Adobe Success Story - How is it Changing the World through Digital Experiences?

Adobe Success Story - How is it Changing the World through Digital Experiences?
Adobe Success Story

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Adobe.

The digital world of now craves innovative digital experiences to be created for all those who live in it and Adobe is one of the software giants that is proving to us time and again that we always have something more to think and to create.

Adobe Inc., formerly called Adobe Systems Incorporated, is a software company that offers a line of products and services used by professionals, marketers, knowledge workers, application developers, enterprises, and consumers for creating, managing, delivering, measuring, optimizing, and engaging with compelling content and experiences across multiple operating systems, devices and media.

The Company's Creative Cloud addresses the needs of creative professionals. Its creative products are used to create printed and online information people see, read and interact with every day, including video, animation, mobile, and advertising content.

If you are curious to learn the story of this software giant, then this StartupTalky article brings you all you need to know about Adobe including when was Adobe founded, Adobe founders, Adobe competitors, Adobe subsidiaries, Adobe Inc. revenue, Adobe mission statement, Adobe customer stories, Adobe company size, company information and more.

Adobe - Company Highlights

Startup Name Adobe Inc.
Headquarters San Jose, California, U.S
Industries Software
Founders John Warnock, Charles Geschke
Founded December 1982
Valuation $200 bn+ (2021)
Revenue $15.79 bn (FY21)
CEO Shantanu Narayen
Areas served Worldwide

Adobe - About and How it works?
Adobe - Industry
Adobe - Founders and Team
Adobe - Startup Story
Adobe - Mission and Vision
Adobe - Name, Tagline, Logo and its Meaning
Adobe - Business and Revenue Model
Adobe - Funding and Investors
Adobe - Investments
Adobe - Acquisitions
Adobe - Competitors
Adobe - Challenges Faced
Adobe - Growth and Revenue
Adobe - Future Plans

Adobe - About and How it works?

Adobe Inc., (formerly Adobe Systems Incorporated) during 1982 and 2018, is an American developer of printing, publishing, and graphics software. Adobe was instrumental in the creation of the desktop publishing industry through the introduction of its PostScript printer language. Its headquarters are located in San Jose, California, US.

Adobe is focused on the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more recent foray towards digital marketing software. Adobe is best known for its Adobe Flash web software ecosystem, Photoshop image editing software, Adobe Illustrator vector graphics editor, Acrobat Reader, the Portable Document Format (PDF), and Adobe Creative Suite, as well as its successor Adobe Creative Cloud.

Adobe Products and Services

Adobe manufactures a range of products. The company currently boasts of owning 56+ apps that include Graphic designing software, web designing software, video editing, animation, and visual effects software, audio editing, Elearning, and server software. Some of the popular mentions from each of the categories are:

Graphic designing software

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Acrobat DC
  • Adobe Framemaker
  • Adobe XD
  • Adobe Indesign
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Adobe InCopy

Web designing software

  • Adobe Dreamweaver
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Edge

Video editing, animation, and visual effects software

  • Adobe Premiere Elements
  • Adobe Spark Video
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Character Animator
  • Adobe Prelude
  • Adobe Animate


  • Adobe Captivate
  • Adobe Presenter Video Express
  • Adobe Connect

Adobe Server software

  • Adobe ColdFusion
  • Adobe Content Server
  • Adobe LiveCycle

Adobe Audio editing

  • Adobe Audition

Adobe for Business

Adobe for business is something really common today. Adobe is largely used for fo meeting the daily business requirements along with that of the individuals. Some of the essential tools that Adobe makes available for businesses are:

  • Creative Cloud for Teams
  • Creative Cloud for Enterprise
  • Document Cloud for Business

Adobe for Education

Adobe also fulfills a wide range of educational requirements with its effective study materials that include discounts for students and teachers, schools and universities, and other digital learning solutions.

Adobe Enterprise

Adobe Enterprise is not unknown to the world of digital providers and professionals. When it comes to Adobe Enterprise, the company website lists:

  • Adobe Experience Cloud
  • Adobe Creative Cloud for Enterprises
  • Adobe Document Cloud for Enterprises

Adobe - Industry

The software industry to which Adobe belongs was last valued at $389.86 billion in 2020, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of which is estimated at 11.3% from 2021-2028. The overwhelming growth of the software and the services and their innovations is expected to continue since more or less every other industry is riding the digital waves.

