From the very first time I met Dylan Field, 3 things were exceptionally obvious:
- his love for design and the design community,
- his ambition to change the way that we design things together, and
- his confidence that he could change the way the world designs.
But I mean, look: it definitely was not obvious in the slightest. He and his co-founder Evan Wallace were unbelievably smart and had built a tiny, astonishingly talented team working by the train tracks in Palo Alto. It wasn’t obvious they could get anyone to want to design in a web browser (or that it was even very possible to get it working, honestly). It wasn’t obvious that they could challenge and change the way that designers viewed their work as mostly solo. And it wasn’t obvious that they could build a company to deliver their vision around the world even if they could build a compelling technology and product.
Well, it’s obvious now.
9 years after that meeting with Dylan in 2013, Figma has changed the way that we all design — and radically. Today design happens more together with others rather than solo. It’s an incredible contribution to the field of software design, with ripples and ramifications to how we build everything together.
Today Adobe and Figma announced that they’ve signed a deal to merge — a deal that both recognizes Figma’s decade of innovation and contribution to design, but also promises a fantastic, dynamic, collaborative future for creatives of all types. I’m excited about the past 10 years, but I’m even more excited about what’ll be possible now that Figma’s established a culture, community, and platform to build from. Figma, and the community that has built up around it, will be able to change even more about how we can design together in expressive, creative and inclusive ways.
From the first time I got to visit the tiny 7 person office by the train, getting to work with the Figma team has been one of the very highest privileges of my career. The organization that they’ve built over the years has included some of the most creative, smartest, most profoundly talented people in our industry. In my first draft of this note, I started listing some of the amazing people I’ve gotten to work with, and the list was just silly in its length, and I had to keep lengthening it because so many people of such high quality have contributed and continue to.
Beyond being just really, really good at design, technology and products, though, the thing I’m prouder of and admire more is the way that this is just a really, really good group of humans, who have built an organization that is inclusive, creative, joyful, thoughtful, playful, generous, and kind. They show me every day what it looks like when we can try to be the best people we can be.
Today’s certainly a milestone — an historic one in many ways — but it’s just the next step. Figma, together with Adobe, has got a crazy ambitious map for the future of how we design things together — even crazier than Figma’s was a decade ago. Is it obvious they’ll achieve so much in the next stage? Time will tell. But given what I’ve seen Figma do these past 10 years, I’ve got a pretty good feeling about the next 10, and beyond.
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