How to Eat an Elephant, One Atomic Concept at a Time - kwokchain - Deepstash

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How to Eat an Elephant, One Atomic Concept at a Time - kwokchain

How to Eat an Elephant, One Atomic Concept at a Time - kwokchain

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Figma and Canva are taking on Adobe

In 2010, Photoshop was commonly used for everything design from editing a photo, making a poster or designing a website. Today, Adobe still seems very strong, they have great stock performance and their transitions to SaaS has been seamless.

Yet, they are no longer the market leader...

Companies like Figma and Canva are able to thrive against a strong incumbent like Adobe because they have a distinct atomic concept. Their products are built around a different strategy than Adobe's product lineup. 

These different fundamental atomic concepts turn Adobe's a...

New use cases: designing for digital

Startups can take advantage of market entropy. Changing customer needs are the biggest source of entropy in markets. When the customer needs change quickly, legacy companies are left with all the overhead and product that no longer serves the market.

There are many caus...

The best products map to how customers think about their workflow. They choose the right atomic concepts around which the entire product is built. They align with how customers think of their workflow and crystalise how they ought to. Great atomic concepts are refined and...

Figma bet on collaborative product design

When Figma started, it was a direct Photoshop competitor. But, over the next two years, they shifted their focus to designers working on the UI and UX of digital products.

The key for designers was a product that enabled collaboration. Building for collaboration led Figma t...

Canva bet on marketing design by non-designers

Photoshop can do many things, but it is too low level. Photoshop's atomic concepts are images and pixels.

But Canva operates at a higher abstraction level and one that users care about. Canva designs start with their purposes in mind, such as designing a pitch deck, an Instagram post, or a ...

Defensibility through becoming a platform

As Canva grew, it expanded its ecosystem by creating marketplaces and communities around templates, layouts, fonts, and more. Users prefer not to build from scratch, and instead support free and paid Canva marketplaces of pre-built components.

The add-ons are very powerful. They allow Canva...

Design is not unique. The same factors that drive demand for new and large use cases are arriving in most fields, especially in all forms of digital content.

The most active area undergoing this market transition now is the broader productivity space. Companies like Airtable, Notion, Coda, ...

Companies with early success have yet to define what atomic concepts they focus on. Who are their competitors? Who are their customers, and which use cases should they build their workflows around?

Companies have difficulty navigating these questions because customers don't know wha...

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