I’ve written about this before, the deja vu of covering Google now, and Microsoft back in the early 90s, when MSFT ruled the (less large but no less self absorbed) IT roost. Paul Graham, one of my favorite occasional Google commentators, notes the sad case of Kiko, a Google Calendar competitor which seems to have lost its way since Google integrated Gmail with Google Calendar (Kiko is up for sale on eBay – current bid is around 50K, includes free shipping!). Reminds me of all those little app developers who got killed by MSFT back in the day….when MSFT decided a particular app was neat, and needed to be integrated into Office and/or Windows.
What I love about Paul’s conclusions:
There’s another encouraging point here for the new generation of web startups. Failure is not a disaster when you’re very light. The total amount raised by Kiko in its existence would be about six months’ salary for a first-rate developer. There’s a good chance they’ll recover most of it by selling their code. They only had one employee besides themselves. So this is not an expensive, acrimonious flameout like used to happen during the Bubble. They tried hard; they made something good; they just happened to get hit by a stray bullet. Ok, so try again. Y Combinator funded their new idea yesterday.
(thanks to Andre for pointing this out)