After 7 years and raising $19 Million in 4 rounds, hugely popular photo editing app and SDK Aviary sold recently to Adobe. But this is not how the story ends. As the company enters is next chapter as part of the Adobe Creative Suite, co-founder Avi Muchnick tells us more as he also prepares to be a speaker at this year’s LDV Vision Summit.
A little about you, what is your background ?
I’m an artist and entrepreneur based in NYC. I co-founded Worth1000, a
contest and community website for Photoshop artists, and Aviary, a company
that builds dead simple photo editing editing tools that developers can
add to their application. Aviary also has a consumer facing photo-editing
app with millions of users.
Your company, Aviary, sold to Adobe recently. What did the company with the number one photo editing tool see in Aviary?
We had incredible traction – thousands of partners using our SDK, millions
of daily users and billions of photos edited in our technology – and a
talented team with deep experience in building and marketing SDKs. Adobe
was investing heavily in its own Creative SDK and acquiring Aviary
represented a way to move even faster on that front. On our side, Aviary
realized that by partnering with Adobe we’d have access to a wealth of
patented imaging technology, incredible resources and marketing reach to
further extend our footprint in a way that would have taken much longer to
do solo, so it was a natural fit.
What can we expect to see from aviary now that its an Adobe product ?
I can’t comment too much on future roadmap plans, but I can just hint that
we feel like kids in a candy shop with all of the great Adobe imaging tech
we now have access to!
How as you role evolved since the acquisition ? Are you involved in
different products ?
I’m now Director of Products at Adobe, where I lead product management for
the broader Creative SDK, (which Aviary is now a part of), and am involved
in a few other related initiatives. I’m lucky in that my role naturally
has me interacting with many different teams in Adobe, and I’ve really
enjoyed getting to work with such a talented and diverse group of people.
There are thousand of photo editing apps, what did you guys do that
made aviary so successful ?
We power them 🙂 And we also made it a point to always value simplicity
of experience over everything else. On mobile that is key.
You avoided the urge of creating a sharing platform around Aviary.
What was your reason?
We decided to focus initially on what we were best at. We thought we could
get more traction if we powered other people’s sharing platforms (like
Twitter and Flickr) instead of building it ourselves.
Looking around the photo:tech space, what do you see that excites you ?
I’m really excited to see advancements in Virtual Reality and how that
will impact new modalities of photography.
With the LDV summit coming up, what do you hope to get from it ?
It¹s always a lot of fun to meet other entrepreneurs in the Photo space
and see the new and amazing ways that space is being extended.
Tell us what is interesting and unique about the LDV Vision Summit
Entrepreneurial Computer Vision Challenges? Who should compete and
I love that it will challenge experts in the imaging space to show off
their research and skills on a competitive stage. There’s a lot of great
work being done in this space that isn¹t getting properly recognized and
the LDV Vision Summit is a great forum to make that happen. I¹d recommend
it for anyone with an incredible technology that meets the challenge
criteria who is thinking about fundraising, partnerships, pr, and recruiting.
What would you like to see a photo editing tool do that technology
cannot yet deliver ?
I wish there was a camera that automatically snapped the photo when
everyone smiled at the same time. I have a family of 6, and I don’t think
we have a single photo where everyone looks ready!
Early-bird tickets are available for the LDV Vision Summit until April 15, 2015. Hope to see you at the summit on May 19 and 20, 2015.
[ NDLR : Kaptur is a media partner of the LDV Vision Summit and will be bringing you privileged coverage of the event and its guest. Stay tuned……]
Photo by korafotomorgana
Author: Paul Melcher
Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.