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Did Google Data Predict Adobe’s Sales Decline?

March 17th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Adobe ADBE earnings dropped 29% for its fiscal first quarter and revenue dropped 12%.

The reason?

Adobe blamed the weakness on slow adoption of the latest version of its flagship Creative Suite, which includes the Photoshop and Illustrator programs popular with photographers and graphic artists.

I’ve been slightly obsessed of late with the notion of correlating search volumes to stock performance, and the remote possibility of search volumes being predictive.

After reading the WSJ piece, I couldn’t help but plug some terms into Google Insights for Search. Note how volumes compared for the terms “CS3” and “CS4.” To better compare them, I placed colored dots on the graphs at positions that reasonably align with when the software suites shipped.

It’s pretty clear that the CS4 focused searches are lower than cs3, roughly by 16%. Here are the charts overlapped, aligned by ship date.

My initial interpretation is that due to the asymptotical nature of software revisions, that upgrades are inherently less interesting over time. Sorry, Adobe but you’ll never match the functionality leaps created by Layers in Photoshop v3, and to a lesser extent Actions in v4…

I actually downgraded from CS3 to CS1 recently in an attempt to try and reduce the spinning beachball problem on my Mac (it helped btw) and haven’t noticed anything important “missing.”

This is one of the big problems they face. The other? Being addicted to the fat, lush margins that selling a box that contains a couple of disks (cost of goods about $5.00) for $2,300.00. (Let’s be fair though — they have to pay engineers too. That probably brings the average cost to $17.93.)

The result? Click the chart below. I think it speaks for itself.


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