Why not Adobe MAX in India? – My opinion

I read Vivek’s post on this topic (Why not Adobe MAX in India). I want to add my two cents, probably a different perspective.

It would be great to have event like MAX in India but practically speaking, it might not be successful from organizers point of view. I have attended Macromedia MAX 2005 and noticed things which I have never seen in any Indian Flash/Flex events and others too (except a few). I am optimistic, it would notice similar thing in India, in future.

We hardly notice 70-80% attendance in most of the flex/flash/air events/group-meetings within a city. It would not be good idea to assume people would fly from different cities to attend a two-three days event? Only a few do, and did in initRIA – those guys are probably the right audience for MAX like event in India.
Let’s not look the numbers that how many people are using flex/air for development? That way, there are thousands. Only a few of them show up in events probably they can afford time/money and have more motivation (networking, learning and other stuff) to be at events.

I don’t mean to offend anyone by saying those who don’t attend events are not passionate. There are practical reasons – we can’t afford attending events due to time and money. We don’t have to prove our passion by registering our presence in any such events or participating in any lists. We are passionate about the technology and programming, we can prove our passion by writing good code and building kick ass-applications. If we can afford time/money – we can participate in different ways (lists, events, group-meetings, etc).

Generally passionate guys do beyond the normal, there is a great example how someone(Gopal) vacated his house and used advance-refund to buy tickets for LCA 2007 – later he has to stay at his friend’s place and office. Not many people (can) do that.

I am happy that Indian flex community is growing, but as said I would rather like to see the quality and passion instead of just numbers. I would love to see more contribution from Indian Flex community, including me. Contribution in form of code, projects, libraries, ideas and talks. I hate to say, many of us are still stuck writing code for what is required by client. Many of us just end up getting things done instead of pushing the limits. There are reasons for what we do now, that’s how sometimes thing (market) work. This is the reality now, might be different after sometime.

Coming back to the topic, if someone/company organizes a event like MAX (like MAX in USA – that kind of scale), that person/company wants to make sure how successful it would be, considering all the costs involved and speakers (important key people) flying to speak and finding not enough (number and quality) audience?

Now above is my take why Adobe MAX (note – such large scale event) doesn’t make sense in India, might make sense in coming years. But I am wondering, why does Adobe think about it? Probably following paragraphs, which I have observed/heard.

How many independent developers in India actually buy original software/license? They want to use a cool software but don’t want to buy the software and they also don’t prefer to use free software (FOSS or free as in bear)?

I know it’s not directly related to the main topic, but probably it makes sense when you are talking about an event like MAX which is sponsored by Adobe
(which develops the technologies discussed in the event).

Adobe makes money in India through key accounts like IT/eLearning companies, (Bollywood/advertisement) studios/agencies and banks (for document management servers). Adobe doesn’t see huge demand by individuals or smaller companies – anyway most of these use pirated version. Similar case, every second computer runs Microsoft Windows and most of times, pirated version, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be bother much about because they make a lot of money from companies and government. What is motivation for companies like Adobe (not talking about Microsoft – they have motivation, relatively larger user-base where they can make more money by converting pirated to genuine) to organize events in India?

Adobe can look at it like this – Most of the companies in USA get their work done in India, the better ecosystem in India would lead more profits for Adobe in long term. Adobe currently pitches it’s technologies to US companies via sales channels and those companies put the technologies as requirement for projects (which gets executed by Indian companies). That’s how it works most of the time. Now there are support channels – Adobe Evangelists, sales/support guys in India and training partners – for Indian service companies, that’s the another reasons not many of developers working in these companies show up in these events?

Whatever I have said so far is my opinion/observation/thoughts I am not judging anyone, neither Adobe nor the flex/air/flash community, here. I would love to be wrong, because as a passionate developer I would want many more events and better ecosystem in India.

It’s a long post and with different thoughts, which might sound conflicting with each other. I have gone through various phases in my life and I have noticed different things. All summed together above. I used to travel long distances for half/full day events, even when I was not earning much. I used to be more active on lists/forums compared to what I am now. I think, there are different ways we all are passionate about any things, it all depends on various situations/circumstances. With easy Internet access today, compared to past, I am more connected than I was even after being to all those events. Apologies, if something is not clear – formatting or idea.

  • Thanks for your perspective Abdul, its a very interesting read!
    While I would love to see a MAX conference come to India I’m sure it wouldn’t make sense to scale it like the US edition — what I found particularly interesting is how they managed to set pricing for MAX Japan.
    http://www.onflex.org/ted/2007/10/adobe-max-2007-japan-arrival.php
    The growth of Flex in India is especially interesting if you look at the whole open source roadmap. This is not just a marketing effort but it actually democratizes development to a lot of people. Whereas before, lets not kid ourselves, a lot of Indian independent developers and small companies were practically forced to work with illegal software copies.
    Its about more than a conference, if Adobe does not pay attention and starts to invest in India and its developer community there are other parties that are ready to take over.
    I strongly believe they need to act without delay, we’re not talking about huge scale events but rather building a strong presence and commit developers to your products.
    Its not straightforward if this is just being looked at in terms of costs. As you probably know I’ve been trying to get some Flex/AIR workshops off the ground in India and it is not easy to get partners involved.
    Adobe has the funds to make it happen and its in their best interest to see that it does happen.

  • @Peter Macromedia used to organize MAX (so called) thingy in INdia. But MM sales guys tried to pitch project most of the time. Last time we had it in 2004, we saw some external speakers – Macromedia partners (indiagames, etc).
    I am sure, it can happen anytime. I suspect, it’s not Adobe USA which has to decide, it’s Adobe India management. Adobe India would have to spend money from their budget, since it’s different business unit..
    That could have been the reason, Ted’s promise (last year) couldn’t work out now, just guessing :-)
    Posted more thoughts on Mrinal’s post, please check it out.
    Thanks
    -abdul