When Adobe announced it was buying Figma for $20 billion earlier this month, the news was a bombshell. But what stunned a lot of people wasn’t just the truckload of money — it was that a company whose whole raison d’être seemed to be going after Adobe was suddenly going to be part of Adobe.
Was this about Adobe and Figma building something better together, or was it a case of a big company taking a key competitor off the market? It depends on whom you asked.
Certainly, the consensus on HackerNews was disappointment that a promising startup was being absorbed by a big corporation yet again. Several designers we spoke to had similar feelings.
“The threat was not unlike Instagram to Facebook, where an upstart captured a community that was central to its company mission.” Ehab Bandar, founder, Bigtable.co
Andrew Drach and Monika Jociunaite of Solwey, a design consultancy, said they were shocked by the news and felt it represented a step backward for the industry.
“We all saw the marketing battles between Adobe and Figma, and it’s odd to see Figma, an ‘anti-Adobe’ platform, actually joining the Adobe family,” they said in an email. “Figma has always been very clear with its value proposition, differentiating itself far away from legacy Adobe products and design processes. At the end of the day, Figma was created because Adobe couldn’t meet the market needs.”