Have you ever wondered why Adobe is called Adobe? Or perhaps you are curious about how the company went from a garage startup to one of the most powerful software companies in the world. In this 17-minute video, ColdFusion answers those questions and more.
John Warnock and Charles Geschke, the founders of Adobe, left their employer Xerox Parc to create their own business after Xerox refused to commercialize a technology the two developed. That technology, called PostScript, is today still the graphics industry standard for printers. As we know now, the decision to leave Xerox was the right one.
Why did they choose the name Adobe? The answer is rather simple: it was the name of a creek that ran behind Warnock’s house. The logo, which has undergone a few changes over the years, was originally designed by Warnock’s wife who was a graphic artist.
Adobe’s original success came due to a huge risk the partners took. At the time, dot-matrix printers were the norm. The technology used printed dots to form shapes but struggled with images and typography since those shapes would always be blocky and imprecise. The next generation of printers was able to overcome this problem thanks to the postscript code the Adobe founders created.
Warnock and Geschke eventually led the way to the computerization of graphic artists. At the time, no graphics artists used computers at all, making their push for software to support them a huge risk. That risk, clearly, paid off.
There is a lot of interesting history and information in this video, including how the Adobe founders refused a buyout offer from Steve Jobs, how one of the founders was taken hostage for ransom, and how they grew the business substantially into the behemoth it is today.