Google’s Recent Acquisition Shutdowns, and the Symptoms of Buyout Culture

Google’s Recent Acquisition Shutdowns, and the Symptoms of Buyout Culture

Jun 15, 2012

Google is climbing into startups’ windows and snatching their apps up trying to buy them out, so Android users better hide their apps and cloud services cause Google is buying everyone out here! Seriously, despite the 2010 pop culture reference, Google has made two recent acquisitions of user-focused cloud services companies.

First there was Quickoffice, who were purchased by Google shortly after their Connect service launched for accessing and editing documents from anywhere was launched. Those who purchased the service plans got refunds, and the apps have been pulled. It appears as if Google wants to implement their technology into Google Apps, and possibly even make Google Drive more powerful.

As well, Google acquired multiplatform IM app Meebo. While they also had a toolbar that websites could roll out that helped provide advertising and social features (and may be part of the reason Google acquired them), the news that the team would be joining Google+ shows that Google wants to expand their social functionality, and the cross-platform experience of Meebo will help with that. However, it appears that the Meebo app will be disappearing into the aether as well.

While these aren’t the only apps that offer the features that they do, they will leave a gap in the markets they serve, and users will have to shift to other apps that they may find don’t provide what they need. It’s almost the risk that users take when using products from startups: some bigger fish might come around and gobble them up for their own purposes.

Though, this kind of fate may be inevitable for those that build their products on the backs of others’ services and protocols, that if they do it well enough, they’ll be part of the official service – and they’ll be much richer for having done so. The climate of venture capitalists and angel investors may encourage many to chase paydays rather than self-sustaining products, something that iOS developer TapTapTap just came out against.

There’s a reason why Instagram still exists: they built their own service. They helped to spur on the filtered photograph trend and created their own network, and they’ve reaped the rewwards: a massive payday and their continued existence. They both won and surived at buyout culture.