When I learned this morning, via Twitter, that the small company behind Mac/iOS e-mail app Sparrow was being bought by Google, I almost didn’t need to read the startup’s announcement to know the upshot.
Google and Facebook buy itty-bitty web companies all the time. And the acquired businesses typically convey what’s happening in an eerily consistent five-step ritual:
- Announcement of thrilling acquisition
- Reiteration of startup’s wildly ambitious founding notion
- Explanation that either Google or Facebook is the best place to change the world
- Acknowledgement (or sometimes non-acknowledgement) that the startup’s product is being discontinued or is going into limbo
- Expression of heartfelt gratitude to various supporters, usually including the consumers who are losing something they liked
So it seems to be going with Sparrow: Its five-person team will be working on Gmail henceforth; the existing Sparrow apps aren’t being discontinued, but they apparently won’t get any updates, either.
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