Why Figma Wins - Kevin Kwok (via Cory Etzkorn)

Companies are a sequencing of loops. While it’s possible to stumble into an initial core loop that works, the companies that are successful in the long term are the ones that can repeatedly find the next loop. However, this evolution is poorly understood relative to its existential impact on a company’s trajectory. Figma is a prime example of sequencing loops. They’re now widely viewed as successful, but the key factors in their success and what bets they must make to get to the next level are less widely understood.

Found via Cory Etzkorn’s tweetstorm, who does an amazing job of picking out some of the key phrases in Kevin’s article:

  1. The core insight of @figmadesign is that design is larger than just designers.
  1. Competitors often talk about cloud, but are torn over how much of the experience to port over to the internet. Hint: “all of it” is the correct answer that they all eventually will converge on.
  1. We often forget that the purpose of the tools we use at work isn’t to increase our individual productivity, but the entire team’s productivity. Companies themselves often forget this.
  1. Figma’s cross-side network effect between designers and non-designers is one of the primary and under-appreciated sources of their compounding success over the last few years.
  1. Companies are still early on in understanding the nuances of becoming platforms. In a decade, there will be clear frameworks, metrics, and supporting ecosystems for building platforms; today there are few.

We’ve been trying to use the term “web native” in describing Fission and Fission apps:

I used to be confused by the Figma’s team consistent framing of Figma as browser-first. What was the distinction between this and cloud-first? Over time I’ve come to see how important this distinction has been. When many creative tools companies talk about the cloud, they seem to view it as an amorphous place that they store files. But the fundamental user experience of creating in their products is done via a standalone app on the desktop. Figma is browser-first, which was made possible (and more importantly performant) by their understanding and usage of new technologies like WebGL, Operational Transforms, and CRDTs.