A month after Adobe announced its plans to acquire Figma, the popular digital design startup, Figma CEO and co-founder Ron Miller sat down at Disrupt 2022 with our own corporate reporter Ron Miller to discuss the deal and his motivations. for sale to Adobe, a Figma company marketing material have not always described in the most glowing terms.
“We had a great time – we’re having a great time – but then we start talking to Adobe and Adobe is a fundamental, really impressive company and the more time I would spend with the people there, the more trust we built, the more that I could see, ‘Okay, wow. We’re in that kind of product development box now,” Dylan said, certainly making his media trainers happy with his non-answer, noting that Figma now offers tools for conceiving and designing mockups, with plans to launch additional tools to make those mockups easier to use and convert into code.
“I started to make a statement that ‘creativity is the new productivity’ and we don’t have the resources to do that right now at Figma,” Dylan noted, giving the standard answer that 99% of founders tend to give when they sell. to a bigger rival. “If we want to make it so that we can get into all of these more productivity areas, it’s going to take a lot of time. “I think being able to do that in the context of Adobe gives us a huge head start and I’m really excited about that.”
Sure, the fact that this deal — assuming it gets closed — will also create generations of wealth for Field was a bit of a motivator, but for some reason founders always deny it.
Asked about potential investor pressure, Field denied that this played a role in the sale, especially as Figma continues to double its revenue year over year.
“That was never the consideration here,” Field said. “It was said: what is the best chance to realize our vision? The vision for the company is to make design accessible to everyone. So design – is not just interface design. It’s creativity. It’s productivity. You know you’re making sure we can all be a part of the digital revolution that’s underway. The entire global economy is currently moving from physical to digital. Are we going to leave a lot of people behind or are we going to give everyone the tools. I feel a lot of pressure and I think it is very important that we give all these people these tools very quickly.”
The Figma PR team certainly had a smile on their face after this answer.
I don’t think Adobe necessarily thinks that about its $82.49/month Creative Cloud subscription package that certainly not everyone can afford, but Field has emphasized multiple times that Figma will remain an independent company and there are no plans to change the company’s pricing plan. However, Adobe is paying $20 billion for Figma, so let’s see if that changes over time.
“What Adobe told us is that they want to learn from Figma,” he said. “And I think in general they’re like ‘okay, how do you go to a more freemium model? How do you make sure you can really be bottom up?” Adobe isn’t paying all that money for education, though, as Coursera’s marketing course is a lot cheaper than $20 billion. Over time, the company has a responsibility to its shareholders to increase its revenue, so we’ll see how that plays out. – always assuming that the deal will be closed, which is not self-evident under current regulations.
Field, for what it’s worth, thinks this is a very insulting move by Adobe, whose XD Figam rival never quite caught on with designers.
“They’re trying to figure out: how do you make sure you can adapt the products they already have, but also strengthen this new platform a little bit. And yes, I don’t think that’s risk averse in any way,”