56 comments

  • Jon MyersJon Myers, 4 years ago

    Figma is built on WebGL, Skew and C++

    Sketch is built in technologies and frameworks exclusive to OSX.

    From a technical perspective, this assertion of Sketch purchasing Figma makes zero sense. Should Sketch buy Figma, the level of technical debt that would have to be addressed would be enormous.

    From a logistical perspective, Sketch is based in the Hague, NL and Figma is based in San Francisco rendering such a deal unlikely.

    Figma has noticeably been downplaying their multi-player feature (likely high-usage attrition of this feature), there are no robust case studies of multi-player in use on their site, and they have gone full Frankenstein.

    As design version control is a hot item with players like Abstract entering the space, Figma has put this feature front and center. They’re trying to go for the “All In One” play.

    I would bet money that the Figma pitch to the investors to raise more follow on money as that San Francisco burn clears out their coffers, I would bet the pitch to investors frames Invision as their biggest rival, given Invision’s success in raising capital and acquiring two-million customers.

    If Figma hits the cliff, there’s a good chance there will be fire sale, but even then, Sketch wouldn’t buy them.

    I’d put my money on Microsoft buying them. Figma’s investors, both Greylock and Index Ventures, they have relationships with Microsoft and those relationships would dovetail into a fire sale so investors could at least get some of their money back.

    As others have mentioned with regards to Figma’s constraints from raising nearly $18mil in capital, this is simply not how venture backed companies behave. It’s a mathematical unreality.

    Adobe has been working on XD for years now. They have failed at achieving basic feature parity with Sketch. XD is still unusable for many types of production work.

    As when big money Adobe bought Macromedia and let Fireworks writhe and lay in hospice before it finally died, similarly, XD is a gnat in the scheme of Adobe’s world.

    XD is a folly.

    XD will chug forward, perhaps they will get feature parity and the market will continue to move forward.

    They will also fail to achieve the eco-system that Sketch has gained, and XD will eventually get its Fireworks atrophy, followed by being put on hospice and dying.

    Whatever is “The Next Design Tool” - will not be a Frankenstein mash of two competing tools.

    It will be a merger of design tool and platform partner.

    29 points
  • Aaron SagrayAaron Sagray, 4 years ago

    This is written by someone who doesn't understand how venture backed startups work. Figma has raised near $18MM in 2 rounds. Six investors need to achieve 10x+ outcomes for a sale to even make sense.

    Sketch is owned by a private company that appears to be bootstrapped. It's unlikely that they have the cash to buy a Series A+ company (with ace founders) at 10x whatever their stratospheric post-money valuation was.

    More likely, Autodesk, Salesforce, Google or Affinity will buy Figma.

    20 points
    • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago

      Yep.

      I’m not saying anyone’s buying anyone else, but if Figma did decide to sell, it’s likely to be the companies you listed, or InVision or Adobe who pay the required price.

      As far as I know, Serif (Affinity) is privately held. I wouldn’t expect them to buy a VC backed company.

      7 points
  • Interested Curious, 4 years ago

    There's plenty of space in the field, and way too many conflicting ideas here (sketch is the most used "design" tool, while acknowledging usage of the adobe suite later in aticle which has overlap with types of designers who aren't doing UX/UI.)

    I'm actually going to take this article as my wake up call to ignore medium posts.

    20 points
    • , 4 years ago

      Be sure that if I had any data on the number of people using Sketch or whatever, it would have been used. Dare to tell me that most of the people around who are designing interfaces (UX/UI - Product Designer) are not using Sketch? Sorry but this is bad-faith! I always mentioned that Sketch is widely used among UX/UI - Product Designer. Peace buddy ;-)

      0 points
      • Interested Curious, 4 years ago

        You got defensive instead of reading my main point. UX/UI design don't constitute the majority of design. Which includes architecture, artistic design, graphic design, actual physical product design (industrial design as its called mostly now that product design has been adopted) and way more.

        Adobe products overlap with far more than Sketch or figma could even combined.

        3 points
      • Aaron Wears Many HatsAaron Wears Many Hats, 4 years ago

        I think there's a bit of an echo-chamber effect happening here.

        FYI, anyone building HMI (human-machine-interface) on an industrial level aren't likely to be using Sketch, nor are a great many other industries where digital and physical products overlap. There certainly is a very large user base who have gotten on board with Sketch doing UI/UX/prototyping work, but people forget that UX/UI isn't the be-all and end-all in digital design.

