You’re actually just a rational person if the news of Google purchasing Sparrow made you feel ill.
Sure, I agree with Matt Gemmell that none of the reasons he actually sites are fair cause for complaint about Sparrow’s acquisition, but I won’t let someone dismissing stupid complaints tell me I should as a result be saying, “OH GOOD FOR THEM” instead of being extremely disappointed about this.
In disagreement with Matt, Faruk Ateş put it thusly:
There are two ways to look at business: one is to make money, and one is to make the world better in a (financially and otherwise) sustainable manner. I reserve my respect and admiration squarely for those who conform to the latter, and I encourage you to do the same.
Although I love their apps and it’s sad to think of no longer seeing future iterations, the problem I have with Sparrow selling out to Google really has little to do with what I want as a Sparrow customer.
Imagine if in 2004 Death Cab For Cutie had signed not with Atlantic Records but with instead with corporate ad agency BBDO, where they’d give up recording albums and produce commercial jingles instead.
If that thought causes you to throw up a little in your mouth, you know what’s obscenely wrong with this transaction—and it really doesn’t have anything to do with entitlement. It has everything to do with this being a tragedy of consumerism and greed.
A work of great craftsmanship died at a very young age because a huge corporation believes it will help them sell more ads.
I don’t curse the Sparrow folks in the slightest for their decision. I’m not in their shoes, don’t know the state of their business, and definitely can’t second-guess them. But holy hell, I’m not not going to cheer for this.
I can only judge this event as a statement about how broken the business of software is in 2012.