I don’t go out to pick the horses that will fail. Far from it. I make my choices based on features, usability, customer service, price, product and the company’s reliability, user ratings and more. But when it comes to a technology company succeeding, it really seems to have nothing to do with any of these factors. The deciding factor is always money. Logic seems to say that the money would follow those who succeed in those other factors I mentioned. Sadly there is absolutely no correlation between the two, though sometime it seems there is an INVERSE correlation.
I found out recently that the service I use to keep my brains from being completely scattered is officially shutting down. Namely, this was the online note taking, organization and reminder tool, Springpad, which announced they will be shutting down due to the inability to acquire financial backers. Sadly after trying many other tools, I thought Springpad was by far the best of the bunch, and I would have happily paid a recurring fee for its use. So, it seems from message boards, would many of the users.
Is it paranoid to see ulterior motives behind Springpad’s move to set up and support a data export feature only for their biggest competitor, Evernote? I had used Evernote for some time before ever moving to Springpad. Springpad did more things I liked than Evernote did. It had issues through the several years I’ve used it. But it overcame these issues, and was always changing and adapting, mostly for the better. Having little choice on the short term, I went and used the method offered to transfer all my data to Evernote. My notes are all there now, and I am sad to report that Evernote continues to sport the same lack of some major features, and the same clunkiness and hard to use aspects of the features it does have. But I guess the only feature that matters is that it won the race.
I’ve begun to look for other options. I discovered something called Google Keep which apparently has been around for a year in hiding. It does not have nearly the features of Springpad or even Evernote. Very strangely it seems like a clone (minus a couple of features) of Google’s earlier Google Notebook service that they killed just under a year before they apparently started the Google Keep service. And yes, Google Notebook was yet another losing horse I used on a regular basis.
Before this, there was Lala.com, a music service I and many others happily used. When the business started to make serious waves in the industry, they were quickly gobbled up by Apple. After acquiring LaLa, Apple immediately turned around and shut it down, offering to transfer customer’s account balances to their own iTunes service.
Before this, I chose HD DVD and we all know the result of the format war between it and BluRay. As with the examples above, the reason HD DVD lost this race really had nothing to do with the horse, or “the market”, but with money and the wheeling and dealing behind the scenes.
Ah, well… I know this is a depressing post and there is nothing one can do about any of this… That much of this is nothing but paranoia… And what’s not paranoia is, sadly, just a fact of life.