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The Etherpads themselves were very impressed with what the Wave guys showed them, and they are the best qualified to judge this sort of technology of all the hackers I know. Maybe some of the stuff they saw was unreleased, but whatever it was was, the Etherpads liked it, and they seem genuinely excited to work on it.

It seems understandable that both buyers and sellers are pleased with the transaction, after all, they both agreed to it. It doesn't really address the OP's (however direct) 'that sucks' comment.

Any early-adopter of a start-up product accepts the risk that the company behind the product might be unsuccessful. Customers like that bet, in part, on the notion that despite the statistically long odds, the company is making every conceivable effort to stay alive and succeed.

The 'buyout-and-the-product-dies'-type exit introduces a sort of divided loyalty and misalignment between the goals of the founders and the goals of their customers - if you're unsuccessful you might fail and we might suffer an abrupt service termination but at the same time, if you're quite successful, we might also suffer an abrupt service termination.

If only they had interviewed at Google and joined the team they wanted to be on a year ago.

These transactions trade on the goodwill of early adopters. And they make it harder for other startups as potential early adopters start to assume that it's better to wait for what Google releases instead of investing time in a product that will be scrapped either if the company fails or is successful and acquired.

Most of the Etherpads are ex-employees of Google that left to start their own company. I don't see any other way to interpret your comment except that you are suggesting that they should've quit running AppJet a year ago (since the option to be bought didn't seem to be available then) and interviewed at Google to get their jobs back to work on GWave at an early stage, but without the added benefit of having millions of dollars worth of Google stock. This seems quite bizarre.

My point is that if they wanted to build their own company they should remain committed to the product they built, and find a better support model for current customers/users than shutting down without notice.

I do not begrudge them making money at all. But one reason that they have "millions of dollars worth of Google stock" is because they offered a service that people adopted and paid for. I think they have more of an obligation to customers and users than the initial announcement indicated and I worry that not taking better care of customers in the transition makes it hard for other startups.

It now looks like Google has reconsidered the shutdown and EtherPad will be on-line until open sourced. http://etherpad.com/ep/blog/posts/etherpad-back-online-until...

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