On 15 September, American software juggernaut Adobe announced its decision to acquire popular web application Figma for a whopping $20 Billion. And all the design experts we know—full-timers, freelancers, and clients—had something insightful to say about it.
“Figma has done a fantastic job thus far developing a uniquely powerful tool. Their features showcase an incredible understanding of the needs of their design users. Let’s hope that in their acquisition, Adobe allows the Figma team to continue their great work, and that the acquisition doesn’t result in a watered-down tool.”
—Derrick Sun, Senior Designer, Literal Humans
“Adobe acquiring Figma just feels like the little guy getting somewhat squashed by the big guy. Sure, they’re getting a big payout (and good for them), but it’s just going to turn Adobe into more of a huge conglomerate that owns the entire market.
A little competition is healthy for consumers. Not to mention Adobe’s prices are ridiculous already and Figma offered a lot of really useful free elements. If Adobe don’t keep those elements free, I imagine people will turn away from Figma and perhaps a new product could replace it, something that offers the free ability Figma currently has.”
—Olivia Messer, Senior Designer, Literal Humans
“Honestly, I’m disappointed and maybe even sad. The concept of buying out ‘competition’ sends out the wrong message and feels very low-vibrational. Who am I to judge how much Adobe has on their plate? What I know is Adobe has more products than I care to count and I’m paying for, only to use five of them at a lesser cost than individually.
And don’t even get me started on the money it cost them—twenty billion dollars? There are people without clean water, food, and homes. Why not use all those resources to nurture a real community with homes and creative centers in lower-incomes neighborhoods? Why not build Adobe schools that nurture students’ dreams by bringing their ideas to life? The list goes on.
I intentionally transitioned from InDesign to Figma, so my clients could feel confident executing new design layouts, templates, and marketing materials without paying for the software. Now, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for ‘help’ emails!”
—Kanacia James, Freelance Designer
“My overall feeling about this Figma acquisition is: ‘FFS! *big sigh* Of course they did it…to absorb Figma’s tech or to squash the competition!’
I think I share a lot of similar sentiments with other designers. This was a FREE, full-functioning design software that allowed us to maintain design control with ease in creating templates for our clients without paying for anything. We didn’t have to sacrifice certain design/brand guideline constraints like another easy web-based software (which I shall not name, and which is the literal bane of our existence). That being said, knowing how technology is moving these days, Figma-like products are not going away.
My hope and dream for this acquisition is for Adobe to TRUTHFULLY listen to the design community and honor all the things promised to the CEO/Founder of Figma, Dylan Field, to continue to operate it autonomously and that it stays FREE for education.”
-Anabelle Pang, Creative Director
“The Figma deal’s price tag feels high for some, but I think those who have been watching the design industry understand why it’s totally worth it. Building a successful PLG company is a painstaking process. For the first 5 years, they nailed their first, and for the next 2 or so years, they nailed the second (FigJam). The momentum, community and team DNA is all there for them to become an even greater force in the market. Exciting times ahead for Adobe. (Please don’t fuck up Figma!)”
—Jessica Ko, Co-Founder and CEO, Playbook
Curious times ahead, for not just designers but everyone linked to the creative ecosystem. And like so many creative decisions, only time will tell if this one was worth it!