Betaworks acquires Instapaper


Marco Arment:

Instapaper is much bigger today than I could have predicted in 2008, and it has simply grown far beyond what one person can do. To really shine, it needs a full-time staff of at least a few people. But I wouldn’t be very good at hiring and leading a staff, and after more than five years, I’d like an opportunity to try other apps and creative projects. Instapaper needs a new home where it can be staffed and grown, but I didn’t want to give it to a big company that would probably just shut it down in six months.

Marco is somewhat of a polemic figure, in that stupid people seem to really, really dislike him (especially on Twitter). I bet he’ll get a decent amount of negative feedback about this decision.

Despite that, and despite the fact that usually the sale of an app is heralded as doom and gloom and disaster for those who use it, this is great. Rather than see Instapaper wallow in lack-of-support-hell, or worse sell it to some giant company that would kill it in 6 months, he’s chosen to give it the best chance of survival. I’m sure millions of people for whom Instapaper has become very important are as relieved as I am.

Meanwhile Marco gets the time to concentrate on making more great stuff. Would that we all had the same grace, good sense and humility! There’s a lesson to be learned here about moving on.