Adobe System Incorporation
Case Study Questions and some guidelines for solution.
Point of focus:
Examine the tactics by which a de facto standard is established Explore the tension between establishing a de facto standard and making money from it Analyze the drivers of winner-take-all dynamics, in particular network externalities Understand the importance of industry/market definition in the evolution of standards Questions
1. How was Postscript established as a de facto standard? How did Adobe make money from Postscript, despite its being an “open” standard? 1. What does it mean for a standard to be open?
2. Why would a firm give away its technology?
3. Does a standard have to be open in order to become the de facto standard?” Adobe overcame the chicken-egg problem
1. Formed a strategic alliance with Apple, Aldus and Linotype-Hell 2. Encouraged third-party applications to be developed.
3. Developed in-house applications.
4. Invested in developing a Postscript font library.
5. Made it easy for printer manufacturers to incorporate Postscript. 6. Target lead users
How did Adobe make money from Postscript even though it was open? 1. Licensing fees and upgrades.
2. Develop applications software that utilizes Postscript.
3. Sales of fonts.
2. Which firm is in a better position to control de facto eBook standards, Adobe or Microsoft?
Arguments for Adobe being in a stronger position
1. The installed base of Acrobat Readers is huge
2. Publishers’ content is already in PDF format
3. PDF is a superior technology.
4. PDF is open and MS Reader format is not.
Arguments for Microsoft being in a stronger position
1. Microsoft could bundle its reader with the operating system 2. Microsoft could bundle creation of MS format content with its Office applications 3. Microsoft has deep pockets
3. What should Adobe do?
How can Adobe establish PDF as the de facto eBook standard?
1. Make creation of PDF documents/books free
2. Create an OEB to...
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