From a garage to global domination: Adobe Inc

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Adobe was formed in a garage in Los Altos, California, in 1982. In the same year, founders Charles Geschke and John Warnock turned down a USD 5m offer from Steve Jobs to buy the company.

But while the decision to reject this proposal was met with raised eyebrows, Adobe has seen nothing but admiring glances ever since. Less than 20 years later, the company posted revenues of over USD 1bn, a figure which rapidly increased to USD 4bn by 2012.

Today, Adobe employs almost 30,000 people, while its Adobe Suite software package is ubiquitous among creative teams around the world.

A look at the numbers behind the company’s leading applications lays bare its global reach. Over 90% of the world’s creative professionals use Adobe Photoshop, while its online creative community, Behance, has over 30 million members. In the last year, over 400 billion PDFs were opened with Adobe Document Cloud, and its Adobe Scan app has assisted in the creation of 2.5 billion documents.

The Adobe suite’s industry recognition is just as impressive as its reach. The company’s numerous accolades include awards for Best Global Brand, Most Innovative Company, Best Culture and the World’s Most Admired Companies.

Naturally, impressive returns follow such success. In 2022, Adobe reported year-end revenues of USD 17.6bn. The company helps its customers boost their bottom lines, too. Documents created, signed, shared and stored in Adobe Document Cloud translate to 90% cost savings.

At the same time, its digital operation drives a 95% reduction in environmental impact compared with paper-based processes, saves 105 million litres of water and 31,000 trees, and removes the equivalent of 2,300 cars worth of carbon emissions per year.

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