication has been profound — every magazine, every newspaper and website, images that you encounter, every video and application on mobile devices — chances are Adobe has played a major role in its creation.
As we continued to evolve our company, we decided that as all businesses moved mobile and online, we needed to expand our offerings beyond creation to management, measurement and monetization. Through organic innovation and targeted acquisitions, we've aligned our strategy around Digital Media — the creation of content, and Digital Marketing — the business of content. Our goal is to make every digital experience across every device a high-impact experience.
The single biggest reason this vision is possible is our employees around the world. We are a truly globally diverse company with over 10,000 employees. Our core values of genuine, innovative, exceptional and involved are what set Adobe apart.
Happy anniversary, Adobe, and here's to many more great years to come!