Nathan Wrigley put out a tweet that got me thinking about acquisitions that happen within the WordPress market.
When something is created for WordPress it tends to go in one of many directions,
It either gets shut down after a while, this could be due to lack of funding, lack of free time, lack of passion, or many other reasons why that thing is no longer being updated.
It stays independent, which is great but the creator can’t keep doing it for free forever so pivots to a paid version, asks for donations often, or they start to slow down on doing other things (like promotion, or support), or they find a way to get more people and money to work on it. You don’t tend to hear about this in the news since the creator will slowly work on this and doesn’t have the huge team to be able to do all the promotion.
Then there is the one that this tweet was prompted by, acquisition. A plugin gets acquired by one or many companies and that company runs the plugin for a while and either after a while shuts it down, or changes their pricing, or builds into their the other products/plugins they offer.
We don’t often hear about the companies that keep running that plugin, we just see that the plugin has been updated recently. We hear about a plugin getting acquired, or it being shut down, or built into another product.
The big WordPress companies are acquiring many WordPress plugins & themes, and until we can figure out a way to support the independent creators and keep them independent then this is going to continue to happen.