Archive for September 15, 2022

Thursday, September 15, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Adobe to Acquire Figma

Lauren Simonds (in June):

Rapid growth, a massive user base and stealing the market out from under an industry Goliath — this is the stuff of which tech startup founders dream. It’s also the story of Figma, a cloud-based platform for designing websites, apps, logos or just about any software, created by game-changers Dylan Field and Evan Wallace.

Dubbed “the Google Docs of design” for its flexible simplicity, Figma lets teams of product, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers collaborate, edit and comment on projects in real time.

Adobe (Hacker News):

Today, Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) announced it has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Figma, a leading web-first collaborative design platform, for approximately $20 billion in cash and stock. The combination of Adobe and Figma will usher in a new era of collaborative creativity.

[…]

Figma’s web-based, multi-player capabilities will accelerate the delivery of Adobe’s Creative Cloud technologies on the web, making the creative process more productive and accessible to more people.

[…]

Figma has a total addressable market of $16.5 billion by 2025. The company is expected to add approximately $200 million in net new ARR this year, surpassing $400 million in total ARR exiting 2022, with best-in-class net dollar retention of greater than 150 percent. With gross margins of approximately 90 percent and positive operating cash flows, Figma has built an efficient, high-growth business.

Dylan Field (tweet):

When we started Figma, our stated vision was to “eliminate the gap between imagination and reality.” I believe we can reach this goal substantially faster through our plan to join forces with Adobe and leveraging their legendary team plus decades of expertise.

[…]

Adobe is deeply committed to keeping Figma operating autonomously and I will continue to serve as CEO, reporting to David Wadhwani. David is someone I’ve known for a few years now and we have a strong relationship of mutual respect; I’m very excited for us to collaborate with him on how to continue growing Figma’s business. The entire Figma team will report to me. We plan to continue to run Figma the way we have always run Figma — continuing to do what we believe is best for our community, our culture and our business.

[…]

Recognizing that we are in an unpredictable, inflationary environment, we currently have no plan to change Figma’s pricing. Finally, all of Figma will continue to be free for education.

Tom Warren:

Figma was first founded 10 years ago by Dylan Field and Evan Wallace, and the collaborative design platform has become key for many businesses in recent years. Thousands of designers and developers at Microsoft rely on Figma every day to build Office, Windows, and more. It’s used so heavily at Microsoft that it has been testing the company’s relationship with Adobe, a close partnership that will only get closer now.

Figma is all about the web, which is something Adobe and other rivals have been struggling to compete with. Adobe now plans to combine its own community with Figma, and it’s likely that will involve bundling Figma products and services into Adobe Creative Suite at some point in the future.

Gergely Orosz:

2021 was the year when startups raising money did it on valuations that have almost all collapsed by now. Figma raised at a ~$10B valuation then.

The fact that they are selling to Adobe for close to double is nothing short of remarkable (also shows Adobe desperately needs Figma)

Joe Fabisevich:

I’ve long thought that the conflation of Figma, design, and design systems was concerning but now I think it will become a real problem. Unlike engineering where you can easily switch languages and environments in a modular manner the choice in design is now Adobe or Sketch.

John Gruber:

Figma’s breakthrough is that it was the first web-app to establish itself as a leading tool for professional designers. It’s hard to overstate how profoundly Figma disrupted Adobe’s status as the undisputed leader in design tools, because Figma made collaboration a first-class part of its workflow. Adobe has had many competitors over the decades, but Figma was the first that seemingly was reducing Adobe’s relevance to professional designers.

Nick Heer:

Its growth created real competition to Adobe’s products for the first time in a while because it is focused on vector editing tools for digital applications. Web and application designers loved it. It was certainly a better option than trying to design user interfaces in Photoshop or Illustrator, and it pushed Adobe to try to compete by building XD.

[…]

That was a good thing, too. If you just look at feature checklists, you could argue Adobe still innovated in its post-Macromedia years. But most any user of the company’s products can tell you the reality: Adobe Creative Cloud is a suite of bug-infested, unreliable, bloated, and slow software that makes being a designer uniquely frustrating, and it is downright embarrassing how few choices we have for tools in this industry.

Previously:

Update (2022-09-26): Amal Dorai:

I’m not surprised that Adobe is acquiring Figma for $20B, nor that Wall Street doesn’t understand it and $ADBE stock is down more than $20B today. It’s a smart move for Adobe because it’s nearly impossible to make legacy software applications multi-user collaborative.

I know this because I founded a startup, LiveLoop, to make MS Office real-time collaborative. Microsoft acquired us in 2015 and has invested heavily in making Office real-time collaborative, and Office collaboration is now much better than in 2016. But it’s still not Google Apps.

Nick Lockwood:

This all makes sense, but also this model for multi-user collaboration sounds… bad actually?

