If you haven’t heard, NewsGator acquires FeedDemon, TopStyle, and Nick Bradbury. I have been a huge fan of Nick’s products dating back to the first release of HomeSite many, many years ago. And I now use FeedDemon on a daily basis.
Nick has been some what of a role model for many developers and micro-ISVs including me. As I take steps towards producing my own product I am borrowing from tips I have learned from watching Nick grow a successful micro-ISV. While I am a long way away from reaching the level of success Nick has achieved, I can’t help but wonder if I could allow myself to be acquired.
When I say this, I’m not saying I would not consider selling rights to my product to a larger company. Actually that might be the only way I can fulfill the full vision I have for my product. What I’m saying, though, is I wonder if I would go to work for a company that acquires my product. This is exactly what Nick has done with the acquisition of FeedDemon and TopStyle. He will be the Architect of Client Products for NewsGator.
My problem with this is I believe you give up certain freedoms when you work for a larger company as compared to running your own shop. A hint of this can be seen in the Q&A; between Nick Bradbury and NewsGator found Greg Reinacker.
Q: Is Nick going to work for NewsGator? Is he moving to Denver? What will his role be?
Greg: Nick is indeed coming to work for NewsGator, as Architect of Client Products. I’m personally very excited to add Nick’s vision and expertise to our company. He’ll continue to work on FeedDemon, but will also add his considerable expertise to our product and platform strategy moving forward. Some of his focuses, other than FeedDemon, will be on user interface and interaction design across the platform, and some of the rich media development we’re working on. And I think he’s moving to Denver.
Nick: Umm, no, I’m not actually moving.
Greg: Oh. There I go again - heh. Ok, Nick’s not moving…but he’ll be spending a lot of time with our team in Denver moving forward, and as I said, we’re all looking forward to working closely with him.
But this process if nothing new for Nick. When HomeSite was acquired so was Nick, and I’m sure he learned a lot from that experience. In the same Q&A; mentioned above, Nick says:
Look, I can’t predict the future, and I certainly couldn’t have predicted that HomeSite would be acquired by companies that weren’t sure what to do with it. But I don’t sell my products just to see them wither and die. If anything, this acquisition breathes new life into my software - let’s face it, there’s a limit to what a one-man company can do, and I reached that limit a long time ago!
For at least the past year, I’ve spent far more time doing support, marketing and sales than I have doing actual design and development. Joining forces with NewsGator enables me to focus more on development again, and I’m really excited by that.
I hope he is able to stay in Tennessee and focus on development again. I hope a repeat of HomeSite does not happen. But regardless of what will happen I have to offer a big congratulations to Nick. He continues to achieve what most others only dream about.
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