Earlier today, I got off a plane and fired up Techmeme to check out the news. The breaking headlines all involved one of my favorite web services, Dropbox, buying one of the most interesting new iPhone apps, the elegant, worth-the-wait Gmail client Mailbox.
Which made me shudder.
More often than not, when a large tech company buys a promising startup which is still ramping up, it's terrible news. What the big company usually wants are the little company's smart and talented people — not whatever they’ve been building. So the startup's existing project often goes into limbo or gets officially axed. The list of examples is long and painful: BumpTop, FriendFeed, Lala, SageTV, Sparrow and many, many more.
I assumed that this Mailbox acquisition was another we-love-it-so-much-we're-going-to-kill-it buyout. Then I read Dropbox's blog post on the news, and calmed down:
Dropbox doesn’t replace your folders or your hard…
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