Adobe is a best workplace for innovators
“The raw materials from which our business is formed are the inventive ideas and creative talent of our employees,” Adobe co-founders John Warnock and Chuck Geschke penned in a letter to employees in 1998. At the time, Adobe’s workforce was just shy of 3,000 employees, the company was best known for Photoshop, PostScript and PDF, with Illustrator gaining popularity. A few decades later, 24,000 employees strong, and a thriving portfolio of world-class, industry-building products, we’re guided by the same core values that Adobe was built on to create tools and experiences that inspire people, transform industries, and move the world forward.
Adobe has successfully innovated for decades to lead the creation and delivery of digital experiences — so what’s our secret? Investing in people and arming them with what they need to be successful. People are our most important assets, and we strive to create a workplace that promotes innovation and the notion that it’s not just what we do but how we do it.
It’s an honor to have this heritage celebrated today, as Adobe is recognized by Fast Company as a Best Workplace for Innovators, coming in at no. 67 out of nearly 900 companies who were nominated for this award. The list celebrates company cultures that empower employees at all levels to improve processes, create new products, or invent new ways of doing business. Fast Company highlighted how “Adobe’s intern program gives emerging innovators opportunities to work on projects that eventually become high-profile features.”
“Innovation and pushing the limits of creative expression have always been core to Adobe’s DNA. We are a company that sits at the intersection of deep science and the art of storytelling, and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead.”
Abhay Parasnis, chief technology officer and chief business officer, Document Cloud
We believe innovation does not sit within one department, but that great ideas come from everywhere. Take a look at some of the programs and initiatives that nurture and celebrate innovation across Adobe.
Virtual Internship Program
It has always been our philosophy that interns play a crucial role in the company. When we hire interns, we view them as our future leadership bench and seek to provide them with opportunities to collaborate and innovate on meaningful projects with lasting impact, often on our products.
In response to COVID, we quickly shifted our focus to deliver an exceptional digital experience to 700+ interns globally last year who were joining #AdobeLife. Throughout the summer, interns participated in interactive career development workshops, executive speaking events and presented their projects to employees around the globe through a digital intern project expo. And this year we welcomed more than 1,000 interns virtually.
We are proud of the fact that nearly half of the technologies shipped in Adobe products in recent years have come from projects with interns or university collaborators. Last year, more than half of the technology patents the Adobe Research team filed included an intern as an inventor.
Patents & Distinguished Inventors
As we develop new technology, we believe in patenting to protect the pioneering work of our employees. To date, Adobe has been issued more than 5,800 patents, with nearly 500 filed in FY20 alone.
It’s not uncommon to meet Adobe employees with several patents under their belt. Each year, we celebrate the continued innovation and creativity of those who have received 10 or more patents at Adobe, achieving status as an Adobe Distinguished Inventor. We even have employees who have filed over 100 patents during their tenure at Adobe!
Our Founders Award
The Founders’ Award is a one of the highest honors and a longstanding tradition at Adobe, which started in 2001. The annual, global award program pays tribute to Adobe’s co-founders who have attributed the success of the company to individual efforts by employees who embody Adobe’s Core Values — Genuine, Exceptional, Innovative, Involved.
Each year, we accept peer nominations, and select up to twelve recipients of the Founders’ Award who are living our core values — whether by delivering exceptional customer experiences, driving progress through innovation or improving our communities. This year we recognized employees who have provided innovation towards our diversity & inclusion mission, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and more.
Our Tech Excellence Awards
Also a peer-nominated award, the Tech Excellence Awards provide an opportunity for all employees to recognize and celebrate colleagues in technical roles in Research, Data Science, Engineering, Operations, and Information Technology whose contributions have made a significant impact on Adobe offerings or the industry.
Each year, we recognize 10 employees for their efforts to advance creativity for all, accelerate business productivity and empower digital business. Recipients include the minds behind game-changing technology, such as Content Aware Fill for Video in After Effects and Neural Filters in Photoshop.
At our annual customer events — Adobe MAX and Adobe Summit — Adobe employees, from engineers and data scientists to UX designers and product managers, have a chance to share innovative ideas that push the envelope of what’s possible in a segment we call “Sneaks.”
This program provides a platform for the most innovative ideas to surface, giving our employees an opportunity to explore passion projects, tap into emerging technologies like AI, provide customers with a glimpse of what might be possible within our products and solicit community feedback.
While not all become productized, approximately 60 percent of the concepts presented in the history of Adobe Sneaks have been incorporated into final Adobe products — like Auto Reframe in Adobe Premiere Pro and Smart Crop for Video in Adobe Experience Manager, Characterizer in Adobe Character Animator, and Project Wetbrush, which became part of Adobe Fresco.