Every now and then I’ll receive a comment like this one from someone claiming that I “sold out” when I was acquired by NewsGator.
On the one hand, I’m a little flattered by these comments, because they mean that someone relies on my software enough to get pissed off at me. And I try not to take them too seriously, since accusations of “selling out” happen all over the place – for example, every time a rock band changes direction, they’re accused of selling out, regardless of whether that change was for artistic or purely financial reasons.
But it’s hard not to be insulted, and it’s especially stinging when someone suggests that I have “zero attachment” to my software. I’m personally attached to every application I’ve created – I sweated over each one for a long time, and feel personally responsible for every bug, missing feature, and usability problem in them. And to think that my reason for being acquired was just to make money ignores the fact that I was doing just fine financially by selling two fairly popular applications as a one-man show.
Of course, I can understand why TopStyle customers would think I sold out. After all, TopStyle has stagnated since I was acquired by NewsGator. My hope is that making TopStyle 3.5 – which includes some fairly significant new features – a free upgrade will serve in some small part as an apology for taking so long between releases.
Given that I’m a somewhat-independent developer, my reputation means everything to me, and my name would be tarnished – perhaps forever – if I really did sell out at the expense of my software and its customers. Are these accusations of my selling out limited to a few disgruntled customers, or do a lot of people believe that I sold out?
I’d honestly like to know, so please feel free to comment here.