On Buyouts

My friend Dan posted on Twitter about the rumored buyout of Brizzly by Foursquare. Thankfully an update says this rumor isn’t true.

What are examples of a bought software company where the bought product flourished better than before the buyout? I forget the name of the company who built a Twitter search only to be bought by Twitter. However, it Summize stands alone as the good example of a buyer well integrating something into the existing product. Of course, I’m not an authority on buyouts, so maybe there some other good examples.

From what I recall, typically the buyout means the software either dies or languishes for up to years before getting re-released as either a new brand or features in the buyer’s product. Blackboard bought WebCT back in 2005. The next 3 years were release after release of fixes to problems which often made things worse to the point customers looked to each other to be the fool who would install the release first. The grand merging of the two was pretty much just the grade center into the Classic product line. Another example, Grand Central was bought by Google in 2007 and re-launched in 2009 as Google Voice. When Microsoft bought Hotmail, the horrible performance in the years after practically built Yahoo Mail.

Because of this, I guess I ought to start researching alternatives to Brizzly…. Boo.