Avid, the company that currently owns Sibelius, has decided to shut down the main development office and outsource development to a much smaller team in the Ukraine. You can read my general thoughts about the results of selling small, successful companies to bigger ones here:
There’s a takeaway here for developers. If you care about your product at all – and I’m assuming you do, because if you’re just in it for the money, you’re probably not making the kind of product I buy anyway – then don’t sell. The moment you sell your company, no matter how good the sum, you’ve sold out. I’ve seen it happen too many times to believe otherwise.
Today, I published an open letter to the executives at Avid, imploring them to take the right step by their customers: sell the product back to its inventors, Ben and Jonathan Finn, who have already offered to buy it twice.
Sell Sibelius. It is public knowledge that the Finn brothers have offered at least twice to purchase the software back from you, in the dual interests of maintaining the momentum of the software and of taking care of the employees you have let go. Selling it back to them is the right move – for your customers, for the product, for the developers, and most importantly, for Avid. The goodwill of your customer base and the trust of your own employees are not small things in the long run.
Will this – or any of the similar efforts being made in the broader Sibelius community – make a difference? The truth is, it’s unlikely. But it’s worth a shot.