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Adobe Kills the Competition | Vol 102

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Welcome to Volume 102

Here’s what’s to come: 

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Adobe Kills the Competition 

The internet was abuzz last week when news of Adobe’s Figma acquisition broke. The $20 billion deal is one of history’s largest private tech startup acquisitions.

Why would Adobe offer to pay 2X Figma’s recent valuation to acquire the company and an extra $2 billion in restricted stock units for Figma’s management team? 

Well, Shantanu Narayen, CEO, and Chairman, of Adobe, says the combination of Figma and Adobe XD will “accelerate the company’s vision for collaborative creativity.” Adobe also says Figma will exist independently, but the design community thinks otherwise. 

Some see the acquisition as a move to kill the competition and reclaim Adobe’s position as the leader in design. 

The reaction from the design community isn’t unexpected. User ratings from Capterra, G2, and TrustRadius show how much designers favor Figma over Adobe XD. Do a quick search for “Adobe vs. Figma Reddit” and see how most designers sing Figma’s praises. It’s no wonder Adobe is killing the competition to regain market dominance.

Figma’s community-led growth, commitment to its core values, and vision to make design more accessible to everyone contributed to its massive success. As a result, its valuation grew from zero to $10 billion in less than 6 years, with roughly 4 million users, including leading tech brands like Twitter and Dropbox. 

So the acquisition makes sense for Adobe if the deal goes through. It’s a win for the company, especially with many XD users on Reddit admitting they fell hard for Figma

What would you do if you were Adobe-rich and could acquire a ridiculously good competitor and increase your market share? I bet you’ll make them an irresistible offer, promise autonomy to keep existing customers happy, keep the team—oh, and merge both products in the long run. Facebook did this with Instagram and WhatsApp. So it’s no surprise Adobe is doing the same. If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em, right? 😉

But what does the acquisition mean for Figma?

Even though Adobe says Figma will operate independently, I worry this might not last long. From a realistic standpoint, I don’t see the long-term possibility of two competing products coexisting peacefully under the same umbrella. That would mean investing nearly double the resources it would take to run one. When push comes to shove, one would have to give way for the other, and we all have a pretty good idea who the one is. 

If Adobe manages to keep its word of independent operations and pull off improving Figma, this could be one of the greatest acquisitions of all time. However, if it favors its brainchild and merges the best features from each software to make XD more powerful. In that case, the move may result in something revolutionary if the team retains the heart of Figma—putting users at the center of the roadmap. 

We hope Adobe makes the most of the investment and retains the Figma users it gained by doing what’s best for the design community—making the tools more useful for its users.


The Viral Freemium Product with a $3B Valuation 

Calendly makes scheduling meetings super easy. But that’s not the most impressive part of the software. The results the tool generates are mind-blowing:

  • 10M users, including 50,000 companies 
  • A $350M Series B funding round 
  • A $3 billion valuation in 2022 
  • The #21 spot on this year’s Forbes Cloud 100 List 
  • De facto status as the top meeting scheduler software  
  • A total of 811M backlinks earned all-time 
  • 1.2M organic website visitors every month

The secret to Calendly’s success is an open secret. It’s the same secret SaaS unicorns like Loom and Slack used to become viral successes. That’s Product-led Growth (PLG). 

 In this case study, we break down the PLG strategies Calendly used to go viral and achieve massive success. If you’re looking to build virality or scale into your product, you should read this case study

➡️Read the full story on Calendly’s PLG strategy worth $3 billion

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💰YouTube will introduce advertising to Shorts and give creators 45% of total ad revenue, starting early 2023. 

🎧 Spotify launched Audiobooks for U.S listeners. These users can now buy and binge over 300,000 audiobook titles. 

🛑 Google shuts down half its projects at Area 120—its Research and Development division. 


Raise your hand if you hate it when people acknowledge and reward your efforts. 

Okay, I don’t see any hands up 😉.

Everyone loves it when someone goes the extra mile to call out and appreciate their efforts, no matter how little it seems. 

It’s the same for employees. We love it when leadership or team members acknowledge our contributions to the company’s overall successes. Those words tell us how much we matter, and they motivate us to be better and do better. We can fill our praise jar with these words so we can always remind ourselves of the great things we are capable of when we feel like an impostor or during tough seasons.

That’s one thing I love about the culture at Foundation Marketing. No effort goes unrecognized and unrewarded. I know this act is a big part of what keeps the team motivated and super collaborative. 

The world is a better place when people have leaders who leave constructive criticism and acknowledge improvements and good efforts. 

Words are powerful and go a long way in determining how well a person performs. That’s why we should strive to build a culture that encourages a healthy obsession to succeed, not a toxic one where fear is the motivator.

Acknowledge a team member’s efforts today. Say something good you’ve noticed about them or something they have improved on. Always give constructive feedback. That’s how you help your team grow. And you’ll be surprised how much of a difference acknowledging people’s efforts will make in your company 💯.


7 powerful mental models for writers & content marketers by Ryan Law 



2 Be Loved (Am I Ready) by Lizzo

This charcuterie board of insights is brought to you by me, Jessica Tee O. ✌🏾!

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