Acquisition Roundup

January 15th, 2007

When I wrote a bit over a week ago that I would be entertaining offers from software developers interested in unloading their projects, I had no idea how numerous, diverse, or interesting the resulting offers would be. I promised then that I’d follow up, and that’s what I’m doing now.

I received a total of 22 legitimate offers, a few joke offers, and a few letters along the lines of “hey, I want to buy an app, too!” Of the 22 legitimate offers, 5 were web sites, and I am excluding those from the overall statistics because I don’t think they’re as interesting in the context of the spirit of the offer. So that leaves us with 17 distinct software products that could theoretically jumpstart an indie software business. Here’s how the stats break down, after crunching them:

Total Software Offers: 17
Highest Offer Price: $25,000
Lowest Offer Price: $1,500
Average Offer Price: $8,135
Median Offer Price: $5,000 (serendipitous!)

What kinds of software was offered? I applied some off-the-cuff categorization to the products offered, and came up with this breakdown:

System Utilities – 6 (35%)
Media Management – 3 (18%)
Entertainment – 2 (12%)
Network Utilities – 1 (6%)
Financial – 1 (6%)
Dashboard Widget – 1 (6%)
Medical Industry – 1 (6%)
Productivity – 1 (6%)

Although I would have expected all Mac software by the context of my request, I did receive as mentioned a few web site offers, as well as one product exclusively for PalmOS and one exclusively for BeOS (!). Two of the products offered were maintaining separate versions for both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, and the sale would include both products. One was for Mac OS 9 only (!).

Yeah, and…?

I’m sure some of you have only read this far to see whether I actually bought anything or not. The answer? Most likely. I’m still working out the details with a potential seller, but I would place the odds of an acquisition at almost certain. I won’t share details of the product I am acquiring until the deal is closed, which I expect to happen within a week or so if things go according to plan.

Stay tuned for more details!

7 Responses to “Acquisition Roundup”

  1. PGM Says:

    I sure hope you are not going to pay $25,000 for a Dashboard widget.

  2. Hjalti Says:

    This is amazing, never thought you would get so many offers. And even under $5000! That makes me wonder how developers valuate their time.

  3. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hjalti: well to be honest I didn’t get any offers where I thought something was absolutely braindead clearly worth more than the developer was offering. Otherwise I would have bought it immediately :) The truth is a number of the offers have some caveats attached. For instance they could use a UI makeover, or they’re not a completely fleshed out idea, or need some serious maintenance to come up to modern API practices.

    But yeah, I was surprised by the reaction, too. I might have to run one of these surveys every year :)

  4. Pierre Bernard Says:

    Maybe you should ask permission to publish the list of software that’s up for sale. I wonder if some of it could interest me.

  5. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi Pierre – I have asked the sellers individually whether they would be interested in some kind of mechanism to try to hook up other potential buyers. We’ll see how that pans out. I know at least several of the sellers would like to remain rather low-key about their possible intentions to sell.

  6. paul Says:

    Cool! Can’t wait to hear what you get.

  7. Bob Clark Says:

    I think that in a market-driven economy, (almost) any developer would be willing to sell off their product for the right price.

    Personally I took Daniel’s earlier blog entry as a chance to conduct a thought experiment and figure out what “the number” would be for my products — if “the number” is on a check, that I would sell without too much hesitation. I sent in a couple “the numbers” for a few products, without really intending to sell them. It’s just an acknowledgement that for enough money, yeah, sure, the fruits of my labor are for sale.

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