It’s tough being indie, you know?
It’s tough growing up in a world where companies get bought out here and there and where the large corporations keep getting bigger slices of the pie. It’s a snowball that really can’t be stopped.
In some industries it’s just accepted as fact and no one really thinks about them in terms of a monopoly (which we know isn’t “fair” or “good” except if it’s the board game) – and yet we’re quite fine with an oligopoly which is where there is a state of limited competition and in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers.
An oligopoly can be just as bad (if not worse because it’s “accepted”) as a monopoly!
It’s one reason to stay indie and it’s just another reason I love WordPress (the software specifically, not any one company) because it’s ethos is about democratizing the web while there are some WordPress-centric companies that seem to be, from a business-perspective, doing what good businesses should – eating their competition (or purchasing, acquiring them).
But how do you truly stay indie in a such a tough competitive market? That’s a question I can’t answer for you and neither can I really answer it for myself either – it’s just a tough state of affairs. It’s tough because we all have mouths to feed and hard business decisions to make. When you’re confronted with an offer for over $1B for a buy (which hardly any of us will ever experience) it’s a tough nut to crack.
And even if it was for 1,000 times less of a purchase price you’d still struggle with the decision, just like the thousands of newspapers, magazines, radio stations, tv stations, and publishers that decided that it was better to sell than to stay indie.
I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak for myself and I know that everyone has a price. There is a price on everything that we do and it might be ridiculously high or some of the terms might be outrageous (like Matt’s idea of selling Automattic would require him to lead the buying company), but it’s always a possibility.
The reason to stay indie though (and completely live it up) is really about you, your gut, and your ability to sleep well at night. It’s deeply personal and you need to be able to live with the decisions that you make, whatever they are, so you don’t drive yourself completely mad.
The reason to stay indie is to satisfy your own damn conscience. If you can do so by creating incredible value for others at the same time then you’re on the winning edge my friend. Stay indie, much love.