One of the risks of trying to find a niche to build a startup is that the big guys can land on your face at any time. That’s why all of these startups are going to be in serious trouble when Adobe releases a free, ad supported online version of Photoshop in six months.
This announcement comes at a time when developers are lavishing attention on Adobe’s Flex platform, particularly in the video editing and sharing space. I think it’s reasonable for startups to question if Adobe will plan on competing with them in areas beyond photo editing. If that’s the case, these startups may not want to spend their time and venture dollars testing out various products, only to have Adobe jump in the middle after all the dirty work is done.
Adobe is both a platform company and an application company. Conflicts are not avoidable.