Half a plan.

So - Adobe have taken the decision to move their entire customer base, pretty much by force, onto a perpetual rental scheme. Lots of people are unhappy with this. Adobe appear quite keen to force it through anyway. Recent statements do nothing to alter their basic stance.

People argue that Adobe are serving their shareholders with this move, not their customers. Those people could be right. Interestingly however, Adobe now face a specific target - after having removed perpetual licenses (bar legacy CS6, which will be supported for one operating system cycle).

Adobe have delivered a CC subscription adoption forecast to their shareholders - it runs to 2016 - the first milestone is at year’s end.

Adobe have committed to delivering 1.25 million subscribers by the end of 2013. Their ability to produce a number close to this ties directly into the validity of their midterm profit forecasts. The graph is below:


Adobe need 750,000 new subscribers in the next six months. Were they to miss this target, by say, over a quarter of a million, then they would have an issue, as it would call into question their basic arithmetic:


So, given this is the last time we hold any good cards, the idea would be that, if it is at all convenient for you - we make a publicity splash out of boycotting Adobe through 2013. Granted not every person can, but CS6 is an extremely robust, mature suite of software. This action would be useful in two ways -

1) it would starve them of subscriptions at a time when they really need to prove they work, because it is all they are offering.

2) but even more effectively - if it became commonly known that their customers were taking active steps against the company - the basic notion that Adobe was literally at war with their own user base would be incredibly damaging to them. That headline would be brand damage hard to walk away from.

The point is that Adobe might miss the subscriber forecast anyway - but if they do so, badly, in the context of a deliberate, visible campaign *waged by their own customers* - that is a PR nightmare for the ages. Adobe might try to withhold the number, but if they do so in the face of a broadly public boycott - it is going to look really weird. Shareholders do not like weird.

If you think this makes sense, then the absolute best way to effect it is social media. The hashtag #adobe2014 might sum it up? If you support an effort to adjust Adobe’s position  maybe tweet a link to this using the hashtag #adobe2014, or stick it up on FB.

In terms of realistic goals (given adobe cannot go back to perpetual licenses), a lot of people are mentioning a loyalty archive of the software to be provided after five years continuous subscription. You would be $3000 in at that point - and Adobe would grant you an archive of the master suite as it stands then. It’s a lease buy out - you can work and pay towards it and then, with the software archive providing you the same sense of security in 2018 that we have now with CS6 in 2013 - you can begin the half decade lease to buyout process again. This is very reasonable - it only asks Adobe to actually sell anything once in a decade (a new five year subscription cycle) and it gives us, as subscribers, some tiny, tiny sense of control over our tools.

So, with all that said, in the meantime - let’s strangle their 2013 subscription forecast.