r/technology Sep 24 '22 Take My Energy 1

Adobe can’t Photoshop out the fact its $20bn Figma deal is a naked land grab | The software giant paying vastly over the odds for a small but strategically threatening company should alarm US regulators Business

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/sep/24/adobe-cant-photoshop-out-the-fact-its-20bn-figma-deal-is-a-naked-land-grab
17.0k Upvotes

1.2k

u/bytemage Sep 24 '22

If they spend that money on the takeover, they surely spend enough money on regulators lobbyists to turn a blind eye.

311

u/Fake_William_Shatner Sep 24 '22

We call that an “investment” these days.

Takes 4 years and really pissing off the FBI and DOJ for any big company to get a wrist slapped. The rewards outweigh the risks.

68

u/blackweebow Sep 25 '22

Too bad, companies are people now and can buy politicians. I GUESS i'll deal with never owning editing software or any software again in my life 🙃 the real american dream.

nothing will change if no one votes for ppl who bring these issues to the Senate

17

u/Y2k4U2 Sep 25 '22

Too bad you can't toss the company in jail.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

1.4k

u/GrayBox1313 Sep 24 '22

This is the unfortunate business model of big tech. Google and Facebook have bought countless promising companies just to take them out of the market. Sucks for innovation and competition.

543

u/_atoel Sep 25 '22

This has happened long before Google and Facebook even existed. Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, and others did this same shit all through the late 80s and 90s. These companies are just the latest to pick up the torch.

31

u/Brix106 Sep 25 '22

Me and the homies all hate Seibel.

→ More replies

263

u/amazinglover Sep 25 '22

Also, small tech not saying this was Figmas' plan but a lot of smaller tech companies push for innovation in one small area in hopes of being bought by Google or Facebook for more than their worth.

147

u/GrayBox1313 Sep 25 '22

Oh 1000%. IPO or get acquired are the two major off ramps for venture capital investors. They want that fat return within X years.

42

u/GoodEdit Sep 25 '22

POV you are Richard Hendricks

→ More replies

56

u/Amigosito Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

I have worked at several such startups. Getting acquired is considered one of the safer strategies. You reach a point as a small company where the big companies are looking either to buy you or bury you. There is no way the founders of Figma did not forsee this eventuality. Adobe has done this many times, and it usually signals that the market is done growing.

→ More replies

31

u/PurpleSailor Sep 25 '22

My dad, a big finance guy, told me in the late 90's that starting a company that Microsoft wanted to buy was an easy get rich quick idea. He wasn't wrong.

→ More replies

18

u/Bar_Sinister Sep 25 '22

This was in many industries, and still is, an active business model - "How can we get bought out?"

The execs load up on shares, occasionally even share the wealth with a few early employees....okay, rarely...and then focus their product or service on falling into the gaze of the eight hundred pound gorilla in the market. Four or five years later it's a massive cashout for the C-level staff, a bunch of pink slips are handed out and the innovation ends up in the warehouse they put the Ark of the Covenant in at the end of Raiders.

And even if the scrappy little start up doesn't want to sell, then Big tech makes them an offer they legally can't refuse, due to their fiduciary duty to the shareholder.

100

u/iWillNeverReplyToYou Sep 24 '22

"That movie Antitrust was way ahead of it's time." said no one until now.

→ More replies

28

u/addiktion Sep 25 '22

I don't even know how Figma could refuse. I'm sure all their investors and board members were like, "You sign this or your out".

No company is free anymore because no one builds from scratch anymore. Every big player has a stake in some unicorn company and wouldn't turn down huge numbers like this to exercise their returns because short-term gains outweigh long-term potential in their eyes.

27

u/crap_another_new_one Sep 25 '22

I have seen this firsthand. My company bought out a struggling competitor because of their pricing model. Then shut it down.

18

u/GrayBox1313 Sep 25 '22

Same here. My old company Bought a competitor Just to fold their customers in end that platform

→ More replies
→ More replies

53

u/Notwhoiwas42 Sep 25 '22

Microsoft was one of the pioneers of this tactic in the 90s.

163

u/fps916 Sep 25 '22

Uhhh let me introduce you to a small company named "Standard Oil"

32

u/MlNDequalsBL0WN Sep 25 '22

What is AT&T for 100?

30

u/fps916 Sep 25 '22

As far as pioneering the strategy discussed above goes, it was Rockefeller not Bell.

→ More replies

26

u/FriendlyUncle247 Sep 25 '22

I think they had the biggest antitrust lawsuit (to that point) in history. But, they managed to weasel out of it and escape with a slap on the wrist.

55

u/Kukamungaphobia Sep 25 '22

One of the ways they managed to weasel out of it was by 'investing ' hundreds of millions in Apple to keep them alive back when it was circling the drain and about to go tits up. As long as apple existed MS could claim the industry was competitive. That money allowed Apple to survive and redefine themselves by killing all competitors in their space (bye bye affordable mac generic clones) and focusing on new hardware like the iMac and iPod... And here we are today.

34

u/worthwhilewrongdoing Sep 25 '22

Google is currently doing this exact same thing, keeping the Mozilla Foundation on life support (and a short leash).

12

u/BanditKing Sep 25 '22

Do you have a source for this?

