¬†Adobe makes the best products in the industry. From concept to distribution. They got their start by reinventing the publishing industry, with software solutions like Photoshop, illustrator, the product formally known as Macromedia freehand, then later came video production tools Adobe premiere, Macromedia Director and many other tools to allow individual creators to create professional print and video content. I was there since the beginning, using these tools in college and even in my career as a designer. In fact, I would go so far to say, one cannot work in the design and digital publishing space without using them. Put some years ago on Adobe turn to a subscription model and people are no longer able to copy their app willy-nilly and that’s a good thing for the industry because it allows them to innovate and to have reliable streams of revenue and to plan their business is better. Adobe has done quite well. But if my college professors are right and if what my eyes and ears are telling me is correct, Adobe is becoming a gated community with way too much power and leverage over their users. It may seem odd that I can praise a company for being the model for what a company can be, but at the same time have sadness that they are gone from serving the creative community upon which they have built their vast multi-billion dollar empire, to…in a way…abandoning at best, or at worst, exploiting them. Now with the advent of AI integrated into their product line, those who do not pay Adobe their often exorbitant subscription and licensing fees run the risk of not being able to compete in the space of print web in video production. And now that Adobe is entering into the marketing space the same will be true of that industry as well. Those who are part of the Adobe ecosystem will be at a distinct advantage. No I have been in the industry for over 30 years and I have seen the development of the industry, but what bothers me is that I am finally taking the Leap and establish my new media company and every step of the way I’m being told that Adobe Experience is out of my reach because I like to run the flow. They don’t care how wonderful my business plan is they’re looking at my numbers and what I can afford to pay. This money first mentality was evident by the fact that I had to qualify again and again to even speak to anyone at Adobe or to have them return my phone calls. American culture has changed so much in the past 5 years I guess mostly due to covid but also do to all this marketing. So if I know what I need I go to your site and I order the service and if I say don’t call me I don’t like talking on the phone I mean just that. If I have questions, I need you to answer the questions and I need you to work up the prices for me….that’s the old way. The new way is you fill out a form you give all your information if the company has a high net worth they will try to qualify you EVERY step of the way, #Adobe before they even speak to you. And Adobe if you are listening here’s a big nugget of information for you. Not everyone is a 34 million business. And those who built your company were small designers and entrepreneurs decades ago. But you guys lost that connection and it seems like we can’t even speak to you without going through a funnel. And many attempts later getting lost in an alphabet of offerings, I’m still no closer to diving into into the Adobe Experience platform, for the experience, and because it would be a perfect product for my startup. This doesn’t seem so inclusive. And it seems counter to the messaging that you’re sending. If it’s all about sales and numbers (read: micro managed control) over workflow and digital rights and it’s not about helping people to grow, then you have situations like Pantone and it’s the bean counters who are in control, not the creatives. Think on that. You can’t say publicly that you want diversity and inclusion but in practice do everything to become a gated community, people are infinitely creative and if pushed will find other solutions. Your product is unmatched but your britches are looking mighty tight. If you ask a direct question sometimes they won’t answer it because it’s not within their script. So they will literally waste 15 minutes of my day talking about their company. Ugh! I can read! I have literally talked to sales reps and asked them direct questions and they completely ignore me. I already decided on your product I just needed a question answered but now I don’t know if I want to work with you even though you have a great product. I expressly say on the submission form, please do not call me and they arrange a meeting anyway. I canceled the meeting they called me. But it’s not just high net worth companies doing this, everybody’s on a scam now, like people legit figured out how to be hustlers during covid. F*** Youtube learning. Even Fiverr talent will be like: “Oh, can we do a Zoom…can we do a meeting ” before they’ve heard any of the job specs before we’ve even discuss what they can do for me or what I can do for them. An Australian company ghosted me because as soon as I said “hello” he’s like: “Oh let’s arrange a Meetup” and I’m like, “Are we dating or am I going to use your platform?” He wasn’t too happy with that. Now I know I’m going against popular culture and the zeitgeist of the day, but I don’t need a relationship with payroll, web services or hosting. I don’t need a relationship with my software vendor. I need you to communicate, do your job and answer my questions. Now put that in your sales funnel.