Adobe CEO has big ideas for the Web

In a $3 billion company with 5,500 employees, making things relate to each individual proves harder than it used to be.

This is a reason why Shantanu Narayen, president and chief operating officer at Adobe, has been trying to revolutionize the way his company produces software.

Adobe, an award-winning technology and software company, is currently working on programs that will integrate complicated software into the lives of people who regularly use the Internet, making user contributions worthwhile to sites such as and

Narayen spoke yesterday about “harnessing a collective intelligence” among the public to try to counteract information overload preventing some from learning about new technology trends.

One of Adobe’s developing concepts is Web 2.0, which is a collective theory that the Internet can be more than text and still images, but animation and Web sites that can be customized to fit the users needs. Narayen presented an example of coordinating a flight plan with Travelpedia, connecting the calendars, conflicts and costs of a vacation for a three people using computers in different locations. Travelpedia is a program that fits the Web 2.0 description by changing with its users’ needs.

And the meeting’s audience was filled with far more than students and faculty.

Web developer Mike Osswald explained the need for giant software companies to make their business more understandable.

“He is right that we are on the cusp of a revolution, things are going to get much more interesting and usable,” he said. “It’s about enabling regular people, putting applications together and making your own program … Everything has come together and this is just a more global scope with data sharing.”

And Narayen also spoke about relieving the focus off of marketing by creating an entirely new consumer.

“Every three billion dollar market starts out as a zero billion dollar market ” you can’t over-think, you just have to go with it,” he said.

Adobe’s new programs range from advancing digital photography with Adobe Lightroom and furthering its development of its popular software, Adobe Photoshop. The company is also working on an application called Apollo that could be installed from a Web browser and launched like any desktop publication.

“We think that the main problem of people is using and finding information when you want it,” Narayen said.