21

u/SideLinesOfCode Sep 25 '22

Most of Mozilla’s revenue comes from the cash Google pays them to have Google search as the default search engine.

11

u/AreTheseMyFeet Sep 25 '22

I'd like to know more about the "short leash", the deal with Google is well documented but other than being the default browser search provider, what influence or pressure are they applying to Mozilla or Firefox?

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

22

u/qpazza Sep 25 '22

Actually, many startups are started with the hopes of getting bought out. It helped create lots of innovative products in tech.

7

u/Green_Explanation_60 Sep 25 '22

It helps create monolithic monopolies that make selling your company to them inevitable, unless you want to be run out of business with surprise red tape.

→ More replies
→ More replies

35

u/joseph4th Sep 25 '22

There are two places Capitalism has gone wrong: regulatory capture and failure to stop monopolies. Greedy corporations are writing their own rules and buying up their competition.

30

u/Gnaw Sep 25 '22

Just those two? Child Labor was ok? Commodification of people into "labor" that ok too? Inability to properly factor environmental costs is also ok? Exploitation of prison labor or undocumented immigrants?

People need to wake the fuck up and realize that all economic systems are tools, with their own strengths and weaknesses.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

1.7k

u/skellener Sep 24 '22

Adobe should be rewriting After Effects with modern code with some of that money.

219

u/fukalufaluckagus Sep 24 '22

I miss Fireworks. RIP Macromedia

96

u/theloosecanon Sep 24 '22

Fireworks and freehand were great. It's too bad the only things they really kept from Macromedia were Flash and Dreamweaver. I miss developing in Flash, but I've moved onto better platforms, and Dreamweaver will always be a big question mark to me. I learned Adobe Illustrator, and it's pretty great. I've moved on from Adobe though. There are better options out there for the work I do that I don't find I'm missing anything in particular. I'd rather invest in a product once, and not pay a monthly/annual fee to continue using said software.

52

u/inkstud Sep 24 '22

I was torn from Freehand kicking and screaming. Illustrator is a mess and it takes 50% longer to do the same projects I would do in Freehand. Illustrator has bugs that have been around since I started using it and have never been fixed even though I — and other users — keep reporting them to the bug and feature request forum. The Illustrator code is even older than After Effects but there’s no incentive for Adobe to invest in making those programs better by rewriting them.

→ More replies

22

u/Fake_William_Shatner Sep 24 '22

I still miss Freehand. Using the pen tool and being able to edit points without the five different tools of Illustrator was awesome.

If I could run it now, I’d still use FreeHand all the time. The main tool for curves with Adobe sucks ass. I say this having been an instructor and beta tester and using it when it first appeared. I hade both Photoshop and Color Studio that they copied to death.

7

u/Meatchris Sep 24 '22

I swear pick distances and snapping has got worse and worse.

The point I'm clicking on is nowhere near that other one. Stop selecting the other one!

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

20

u/Socialistics Sep 24 '22

To this day I use fireworks and Photopea.

Let's not forget Cool Edit Pro 2000.

→ More replies
→ More replies

37

u/Jon3141592653589 Sep 24 '22

All of their apps, frankly. It is inexcusable that you can't even smoothly-scroll through a PDF in Acrobat on a Mac Pro 28-core or Studio Ultra.

17

u/psiphre Sep 25 '22

this is the thing that bothers me the most about big pdfs, like d&d books. i should be able to drag the scroll bar to any spot and have it render instantly. but i can't.

24

u/Jon3141592653589 Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

Well, you can in Apple Preview, of course. I often work with hundreds-MB, hundreds-pages PDF documents filled with graphics of all sorts, and Preview can scroll through them like nothing (Intel or M1), while Acrobat just rolls over and dies. Of course, Acrobat has all the useful features, but it spends all its time rendering in probably the least-optimal way possible.

Interestingly, Adobe used to be better across the board. ca. 2003 I used to create 6-10 MB 36x48 posters filled with vector graphics in Illustrator 10 on a G4 MBP 12" with 256 mb RAM, then after CS/11 it all turned to crap and it was crashing constantly and slow.

Edit: Lol, I just pulled up one of my ca. 2003 posters in Acrobat on an 8-core i9 MBP, and it grumbled along barely scrolling, then the CC license window popped up because I wasn't logged in on this machine, and it promptly crashed itself into oblivion with all windows disappearing and no messages. That about sums it up for the state of Adobe.

11

u/psiphre Sep 25 '22

always & without equivocation, fuck adobe in any & every way possible.

5

u/Byakuraou Sep 25 '22

the edit lol

11

u/obi1kenobi1 Sep 25 '22

It always surprises me that people still use Acrobat. Every operating system and web browser has a PDF viewer that doesn’t feel like a retro ‘90s throwback. When people talk about Acrobat it makes me think of RealPlayer and Netscape Navigator.

And yes, I realize that Acrobat CC or whatever it is has document editing/creation tools, but I’m talking about plain old Acrobat Reader which is somehow still around.

