Learning from the Astrid Case Study

If you haven't been using Astrid, here are some info. Astrid is was a web based calendar, to-do lists, reminders app for consumer. I had signed-up to it for the free service in hope to have a centralized management of all my to-do, reminders and etc - I also wanted a system which is web based. Hence, a search on Google landed me on Astrid few months back. I wasn't a heavy user, though I do find it to be intuitive, nice interface and seemed to have comprehensive functionality - it was also integrated with Google Calendar - it has more functionality than Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar and etc.

Then, it was quite exciting to hear that it has been acquired by Yahoo! on May 1, 2013 - not because I am a big fan, notwithstanding that I am a bigger fan of Yahoo! and Mayer. Being an technopreneur, any acquisition news would excite me to a certain degree. Period.

And yesterday, I got an email informing that it was winding down.

Immediately it occurred to me that Yahoo! was probably going to integrate the system of Astrid into the former's ecosystem totally and not using as a front for product. This can be a fun thing to anticipate because most of the time, acquisitions will end up maintaining the brands in favor of not upsetting existing users. For this, we will have to wait-and-see.

A few things that I have learned from Yahoo ever since Mayer became the CEO and made progresses and acquisitions. The most significant observation was it will usually acquire companies that are able to generate a large followings - having large number of users (in terms of million) - whilst not having a significant and steady business model; RockMelt, Tumblr and Astrid being the examples. In other words, acquisition usually happens to promising yet struggling start-ups.

Another thing that caught my attention is the people that involved in the acquisition process of Astrid. As stated in the blog, Astrid gives thanks to the following mentors and inventors:
Speaking on behalf of all those who got ourselves into the industry of computer science and IT, especially those involve with product development, that it was our dream to become Astrid on day in the future. For some, this dream has gone by the wind; for others, it remains burning.

For Astrid, good luck and thanks for keeping hopes alive!


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