Saturday, April 23, 2005

Caught in the headlights

Over the past week, most commentators found reasons why Adobe acquired Macromedia. I haven't seen a lot of comment about why Macromedia let itself be acquired. This was no hostile takeover.

Macromedia did a great job building products for Creative Professionals, but failed dismally to make themselves relevant to customers beyond that core.

Were they really thinking that they could make Flash a serious application development platform? And get "street-cred" with the Python, Ruby and .Net crowds?

Why didn't they shake up the Content Management Systems market with a modestly priced system when they had a unique distribution channel (Web developers) to do so? No, they clung desperately to trying to sell Dreamweaver or its cousin (Contribute) to folks who simply want to update the text on their website.

After hyping the benefits of rich media for years, it must have been galling for Rob Burgess to see the runaway success of Google with simple text ads. Along the way, Macromedia didn't find a way to plug into the runaway success of Blogging. No, they were caught in the headlights of their own failures. A juicy offer from Adobe was easy to accept.


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