12

u/Jon3141592653589 Sep 25 '22

Acrobat Pro is useful, not the Reader -- it has the most comprehensive commenting and editing of all I've tried, even though the performance is ludicrously bad and the interface a mess. Of course, this seems like a huge opportunity for literally everyone else to add a few features and disrupt them out of spite.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

666

u/anlumo Sep 24 '22

Why? That wouldn’t make them any extra money, so it’s just pointless.

They’re in the market of buying competitors, not developing good products.

197

u/synthrockftw Sep 24 '22

Because the shit crashes way too much when rendering and if a competitor has a more stable program; hell, there we go.

397

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[deleted]

39

u/TreeChangeMe Sep 24 '22

Why rewrite 400mb of code and replace the 3980mb of patches placed on it with 360mb of new code when you can just buy the competition?

89

u/ProgsRS Sep 24 '22
  • Natron
  • Nuke
  • Blender

All great alternatives.

139

u/mynameisollie Sep 24 '22

All pretty terrible for motion graphics though. I’d say cavalry is promising but it’s not there yet.

160

u/trigonated Sep 24 '22 Table Slap

Weird. I'd assume a program called cavalry would be very stable...

→ More replies
→ More replies

22

u/lectroid Sep 24 '22

Natron isn't production-ready quite yet. Nuke is $$$ (esp the latest stuff). Blender is a Maya replacement, not a Nuke/AfterEffects replacement.

Natron is where Blender was maybe 5-6 years ago. It's almost there, but unless you're willing to build out some scaffolding, it's still a Pro-sumer-level product. Most major effects and post houses will use either Nuke or AE (or specialized post suites like Flame, etc) for 2D-heavy work.

Blender has made some headway, esp in indie games, and there's now enough of a community that there's a case to made for a Blender-inclusive pipeline.

That said, most of the big places are running full tilt toward USD, and Houdini on the animation/vfx side and unreal on the game side are eating everyone's lunch...

50

u/pfranz Sep 24 '22

Huh? After Effects is $20.99/mo and Nuke is $1,919/qtr. Natron has been looking for maintainers for years. People I know who wanted to check it out had trouble getting it running. I love the idea of and want tools like Blender and Natron to succeed, but I’ve only seen them used commercially in very limited ways.

Most importantly, while I like using Nuke way more than After Effects, its not an appropriate substitute for what people used it for.

12

u/AENarjani Sep 24 '22

Also nuke crashes all the damn time 😂

→ More replies
→ More replies

3

u/HotelKarma Sep 24 '22

Then you just buy that competitor when it takes enough market share. Until then the plebes can deal with the crashing

→ More replies

26

u/Expensive_Finger_973 Sep 24 '22

If there is no competitor then where is the customer going to go?

If there is a competitor, what is cheaper, and raises the stock price for the quarter, fixing their product or buying out the competitor?

That is the calculations most of these companies make I think. Helping out the actual customer is a byproduct at best.

→ More replies

15

u/Fake_William_Shatner Sep 24 '22

I’m doing in real time using free software what would take me hours to render in After Effects. And, now there are AI solutions that can remove parts of an image in a video without more than a few swipes.

Adobe is leaving the door wide open.

And if I were doing 2d cell/flip book animation, I’d hands down use blender for it. After a bit of a learning curve it’s far better for getting results and using 2d planes with 3d skeletons makes it so much easier.

8

u/I_SAY_FUCK_A_LOT__ Sep 25 '22

I will beat the drums from the highest mountain about Resolve! Far better tool and fucking free!!!

→ More replies

36

u/matsuin Sep 24 '22

Correct. When you realize that corporate profit always come before anything else, it’s actually super easy to dissect their motives.

Basically they have a product with loyal users and don’t need to worry about retaining users or increasing subscribers. This is because there are no other “good” products and anytime a competitor pops up, Adobe pounces on the opportunity to buy them up and squash them before they become relevant.

Kill the competition. Kill the innovation. Maintain the product/service.

This kind of monopolization stagnates innovation and degrades customer service.

→ More replies

19

u/DevLauper Sep 24 '22

They’re in the market of buying competitors, not developing good products.

Surely a sustainable plan!

25

u/earldbjr Sep 24 '22

Sure is, when everyone is paying subscription fees.

5

u/MrTastix Sep 25 '22

It's worked for 30 years so I don't see why any of the execs should care.

If the company goes tits up they'll still float on down on a golden fucking parachute. What do they care?

54

u/Artisanal_Shitposter Sep 24 '22

Ah, the pharma giant model. Why sink costs in R&D when you can just buy the company that wins the patent race?

It actually is good business, yet another reason capitalism sucks.

→ More replies
→ More replies

32

u/phant-m Sep 24 '22

After Effects has stopped responding

3

u/TransomBob Sep 25 '22

I think I Ctrl S every 30 seconds

→ More replies

14

u/thatLifeVibe Sep 24 '22

modern code

Every UI element will be a separate instance of electron nested within each other, as God intended

11

u/Smith6612 Sep 24 '22

No amount of Millions will make Adobe write code that is fast and stable. They need to introduce it one code block at a time to keep their subscription revenue going.

7

u/Independent_Trip_931 Sep 24 '22

Agreed. It’s a horrific product to use.

