Rian van der Merwe responding to all the misplaced anger on the web about the Google acquisition of Sparrow:

It’s not about the $15 or less we spent on the apps. It’s not about the team’s well-deserved payout. It’s about the loss of faith in a philosophy that we thought was a sustainable way to ensure a healthy future for independent software development, where most innovation happens.

See also Matt Gemmell’s post about the misplaced anger.

I completely see where people are coming from, I own the Mac app, but the truth of the matter is that there is nothing you can do to keep a company from being acquired — at least not as a consumer. It doesn’t matter how much you pay, or how many times you pay, if the company gets an offer they like, they are going to take it. Paying doesn’t prevent this.

My argument is that when the service or product is given away free, those that make that “thing” will have to actively seek a way to pay for their life. They will be looking for a way to make money. When you pay for an app the developer has already figured that part out, charge users, and now he just has to figure out how to get the paying users.

I know it’s a very fine distinction, but I don’t think it is fair to be upset at the Sparrow team, or at the fact that you paid for an app. I stand with Gemmell on this one when he says:

Thanks for that $10. It did indeed keep the lights on between 09:30 and 09:35 this morning. So if you’ve used Sparrow for more than five minutes, I guess we’re even.

Did you get value out of the app? Will you continue to get value out of the app until it stops working on your Mac? Likely yes to both questions. Just because the product is no longer actively developed, doesn’t mean the rational thing to do is delete it off your computer — that’s silly if you still love and want to use the product.


Posted by Ben Brooks