Six Apart buys Pownce, plans to shut it down on December 15

Pownce was started in June 2007 as a closed beta and was fully released to the public in January 2008. Today it was announced that Six Apart the owners of such services as Live Journal and Typepad will acquire and shut down the service on December 15. Pownce co-creators Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka will stay on as advisers according to Six Apart's blog entry on the acquisition.

So where did it go wrong for Pownce? Well you could look at the Pownce structure. To begin with its a primarily a micro blogging service where you can update your status or post a blog via a client, web or the iPhone but doesn't that sound familiar to another service, called Twitter?. Many services have tried to rival Twitter for the fan and user base but ultimately failed. For example Google bought Jaiku back in October 2007, but even a year later Jaiku is still not well known in the "status update" market, even with Google's help.

With Pownce being bought does this mean Twitter could be the next big acquisition, recently Facebook failed in their bid to take over Twitter but how much longer can they keep the giants from the door?

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17 Comments

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It goes like this:
* Pownce was struggling and can't get any money from investors
* Six Apart is interested in the IP and the brains
* They bought Pownce at a bargain price and keep the IP and the brains and shut the service down.

I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to business deals like this:

Why do companies like Pownce sell off to bigger companies knowing it will be dismantled? Is it purely money or does it have to do with someone from, say Six Apart, buying so much stock they now own a certain percentage? I don't get it. Obviously, money rules all but I sometimes wonder if some smaller company would turn away from the bigger profit and just be customer-oriented.

Sure, the service was falling, but it's pretty harsh to buy someone to close them down. Has anyone ever seen this before? I don't mean X buying Y and integrating the two into one - I mean flat out buying and closing.

They want the users of the service to use their Vox Neighbourhood service because thats not so popular, so in buying pownce they think they can buy the users.

Rappy said,
They want the users of the service to use their Vox Neighbourhood service because thats not so popular, so in buying pownce they think they can buy the users.

Ok, great. And where does it say that in the article so that I knew what was going on?

They wanted the development team/talent.

They don't care about Pownce [or the users] since they already have their own lackluster products.

Sometimes no matter how nimble you are, the big fish are just too big to hold at bay. That being said Twitter has no fear of being bought out and dismantled. Its simply too high profile for anyone to try a stunt like that