        1 point
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago

        Data is available.

        http://tools.subtraction.com/interface-design.html

        http://hackingui.com/design-tools-survey/

        1 point
        • Corey LeeCorey Lee, 4 years ago

          Even this data is misleading. If this data included non-english speaking markets I don't think Sketch would be the clear winner in market share. In the Japanese market for example Adobe is still very strong mainly because of the proper localization.

          2 points
          • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, 4 years ago

            Oh, absolutely. I’m sure that makes a massive difference. Was just saying that people are researching these things.

            0 points
        • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, 4 years ago

          "Data are available" (sorry)

          0 points
      • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, 4 years ago

        There have been a few surveys and Sketch had 47% of the market (out of the designers surveyed at least), so it is clearly the most popular tool out there but Adobe still has 43% with PS, AI and XD so Sketch is just as 'widely used' as Adobe. At least among the 1185 people surveyed).

        0 points
  • Chris KalaniChris Kalani, 4 years ago

    You clearly know nothing about Bohemian as a company.

    14 points
  • Michael Spandrell, 4 years ago

    Ugh. That's time I'll never get back. Absurd reasoning, woeful speculation, devoid of business logic, painful grammar ... I could go on.

    Don't bother reading it; the comments here are far more insightful.

    10 points
  • Mike A.Mike A., 4 years ago

    The problem is Bohemian Coding – not even hypothetically – doesn't have enough money for this transaction ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    (You could save yourself time with writing the article).

    6 points
    • , 4 years ago

      How do you know this? Are you the accountable of Bohemian Coding? Come on buddy. The thing is we don't know how much Sketch is valuated as they still didn't open their company to investment. Meaning we don't know how much they could raise (which would be a lot I think and much more than the $18M raised by Figma). And please, do you really think they gonna buy Figma with the money that they currently have on their bank account and in cash or using Venmo? They are not buying the iPhone 8. Peace :-)

      0 points
  • Andu PotoracAndu Potorac, 4 years ago

    Don't need to read it. It won't.

    5 points
  • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, 4 years ago

    Speculation is my favorite kind of branded content.

    5 points
    • , 4 years ago

      It is sometimes good because it makes you thinking about something that you didn't even think about. It helps you diverge. And please! My assumption is not unreal. It could happen.

      0 points
  • Norm Sheeran, 4 years ago

    This won't happen, for one simple reason.

    Reality.

    Bohemian are not Adobe, they don't have the firepower to merge the apps. It would take them years.

    Also is having the ability to have a team work on the same file at the same time that popular of a feature? I'd genuinely be interested to see stats on daily usage at Figma for this feature.

    4 points
    • , 4 years ago

      Not sure. You can imagine that if they gonna buy Figma, they will need a lot of cash. So they will need investment to raise money. You can assume that part of the money raised will be used to increase the developing team to handle this. It just has to be planned! This is the killer feature. Otherwise it's only a vector-based tool and providing no much more than Illustrator or Sketch.

      0 points
      • Norm Sheeran, 4 years ago

        What makes you think Sketch want to take on outside Funding now?

        1 point
        • , 4 years ago

          Because Adobe runs a $6B business and Figma has just raised $18M. Pieter Omvlee repeated that he doesn't want to take an outside investment but at some point, you need (more) money if you want to compete against others even if you are self-sufficient and profitable. You have to adapt and evolve.

          0 points
          • Andrew C, 4 years ago

            Putting aside the obvious financial impossibility of a company like Bohemian buying a Series B funded company...

            Sketch is too picky with its feature-set and general feature roadmap to give up their independence. It's the cornerstone in what's enabled them to dominate so much of UX design. Have you interviewed anyone coming out of school? Sketch is THE tool they want to use. There's yet to be a better tool that so well orients my designs for sprint development and re-usable components as Sketch.

            iPad app? NO! Multi-user? NO! Mobile support? NO! Windows support? NO! This tool is strictly for a slice of professional designers and laser focused on their use case. Sketch Libraries though? A+ man -- take my money!

            Pieter Omvlee is signalling he values the freedom of independence and the product simplicity that comes with it. Good on them. If they keep making a killer product like this with that ideology then I'll gladly keep paying.

