Everyone has their favorite tools they use to be more productive. I use tools like Gmail, Evernote, Basecamp, Highrise, Buffer, Hootsuite, Tungle, Paymo and many others. One danger in the world of software is that your tool could be purchased by a larger company. What’s wrong with being bought out you might ask? In today’s climate the people are often more valuable than the tool they created so the tool can die in the acquisition.
The story of Sparrow and Gmail
This week a company called Sparrow was purchased by Google. Google has $43 billion in cash so the purchase of the company for under $25 million wasn’t a huge investment for the search giant. The bad news is that Sparrow as it exists today will likely be as good as it ever gets. Google wanted to develop and invest in the talented people who built Sparrow more than the tool that is Sparrow. I’ve used Sparrow a few times but I never took the plunge to use it as my full email client. I’m glad I didn’t because as of yesterday my client would have been cut off from future development.
Some other great write-ups about the acquisition:
The real reason we’re upset about Sparrow’s acquisition
via – http://www.elezea.com/
Why Google or Facebook Buying Your Favorite Startup Means It’s Probably Toast
via Time.com’s Techland[/note]
Read more: http://techland.time.com/2012/07/20/why-google-or-facebook-buying-your-favorite-startup-means-its-probably-toast/#ixzz21IMQFWiS
Let this story serve as a reminder to think through which services you rely on for your digital work. I rely heavily on Tungle for scheduling appointments with clients. They were acquired by RIM (makers of Blackberry) a few years ago and while they have developed steadily I can’t say it’s comforting to know that one of my most important business tools is owned by such a struggling company like RIM.
What’s the lesson?
The lesson here is to think through the tools you use and either bet on the big boys (Google, Apple etc) or be prepared to use a different tool someday. Do you know if you can export your data from your tool and import it somewhere else? It’s an important question to ask.
What tools do you rely on for your business and how comfortable are you with them in the future?[/note]