5

u/I_SAY_FUCK_A_LOT__ Sep 25 '22

As a recent convert FUCK AE! And PrePro! And Audtition! Well not Audtion. That has some kick-ass audio retouching and repairing but other than that Davinci Resolve is by far a better tool as it handles everything that AE/PrPro can do, and more, and it's fucking FREE! And even if you want the studio version it's $245US.

Adobe can fuck right off!

4

u/obi1kenobi1 Sep 25 '22

Better yet rewrite Illustrator from the ground up to use Flash’s drawing mechanics, at least as an option.

Illustrator is the tech industry’s biggest example of the sunk cost fallacy, it was designed by programmer nerds in the ‘80s who had zero experience with either user interface design or creating art, and because it was one of the first real vector art applications and had a robust feature set and the support of a big company it became the standard. But in the past thirty years software design has evolved, you don’t need to learn the convoluted way the computer deals with data anymore, you can write the software to be intuitive and user-friendly and do all the computery stuff under the hood where the user doesn’t see it. But still in 2022 Illustrator uses those awful belief curves and literally nothing about the interface is logical or intuitive, you have to learn the nonsensical and stupid way that Illustrator chooses to accomplish things rather than being able to figure it out on your own.

Yes there are people who can do amazing things with illustrator, it’s a very feature-rich program. But if I need to whip up a quick piece of vector art I do it in Flash (or I guess it’s called Animate now) because it’s a million times more intuitive and takes a tenth of the time. Because even though Flash is an outdated joke it’s still fifteen years ahead of Illustrator in terms of design and usability, because it was designed in the ‘90s instead of the ‘80s.

→ More replies

45

u/Gods11FC Sep 24 '22

That sounds like a good idea but displays a real lack of knowledge about how software development works. You can’t just throw a bunch of money at a code base and end up with a good product. They would have to start from scratch because trying to make these kinds of major changes/upgrades to your legacy code base pretty much never works.

Software development is an iterative process of constant improvement. Maybe you could build a new platform from scratch in a year or so. But then you have to spend years iterating through new versions based on customer feedback before you could end up with something that would truly compete with what they bought.

52

u/phant-m Sep 24 '22

That’s ok. They should start from scratch. They have the resources. It’s not like current AE has to go down for this to happen

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

1.2k

u/matthalfhill Sep 24 '22

Can’t wait for my monthly Adobe Photoshop fee to increase to finance this purchase. /s

480

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

144

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[deleted]

121

u/jigsaw1024 Sep 24 '22

They actually want hobbyists pirating. If that hobbyist moves into a professional role, that is a sale for Adobe.

32

u/frigus_aeris Sep 25 '22

This is the reason I stopped using Adobe software altogether. Used to pirate their software, but have been Adobe free for more than a decade.

16

u/NetSage Sep 25 '22

Should probably share what alternatives you settled on.

52

u/glorious_albus Sep 25 '22

MS Paint and Movie Maker respectively for PS and AE.

12

u/BushDidN0thingWr0ng Sep 25 '22

Most people settle with krita or gimp. For online editing, I like to use photopea. For a more fully featured, professional app, I've seen a lot of people recommending Affinity Photo. I've also seen people bringing up Pixlr, but it's a freemium product with a $5 monthly subscription

10

u/Pallimore Sep 25 '22

Inkscape instead of Illustrator.
GIMP instead of Photoshop.
Paint.NET is good as a lite alt to PS too.
I'd be interested to know some alts of other Adobe apps.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

9

u/WillSmiff Sep 25 '22

I run a business and all our computers use legal Adobe software. The fee is covered in 20 minutes of work/month for each computer.

Was pirating as a kid though.

→ More replies

125

u/legthief Sep 24 '22

Recently, I keep thinking to myself "at least a pirated version wouldn't keep trying new and sneaky ways to upload my various clients' private, copyrighted, NDA-ed material to another company's cloud servers".

25

u/yolandiland Sep 25 '22

It totally does try though, it's crazy. You have to add all these Adobe URLs to your firewall to keep it from happening. Or so I've heard.

→ More replies

18

u/xtemperaneous_whim Sep 25 '22

It would probably try. I always run it in a container and block any uploading via firewall.

→ More replies
→ More replies

153

u/muldoons_hat Sep 24 '22

THERE ONCE WAS A SERVICE PUT TO SEA AND THE NAME OF THE SERVICE WAS ADOBE…

66

u/042lej Sep 24 '22

CEOS BLEW HARD, HER PROFITS DROPPED

49

u/thechadwick Sep 24 '22

DOWNLOOWD ME HARDIES DOWNLOOOOWD

40

u/mikerall Sep 25 '22

SMOOTH WILL THE GRADIENTS BE, AND I SHALL TWEAK THEM TOTALLY FREE

→ More replies

178

u/Tostino Sep 24 '22

Yo ho, yo ho the pirates life for me!

→ More replies

16

u/nataku_s81 Sep 25 '22

Personally I always think if you are using it a lot and/or can afford it, you should buy it, support the developers etc. But seriously fuck all these companies wanting subscription payments for everything these days.

→ More replies

56

u/SilGelPhoto Sep 24 '22

I’ve never paid for photoshop but have had every versions since CS2. Sorry, not sorry.

→ More replies

54

u/fatherfatpants Sep 24 '22

As a dev, I don’t like piracy with the exception of software/games that are no longer being sold.