VCS (e.g. git) solves this problem without compromising the ability to make local or offline changes and without ceding control of all of your files to some centralised third party.

Stay SaaSy (via Hacker News):

In my opinion Figma is different in a way that a lot of people may not realize. With Figma getting acquired for approximately 1.3 gazillion dollars by Adobe, here are some quick SaaS and product strategy reactions from a Figma fan.

[…]

Figma ate up all of the mindshare in the Designer community essentially instantaneously. Within roughly one renewal cycle of our prior product, Figma was already taking over – we literally went from purchasing one design product to purchasing Figma while still under contract with our prior contract because the industry was moving en masse.

[…]

I’m not sure that the broader technology and business community appreciates how unique this dominance is, because they don’t work closely with designers. Designers are not like engineering or marketing teams that love hopping to the sexy new product. Design products are complicated; it isn’t “fun” to try out a new vector graphics editor. It is weird that all designers suddenly wanted to move to Figma. It would be like half the world’s sales teams quit using Salesforce overnight.

Matt Birchler:

Figma quickly become more capable, more collaborative, and more fun to use than the competition, and it was constantly gave you new goodies to improve your work.

Exporting to Xcode from XD would be nice, but not nearly sufficient IMO.

Sketch was never an option for us because we’re a company of hundreds, and of course we’re not all using Macs.

We tried using XD for a year since it was part of Creative Cloud, which we already paid for.

The experience was okay, but nowhere near Figma.

Jay Peters:

Adobe has a history of buying up some of the biggest tools in the creative space, acquiring companies like Frame.io, a video production collaboration tool, and Behance, which lets people showcase their creative work. (Belsky first joined Adobe through this acquisition.) The company has bought a lot of companies — even Photoshop was an acquisition. That makes the Figma purchase all the more concerning for designers; one of the few notable challengers to Adobe has been swept up, meaning Adobe will continue to consolidate creative app power in one location.

Ben Gilbert:

As usual, @benthompson has the best take I’ve seen on Figma.

I didn’t realize how much “close to the metal” code they wrote to achieve the breakthrough UX they have.

Alex Konrad:

Lost in the hubbub: a historic $2.3 billion retention package for Figma CEO Dylan Field and employees offered on top.

I dove into the billion extra reasons Adobe is giving Field to stick around...

Hunter Walk (via Hacker News):

Figma had crossed the ‘this matters to Adobe’s future’ rubicon. They hit $400m ARR and were continuing to double. Figma revenue, independent of margin, was increasingly displacing revenue that might have gone to Adobe, or more specifically, creating pricing pressure on Adobe.

[…]

When the autonomous car company Cruise got quickly snapped up by GM in 2016 jaws dropped at the $1b+ reported price (we were small investors in Cruise). The answer there was the same: if autonomy is the potential future of your industry and you’re not yet strong in that area, what’s percent of your market cap is it worth to bring those cards into your hand. In that case it was roughly ~2.5% if I’m remembering correctly. In Adobe’s case it was a larger percentage because Figma is way further along as a business and the certainty the future of design at least looks like Figma is high.

iPhone 14 Pro Camera

Sebastiaan de With (tweet):

When it comes to computational photography, the quality of your software and processing power plays as important a role as the physical camera itself. It’s silly to judge the new iPhone entirely on sensor specs, and we can’t wait to run full package through its paces as soon as it arrives at Halide HQ.

[…]

The Wide camera sees the greatest changes. The lens gets a bit wider, a 2mm focal length difference. The aperture is smaller (‘slower’), means the lens collects less light. This was probably necessary to work with a larger sensor. We calculate that the Wide camera is able to collect 20% more light compared to last year’s camera, even with this slightly worse aperture, thanks to its larger size.

We’re astonished by the improvement in the camera sensor’s ISO range. It goes far beyond previous iPhone cameras. Given high ISO values are accompanied by more noise, it’s highly likely this ISO range is made possible by how its higher resolution sensor combines 4 pixels into one, vastly reducing noise.

[…]

A big change here is the front-facing camera gaining variable focus (and autofocus) for the first time since the very first iPhone.

Austin Mann (Hacker News):

All that said, I was excited to see this massive jump in megapixels in the iPhone 14 Pro as it will open doors to capture more detail, crop in on images, and also open up new possibilities for larger format prints at higher DPIs.

[…]

Many of you have been curious about the file sizes of the 48 megapixel ProRAW DNG files. I’ve found them to be mostly around 80MB, with the smallest files as low as 45MB (a shot with mostly sky and little detail), and the biggest being 115MB (a shot with tons of detail in leaves). For comparison, my Sony A1 (50 megapixel) RAW files are usually in the 120MB range. The image pixel dimensions of the 48 MP files are 8064x6048.

[…]

I’m pretty sure I’ll generally leave my settings set to 12MP ProRAW and only push up to 48MP when I really need it.

