Imagine this: Two guys walk up to you and offer you to become business partners in the Photoshop software business. Would you accept their offer and become known as one of the creators of the worlds most powerful image editing software? I think that would be an obvious “yes” for most of us; however back in 1988 when Photoshop did not have such a reputation as it does now, Nikon declined on the offer of a partnership.
The MacWorld show in 1988 could have potentially changed the image editing world as we know it! Thomas and John Knoll, the two founders of Photoshop initially walked up to the Nikon boys set up at the show, and displayed their software and ideas. Unfortunately, at this time Nikon thought themselves to be strictly a hardware based company, so they declined the offer, as did Kodak and many other camera manufactures. Thus, Thomas and John walked up to Adobe who accepted to partner… and I think we know the rest of the story! Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990, and if you browse the web you can even find the V1.0 floating around as they just made it open source last year.
Back then hardware was everything, today we rely on software to make the hardware work effectively (that’s a good thing). I’m glad Adobe’s software grew independently, because if they didn’t, we would all own Nikon cameras today and innovation would have been drastically impacted by the deal. I’m sure Nikon would have only sold the software with there cameras and wouldn’t have invested in improving the software unless someone else stepped into their realm. Innovation is always a good thing.