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Adobe versus the world

CNet has a great interview with Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen, which asks "does Bruce Chizen know something that other software executives don’t?" Adobe has managed to co-exist with Microsoft, beating them with its products so well that Microsoft has basically been forced to ignore the professional graphics space completely.
It’s managed to produce two applications that are the de facto standards in their fields (Photoshop, PDF), and one other that’s probably going to become the standard (InDesign). Plus, of course, PostScript, which is a core technology that’s so important it’s become invisible.
It’s done it not just through exceptional technology – and no company founded by John Warnock could have anything but exceptional technology – but by being incredibly good at marketing.
Take InDesign, for example. Adobe has focused not just on having the best technology, but by exploiting the weaknesses of Quark, the market leader. Quark was long known for poor customer service, sluggish upgrades, and a "communications" strategy that was the most uncommunicative in the industry (worse, even, than Apple’s). So Adobe did the most effective marketing campaign ever, winning over publishers by going in to their offices, demoing the product, helping with training, and ensuring that the path from QuarkXPress to InDesign was as smooth as possible.
And it’s paid off – to such an extent that Quark has been forced to be more customer-friendly, and appears to be doing a good job. But I suspect it may be too little, too late – once the Adobe juggernaut starts rolling, it has a tendency to roll right over you.

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