Adobe - Founders and Team

The company was founded in 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke.

John Warnock and Charles Geschke, Founders of Adobe
John Warnock and Charles Geschke, Founders of Adobe

Dr. John E Warnock

One of the founders of Adobe, Dr. Warnock was the Co-founder and former chairman of the board Adobe Systems Incorporated. A career that spanned more than 3 decades with Adobe, Warnock's mission, vision and passion were all integral to the success of the software company. Warnock started as the Founder-President of Adobe during the first 2 years of the company and then became the CEO of Adobe for a period of 16 years. He retired from the position of CEO in 2000 and as the CTO of the company in 2001. Warnock served as the Chairman of the Adobe Board from April 1989 to January 2017. Geshke was also appointed as the Chairman in September 1997, and they jointly served in the same position since then. Warnock is still among the Board of Directors of Adobe.

Before founding Adobe, Warnock served as the Principal Scientist at Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre. Dr. John Warnock previously worked with Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM and the University of Utah, and in all of them, he held key positions.

Dr. Warnock has a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering (Computer Science) along with a Bachelor's and a Master's in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Utah. Warnock has eventually received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Besides, he also received an honorary degree in Science from the University of Utah.

Charles Geshke

Another founder of Adobe, Charles Geshke is known as the Co-founder and Emeritus Board Member of the software giant. It was through his mission and vision along with that of the other founder that Adobe took its shape and has scaled this large. After founding Adobe with Dr Warnock in 1982, Geshke served as the Chief Operating Officer of Adobe from April 1989 and served the same post till he retired in July 1994. Geshke served as the President of the company from April 1989, and he continued retaining this position also till he announced his retirement from the same in April 2000. The position of the Chairman of the Board of Adobe was retained by Geshke along with Warnock from September 1997 to January 2017, while he remained a member of the board till April 2020.

Before he co-founded Adobe, Geshke was the founder of Imaging Sciences Laboratory at Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre along with being the Principal Scientist and Researcher at Xerox PARC's Computer Sciences Laboratory.

Geshke was also awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation along with Warnock, which is hailed as one of the nation's highest awards that felicitate scientists, inventors, and engineers. Charles Geshke has received a PhD degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Master's degree in Mathematics along with an A.B. in Classics from Xavier University. Geshke passed away on April 16, 2021, and the passage of a man of his stature is ought to leave a void in the tech ecosystem.

Speaking of the Adobe company size, Adobe has been estimated as a firm that runs with more than 24K employees in strength as of 2021.

Adobe - Startup Story

While employed at Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto (California) Research Center (PARC), the two computer scientists had developed a programming language specially designed to describe the precise position, shape, and size of objects on a computer-generated page. This page description language, later known as PostScript, described such objects as letters and graphics in mathematical terms, without reference to any specific computer or printer. Any device capable of interpreting the language would be able to generate a representation of the page at any resolution the device supported. When Xerox declined to bring the technology to market, Warnock and Geschke formed their own company to do so, naming it after a creek near their homes.

Adobe - Mission and Vision

The Adobe mission statement is “to move the Web forward while also giving Web designers and developers the best tools and services in the world.” This statement shows that Adobe is all about the transformation and development of the technological niche through its software.

Adobe's vision is of empowering digital businesses.

Adobe - Name, Tagline, Logo and its Meaning

The name of the company, Adobe, comes from Adobe Creek in Los Altos, California, which ran behind Warnock's house. That creek is so named because of the type of clay found there, which alludes to the creative nature of the company's software. Adobe's corporate logo features a stylized "A" and was designed by Marva Warnock, a graphic designer who is also John Warnock's wife.

The Adobe logo was designed by Marva Warnock, a graphic designer and wife of one of the company’s founders, John Warnock.

Adobe's Logo Evolution
Adobe's Logo Evolution

The current Adobe Systems logo features the alphabet “A” portrayed in white on a red background. The emblem is based on the original logo which displayed the company name “Adobe Systems Incorporated” on a bluish-gray background.

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Adobe - Business and Revenue Model

Customer Segments

Adobe has a segmented market business model, with slight differences between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at individuals, small/medium businesses, and enterprises that wish to use digital media and marketing services for varying purposes.