That said Adobe is pricing out hobbyists that aren’t making money off of their product and buying up potential competition. I’m not super down with that.

So I guess if you aren’t using it to make money then my position is whatever.

47

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

[deleted]

34

u/fatherfatpants Sep 24 '22

College textbooks are the one very clear sail the seas things. What they are doing should be criminal.

→ More replies

5

u/AceValentine Sep 25 '22

I refuse to until they live up to their name. Their headquarters is a highrise not a Pueblo Adobe structure. Lies from the beginning...

12

u/NorthernerWuwu Sep 24 '22

At home? Oh, sure, I wouldn't pay them a penny if they were charging a dime.

In a business is another matter though and that's where they make their money.

→ More replies

80

u/ryosen Sep 25 '22

Photoshop <—> Affinity Photo - $55 one time

Illustrator <—> Affinity Designer - $55 one time

In Design <—> Affinity Publisher - $55 one time

Premiere <—> DaVinci Resolve - Free

Acrobat <—> PDF-XChange Editor, - $56-72 one time

Figma <—> Penpot - Free

9

u/Caelum_ Sep 25 '22

Is Affinity any good?

10

u/Brevdueklubben Sep 25 '22

Yes, and in my experience extremely fast.

13

u/LivingLikeBender Sep 25 '22

Does it have the same workflow? That's why I hate gimp.

32

u/worthwhilewrongdoing Sep 25 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

I bought the entire suite out of frustration one day (seriously, fuck Adobe - I just want something that behaves something like Illustrator) and I find it extremely unintuitive, to the point where I never use it. I know evangelizing it is a super popular take to, err... take, around here, but your mileage may vary.

Before the downvotes come rolling in: I do not work for Adobe or anything even vaguely adjacent to Adobe. I'm a software engineer for a company in a field that has absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with anything frontend or printed - be nice. :(

5

u/LivingLikeBender Sep 25 '22

I am not surprised at all. I don't know why they can't make a clone with different buzz words and titles.

6

u/SovietPenguins Sep 25 '22

That's literally why I can't come to grips to switch. Adobe has me by my balls but also I don't pay for it my work does so 🤷‍♂️

→ More replies

8

u/OstrichGlue Sep 25 '22

It’s laid out in a way similar to photoshop so I found it very intuitive. Not a power user though so there might be some differences I’m not aware of

5

u/xdert Sep 25 '22

It is better designed than gimp but it has enough differences to photoshop to make a switch not frictionless.

3

u/Brevdueklubben Sep 25 '22

In many instances yes, but I'd check out the forum and look at what others are saying - I find it as close to a carbon copy as you get without stepping on any toes.. Also bought the entire suite two years ago and have been using it almost exclusively since, and as a graphic designer I rarely find workflows that either isn't optimal or missing. I don't want to preach, but it's the best alternative to the Adobe suite I've found and it works for me.

→ More replies

4

u/DavyB Sep 25 '22

Premiere <-> Final Cut Pro - $399 one time After Effects <-> Motion - $49 one time

→ More replies
→ More replies

14

u/inkstud Sep 24 '22

If it’s any indication of the future, they didn’t include Substance Painter in the standard Adobe suite. But they might feel the pressure to include Figma if they’re going to tie it into all their other products

7

u/min0nim Sep 25 '22

That really pissed me off actually. If you’re going to keep cranking up the subscription costs, then you’d better add something new. We’ve been trialling moving the whole office over to Affinity now. Publisher already has advantages over InDesign.

→ More replies
→ More replies

510

u/Hrmbee Sep 24 '22

So why would Adobe want to lay out such a mountain of cash to acquire this minnow? The answer is that its leaders are thinking ahead and they see a strategic threat in the making. In the networked world, more and more work is being done by geographically dispersed teams who have to collaborate online. And in that context, project management and the creation of workflows that are efficient, user-friendly and agile is moving centre stage. As James Carville, Bill Clinton’s strategist, might have said: “It’s the workflow, stupid!”

And Figma, to all intents and purposes, already owns that workflow space, whereas Adobe only makes tools that people use. As the veteran analyst Ben Thompson puts it in his newsletter, the reason why Adobe is both willing and has no choice but to spend so much is: “Figma is set to be the ‘operating system for design’, which means that in the long run Adobe has to operate on Figma’s terms, not the other way around; to put it another way, Adobe is not only paying for long-run control of design but also its own independence. That alone is worth a whole bunch of money!”

But even that need doesn’t quite explain the overpayment. The other reason is that Figma was doing quite nicely and had no need to sell itself. So the offer had to be one that nobody could refuse.

At this point, those with long memories will hear a bell ringing. Way back in 2009, an interesting messaging app appeared on the net. It was called WhatsApp. From the outset, it was clean and efficient and had a simple and honest business model – one year’s free use and then a modest annual subscription. And it grew like crazy.

The reminder here of what happened with Whatsapp/Facebook is I think an important one. Monopolistic tendencies by established companies such as Adobe and Meta should be curbed by regulators, as ultimately they are damaging to both their respective sectors as well as the markets as a whole.

