Competition in Silicon Valley, whether it is friendly or cutthroat in nature, is persistently linked to technological innovation. These struggles are inherent in the Valley – startups vying for market share, established businesses trying to squash the competition and both small and big companies alike pushing to develop the most marketable product.
At SlideRocket, we know what it’s like to be up against the big guys. As a result, we are constantly pushing ourselves to make our product the best and most innovative, while forming more meaningful relationships with our partners and customers.
In regards to a recent battle of big versus bigger, I came across this article by Michael Copeland over at Fortune- “Behind the Adobe-Apple Cold War”.
Before last week’s big Apple release, speculation was rampant regarding details of what we now know as the iPad. With, what Copeland quotes as, “Apple’s seemingly resolute refusal to put Flash on its mobile devices”, would Apple’s new device follow suit? The answer? Yes – there is no Flash support on the iPad.
Sources quoted in this Wired article site Jobs’ opinion that Flash will soon be replaced by HTML 5. Interestingly, while we can only speculate whether or not Jobs will budge on his stance, Kevin Lynch over at Adobe says that, “Flash is ready to work on the iPhone and new iPad — it just needs Apple’s support.” On Lynch’s blog, he goes further, saying in regards to HTML 5, “Even in the case of video, where Flash is enabling over 75% of video on the Web today, the coming HTML video implementations cannot agree on a common format across browsers, so users and content creators would be thrown back to the dark ages of video on the Web with incompatibility issues.”
What do you make of this apparent conflict between Apple and Adobe? I found the articles particularly interesting, especially since SlideRocket came up a few times. One reader commented:
“Flash isn’t going away. While HTML and someday, HTML5, can play video, and provide basic interactions, its far from even close to matching the capabilities. Take a look at Aviary.com as a good example of whats’ possible in Flash. Image editing, Vector editing, Audio editing. Take a look at SlideRocket for a PowerPoint-like slide editor. There’s room for both, and neither HTML nor Flash will spell doom for the other.”
This reader makes some interesting points, which I support. Customers, whether they are developers, consumers or business users, always benefit from competition and choice. As a result, it’s critical that both Flash, HTML5 and possibly other rich media development options co-exist and push each other towards further innovation. In order to meet the needs of the market, it is equally important for major hardware and operating systems to support customer choice. In this case, that’s both Flash and HTML5. Both Apple and Adobe have been on either sides of the compatibility fence in this debate, and have both seen the mistakes of protectionist practices and, contrarily, the benefits of openness and serving their customers.
So, is it back to the dark ages? Seems like that’s a contradiction to the notion that competition in the Valley leads to technological innovation. But, as this saga continues to unfold, I think that we will be seeing some really interesting innovation emerging from both camps. In this industry, while people often start off in business as enemies, more often than not, companies come together for the sake of product development and happy customers. Our opinion on the matter: while it is fun to imagine the controversy continuing, I suspect that Apple and Adobe will eventually come together to address the wants and needs of consumers.
What do you think? This topic is getting a lot of interesting thought- check out some of the comments on this TechCrunch post by Erick Shoenfeld.