There’s even more proof this week that designers are the new rock stars of the tech world. Adobe announced on Thursday that it has acquired Behance, a community site for designers’ portfolios. Adobe will integrate Behance into its own Creative Cloud community and tool-sharing site that it launched for designers and developers earlier this year.
The companies didn’t release terms of the deal. Behance, founded in 2006 and now with 32 employees, has 1 million users and hosts 3 million projects. Earlier this year Behance raised a $6.5 million round from Union Square Ventures, along with angels Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Path founder Dave Morin, designer Yves Behar, 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, StumbleUpon founder Garrett Camp, Chris Dixon, and Dave Tisch.
The move is the latest example of how tech companies are now finally seeing the value of good designers and the importance of good design. And importantly, how they are looking at ways to tap into the designer community. Sand Hill Road investors are looking for the latest designer founders — like the AirBnB folks — and are launching design incubator programs and funds. Startups like Pinterest, Nest, Flipboard and Path are developing apps and products that use design as their core value.
We think the trend is so strong — and not going anywhere any time soon — that we have an annual event called RoadMap (#roadmapconf) that looks at connected design. RoadMap 2012 featured a who’s who of designer tech leaders like Yves Behar, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, Tumblr CEO David Karp, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, Nest founder Tony Fadell and many more. Later in 2013, we’ll unveil our lineup and location for RoadMap 2013.