            6 points
          • Jake Lazaroff, 4 years ago

            Why would they need to take investment? They're doing extraordinarily well with the segment of the design market they're targeting, despite (because of?) the $6B incumbent's best efforts. Figma is a reminder that they can't rest on their laurels but in terms of user base is barely even a blip on their radar right now.

            0 points
            • Juan J. RamirezJuan J. Ramirez, 4 years ago

              The number of users and operational/development cost of Sketch is unknown, but even in the most positive scenario, I doubt they have a lot of millions in disposable cash. They likely have good money, but I don't think they have enough money to go on a shopping spree and buy a tiny competitor.

              0 points
              • Jake Lazaroff, 4 years ago

                I didn't state it outright, but I don't think purchasing Figma is even on their minds. Yes, if they wanted to do that they'd need to take investment. But I think it'd be a pretty terrible strategic move, and I seriously doubt they'll do it.

                0 points
          • Norm Sheeran, 4 years ago

            Exactly, Adobe the 6Billion company existed well before Sketch came along and if funding was essential they (bohemian) wouldn't be where they are today. Funding and growth can also ruin a company, Sketch still has one major strength you overlook, it's nimble and can adapt and pivot faster with no board to comply with.

            Also as a private business owner in the software game, did you ever consider Pieter doesn't care about being the best or top, he may be happy just building his app.

            To be honest the whole 'someone has to win' debate in software is BS IMO.

            1 point
  • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, 4 years ago

    for the love of god....no......

    3 points
    • , 4 years ago

      Why no? You will get the ultimate tool! Sketch with its ecosystem combined to Figma and its Multiplayer feature and all this in one single tool. It would be amazing.

      0 points
      • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, 4 years ago

        I suppose there's a pro and con to everything....

        the 'god no' thing was just my gut reaction.

        I kinda like how Figma is doing things...would rather see them on their own, rather than get swallowed up by Sketch...

        I see Figma becoming the next big thing.... Sketch has built up quite a big following, but for whatever reason, Figma just does it for me. I'd like to see them become the dominant player....

        I'm loving the way they're rolling things out...

        1 point
        • Michael FMichael F, 4 years ago

          Agreed, I'm excited to follow the progression of Figma.

          I've always preferred to use Sketch but recently ran into a couple of annoying issues(bugs?) one, in particular, was misaligning an SVG wordmark... Not having much time to troubleshoot I decided to try Figma... which turned out to be, by far, the quickest time I have mocked up an entire site design.

          I realised I could send a read only link to my client, after an initial moment of confusion my client was very impressed with the small amount of interactivity they had with Figma (zooming, etc..). A short while later I started receiving emails from Figma notifying that my client had left comments.

          I log in to see annotations around the entire document. I didn't even know this was a thing... I quickly actioned all comments and was able to mark them as resolved... with progress visible to the client as I work.

          No need to export any assets, or pdfs and write an email to the client. They instantly had everything they needed.

          Kinda a long pointless story, but yeah.. tldr Figma rox!

          It may be a web app but I found it far more responsive than Sketch and no amount of plugins I used will trump the productivity boost I gained from Figma.

          1 point
          • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, 4 years ago

            you've summed up my feelings precisely :)

            I kinda let Sketch pass me by....I was so used to photoshop etc, that at first I just dismissed Sketch. Then, as it started to gain traction, I noticed that in order to make it really functional, you needed all these plugins....and that everytime they upgraded all i saw on DN here was 'oh no..my plugins don't work'.... that got to me.... and when i noticed that pretty much everyone had abandoned photoshop for mockups, and the whole industry was going to sketch, i felt like i was getting left behind...and was worried.

            then along came Figma.

            my experience was somewhat similar to yours.

            I had to do some UI/UX work for a big company here, and our dev team was on the other side of the city. So i needed something that wouldn't rely on them having photoshop and being able to open up a .psd.

            I'd heard about Figma, and decided to give it a try. It immediately felt comfortable and intuitive, and I was able to do everything I'd normally do, except NOW the hand off with the Dev team was amazing. No long winded emails explaining things, or supplementary jpegs with sizes and pixel widths and fonts and colours listed etc... just gave them all access to the page. The client was blown away, and my dev team fell in love with using it....which lead to several more projects...

