Adobe Blues In Las Vegas
Writing the first Adobe Illustrator Blues blog post reminded me of the encounter my husband/partner and I had with Adobe at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Ready to hit the Halls
This is the largest Electronics Show on Earth. As we were attending as Press we were there every day, and as usual it was a wonderful experience. No one gets better free perks or food at Vegas Conferences than the press. Unless of course you are the head of Sony or Yahoo- then that is a whole other story.
Exhibiting at the CES it is like going to the Senior Prom. The largest electronics Companies in the world trying to outdo each other in sheer pizzazz.
Sony Display- serving up cold drinks and hot games.
We reveled in the smell of new electronics, brilliant lighting, fabulous audio and larger than life displays from the moment we entered the halls. On the first day we gathered our press-kits and just wandered around. We arranged interviews for the following days with various company heads and took some candid shots.
The immortal Jon Anderson at XM. Following him was his co-immortal, Todd Rundgren.
C|Net Recording Stage
Audiophonic area at HDTV's Display
By the second day I realized that we had not yet seen Adobe, the biggest graphics company in the world- recently joined with Macromedia, home of Flash Animation. We were really looking forward to seeing what kind of imaginative display they had put together. I was hoping for something interactive, perhaps with giant plasma screens and work stations where you could play with software in real time. We were also looking forward to talking with the Adobe reps about the Macromedia buy. Of special interest to us as my better half had been one of the developers on the team that originally created the cell animator that became ‘Flash’, pre-Macromedia.
After asking around, checking maps and deliberate hunting we finally found the Adobe/Macromedia ‘Display’.
Adobe/Macromedia Booth at the CES 2006, Las Vegas
We missed it because we were looking for something large; not something resembling a supersized Dilbert Cubicle. I honestly thought it was a bathroom sign hanging on the wall. I had to look twice.
Shocked, we wandered in. Nothing inside but a few generic looking tables, chairs, and brochure racks- all in gray. The tall,pc-clad Adobe people (also in gray) completely ignored us until one came over to ask, rather haughtily, if we ‘had an appointment’. We replied that we were there to set an appointment. The gentleman said ‘sorry’ – they were not giving interviews with any press unless the appointment were pre-set. This generally means “scripted questions”. Then they asked us to leave. He said ‘press’ with the same inflection normally reserved for ‘cockroach’.
It was as if we had accidentally wandered into the inner sanctum of the Queen of England.. Hitting this ice-cold wall at Adobe after meeting such open, wonderful people everywhere else was bizarre. Watching from outside the open door for a while we noted that everyone who wandered in got the same reception. Sharply tilted nose and cold shoulder included.
Apparently Adobe had forgotten that they were attending the Consumer Electronics Show. For most companies this is a chance for some solid interaction with the people who purchase and use their goods on a regular basis. And it means they get a chance to pull out the extraordinary toys they have been busy developing and show them off before they hit the store shelves.
Play time at Gibsons extraordinary club-style tent- Free drinks and live stage shows attracted major crowds.
From the look and feel of Adobes ‘display’ they couldn’t be bothered with consumers, nor did they have anything to show anyone.
Adobe, you know I love you. I would not be here if not for you and you know it .. Most of your software is simply divine. But it is time to climb down off of that stratospheric pedestal and get back down to earth and in touch with the people who brought you this far. Or like all companies who lose touch with thier clients, your lifespan as an active corporation in the creative community will be greatly shortened.