On Sparrow’s Google acquisition

Marco Tabini:

Customers are not investors. When you buy something, you are not taking on a stake in the manufacturer. You need to want to buy software because it’s the best fit for your needs, and not because you want to do someone a favour, or because of some hope about its future. To do otherwise creates an unhealthy relationship between buyer and seller that does not reflect the simple reality of commerce.

There’s been a lot written in the past 48 hours or so about Google’s acquisition of Sparrow, the developer of e-mail software for iOS and OS X. Some are squarely siding with displaced customers, who say they’ve been ripped off by the company, who’s taken the money and run. Others lament that acquisitions like this hurt indie software development in the long run because it makes customers gun-shy about future purchases.

Tabini throws in a much needed dose of reality: smart customers should pay for software that has the features they need, instead of banking on the developer’s promises (or their own wishes) for future development. That’s a fool’s bet.