Adobe announced Firefly, a family of creative generative AI models coming to Adobe products. The integration with Creative Suite and responsible generative AI is what makes it potentially very interesting. I also like that it’s positioned (similarly to GitHub’s Copilot) as a productivity tool and not a substitute for creators. For more context, see this thread by Sudharshan and another one by Linus with mind-blowing examples.
Bloomberg reports (see the Google cache version without the paywall) that the United States Department of Justice is preparing an antitrust lawsuit seeking to block Adobe’s $20 billion acquisition of Figma. A case is expected to be filed as soon as next month. “The antitrust division is concerned the deal — one of the largest takeovers of a private software maker — would reduce options for design software used by creative professionals.”
Nilay Patel from The Verge interviews Dylan Field for the Decoder podcast. It’s the longest and sharpest interview since the acquisition — an absolute must-read. “So I wanted to talk to Dylan about the deal, why he’s doing it, how he made the decision to sell, and what things he can do as part of Adobe that he couldn’t do as an independent company. Dylan’s also a pretty expansive thinker, so after we talked about his company getting the “fuck you” money from Adobe, we talked about making VR Figma for the metaverse and AGI, which is artificial general intelligence, or the kind of AI that can fully think for itself.”
“The Justice Department is preparing to open an in-depth investigation of Adobe’s $20 billion takeover of design collaboration company Figma, according to four people with knowledge of the matter and a document viewed by POLITICO.”
What a dumpster fire. It seems to be Pantone’s decision, but both companies look awful now.
Fun times ahead for #Adobe designers. Today, if you open a PSD (even one that's 20 years old) with an obscure PANTONE colour, it will remove the colour and make it black. Pantone want US$21/month for access, and Solid Coated goes behind the paywall in early November. pic.twitter.com/BUxzViYFaQ— Iain Anderson (@funwithstuff) October 28, 2022
In this CNBC interview, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen shares his thoughts on the company’s plans to acquire Figma and innovation in a hybrid work environment.
Back like we never left ⚡⚡⚡ With @adobemax returning to LA for the first time in three years, @Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen shares his thoughts on the company's plans to acquire @figma and innovation in a hybrid work environment. pic.twitter.com/JMeii3PoG8— TechCheck (@CNBCTechCheck) October 18, 2022
A short thread of a few hints on the future of Figma from the Adobe Max conference.
Yesterday at Adobe Max there were a lot of hints and announcement on how the synergies between Adobe and Figma will be...— Damián Martone (@DamsTweets) October 19, 2022
One of the most interesting takes on the acquisition I’ve read so far. Wenting Zhang left Adobe over a year ago, but before that she spent 1.5 years working on Adobe XD and 5 years on Adobe Fonts (ex-Typekit). While as an ADBE investor she has a clear bias about the price, her observation about the org chart oddity is really interesting.
On this episode of the Futurum Tech Webcast – Interview Series, the host Daniel Newman is joined by Ashley Still, Senior Vice President of Digital Media/Marketing, Strategy & Partnerships for Adobe, to take a look at Adobe’s acquisition of Figma.
Casey Newton interviews Dylan Field about antitrust issues, keeping control of his product road map, and whatever DALL-E and other AI tools might mean for the future of design.
Matt Stoller: “My instinct is that this merger is illegal and that it will be blocked or abandoned. But I’m not 100% sure, as there are also technical issues here that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. But even within the merging parties, there is genuine concern about whether this merger will close. Internally, Adobe executives are already telling employees not to write anything down about the merger for fear it will be found by government investigators.”
The Wall Street Journal gathered thoughts and concerns on the deal from folks in the industry, including Scott Belsky, Fons Mans, and Yuhki Yamashita.
During a VC job interview in 2018, Kyle Harrison built a model with Figma becoming a $19B company in 2025. His analysis was called “unrealistic”. Good thread on compounding growth, and there is a deeper dive in his newsletter.
In 2018 Figma did $4M of ARR. Soon after I had a VC job interview where I did a Figma case study. I built a model with Figma becoming a $19B company in 2025— Kyle Harrison (@kwharrison13) September 19, 2022
I didn't get the job. They said my analysis was "unrealistic"
A thread on how the best companies compound unexpectedly...
Karri Saarinen, cofounder and CEO of Linear: “Adobe missed the one of the largest transformations in the design industry and lost the product designers for over a decade. Spending $20B on Figma is their ticket back in and hopefully evolving their thinking from the “software in a box” model.” Also love his take on Sketch “building a tool for a designer vs. building a tool for teams”.
I’ve seen a lot of takes on the Figma Adobe deal in past week and think most VCs/finance folks misses the point since they don’t really understand the market or tools Adobe and Figma makes. Figma is not a Photoshop killer and Figma didn't put "Photoshop in the cloud".— Karri Saarinen (@karrisaarinen) September 20, 2022
Rafa from Layout FM podcast shares his thoughts and predictions after the acquisition. Also, listen to his podcast episode on this topic.
A good summary of topics discussed at the Figma All-Hands call on September 16th.
Here's the TLDR of the @figma all hands spaces.— Ashish ✦ ashuxi.eth (@Ash_uxi) September 16, 2022
Dann Petty hosted an open chat about Figma’s acquisition with Scott Belsky from Adobe.
If you missed our design chat today about @Adobe + @Figma with @scottbelsky you can listen to the recording 🙌 https://t.co/vPlS8wnlAB— DANN ツ (@DannPetty) September 22, 2022
Nice thread from Nathan Barry, founder of Convertkit, on Figma’s dominance.
Figma just sold for $20 Billion.— Nathan Barry (@nathanbarry) September 17, 2022
The highest price ever for a private SaaS company. An incredible 50x multiple their $400 million ARR.
Here are the 10 reasons Figma dominated the design world:
Great point by Wendy Johansson on a positive side effect of this deal.
I'm very excited to hear the Figma acquisition news this morning!— Wendy Johansson (@uxwendy) September 15, 2022
Startup employees often get a windfall 💰 when big moves like this happen. In the coming years (hold for those long-term gains taxes, Figma employees!), we should see two design-focused impacts coming from this 🧵 https://t.co/u9KNcxouMS
MDS with another take on Figma/Adobe: “The magic happens in the details and typically in things that you didn’t plan for”.
What makes software magical? Another take on Figma/Adobe for those of us who still wanna talk about it. pic.twitter.com/g2m5mQBEj0— MDS (@mds) September 16, 2022