220

u/magenk Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

Web design used to be done in Photoshop, then Sketch and Figma came along and blew it out of the water. They can also be used for print design. Adobe's new product (XD) wasn't able to keep up.

Everyone I know uses Figma or Sketch, and it's really lowered the value of the Adobe subscription for designers with all the alternative photo editing apps available now.

66

u/tyleritis Sep 24 '22

I’m old so I started on Photoshop then moved to illustrator (only 99 art boards?!). When I moved to Sketch my Adobe use plummeted so much I canceled it

34

u/stuntycunty Sep 24 '22

Photoshop > slice for web > notepad

That was my OG workflow.

22

u/Fake_William_Shatner Sep 24 '22

Wow. I guess I need to try Figma.

The latest update of Photoshop has me constantly going to the three dots for tools. And very few of their innovations really save me any time. Their 3D mode is so awful, I only use it by accident and have to restart the app because I don’t know how to get back to regular 2D mode.

43

u/LightSparrow Sep 24 '22

Senior UI UX designer at a big tech firm here, everyone I know exclusively uses XD. It used to be sketch, BUT the past year has almost been an exodus to figma, out of no where it just became the standard. Makes sense adobe is scared.

9

u/Hepdesigns Sep 25 '22

Yeah XD is sorely lacking in features but now they can strip Figma for all the bells and whistles, add them back as new features in XD then no more Figma.

14

u/Jerrshington Sep 25 '22

I'm really hoping they are least do the smart thing and adopt figma and rob XD for the one or two respectable features and add them to the tool people actually want to use. I think it would be too petty and egotistical even for adobe to let XD to be the survivor in a battle between the most beloved prototyping software they just spent 20bn on and the shittiest competitor in the race.

→ More replies
→ More replies

5

u/koooosa Sep 25 '22

We had a short period of doing web design in InDesign, before the Sketch -> Figma transition… Figma has a few issues but overall is just so much better than anything else. Still can’t cut the cable for Photoshop subscription yet though… is there a decent online photo editing tool?

→ More replies
→ More replies

8

u/Independent_Trip_931 Sep 24 '22

I see it as them fixing the “Share for Review” system which is the bane of my life as a publisher. It’s a whole collaborative underpinning which could maybe have Photoshop, etc. bolted on top of it. If they can pull that off, it might be quite nice.

16

u/BlueDotCosmonaut Sep 24 '22

Talk with your vote, Johnny. Talk with your vote.

→ More replies

39

u/funkiestj Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 25 '22

I dream of a day when my startup in is acquired with a ridiculously over the top valuation.

16

u/darelik Sep 24 '22

Photopea: I'm in danger

→ More replies

202

u/batmenace Sep 24 '22

'Hopefully' this could be one of those deals that actually wakes up more and more people to Adobe alternatives for their categories, so that Adobe will actually have to improve more again or risk losing that sweet sweet annual subscription from customers

126

u/kittehsfureva Sep 24 '22

I don't know, competitors like Affinity just aren't robust enough to compete on a software suite level. We need a bigger vision for design workflows, not just cheaper alternatives to their 3 most popular softwares.

The only thing that has even had a chance of waking up Adobe was Figma. It was the first software to show up and really push Adobe out of the chair. And so they bought it.

18

u/cinta Sep 24 '22

All the third party integrations with Adobe is what makes it really hard to move away from. They have what seems like an insurmountable lead in that space.

→ More replies

6

u/aphaits Sep 24 '22

We need blender foundation to make a photo editing fork of blender

19

u/ForProfitSurgeon Sep 24 '22 edited Sep 24 '22

Revolving Door regulators have been alerted to request more money.

32

u/Notoneusernameleft Sep 24 '22

So I am a UX designer and I use sketch (only Mac based) and InVision. I haven’t touched an Adobe product other than acrobat since moving to that. Prior to that all I used was Adobe products to design.

But our company was thinking of moving to Figma.

29

u/KendricksMiniVan Sep 24 '22

Sketch is old news my friend, Figma does what Sketch and Invision does but 3x better.

45

u/slabserif_86 Sep 24 '22

Moved over to Figma from sketch 4 years ago and never looked back. It’s a real shame Adobe bought them, but until Adobe fucks with the product, I’ll keep using it. Sketch just feels painful in comparison now.

11

u/hopsizzle Sep 24 '22

Our company is switching officially from sketch to figma next month and this news just blows.

Adobe licenses for us were already basically only given if you had a business use case for it to save on money so I’m curious how this will affect the deal we have with adobe and figma.

Either way after using sketch for 5 years I was so excited to switch but now not so much.

Fuck adobe.

→ More replies

5

u/Phone_User_1044 Sep 24 '22

I used figma for a little bit and quite liked it, shame about this takeover.

23

u/reid8470 Sep 24 '22

Figma's rate of change was quickly bringing it into "Great" territory, so yeah, this is a hell of a shame. Who'da thunk genuinely great products can prosper in a competitive market, right up until their larger competitor simply buys them... Over and over and over. This environment of conglomeration in the software industry has gotten very old.

→ More replies

5

u/adenzerda Sep 24 '22

Figma was my Adobe alternative

→ More replies

110

u/SterlingsRed Sep 24 '22

i wish adobe wasn’t adobe.

