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I guess. I think the folks that pay Linus or whatever have done more for OS. Sun's opensolaris, too. MySQL, etc too. Just by sheer weight of code.

The problem is that the number of cool projects is pretty minimal. They're in duck and cover mode. They'll get pushed to trim employees further and further to stretch the revenues out.

I wish I had not sold it to them. The cash and freedom do not even come close; I would rather work on a big, popular product.

Can't you work on anything you want now that you have the money? If you hadn't sold and some catastrophe struck you, what then? I'm sitting here counting out months of savings and wondering if I'll be able to build what I want to build before debt and daily life grinds me down.

He wasn't broke before the acquisition. A really successful product means you kinda get to do what you want whether you get an "exit" or not. Sure, the big cashout means you can go on a long vacation or something...but how many of us are in it for a long vacation? If I were to sell my company today, I would be thinking about what my next business would be by tomorrow.

A really successful product is not guaranteed to remain so, but cash remains cash. I speculate that if yahoo was going to get into social bookmarking then if he hadn't sold, they'd have picked up somebody else and the competitive landscape changes drastically. To me, the big cashout means an opportunity to work on bigger projects. The personal financials are of course the most important factor. If I had a few million or a fat trust fund, I agree selling only makes sense if I figure I am getting a very good price.

Yeah I feel the same as you. But I guess the grass is always greener...

I'm overall pretty impressed with Yahoo's commitment to FOSS development of Hadoop. They've done 90% of its development, and they seem very serious about a commitment to open source going forward.

But yeah, I can see how you'd feel like you do.

Remember that many people do not have either cash and freedom OR a big popular project. While nowhere near the level of Delicious, I had a project acquired, and ended up with neither cash and freedom or a project to work on in the end. But, I'm not ready to say I wish I wouldn't have sold it. It's part of learning and I'll have a different perspective next time around. So, while I know where you're coming from, I'm not going to feel too bad for you ;-). Seems like you'll now nkow what to consider next time.

BTW, I still use Delicious every day, thanks for creating it.

Pinboard's hiring, dude! I've got a clever compensation formula I'll email you about...

There are very interesting and successful proprietary applications out there. A good example is bit.ly, one of my favourites.

Yahoo did not killed Delicious (launched in 2003), Google Reader (2005), FriendFeed (2006), Twitter (2007) and bit.ly did!

Of course that whole time, we on the Delicious team were watching the rise of those apps, thinking "Wouldn't it be cool if we could..." but being told "Maybe, though first you'll need to..."

I can think of two companies with big popular products who would hire you.

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