This summer, I am interning at Adobe in the Omniture Business Unit. It’s been a great experience so far, and one of the highlights was being able to go out to San Jose to the headquarters for a day and a half to meet the other interns, participate in the All Employees Q2 Review meeting, and to actually meet the CEO, Shantanu Narayen. Now you may have recently seen Shantanu in his AllThingsD appearance (or the hilarious prep video), and may have thought, “Hey, this guy seems like a pretty cool, down to earth CEO.” And you’d be right. He was a very approachable, very genuine person. I was quite impressed.
During a Q&A session with all of the interns, he threw out som pretty good tidbits too. Below are some of my summary points from my notes. (Note: none of these are exact quotes, and all have been interpolated by me. They are not meant to be exact representations of Shantanu’s or Adobe’s opinions. </disclaimer>). I found them interesting, hope you will too.
- As a manager, you have to be able to draw satisfaction from what your team does, or you will never be happy.
- Communication is probably THE skill needed for an upper level executive.
- Any sized company needs to be nimble, they need to be willing to change models to keep up.
- Don’t figure out how to preserve your core product at the expense of innovation.
- Interesting take on Apple vs World; we [Adobe] help the second and third place guys more than first place right now. And that is healthy for the market.
- Apple had Adobe’s code (assuming Flash) and said that everything was fine with it, that it ran great, but obviously they had ulterior motives.
- When launching new sectors or markets, find interior people who you can evangelize to and who will then evangelize for you, and then go full force.
- In emerging markets market share is great… revenue sucks. Piracy is the issue, and you have to find something better than just a bigger mousetrap to enforce licensing. You have to think creatively and work with the culture itself to solve it.
- Capturing the emerging markets will be greatly aided by doing R&D directly in country with the people.