Originally Posted by Ireland
It's not only one of the best apps out their for the iPad, but I really think Apple should acquire 53, keep Paper on the App Store and keep selling Pencil under the 53 banner, but bring 53 in-house to work on new wild ideas no expense spared. They could come up with something amazing and not only would Apple benefit, but every Apple user may end up benefiting in the end.
Apple may be increasing their acquisition spending, but they need really start doing some great app-dev acquisitions. They should have hired Loren Brichter as a permanent freelancer a long time ago, as they did with Sebastiaan De With, and they should do way more than this. One company Apple shouldn't have let slip through their fingers IMO is Instagram. Instagram should be a permanent tab in the Photos and Camera apps. Opt-in of course. Crapbook have turned something great into a piece of shit. Instagram would have been the perfect social network for Apple to get their feet wet. They could have kept it iOS-exclusive, too. Was better like that. And stubborn Steve should have upped his offer on Dropbox to $1.6B. At some point DB's investors wouldn't have been able to resist. They should have acquired Push Pop Press. The list goes on. They make great acquisitions, but I'd like to see them be more aggressive with the app+talent acquisitions. Facebook are hoovering up all of this talent and it disgusts me. Apple need to be far more aggressive in this area. I'm waiting for Facebook or Google or Microsoft to buy 53. A sad day that will be.
I agree with you to some extent.
I am not so favorable with Apple buying too many developers, because leaving them independent fosters creativity much more than bringing them in house, at least in some cases. The problem is that the iOS ecosystem is so healthy and full of talented people that other platforms are buying these companies to bring them in house and/or to bring the related talent in house, with the expectation that this somewhat magically translates into increased creativity in house. Not all companies have an environment where creativity is fostered. And if you bring a team into a "creativity-unfriendly" environment you cannot create a lot.
An anecdote: some of the people working at 53 come from Microsoft. Yes, from Microsoft. They worked, or where related, to the "Courier" experiment (one of the greatest ideas Microsoft ever had, in my opinion). Courier got axed. People left.
Then the iPad was released and the people behind 53 saw the opportunity to create something along the lines of what they had in mind for the previous project.
So, to sum up, 53's story shows that the opposite of what you suggest Apple doing is sometimes true. Getting out of a big company is sometimes better to pursue innovation. This is also what happened at Nest, although they just went back to another big company after leaving one...
Anyway, Apple has always had a "fingers off" approach towards accessories to their devices (except mouse and keyboard, a couple of covers and the original hands-free/charger for the iPhone). Is it correct? I think to some extent it is. But recent events (most notably Nest's acquisition, Instagram acquisition, Dropbox) show that sometimes it can be dangerous. As long as your ecosystem is so healthy that it can always provide an alternative, you don't have much to fear (for instance: I left Instagram and replaced it with EyeM, couldn't be happier).
We tend to see only the negative side of acquisitions as "lost talents, why didn't Apple buy that?" but fail to see that a healthy ecosystem always adapts, and that new comers may replace established players.
Apple, in my opinion, only concentrates on a few, key acquisitions because the risk of buying a company that then gets replaced by another one by the time you integrate it in your structure is too high.
Maybe Apple should, based on the model of iTunes, or Liquimetal, strike exclusivity deals instead of buying. It is also a model followed by the big game console manufacturers and it seem to make some business sense (as long as it is not overblown).
My two cents.