            I'm sold. 100% Figma is for me.

            and no issues with plugins and what not breaking everytime there's an upgrade.

            it's now my go-to design program... have barely opened up photoshop in months other than for serious photo manipulation..... all the design work is now being done in figma

            1 point
      • Jake Lazaroff, 4 years ago

        Given the drastic difference in technologies used, it's difficult for me to believe it would be much easier for Sketch to do this than it would be for them to just write it themselves from scratch.

        0 points
      • John PJohn P, 4 years ago

        Multiplayer feature

        Who honestly gives a shit about this? It's a feature in search of a problem.

        0 points
  • John PJohn P, 4 years ago

    hahaha never change medium, never change....

    2 points
  • Account deleted 4 years ago

    https://medium.com/@chopeh/the-state-of-design-ff5142fb806

    2 points
  • Jonathan SimcoeJonathan Simcoe, 4 years ago

    Another Medium article fail.

    1 point
  • Andrew Richardson, 4 years ago

    The article seems to depend on the fact that XD is a strong competitor to either Sketch or Figma. While I don't have any statistical evidence I can't say I believe that to be true. Sketch is a clear front runner right now and Figma has been making a lot of headway into becoming a true competitor, XD is basically barely in the standings. It's pretty obvious from the recent AMA here with the XD team that the general feeling is that XD's development on essential features has been too slow and other software fills the gaps without a pricy CC sub.

    If we are going to speculate about who will buy who I think that Adobe is more likely to acquire the Figma team and combine the XD and Figma teams while rolling Figma into CC. I wouldn't really like that but I could see it happening.

    1 point
    • Joe ShoopJoe Shoop, 4 years ago

      I wouldn't like that either, but competition is good. I don't think Sketch would be updating as frequently as they are if they didn't feel the pressure from Figma. If Sketch bought Figma, the gap between XD and a combined Sketch/Figma would be so wide, it would kill any real competition, unless Adobe really stepped up their pace. If Adobe bought Figma, the gap between XD/Figma and Sketch would be narrowed, and there would be more of a threat to Sketch's dominance.

      For many years, Adobe was the only real game in town for design software. Especially after they bought Macromedia. Because they didn't feel any real competition, they didn't make any dramatic moves. No major new apps, just new features. Its great that they are working on fixing that with XD, but it is only because of Sketch and Figma that they are doing it.

      0 points
    • , 4 years ago

      I had this feeling at the very beginning about Adobe buying Figma. But the fact is that Adobe is currently developing its own Multiplayer feature (it is on their roadmap). They have the money and the developers to really do it. That's why it would make sense to Sketch to buy Figma. Competition is always good. Especially for the end user!

      0 points
  • Jrtorrents Dorman , 4 years ago

    It's far more likely for Invision to buy either Sketch or Figma.

    0 points
    • Scott Johnson, 4 years ago

      Exactly this.

      I asked an enterprise relationship manager person from InVision a while back if they had tried to buy Sketch and he couldn’t keep a straight face. The only company with enough venture backing to attack the breadth of Adobe’s products is InVision. They have a solid platform and a large number of users. The only thing they’re missing is a primary design tool, which they know they need. That’s where Figma comes in. InVision already has a lot of collaboration tools, which Sketch lacks, so it would naturally extend InVision’s lineup.

      Also, Sketch coming out with Libraries in the next release is a shot at Craft, which InVision has put a lot of effort in. Moves like that will motivate InVision to be less friendly to Sketch in the future.

      0 points
  • Account deleted 4 years ago

    There's also an interview to Sketch's co-founder Pieter Omvlee worth reading https://medium.com/habit-of-introspection/the-past-present-and-future-of-sketch-d5237879b7af

    0 points
  • Roman HorokhovatskyyRoman Horokhovatskyy, 4 years ago

    What's about Gravit?

    0 points
  • Shea LewisShea Lewis, 4 years ago

    How would plugins work if they integrated to web? I think it would have to still live in the app. I dont see this happening... Both are very different.

    0 points
    • , 4 years ago

      Good question! Here is the main issue if Sketch would have to run on a browser.

      0 points
      • Mike A.Mike A., 4 years ago

        Not a problem at all imo. Why do you think the opposite?

        0 points
        • , 4 years ago

          Because today plugins rely on an app, right. From now on, there is no plugin for Figma which browser-based. This means that there would be some dev needed to make plugins work on both platforms. What do I miss here?

          0 points