Value Proposition

Adobe offers three primary value propositions: accessibility, innovation, and brand/status.

The company creates accessibility by offering a wide variety of options. Customers can access its software from any device, including computers, tablets, smartphones, and televisions.

The company has embraced innovation from the very beginning. For a long time, its PostScript was the only page description language available for multiple-computer environments, such as corporate office networks.

The company has established a strong brand as a result of its success. It is one of the largest software firms in the world, generating $4.8 billion in revenues in 2015, and bills itself as the global leader in digital marketing and media solutions. It processes more than 40 trillion data transactions a year through its software-as-a-service products. Lastly, it has won many honors, including placement on the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list by CR Magazine (2015) and the FTSE4Good Index (2015).


Adobe’s main channels are its website and direct sales force. It also acquires customers through retailers, distributors, software developers, system integrators, independent software vendors, value-added resellers, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The company promotes its offering through its social media pages, online advertising, attendance of trade shows and conferences, and event sponsorships.

Customer Relationships

Adobe’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. It assists customers in the following ways:

Consulting Services – The company maintains a professional services team that designs and implements solutions for clients. It also utilizes partners such as system integrators, resellers, digital agencies, and solution partners to provide advisory services.

Customer Success Account Management – The company provides Customer Success Managers for its largest customers. The managers work with them individually to address unique needs.

Technical Support – The company offers enterprise support and maintenance services to subscription products and perpetual license customers. Specific offerings include technical support and product upgrades and enhancements. It also offers short-term options such as fee-based incident support.

Training Services – The company offers a comprehensive selection of training services, including classroom and virtual course programs delivered by its training professionals and partners

Key Partners

Adobe maintains the Adobe Partner Connection Program, which includes the following sub-programs:

Reseller Program – Includes members who distribute and sell Adobe's digital media products and solutions.

Training Provider Program - Includes members who provide commercial instructor-led training on Adobe products.

Technology Partner Program - Includes members whose products and services extend, enhance, and support Adobe solutions.

Adobe Solution Partner Program - Includes members who deliver end-to-end digital marketing solutions and services that drive successful online initiatives.

Key Resources

Adobe’s main resources are its human resources. These include engineering employees who design and develop its software products, sales/marketing staff who promote them, training/consulting staff who provide instructional/advisory services, and customer service staff who offer support.

The Adobe revenue model depends on the revenue that the company earns from 3 major verticals, which are - Subscriptions, Products and Other Services.

Subscription Revenue

A major portion of its income comes from the subscription services Adobe offers. The Adobe collection boasts of 20+ apps with 19 subscription plans for its users. According to the Adobe financial reports, $11.26 billion (87.5%) of the total revenue collected by the company in FY20 came from subscriptions. The subscription packs of Adobe products and services range from $4.99 to $79.99 per month.

Product Revenue

Along with licensing its apps as subscriptions, Adobe also believes in licensing its apps in other forms as well. This includes licensing of the Adobe software products to be used by the users on their premises or that of the organisation they work for. In such circumstances, Adobe offers purchasing plans on a permanent basis for a fixed period of time and based on the usage for certain of "Adobe’s OEM and royalty agreements." This vertical successfully brought in $507 million of revenues in FY20.

Other Services and Revenue

The other revenues that Adobe earns, comes from another vertical titled as "Services and other revenue". This vertical of revenue helped the company earn $735 million in revenue in FY20.

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Adobe - Funding and Investors

Adobe has raised a total of $2.5M in funding over 1 round. This was a Venture Round raised on Oct 1, 1984, led by Apple.

Adobe - Investments

Adobe Systems has made 26+ investments in total. Its most recent investment was on September 14, 2021, when Adobe invested in the Series B round of Truepic, where it has poured in $26 million in funds.

It has previously invested $13.7 million in Tiled after the investment of $10 million in Zeroheight.

