Parallel universes

Apparently, the world settled on the One True Cause™ for why Flash “died”. Take for example this blogpost by John Gruber about FedEx… it ends with this consideration on Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Flash”:

If it had been an angry rant, it would have been easily dismissed without needing to be factually refuted — “That’s just Jobs being a prick again.” The fact that it wasn’t angry, and because it was all true, made it impossible to refute.

Impossible to refute. There’s no doubt that this was the beginning of the end for Flash, right? Except that this is utterly wrong. I worked on Flash, and I worked on the thing that actually killed Flash. It is my strong belief, based on what I observed, that Steve Jobs’ letter had little impact in the final decision — it was really Adobe who decided to “kill” Flash. Yes, Flash was a bad rap for Adobe, and Steve’s letter didn’t help. But ultimately, what was probably decisive was the fact that developing Flash costed Adobe a ton of money — and the world changed in ways that made Adobe leadership believe this investment is no longer justified. As it is often the case — “follow the money”, they explain things better than any open letter — even one from a very influential person.