Adobe ... the dark horse
I'm back working on several very cool Internet/Web projects now. It's fun to get back deep into the Internet, and catch up on what is going on with the bleeding edge. There are several areas that I'm now really digging in ... video on the net, and the whole SEO, web marketing, web advertising, and affiliate marketing.
One thing that has now become evident to me, is that the acquistion of Macromedia by Adobe was brilliant. Adobe/Macromedia is now making huge inroads in web properties, and seems to be linked to a lot of the best things going in Web 2.0.
First lets look at YouTube ... all based on the Adobe/Macromedia Flash player. So distribution of video on the Internet quickly becomes ubiquitous and platform independent! Google Video? Same thing ... Adobe/Macromedia Flash player. There are now a half dozen video related sites ... all using the Adobe/Macromedia Flash player.
Besides the fact that the player is everwhere, and it's on all the top operating system platforms, by using the Macromedia player, the videos can quickly be embedded anywhere in any web property. This is one of the core value propositions that we are leveraging in one of my new start-ups.
So then we get to Flex. Amazing stuff. Again, Adobe/Macromedia now has a platform for creating advanced applications, providing rich UI, and the player is everywhere! And the one key feature is that they can escape much of the "sand box" surrounding current AJAX applications! Writing applications in MXML is now easier ... they have adopted the Eclipse development environment ... and their plug-in can escape issues like cross-domain access. In one of my other start-ups, we're looking at embracing the Flex technology for all of it's benefits. We immediately get a ubiquitous, cross-platform solution that produces user content that can be embedded in any of the top web properties on the planet. Nice.
Oh yeah ... and Adobe also got Cold Fusion in the acquisition.
I started to think about new metrics for measuring the success of companies in the Internet. One possible metric is user viewable pixels ... or even a percentage of user viewable pixels. For example if you went to CNN.com and looked at the page. Out of all of the viewable pixels, who's technology "owns" what percentage of those pixels? In the case of CNN, there are all sorts of Adobe/Macromedia ads running, and even if they are 10% of the viewable pixels ... that is a lot of web real estate. Some sites are more. Again ... think of Google Video ... there Adobe/Macromedia has a huge percentage of viewable pixels. If you add in the number of Cold Fusion sites on the net? Adobe has a lot of the "web-top" now in their pocket.
I think that people so quickly forget about the battles for the desktop, and the complaints about Microsoft "controlling" the desktop. What is amazing to me is the penetration that Adobe now has with the Acrobat reader, and Flash player ... and the tools for the creation of powerful content.