India has been slow in terms of Internet users growth with just about 300 million users. How can the user base accelerate?
Whenever a country leapfrogs generations of technology it actually bypasses the limitations that exist in other countries. That's what I see in India. My excitement around India comes from the fact that the genie is out of the bottle. Entrepreneurship is thriving.
What changes do you see in startups and entrepreneurship now? Are valuations unrealistic?
What made the Silicon Valley great was that risk taking was very acceptable and failure was not a stigma.As long as risk taking is acceptable it speaks well for a country that wants to foster entrepreneurship. Access to capital is the second issue. Now it exists here, much like in the Valley. Likes of Flipkart and Snapdeal are good examples that will encourage next generation of startups.
Do you think startups ecosystem here could be bigger than Silicon Valley?
I don't worry about relative sizes. Innovation is not going to be limited to a single place.
There is something magical about the Valley and the Valley has reinvented itself many times. If I were an India entrepreneur, I will worry about creating a sustaining business and drive that rather than relatives sizes and scales. Clearly scope exists here to create very meaningful brands and businesses.
Does Adobe back any startup or has capital for that? Do you invest in startups?
We have invested in companies like Netscape, Siebel, Vignette. We have this venture capital engine but we don't focus on it too much. Personally, I am focused on Adobe and am not investing in companies. Adobe Ventures may have a few investments in India as well (Indiagames was one). It's not big part for us.
What technologies appeal to you now? What technology trends do you see?
Look at what we have done with touch and mobile app creation for developers. I think that is still a trend, but in infancy. Personalization is one of the trends. CocaCola is creating dispensing machines where you can walk up to the machine and ask for a combination of diet, plain or cherry coke through an app. If I go to Disney, I get a band and the band knows the rides I want. Under Armour (an American sports apparel company) uses creative cloud marketing solutions to personalize purchases.
How are companies doing personalization?
In many of these cases, they (Coca Cola, Starwood Hotels, Under Armour etc) are customers of the Adobe marketing cloud, and have done business with users before and what you see is the value that analytics provide. Personalization will keep improving as everyone wants to be treated like an individual and not one in many.