Adobe MAX 2010 review

I’m forcing myself to do this “post-Adobe MAX 2010″ post. It’s been nearly a month so I think I can safely judge history. Here’s the summary of what you’ll find below:

  • Adobe really did get their act together and come up with a clear message… basically “the truth will prevail; we have some cool shit that solves real-world problems”
  • The social aspect of the conference was great despite a less than ideal venue (it’s not BAD) and un-arguably, the worst MAX Bash ever. Let’s hope 2011 is the LAST time it’s in LA (or at least at this venue).

I’ve broken things down into: content, format, and fun.
The day 1 keynote (traditionally more general audience and investor focused) was super clear. It basically was Adobe saying: Look, we have the shit. You want to print industry to survive—we can do it. You want high performance 3D stuff (and don’t want to do it today with Unity3D or that other 3D thing we had in 1999 called Director—though they didn’t mention either) we have it coming in Flash Player. You want to see some cool stuff on phones? It’s here now. And, wow, you want AIR at a low level… check out Blackberry Playbook (that is NEAT!!!). It was a nice mix of what’s coming (which I always take with a grain of salt) and what’s here and now. And, like I say, it was clear. No vague references to stuff that they think will change—just a super clear message: multi-screen. Or, as us programmers see it—both an opportunity and a total pain to do layout stuff. Still, there’s lots of opportunities—both now and coming soon.
The day 2 keynote was great. I heard a lot of people griping that it was a lot of fluff and not enough content. True: if they had just showed a PowerPoint presentation they could have covered all the same details. But instead, the Adobe folks exercised their creativity… they invested in the creative industries to which they sell… and they really focused on showing developers how they could make MONEY. I think they’ve always tried this in very indirect ways. Now it’s like “see, do this and that and I think we’ll all make money!” The whole Adobe app store (called something else but I tuned it out) was the weakest offering. Basically the pitch was “you know how there’s sooo many app stores? What can you do? Hey, we know… use OUR app store aggregator thingy.” Yeah, my favorite part of all that was that you can sign up today… then next year (when I imagine they’ll modify it to become whatever it will become… because it sure ain’t ready now) you can get a FREE account for 1 year. To what? I’m not saying the thing (whatever it is) isn’t going to be awesome but, man, make it clear or wait till it’s ready.
The only criticism I’d have for the day 2 keynote is they could have made it more clear what things are possible now… which are new things… and which are “coming soon”. My biggest fear is someone will listen too much to those complaining about the format and next year they won’t be nearly as creative.
Finally, free stuff. It’s not like it was my idea or that I’m super bright (though I did create this poster months ago). I do wonder if the givers of devices might have been better off to just say “if you want one, ask us” vs. “you’re getting one, take it”. But still, I know for me it has influenced one real project and at least one personal project.

The venue was better than the venue for MAX 2007 in Chicago… that was just nuts (so big and spread out). But, still, I can’t stand this LA venue. I hadn’t even realized there was a hotel right on site (I swear it wasn’t there last year). I don’t really mind the bus ride THAT much (seeing how I got to practice my Handbills Delivered act)… but still, it’s lame. Ultimately, that venue is still too spread out. Compare it to the Moscone South—basically just two hallways. Personally, I go to MAX for social reasons and LA is just too spread out. The pavilion was ok though. And, really, I liked the conference as a whole—so I’m just pointing out what could be improved.

As always, MAX was a load of fun.
I didn’t bother with any pranks this year—see 2008. This year I had a performance “Handbills Delivered” (see my earlier post containing a video). Perhaps most amusing was my interactions with security guards—such as this one with the hotel security: hotel_security.mp3 (I was just practicing at this point and the audience was told ahead of time what I was doing—they agreed etc.) What’s amazing is that apparently I’m just so convincing… even at this point when I was not very good at it!
Anyway, I did learn to become aware of my surroundings and ask/warn in advance of doing my thing. Warning to those in various large cities around the world: In 2011 I’ll be appearing several times…on the street etc. Watch for details.
As previously mentioned the party was really lame. They had some band that is popular with the kids—but it was on a PARKING GARAGE! Compare this to the location of past years’ parties:
– Salt Lake Olympics skating rink
–Disney’s California Adventure
–Universal Studios
–de Young Museum AND the science museum (wow, try to top that party!)
I don’t mean to complain—I mean the “LA Live” thing last year wasn’t terrible… but standing around on a parking garage just wasn’t great.

5 Responses to “Adobe MAX 2010 review”

  1. M Burke Says:

    An Adobe App store will go the way of Adobe Exchange, that is to say, full of cobwebs and spam.

  2. M Burke Says:

    Come ovah and talk to me.

  3. Michael Says:

    Has anyone received their logitech revue yet?

  4. Phillip Kerman Says:

    I don’t believe anyone (except a few Adobe employees) have received it. I’m sure I’d have heard on twitter by now. This graphic is unfortunately becoming more and more true:

  5. ljbnomad Says:

    You may not get one. I responded while I was at the conference, but couldn’t print the confirmation page. Now I don’t have it, I never received a confirmation email, and have just been informed that they never captured my address info or response. If you still haven’t heard, definitely tell them because I can’t be the only person who is still waiting. Maybe they will open it back up for those of use who didn’t get processed properly by their online sign-up/address capture.

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