I'm not on Adobe's Christmas card list anymore :)

Go read Lee Brimelow's latest blog post to understand exactly what's wrong with Adobe today.

Lee, who works at Adobe as a Platform Evangelist for Flash, has this to say:

The other group is filled with haters, egomaniacs, and people who are just trying to cause drama. If you say that you think Adobe should give up trying to bring the Flash Player to mobile devices and that in 5 years Flash will be irrelevant, don’t expect to be on our Christmas card list.

So criticizing Adobe's mobile strategy and suggesting that they instead focus on native compilation and broadening the appeal of their tools gets me branded as a "hater", "egomaniac", and brushed off as "trying to cause drama". I'm apparently threatened with not being on Adobe's Christmas card list. My goodness, someone call 911, those Christmas cards were the only things keeping me going!

When a company is so set in its ways that it cannot even stomach the existence of a legitimate alternative strategy then it's probably time to worry.

Adobe's Flash Platform has all its eggs in the same basket and that basket is hanging from the ceiling by a very thin thread: the Flash Player. By not seeing a future for the Flash Platform that does not revolve exclusively around the Flash Player, Adobe is myopically heading towards a rude awakening several years down the line. Instead, if it could see beyond its own arrogance it might look to spread the risk by embracing the Flash tools, frameworks, and ActionScript as the core elements of the Flash Platform and broadening the reach of the platform by allowing developers to use familiar tools and technologies to create native applications across a range of devices. It would thereby create a future for the Flash Platform that didn't depend solely on Flash Player penetration.

But voicing such opinions apparently is tantamount to heresy and makes you a "hater".

The most dangerous thing about all this – dangerous to Adobe's future, that is – is that voicing opinions such as mine that go against the dominant thinking at Adobe apparently triggers some sort of "with us or against us" switch which puts their evangelists into battle mode.

It's sad but this is just the culmination of what I've seen happening at Adobe over the past few years: Adobe has become an insular boys club that's deaf to criticism where it really matters. From what I've seen it has become an environment where if you drink the Kool-Aid, go on the diving trips, pat each other on the back, and congratulate each other regularly on what a great job you're all doing, you're one of the boys. In other words, it's finally becoming the Microsoft it so desperately wanted to be for so long. The only problem is, it's becoming the Microsoft of ten years ago, not the Microsoft of today that's trying to change its image.

I value my independence and don't care for special perks. And neither is it in Adobe's interests to cultivate a community elite so comfortable in their perks that they don't voice their honest opinions if they run contrary to the party line in fear of losing them.

So, basically, Adobe, what I'm saying is this: I really don't care that I'm not on your Christmas card list anymore. I never asked to be on it in the first place. That's not what it's all about.

PS. Do I still get a New Year's card? :-P