Why designers and developers need to be medium-agnostic

In both the creative and the tech industries, companies should no longer be tied down to a specific medium, according to Scott Belsky, Adobe(s adbe) VP of products/community and co-founder of Behance.

“Whereas a company would have defined themselves more by their medium five-plus years ago, saying we’re a tech company or we’re a company that puts on conferences or we’re a blog,” Belsky said, speaking at Gigaom’s Roadmap conference Wednesday. “Now it’s more like we can do multiple things here.”

The cost associated with being in a medium has gone down drastically. Tools like Amazon Web Services and software-as-a-service make it easier for a business to expand outside of the media they’ve established themselves in.

Behance is a good example, Belsky said. It started out with a paper product, then launched a conference, and finally created the online portfolio portal it is now known for. Adobe acquired Behance, using it to expand beyond traditional software development into offering direct support and tools for the design community that used its products.

You can even see that fluidity on the individual level within Behance, Belsky said. Half of the designers, artists and creatives on Behance have posted a project in media outside of their core areas of expertise. That’s not to say that companies should pursue anything and everything. Designers and developers should be guided by a mission, he said, but they shouldn’t let themselves be constrained by the medium they started with.

Check out the rest of our Roadmap 2013 live coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:

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A transcription of the video follows on the next page