Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has acquired seven companies since taking the helm of the once-foundering search/media company. Each of the first six has been shut down.
Now, it looks like it’s time for Yahoo’s latest acquisition, Astrid.
In October, it was Stamped that Yahoo shut down, and in December it was OnTheAir. In January it was Snip.it. In February it was Alike, and in March it was Summly and Jybe. At least some of those were acqui-hires, bringing in skilled teams that Yahoo wanted. But in all cases, the startups were closed, and users were left hanging.
“Six for six … all shut down,” says Omar Al-Hajjar, the VP of marketing for online task manager Sandglaz. “I think Astrid is headed for a similar fate once the 90 days ends.”
Al-Hajjar is taking about former Astrid CEO Jon Paris’ 90-day promise, which he made when Yahoo acquired Astrid:
Over the next 90 days, Astrid will continue to work as-is, and we will no longer be accepting new premium subscriptions. To make future changes as easy as possible, we’ll be in touch with users shortly to share how to download data.
That’s about as clear as it gets in corporate announcements, and it seems to be confirmation that Astrid will go the way of all recent Yahoo acquisitions: into the deadpool. At least, in terms of its existing service and existing users. And four million users will need to find a new way to manage their tasks.
So Sandglaz is making some hay while the sun shines and offering simple data import straight from Astrid into Sandglaz. All existing Astrid users have to do is sign into Sandglaz, export their data from Astrid, and import it into Sandglaz.
It’s fairly simple and quite useful if you’re now looking for an Astrid-like service. And Sandglaz engineers built it in just two days, apparently.
“This isn’t really a knock on Astrid,” Al-Hajjar said in an email. “Just pointing out that there might be a larger trend where users of services that get shut down turn into refugees that look for competing services.”
Specifically, Al-Hajjar references the big kahuna of recently announced shutdowns: Google Reader, which resulted in Feedly picking up 500,000 new users in two days, and other RSS services like NewsBlur seeing massive growth as well.
This means, most likely, that task-management acquisition Astrid will be shut down as well and that its four million users will need to find another place to manage their time.
Which, if it proceeds as currently indicated, means that Marissa Mayer will be 7-for-7 on acquisition shutdowns.
For users, Sandglaz has made it clear that it’s open for business. One other option is Wunderlist, which has also built a “Farewell Astrid rescue.”
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