[…]

I do feel many of the images I’ve shot are a bit too processed and/or over-sharpened. When this happens, I’ve been bringing the ProRAW files into Lightroom CC and adjusting the “Apple ProRAW” profile slider to the left to reduce the HDR/sharp look if it’s too much for me.

[…]

Offloading photos/videos via Lightning cable is another story. I’ve had some serious pains trying to transfer content from my iPhone to my MacBook Pro. I’ve been on YouTube watching videos, unplugging, switching Lightning cables, restarting devices — doing all the things I can think of. I finally found a tip that said if you turn on Airplane mode, then Apple Photos will properly load, and thankfully it did.

Previously:

Widgetsmith for iOS 16’s Lock Screen

John Voorhees:

If you’ve used Widgetsmith to create Home Screen widgets, you’ll hit the ground running with Lock Screen widgets. There’s a new segmented control near the top of the iPhone app’s Widgets tab that toggles between Home Screen and Lock Screen widget creation. The Lock Screen view is divided between the inline text widgets that fit above the time on the Lock Screen and circular and rectangular widgets that sit below the time.

[…]

The rectangular widget category includes even more categories from which to choose. Between the overlap with other widget types, plus the Battery and Tides widgets, there are a total of 13 widget types that can be added to a rectangular widget and themed.

I loved the idea of widgets, but in practice I never use them. It hasn’t seemed worth displacing any of my app icons, and if I’m going to swipe to a separate homescreen I may as well just open the app itself. I make heavy use of watch complications, though, and I expect Lock Screen widgets to be more like that.

Francisco Tolmasky:

Is there no way to put Apple Remote in the Widgets Lock Screen? Would love to have it directly there instead of in Control Center.

Previously:

eSIM and iPhone 14

Glenn Fleishman:

Apple has gone all in on the eSIM (embedded SIM), a programmable internal version of the SIM (subscriber identity module) card used to ID your phone to cellular networks. With the U.S. models of its iPhone 14 series, Apple has gotten rid of a physical slot for the SIM card. But it also continues to expand eSIM flexibility on other iPhone models and iPads.

[…]

While an eSIM is programmable and handled entirely digitally, it has no effect on whether a phone or tablet that incorporates the technology is locked or unlocked by the carrier on whose network you’re using your device.

[…]

You once had to swap a hardware SIM out when traveling to another country. With an eSIM, you can still add a second plan for outside your area. When you return home, you just deactivate the eSIM. However, there are some countries that have not adopted eSIM yet, and an eSIM-only iPhone 14 or later model may not work for you in some countries or for your preferred carriers there.

Casey Liss:

So, in order to hopefully get ahead of the game for next week, I decided to try to convert my physical SIM to an eSIM. As it turns out, this process wasn’t particularly difficult, but I figured it’d be worth documenting for others.

[…]

After I did my transfer, I noticed that iMessages were suddenly being sent and received as text messages. This may have been user error on my part, but it seems that my iMessage settings were altered such that my phone number was no longer a valid iMessage address for me.

If you do the above, it’s probably worth verifying your settings.

John Gordon:

Apple put a lot of work into dual eSIM support. Here the dual status bar. Sure feels like they are going to do an Apple network.

Joe Rossignol:

Amid criticism from some customers regarding the removal of the SIM card tray on all iPhone 14 models sold in the United States, Apple today published a new support document outlining various "options and benefits" for using eSIMs while traveling abroad.

[…]

In his iPhone 14 Pro camera review, travel photographer Austin Mann said he was "a bit concerned about the practicality of an eSIM-only approach for travelers with US iPhones who frequently visit the developing world," adding that he usually purchases a local SIM card in countries where he travels to so that it is easier and cheaper to communicate with people within the country. Mann said he would be thrilled to toss out his collection of physical SIM cards, but said he has been unable to figure out how to sign up for an eSIM line in East Africa, where he plans to travel to next summer.

Previously:

Update (2022-09-22): Joe Rossignol (via Josh Centers):

Repair website iFixit today shared an in-depth teardown of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, providing a closer look at the device’s internals. Notably, the teardown includes a photo of the plastic spacer that replaced the SIM card tray on the U.S. model.

All four iPhone 14 models sold in the U.S. no longer have a physical SIM card tray and rely entirely on digital eSIMs. The teardown confirms that Apple is not using the internal space freed up by the tray’s removal for any other component or added functionality, and instead filled in the gap with a square piece of plastic. Outside of the U.S., all iPhone 14 models are still equipped with a SIM card tray in this space.

The empty space is surprisingly large.

Update (2022-09-26): Francisco Tolmasky:

OK, so this eSIM thing of course didn’t work. I’ve tried transferring it from my old phone by doing the “Add eSIM” thing, but after entering the code it shows, nothing happens. My old phone still gets texts, etc.