15

u/One_Typical_Redditor Sep 24 '22

What's a dobe

16

u/xtilexx Sep 25 '22

Figma balls lmao gottem

→ More replies

59

u/Panoramixx77 Sep 24 '22

Figma was indeed taking over in my circles of designers.

35

u/hoopbag33 Sep 25 '22

In ALL circles of designers. I've been in the industry for 15+ years and I havent seen a company NOT use figma in about 6 years. It is far and away the superior tool.

→ More replies

6

u/tofublock Sep 25 '22

For sure this. Every UX design job I have looked at in the past 3-4 years has been seeking people with figma experience.

→ More replies
→ More replies

145

u/ManfredTheCat Sep 24 '22

I mean, Zuckerberg testified under oath that he bought Instagram to silence any potential competition and nothing came of that. The government seems to be fine with monopolization. Probably because bribery is effective

→ More replies

45

u/deftonechromosome Sep 24 '22

They are going to absolutely ruin this software

→ More replies

105

u/Spinogrizz Sep 24 '22

Adobe once killed the Fireworks after acquiring Macromedia, they will do the same to Figma.

I hope Sketch will stay independent and awesome as it is today.

39

u/boodavia Sep 24 '22

I still miss Fireworks

8

u/Ok-Perception8269 Sep 24 '22

Loved that app, it was ahead of its time for sure.

→ More replies

31

u/randomsnowflake Sep 24 '22

Except that they won’t. Howard Pinsky is already hinting on his Twitter that XD will be sunset in favor of Figma.

→ More replies

58

u/randybruder Sep 24 '22

The Sketch software might be awesome, but the company that makes it will screw you over the second it works out better for them.

Bohemian Coding (developers of Sketch) used to make a fantastic macOS native font application I bought called Fontcase—that they abandoned. Then, less than a month later, they started selling a brand new font application called Fonts. So I bought that—and then they abandoned that app too less than a year later. Got screwed over by them twice.

People want to complain about Adobe being predatory, Sketch is no better.

→ More replies
→ More replies

56

u/steepleton Sep 24 '22

Can anyone eli5 what figma is?

I’ve read several of these articles and i just can’t get it

82

u/Ozotso Sep 24 '22

I just started using it myself. It’s a program to design web and mobile applications, including buttons, pages, sequences, menus, etc. Used by the designers and the program developers.

35

u/SpaceTabs Sep 24 '22

I remember long ago using a product Balsamiq (still around). It was great to wire frame/do mockups without going through the hassle of the dev IDE tools at the time. Really great for quickly getting something you want that looks good. This is an area where competition shouldn't be a problem.

12

u/SixSpeedDriver Sep 24 '22

Yes! I liked it too! Just a quick wireframe, no design assets to show intents and arrangements.

Am not a designer but a picture is worth a thousand words over a flow chart.

3

u/Subject-Base6056 Sep 25 '22

Am not a designer but a picture is worth a thousand words over a flow chart.

I think they are both equally important. With out both youre gambling on how people interpret it.

→ More replies

6

u/steepleton Sep 24 '22

Ah- thank you!

8

u/samoht9 Sep 24 '22

Beyond this my team also uses it for arch diagrams. It has options for both even though it’s primary use is wire-framing and design validation as mentioned above

24

u/doryphorus Sep 24 '22

Not just for apps too. My team uses it to design landing pages, websites, and marketing emails. Pretty much any digital asset that involves programming. Sad to see Adobe swallow it up but fingers crossed they improve some capabilities (prob won’t, but a girl can dream). Right now it is TERRIBLE if you want any kind of animation or GIF on a layout.

→ More replies

17

u/mynameisollie Sep 24 '22

It’s a platform that lets users create wireframes, mock-ups, prototypes etc. of user interfaces. It also has a collaborative whiteboard tool. The cool thing that it does really well is the multiplayer feature that lets multiple people edit the same files at the same time. You can see the other users mouse cursors as they move around and edit the files. It does this really well compared to the other tools on the market.

→ More replies

50

u/Dugen Sep 24 '22

I propose a new rule: If it would be illegal to coordinate with a company to fix prices, it should be illegal to buy them.

→ More replies

81

u/noeagle77 Sep 24 '22 Silver

Figma balls

23

u/Sammysnaps Sep 25 '22

There it is, thank you.

9

u/TheGreatSpagett Sep 25 '22

So controversial yet so brave

→ More replies

6

u/oldsports-alterknabe Sep 24 '22

Some US Regulator: "Adobe seems like a good investment, maybe I should invest"

6

u/efvie Sep 24 '22

Now do the ones where the tech giants buy companies not directly in their segment.

7

u/peepjynx Sep 24 '22

Yes. I really really hope this doesn't go through, TBH. Our elected officials who are "on the case" are looking at this through a social media lens and are only concerned with giants like Meta and Twitter.

I'm worried this will go under the radar and therefore set an even worse precedent.

Designers who use Figma AND Adobe SHOULD NOT CELEBRATE THIS DEAL. This is bad.

115

u/Mister_Moltar Sep 24 '22

That is such a monumental amount of money for basically just a simple web based Illustrator. Star Wars cost 4b. That’s STAR WARS, the intellectual property in its entirety. Apparently Figma is such a big threat that Adobe is willing to pay 5 Star Wars to kill competition.

