Before heading off to Costa Rica a few weeks ago, I purchased an Inc. Magazine at the airport and to my surprise, I noticed an article about Quark. Shortly after my return, I tweeted about this – and now thought that I would add a bit more insight.
Today, Markzware is well known for solutions for data file conversion and preflighting for print (FlightCheck), as well as file recovery tools and file recovery service. We work very closely with Quark, as well as Adobe, Apple and Microsoft.
In the late 1980’s to early 1990’s, Markzware started developing Quark XTensions, making QuarkXPress backwards compatible (MarkzTools) converting Aldus, and then converting Adobe PageMaker to Quark documents (PM2Q, later ID2Q). Those products that provided the ease of migrating content may well have contributed to the popularity of QuarkXPress throughout the 1990’s. QuarkXPress was a very good product, however the company became somewhat complacent, losing market share. Since Markzware is closely related to and has partnered with Quark, we certainly empathize with their situation.
This article describes how events have changed for Quark over the last several years, and how the company is finally making a ‘comeback.’ As the Quark solutions improve, Markzware may also take some credit for this comeback, as our solutions continue to allow users to migrate content from Adobe InDesign files into Quark 7 or 8 with just one click!
It’s interesting how markets quickly change, especially regarding software technology. I think software companies should at times ‘re-invent’ themselves, consistently anticipate market trends, and provide up-to-date, modern solutions for their customers. Over the years, Markzware has done this – sometimes more successfully than others.
For example, Markzware was granted the first patent for preflighting, a methodology for providing quality control for files destined to print. The process and product (FlightCheck) has been used within design and prepress departments worldwide. The popularity of FlightCheck led to Markzware experiencing a 569% sales increase in 1995-1999. In the year 2000, Inc. Magazine elected Markzware to their “Inc. 500” list of fastest-growing companies. I remember Tim Gill, the original founder of Quark recognizing FlightCheck as an important prepress tool at an early Service Plus conference.
Similarly, to an extent, Markzware also experienced the Quark conundrum, as Adobe incorporated a certain level of our patented ‘preflighting’ directly within InDesign, although many users still consider our solution superior. The thing is, as a small company one must choose which battles to fight. The interesting paradox is that Adobe InDesign certainly is popular, and Markzware may have, once again, contributed to InDesign’s popularity through the use of our Q2ID (InDesign plugin to convert QuarkXPress to InDesign) product.
This frank business magazine article in Inc. offers some revealing insights into Quark today, its current 25% market share in the layout software niche, and some of its future plans and strategies. Competition is good, there are many publishing solutions available these days, and it would be great to see Quark succeed. Do you remember when Quark actually bid to purchase Adobe back in 1998?
As for Markzware, we are re-inventing ourselves with PageZephyr, technology that enables one to easily liberate their content from non-standard file-types such as Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress and Microsoft Publisher.
Can Quark Turn the Corner?
CEO Ray Schiavone’s bold new strategy
By Amy Barrett | Apr 5, 2010
Here is one snippet to this in-depth article:
“Schiavone zeroed in on a new strategy: a push into broad publishing systems that can efficiently move text, graphics, and photos, whether for print, the Web, or a mobile phone. He also wanted to reach beyond the traditional media world Quark had once dominated to become the publishing system for sectors such as the pharmaceutical industry, financial services, and high tech.”
Read the full article at http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100401/can-quark-turn-the-corner.html
So, what do you think is in store for this industry’s future? Which company do you predict will dominate the market? What does your crystal ball forecast about Quark’s success? Markzware invites your comments.
Markzware Comments on Inc. Magazine Feature on Quark