Date Stage Amount Organization Name
September 14, 2021 Series B $26M Truepic
September 8, 2021 Series A $13.7M Tiled
August 3, 2021 Series A $10M Zeroheight
May 23, 2021 Seed Round $3.5M Opulence Images Atlanta Georgia
May 19, 2021 Series A $12M LucidLink
May 18, 2021 Seed Round $2.5M Cortex
October 5, 2020 Series D - SkillShare
May 25, 2017 Series H $65M Demandbase
Jul 15, 2015 Series G $30M Demandbase
Feb 19, 2015 Series D $32M Livefyre
Nov 4, 2014 Series F $35M Gigya
Oct 13, 2014 Series F $15M Demandbase
Mar 28, 2013 Series D $15M Demandbase
Jan 1, 2012 Venture Round $1M Convo
May 12, 2011 Series C $10M Demandbase
Aug 25, 2008 Series B $8M Demandbase
Jun 3, 2008 Series D $30M Veoh

Adobe - Acquisitions

Adobe has acquired 60 companies to date (November 22, 2023). The last company,, was acquired by Adobe on November 22, 2023. The company acquired Marketo in September 2018 in a deal worth $4.8 billion. This acquisition of the market-leading cloud platform for B2B marketing engagement was hailed as the largest acquisition in the San Jose-based software giant’s history.

Here's a list of the 10 recent Adobe acquisitions:

Company Acquired Date of Acquisition Deal Value
--- --- --- October 18, 2017 -
Sayspring April 16, 2018 -
Uru April 27, 2018 -
Magento Commerce May 21, 2018 $1.7 bn
Marketo September 20, 2018 $4.8 bn
Allegorithmic January 23, 2019 -
Oculus Medium December 6, 2019 -
Workfront November 9, 2020 $1.5 bn August 19, 2021 $1.3 bn
ContentCal December 8, 2021 - November, 22, 2023 -

Adobe - Competitors

Adobe's top competitors include:

Adobe - Challenges Faced

One of their most impressive moves was their transition from a licensed software company to a completely cloud-based company. This was an incredibly expensive and arduous process, and is almost impossible for a company to get right—but Adobe did it, carving out a permanent place in the changing industry. And that’s only the latest example of how Adobe has continually made difficult and forward-thinking decisions to help the company thrive.

Adobe has made a lot of tough product decisions over the past 35 years, shifted and reconfigured the business, and maintained a loyal core audience. These decisions have paid off—Adobe closed 2017 with over $7 billion in annual revenue, and they currently have a market cap of over $95 billion.

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Adobe - Growth and Revenue

Being a revolutionary invention, founded in 1982, Adobe has scaled by leaps and bounds, and has been trading in NASDAQ since 1986 under the ticker symbol "ADBE".

The Adobe growth strategy revolves around expanding its target market to over $128 billion by the end of 2022. It aims to accomplish this mission by leveraging the shift that the world is seeing towards digital markets and experiences. Adobe is planning to influence more and more people with its 3 key product verticals - Creative, Document, and Experience.

Adobe’s revenue grew 54.2% over 2016 to become $9 billion in 2018. Its revenues were expected to increase 53% to nearly $14 billion by 2021. The company achieved this target by crossing the $15 billion mark in revenues in Q4 of FY21. The total revenue earned by Adobe during FY21 is $15.79 billion, which represents a 20% YoY growth.

Year Annual Revenue
2021 $15.79B
2020 $12.783B
2019 $11.171B
2018 $9.03B
2017 $7.302B

Adobe - Future Plans

Adobe is focusing on improving and building out its existing products. Along with that the company is also heavily investing in and preparing for the future. Adobe wants to help customers unify their data sources and bring better, more personalized experiences to website users across the globe.

Adobe's growth strategy revolves around dramatically expanding its target market to roughly $128 billion by 2022 largely by riding the shift to digital business and experiences.

Getting to this $128 billion total addressable market has some interesting plot twists. At the company's investor meeting, Adobe CEO said the growth strategy of the brand will be "to unleash creativity, accelerate document productivity and power digital businesses." Digital Business and the customer experience market are expected to drive the bulk of Adobe's growth.


When was Adobe founded?

Adobe was founded in December 1982.

Who are the Adobe founders?

The Adobe founders are John Warnock and Charles Geschke.

Who are the Adobe competitors?

Some of the top Adobe competitors are:

What is the Adobe revenue?

The Adobe revenue for FY21 has been recorded at $15.79 billion.

What is the Adobe mission statement?

The Adobe mission statement is “to move the Web forward while also giving Web designers and developers the best tools and services in the world.”

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