Why the secret? Especially if the news was still going to come out!
Salesforce can do whatever they want.
Seems a little immature to throw around words like "perfection" when we're talking about someone pointing out a reasonable issue with their announcement.
How do you do interviews talking up how important the product is, why everyone needs it, only to discard it after a short period of time. These talent acquisition's must really be getting big in dollar terms? Because otherwise it all seems irrational.
Take it in reverse: if they were closing down due to personal illness or death or something else horrible, would you still argue that the users don't care? I doubt it. Customers are human after all and care.
If the shutdown message made reference to the fact that they're being acquired by Salesforce, then perhaps users (who may not necessarily read their emails all that carefully) would assume that the existing service would be continuing under the Salesforce banner. Then the etacts folks would have had to spend the next N weeks correcting that particular misconception by answering a bunch of emails from users going "Waaah I don't want to be in Salesforce" or "But I already have a Salesforce account, how do I integrate the two" and "wtf is Salesforce I tried to log in and it didn't work".
On reflection this makes sense.
I also think there's a certain elegance in delivering news that is actionable without news that isn't actionable. It's kind of like the [ANN] messages in user group mailing lists.
Sometimes I put on my action hat and am likely to see things as being action-related even when they aren't. I doubt I'm the only one.
Is this a recent thing buying 'teams' and shutting down the stupid startup thingy they were working on for the last year?
Is conventional hiring talent really that broken?
This process may not be all bad though. The entrepreneurs get some liquidity and at least a modest success on their belt.
Story A: "Started something cool. Built a product people wanted. Was acquired by Company X. On to something new."
Story BY: "Started something cool. Built a product people wanted. Didn't quite get the traction we hoped. Stuck it out for 3 years. Finally decided we just couldn't build a business out of it and shut it down."
In my mind, Story A is much better for the entrepreneur than Story B. Of course, the trick is knowing when it's time to move on.
My Nit with the OP is that they made a comment about how etacts was handling "transparency" with their user base - and I believe that they did 100% of what I'd expect any service provider I'm with do - give me a heads up, in advance, as to what the next steps with their organization and service were (and issue me a partial refund - I'm not sure if the etacts guys had paying customers yet).
As a interested observer, I want much, much more. As an etacts customer, I'm satisfied that they've provided me the transparency I'd expect of any responsible service provider.
Compare this to how Yahoo has been handling delicious - "Sunsetting?", "Closing", "Keeping up", "Selling?" - who knows - it's not even clear they know/knew.
Don't you think there's at least a tiny chance that under the terms of the deal, they weren't allowed to disclose "We've been acquired by Salesforce" ?
It may not be the most sound logic, but at least it would make some sense.
I didn't remember etacts launched this year. Howie's mixergy interview seems ages ago.