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Five Questions for Shantanu Narayen, CEO, Adobe

Posted by: Helen Walters on April 20, 2009

Shantanu-Narayen.jpg *UPDATE: Thanks, all. Shantanu just left the building, so no more questions please.* Founded by former Xerox PARC researchers in 1982, Adobe is one of the world’s largest software companies, with 2008 fiscal revenues weighing in at $3.58 billion. Its products, including applications such as Photoshop and Illustrator, revolutionized the design industry, bringing a new world of tools to millions of desktops. According to the company, more than 90% of creative professionals use Photoshop, while Flash is installed on some 98% of Internet-connected desktops. That doesn’t mean Adobe is immune from the pressures of our current economic times, of course, nor from the challenge posed by a diverse range of competitors that now even includes Google. Adobe veteran and the company’s newish President and CEO, Shantanu Narayen, is coming in to see us here at BusinessWeek on April 22, and he’s agreed to answer reader questions in our regular Five Questions video segment. Editor-in-Chief, John Byrne will be the question master. So… what do you want to know?

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Reader Comments

Mauro Vaisman

April 8, 2009 02:08 PM

Is Adobe going to join the Cloud computing movement, so Writers, Editors and Artists can work from their home PCs, no software installation required?

Michael F. Martin

April 8, 2009 02:08 PM

When is Adobe going to offer its own ebook reader?


April 8, 2009 02:27 PM

What is Adobe's role in helping companies and consumers create and market branded entertainment within the developing canvas of social media? Is there a tangible focus on saving users time (and thus, money) by using Adobe software?


April 8, 2009 03:07 PM

What is the top down perspective on Diversity and Inclusion at Adobe?


April 8, 2009 03:07 PM

What's the pricing strategy going forward, when you're increasingly competing with free/pirated alternatives?


April 8, 2009 03:10 PM

What programmes do Adobe offer or plan to offer to help new small businesses afford their excellent packages?

Microsoft specifically target small businesses with a dedicated mini-site evaluations, information, road maps et al. Adobe don't appear to have such focus, isn't this a massive market they price themselves out of currently?

michael jung

April 8, 2009 03:18 PM

Where does Adobe sees its future or new business opportunities? There are several trends which would be lucrative to invest in (cloud computing, social media space, platform space in web/desktops eg Adobe Air).

Matthias Dittgen

April 8, 2009 03:32 PM

From now on in 10 years, where do you see Adobe and where do you see the flash playtform?

carlo de marchis

April 8, 2009 03:37 PM

What will be ADOBE's answer to MS SmoothHD? I'm surprise that ADOBE does not go down the file chunking/ http delivery route too following MOVE networks technology path as MS is doing.

David Esrati

April 8, 2009 03:37 PM

Considering small business is the engine of the economy- could, or would Adobe consider making it less expensive to add a seat to a small ad agency or design firm? The cost of adding one Creative Suite install is pretty steep- along with a workstation, etc.
How about incremental licenses?
The economy could use the boost.
The price gap between "Educational" licenses and the full versions is pretty wide...

Michael McCune

April 8, 2009 03:47 PM

Linux is the dominate platform for processing graphics in the film industry. Why has Adobe not ported their applications to Linux?


April 8, 2009 04:44 PM

So many great stories of ADOBE FLash, a gallant gift to the Designers world. When and where is the museum/symposium erected all things ADOBE FLASH.More than a concept, its life in vivid motion. J FLaSH RODRIGUEZ

Arnout Kazemier

April 8, 2009 04:46 PM

Adobe Flash and iPhone, if nobody asks it, i would ;)

M. Murakami

April 8, 2009 05:29 PM

Are we going to see a Flash Player for the iPhone any time soon and how will it compare to Flash Player 10?

Martin Heidegger

April 8, 2009 07:50 PM

If Gnash ever reaches a considerable status it will be published or even integrated with a browser (starting on linux but might find its way to major players). Are there any plans to integrate flash/pdf closer into browsers?

Mário Santos

April 9, 2009 02:14 AM

My main question is why Adobe do not target directly his products and solutions, specialy Ria potential, to company's? I see many in-side company's demonstrations from Microsoft and nothing from Adobe...

For example, at this point, a flex developer is not credible to propose solutions and strategies for a company because Flex is not known... And that is sad!


April 13, 2009 06:19 PM

what does the future hold for and the other hosted solutions?

Kevin Bowen

April 16, 2009 12:21 PM

Given the current economic times, does Adobe plan on offering any cost-effective products for companies or individuals to use?

Alicia Arenas

April 20, 2009 12:30 PM

Social Media is a world-wide force that businesses are utilizing to connect with their customers and stockholders. What role (if any) will Social Media play in Adobe's communication strategy moving forward?

Sheldon Renan (via Twitter)

April 20, 2009 02:05 PM

Adobe products used to be simpler to use. Have you considered taking a lesson from Twitter?



April 20, 2009 03:27 PM

Is Adobe going to transition from Flash to HTML5 in the next 3 years or wait until it's too late?

david Yun

April 22, 2009 01:37 PM

@Mauro Vaisman: Check out Photoshop Express and where you'll find online versions of Photoshop, Buzzword a word processor, Connect Now, a free web conferencing product, and more

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What comes next? The BusinessWeek Innovation and Design team of Michael Arndt and Helen Walters chronicle new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.

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