Yesterday Adobe acquired Nitobi. It’s not a partnership — they won’t be renamed Adobi or Nitobe — it’s merely an acquisition. Adobe swallowing up a darling child of the mobile world in an effort to bolster a portfolio of more than 120 products that resemble the software equivalent of big fat couch potatoes.
As soon as Adobe becomes acquainted with something it usually gets a little chubby, loses its luster, and is then dumped and never heard from again. Adobe never wants to be seen with the fat chick. But what the hell… they are usually the ones responsible for the weight gain. That’s not to say Adobe doesn’t have some really good products, but they always seem to get heavier than they need to be. Kind of like the Adele of the software world — beautiful and talented, but would get even more fanfare if they just lost 20 pounds and always remained true to their roots.
We need only look at the long laundry list of purchases over the past decade to see that Adobe doesn’t always take care of its acquisitions. Tell me who you remember from this list and what significance the corporate identities play in the role at Adobe today:
- Accelio (2002) took the technology for Acrobat.
- Syntrillium (2003) Cool Edit Pro is merged into Adobe’s exiting editing products.
- Yellow Dragon Technology (2003) an ebXML pioneer that was never heard from again.
- Q-Link (2004) took the technology for Adobe IDP.
- OKYZ (2004) 3D technology company.
- Macromedia (2005) Flash, ColdFusion, DreamWeaver they *were* all the rage.
- Navisware (2006)
- TTF (2006) CAD system software.
- Pixmatec Technology (2006) digital imaging software.
- InterAKT (2006) content management, Intranet and e-commerce.
- Actimagine (2006) vector graphics technology.
- Serious Magic (2006) video and communication software.
- Antepo (2007) technology used for future development of Acrobat.
- Scene7 (2007) rich media solutions.
- YaWeh (2008)
- Business Catalyst (2009) hosting and e-commerce.
- Omniture (2009) web analytics company purchased for $1.8 billion.
- Day Software (2010) Web CMS
- Demdex (2011) take a look at the Demdex website - demdex.com.
- EchoSign (2011) electronic signature services.
Adobe has said all the right things. “We’ll adopt you, and love you just like your real parents. Only we can give you a better life. We can offer you the best developers, marketing, and provide you opportunities you could have never had if you stay with your birth parents.” Really, mommy? Okay, if that’s what’s best for me.
I would suspect the guys over at Nitobi got a nice payday — deservedly so. I’m not a non-profit, and I can surely respect that. Hell, I can respect that more than anything. I also know that *partnerships* like these never seem to last. I hope that the creative and intelligent group that was Nitobi can move on quickly and get back to developing one of the truly cool and unique products for mobile. Good luck fellas, please encourage Adobe to keep PhoneGap skinny, pretty and filled with personality. Like it was meant to be.
As a founder of the Breaking Development Conference, perhaps I should be excited to see this type of mobile web news hitting the mainstream? Though I’m not. I was hoping that the Sencha, Appcelerator, jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap’s of the world would become the next Adobe, not be eaten by the present one. Perhaps Adobe will elevate us all into a brave new mobile world? That, if it happens, I am excited about.
- threelakeswi posted this