Category Archives: Thoughts

What to do when your startup’s competitor is acquired by MSFT for $200M


What to do when your startup’s competitor is acquired

Acompli, our closest competitor, was recently acquired by Microsoft for $200M. I’m sure many startups see a competitor getting acquired by BigCo. at some point. I wanted to articulate the emotions you will go through when this happens and how to make the most of such an event.

Panic – ‘Shit!’ will be the first word that comes out of your mouth when the news breaks
Pain – Your thumbs and eyes will hurt a lot, because you’re going to scroll through and read every single thing written about the acquisition. “Why did BigCo. not pick us”
Denial – You’ll quickly try and find the positive to it, but still feel sad subconsciously.
Analysis – You’ll probably have 117 theories on how/why the deal went down and where you went wrong. Those will range from colors on your icon, to lack of features and even to the location of your offices.
Acceptance – Eventually, you turn off the Google Alert for that competitor

All the above emotions are absolutely normal (even healthy) to go through if you are passionate about your product and your startup.

A few things to consider when this happens:

  • BigCo acquiring a competitor has never meant your startup is doomed. There are numerous examples of this – Sparrow’s acquisition by Google never hurt Mailbox, whose acquisition by Dropbox never hurt Acompli.
  • M&A action in your space is invaluable. As someone recently told me, it could be the ‘perfect storm’. Its a big validation of your market’s potential.
  • It can easily become a larger opportunity for your product. Mailbox now has a mandatory Dropbox sign up after it’s acquisition, which I’m sure causes people to dump it and signup for CloudMagic instead.
  • Its usually a beginning to what could lead to great things. WhatsApp’s $20B acquisition does not signal the end of the messaging era, it signals the beginning.
  • Don’t start emulating the competing product/business – you don’t know their context, why they were bought and what dynamics were at play.
  • Communicate with your team so that their thinking is aligned with yours. Don’t pretend it didn’t affect you, be clear in communicating that it hurts, and also that it’s important to get back to execution.
  • Put your head down and get back to work with your original plan, quickly.

In summary, its likely to be hard on you, there’s no doubt about it, but its not the end. Its easier said than done ‘ignore the competition, focus on what you’re doing instead’, but it must be done. Startups are an emotional roller-coaster (described further by Paul Graham here) but one must think honestly and rationally during the numerous ups and downs.

How to email files from Dropbox and Google Drive on iPhone


If you’re one of the millions that use popular file storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive, chances are you’ve got a whole bunch of stuff stored there. These could be pictures, PDFs, Excel reports, PowerPoint presentations and so much more. Since Dropbox and Google Drive aren’t Document Providers (as yet), here’s 3 apps you can use with CloudMagic on iOS 8 to finally attach and email files from them:

AllDocs – $0.99

AllDocs is the fastest and easiest way to access files stored on cloud. With support for Box, Dropbox and Google Drive, it eliminates the need to download and maintain individual storage apps. Once you have configured your accounts, attaching a file from Box, Dropbox or Google Drive using CloudMagic becomes very easy. It works like a charm with CloudMagic.
how to attach files from box dropbox and google drive

Transmit – $9.99

Transmit for iOS 8 by Panic is the mobile version of the popular Mac file transfer app. It allows users to upload files using FTP, SFTP, WebDav, DreamObjects and Amazon S3. Also, you can attach files from your iPhone, iPad, Mac or any device which can be accessed remotely.
Attach files form ftp sfpt and amazon s3

Documents – Free

Documents by Readdle is the perfect document viewer and media player with support for numerous cloud services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, SugarSync, Yandex.Disk, ShareFile, FTP and SFTP Servers. You can download your files from all these services and have them on your Documents app. Being a provider, Documents allows you to attach files through any picker app, such as CloudMagic.
Attach files from SugarSync Onedrive and SharePoint

iOS 8 provides a lot more capabilities making email so much more powerful on your iPhone and iPad. More posts on that soon!

Did we miss any of your favourite iOS 8 document provider apps? Feel free to share it with us in comments.

UPDATE: Google Drive recently became a document provider. We made some changes in the way we implement document picker extension. We switched from ‘open’ operation to ‘import’. You’ll be able to attach files from Dropbox and Google Drive directly using CloudMagic. However, all the above apps are still very useful if you wish to attach files from Box, OneDrive, FTP servers etc.