Scott Belsky–co-founder of Behance and an early stage investor in startups like Uber and Pinterest–is returning to Adobe after two years away. Now, he’ll take the role of Chief Product Officer and EVP of Adobe Creative Cloud.
Belsky first joined Adobe in 2012 with the acquisition of Behance. He became the VP of product and led Adobe’s charge into mobile apps. In his new role, Adobe tells us that, “Scott will broaden his focus from mobile to holistically deliver Adobe’s vision for making Creative Cloud a creativity platform for all. That includes leading the evolution of the next generation of Creative Cloud tools and services to solve the modern challenges facing creative professionals, as well as making Creative Cloud tools more accessible to a broader audience of photography, design, and video enthusiasts and aspiring creative professionals.”
Belsky’s belief in the potential of Adobe’s products and the human creative mind itself–both of which I spoke with him about at length in 2014–is infectious. Then, he was a firm believer in Adobe’s mission to de-anchor itself from the desktop experience into countless, user-friendly mobile devices through the cloud.
Of course, a lot has changed in just a few years. Now, we don’t just have ubiquitous touch screens in our pockets, but burgeoning VR and AR platforms like Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens. The future of digital creativity is no longer just about mobility, but about all sorts of multi-modal interactions that are just being fleshed out in hardware and software for the first time. In turn, Belsky seems to be pushing Adobe’s uncoupling from the desktop even further, acknowledging that the company’s role needs to be in leading across these new platforms and seamlessly fusing the experience from one to another.
“What strikes me as Adobe’s greatest opportunity is improving the user experience of its products–making world-changing products like Photoshop and Premiere Pro more accessible, efficient, and collaborative–and bringing new mediums of design like UX/UI, AR/VR, and voice to their full potential much like Photoshop did for digital imaging,” he writes on Medium. “We will help Creative Cloud embrace the surge of new creative apps and services, which I respect but view as too fractured and isolated. I see a lot that can be improved, and the opportunity to dig in with some of the most talented designers and engineers I know to chart a better course for the future of design and the creative industry is invigorating.”
Adobe, as old-guard as it may seem, is doing quite well as a company as its bet on its Creative Cloud subscription service–as opposed to expensive, white boxed software–continues to pay off. But for Adobe to continue to hold its position, it will need to adapt as fast, if not faster, than the world around it. The core technology needed to move into this new multi-modal future certainly seems to be there. Now Adobe just needs the new products.