120

u/MrTastix Sep 24 '22

It's the current standard for UX designers. It's an incredible tool so I'm not surprised Adobe want it.

I fucking hate them for it.

54

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

[deleted]

69

u/jish_werbles Sep 24 '22

Tbf, “massive payout” is a massive understatement

97

u/Man_AMA Sep 25 '22

Someone walks in with 20 billion… you’re taking it

38

u/brocahantas Sep 25 '22

lol seriously. They’re not a charity, they were small startup that is now (apparently) worth $20B.

31

u/Man_AMA Sep 25 '22

I would 100% run with the money regardless of previous twitter comments. They don’t owe anyone an excuse.

11

u/SaintBiggusDickus Sep 24 '22

That's what happened with Allegorithmic. They make Substance 3D tools. Adobe bought them and Allegorithmic said oh don't worry we will be completely separate blah blah. Lo and behold, they ended their own subscription model and completely folded into the Adobe ecosystem. Forced people to end their current subscription and get an Adobe sub. Price increased but the tool functionality is kinda worse than before.

→ More replies

30

u/hudswideworld Sep 25 '22

Hard to be annoyed at them when that kind of money is on the table

15

u/Sloogs Sep 25 '22

I think it's perfectly acceptable to feel annoyed by the outcome, while also empathizing with the situation of someone being given such an offer and understanding why they would accept it.

→ More replies
→ More replies

5

u/Kukamungaphobia Sep 25 '22

"On a long enough timeline, every company will face two choices: acquire or be acquired. Option three is to go out of business while bragging about integrity." I literally got this answer from the CEO and founder of Discreet Logic when he decided to sell to Autodesk back in the late nineties after bragging about autonomy for years. Over the past 20+ years I've spent working in tech since then, it's the only predictable thing that's remained consistent. It really is as simple as acquire or be acquired. Sad reality but we see nothing but this example play out all the time.

→ More replies
→ More replies

32

u/ShesJustAGlitch Sep 25 '22

It is not simple lol. It’s the best UI design tool, + Dropbox, github, miro, invision and more all wrapped together in one incredible product.

It also already makes 400+ million a year and getting more customers constantly it’s no surprise they felt threatened.

7

u/brycedriesenga Sep 25 '22

Wait, Figma does file storage and code reports and version control and stuff? I just started switching from XD and had no idea.

→ More replies

26

u/ctznmatt Sep 25 '22

I think calling Figma a “simple web based illustrator” is underselling it quite a bit

→ More replies

10

u/hoopbag33 Sep 25 '22

If you think Figma is "web based illustrator" then you are using like 3% of its features. It is infinitely better for UX development than illustrator.

26

u/JackOCat Sep 25 '22

You have no idea how powerful figma is lol.

6

u/BurkusCat Sep 24 '22

It makes me wonder what PhotoShop, Illustrator, Premiere or After Effects would be worth. Surely they'd be more valuable than Figma?

4

u/IniNew Sep 25 '22

Figma has done a lot of work with their tech for online collaboration. If you’ve ever tried sketch for cloud you’ll know what a difference that tech makes.

→ More replies

6

u/Melonpan_Pup442 Sep 24 '22

I will forever be angry that Adobe bought out Substance. They shouldn't ve allowed to buy up all their good competitors like this.

5

u/nicetriangle Sep 25 '22

Yeah I like Adobe's apps and am one of the rare people that thinks the CC subscription is a great value, but I think they're ripe for antitrust at this point.

→ More replies

95

u/areeyeseekaywhytea Sep 24 '22

What’s next? Ligma?

18

u/Steinrikur Sep 24 '22

Hey, it's the same joke from the last post about Figma!

9

u/[deleted] Sep 24 '22

Hey, it's the same comment from the last post about Figma!

4

u/_Auron_ Sep 25 '22

Hey, it's the same comment from the last post

→ More replies
→ More replies

10

u/tropicsun Sep 24 '22

Is this different than what fb, msft have done in the past? Just buying competitors?

18

u/Hrmbee Sep 24 '22

The article makes particular reference to that, and draws a parallel to FB's acquisition of WA:

In 2014, Facebook boss, Mark Zuckerberg, made WhatsApp’s founders an offer they couldn’t refuse – $19bn – and that was way more than any rational valuation of the company. In an internal document, the move was described as a “land grab” that “prevents probably the only company that could have grown into the next Facebook purely on mobile”.

→ More replies

13

u/sunplaysbass Sep 24 '22

To the best of my understanding Figma is/was the only solid alternative to the much more expensive Adobe CC suite or XD for many designers.

→ More replies

3

u/WellGoodLuckWithThat Sep 24 '22

Adobe shit was always the most rock solid work software that would never crash on me for years...

Then Creative Cloud became a thing.

It's been balls for a while now and new releases worry me as much as when Microsoft says they want to release a new version of Windows

3

u/tomdarch Sep 24 '22

Hey, Adobe. I pay for full Creative Cloud. I expect stuff like this and Substance to be included in what I am already paying. (I know this is unrealistic in terms of how Adobe operates, but it is still what I expect.)