Farhad plays “Where Are They Now?” with some of Google’s recent higher-profile tech acquisitions. He focuses on mojo-heavy companies and products like Jaiku, Jotspot (Sites), Dodgeball, Measure Map, and Grand Central. Some of these died, some of these slowed down, some of them were still not open for new customers a year after the acquisition. Some people are wondering if Feedburner (Google), Upcoming (Yahoo), and Delicious (Yahoo) might belong on this list.
The astute Dare Obasanjo wrote about this phenomenon in detail a few days ago. His Application Rewrites after Acquisitions: How Large Software Companies Destroy Startup Value article is well worth a read.
Of course there have been success stories. Innovation at big companies often comes from the small companies and teams they swallow whole.
But with the odds of a big-co buyout nearing lottery proportions, a good chance of neglect awaiting your product on the other side, and a “I can’t wait until my employment contract is up,” feeling lingering your every work day, I hope entrepreneurs think twice about building to flip.
Related: David’s The secret to making money online talk at Y Combinator’s Startup School 2008.