Dreaming of Apple and Adobe


Just to show you what a total geek I truly am, on Saturday night I had a crazy dream where Apple bought Adobe. It was so vivid, I actually saw myself writing my Editor's Corner about it

When I woke up, I told my wife about it and she said, "why don't you write about it?" I figured, it's August. News has been deadly slow. What the heck?

First of all, there's the fact that even in my subconscious mind, I'm thinking about content and content management, and the kind of impact these types of moves could have on the area I write about every week.

Now that we've established that I'm so obsessed with the subject I dream about deals that never happened, let's speculate for moment what it would mean if this one really did. Now, I'm pretty sure that Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) isn't up for sale, and that if it were, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) (even with its billions of dollars in cash) would even be interested, but let's explore the possibility for argument's sake.

For starters, Apple is at its core, a hardware company. It certainly makes some software, such as the operating systems that run its computers and mobile devices. Some of it is quite good, like iPhoto and Garageband. Some, like iTunes, is probably better known for feature bloat and agonizing updates.

But for all its hardware savvy, Apple devices are after all about managing content to a large extent. It could make sense to put these two companies together.

I suppose we would have set aside the whole Steve Jobs attack on Flash, but let's let bygones be bygones, right?. After all, Adobe has since come to the conclusion that it's time to focus on HTML5 instead of Flash. It was, in fact, a bold move to take the central focus of a large software company from Flash, and change the direction completely. It's a move, I dare say, that Steve Jobs would have applauded when he was alive. He liked bold moves after all and when a large company makes one, it's fairly unusual.

But it's not just a move toward HTML5. Adobe has also embraced customer experience management, digital marketing and publishing, and web content management. What's more, it has turned its attention to analytics and helping companies understand their customers, and website visitors, on a highly detailed level. All of this is hardly a coincidence. Adobe has seen the digital future and has shifted the company's priorities.

All of these changes could appeal to a company like Apple. Imagine giving Apple business customers the ability to build a digital marketing strategy and provide pinpoint focus for its product and services.

It's something that an Apple customer can do today, of course, by buying Mac computers for the enterprise along with Adobe software, without the two companies being together. But it could give Apple a much stronger foothold in the enterprise, if it could also sell the software as part of an overall digital marketing package.

It's probably a stretch to think it could ever happen, but as we close out the Dog Days of August, there are stranger things that could happen than the remnants of my crazy dream coming true. You never know, do you? Cue the Twilight Zone music... - Ron