So, this was an interesting morning! The internets were abuzz this morning with the announcement that Nik Software was Purchased by Google. (Link to Vic Gundotra’s Post on Google+). As soon as we saw this come out, I made a post on it on my Google+ page, talking about how this could be something that could take Nik Software even higher still (confession: I absolutely love what Nik Software does and use them pretty much all the time). This post was immediately met with a lot of cynicism. To some, this was the perfect opportunity to have Google acquire Snapseed, and allow all of the other plugins to evaporate.
I will preface this by saying I have absolutely no inside knowledge on the matter. That said, I believe that there is no reason for people to believe to be the case. Funny enough, most of the reasons as to why belive this to be true dont deal with numbers or statistics.. just things of the heart. There are three reasons why I believe this to be true.
Nik has Photography DNA – Google Likes DNA
If you’ve used the Nik Software Collection, it will become incredibly apparent to you that the software is a labor of love. The tip of the hat references to Zones in their black and white software Silver Efex Pro were just neat, Their attention to detail (literally) in Sharpener Pro made printing a cinch (setting viewing distances, printer type.. very slick). Viveza control points make the experience of selectively adjusting an image a breeze. It shows that people who are passionate about photography are guiding the development of this.
Google is one of those companies that likes to purchase organizations (my opinion) that show a great commitment to product. That commitment needs to be in an organization’s DNA, not just a market statement. In liking this, i’ll believe that you’ll see more of the DNA of Nik Software go into Google than the opposite. You cant be this passionate about software and have it languish.
Google Values Photography
Its pretty apparent that one of the differentiating things about Google and their social platform is that they really value photography. I always smile when I see both Sergey Brin AND Vic Gundotra jump into hangouts to show their photographic work. My buddy Mike Wiacek runs with the Google Photography group, where tons of Googlers get to share their passion. Brian Rose and Dori Strobek are passionate ambassadors of hangout technologies and spend crazy amounts of time evangelizing their love of photos.
I think that the best products are designed and kept because the people at the wheel have a love for what they are building. I believe that this kind of passion from the Google side can only see Nik as a complete asset. Yes, Snapseed makes sense from a total standpoint, but to cut off something that benefits individuals so closely (photographic software) would not make sense. The technology could be of great value both on desktop and on the cloud, and if anyone can tweak it to make it work, it would be Google. It would remain because people love it – defying the most analytical “this makes sense because of .. ” cynicism.
People Like Ease
Theres a reason that things like Snapseed and Instagram do well. They are easy. In a world where we are entirely overwhelmed with things to do, we want to find things that make our routines easier. Photography follows these same principles. At the end of the day, we want to spend our time trying to realize the images that are stuck in our hearts and in our heads. While we love learning the process to create things – truth is plugins get us to these things faster. This is what makes the software collection great. This is what makes Snapseed great.
Imagine being given an opportunity to get quality software to the masses AND continue on the tradition of getting people to the images that they want faster.. It would be crazy not to do this. Say what you will on Google, but they tend to spend a lot of time working on things that not only affect us technologically, but also affect our artistic experiences. For this, I believe that things will only get better.
THIS IS ALL FANTASYLAND
As I think about the announcement a little more, I start thinking about all of the possibilities that this could bring. Now.. Think of this… you know how much you like Nik Software? Think about how much you like Snapseed? Could you imagine if all of a sudden Snapseed became the editor for your images in Google+? Imagine uploading images into your account, then all of a sudden getting Color Efex Pro in the cloud? That be sick! Or.. how about being able to use Silver Efex Pro. On your phone!
I’d rather focus on all of the Fantasy land stuff than focusing on the negative. I believe this thing has got nowhere to go but up. 🙂