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Re: Y Store now C++

Even if you have to rewrite the software in another language
as part of selling the company, I'd still call that working.
But I don't believe this is often a substantial obstacle.
Companies buy startups because they're afraid their competitors
will.  If it looks like you're going to have the dominant
market share, acquirers can overlook nearly anything; and if
you don't, they don't want you at all.

To the extent there is any discomfort about the language
you used, you can often use the pointy-haired bosses' mistaken
ideas against them.  If they take as an axiom that "all 
languages are equivalent," (if this is true, btw, we're all
wasting our time talking about language design on this list)
they'll easily believe  that it will be a trivial matter to 
port your code to some more boss-friendly language, and that 
the language your software is written in is thus no serious
barrier to acquisition.  

I don't think I intentionally misled Yahoo (too much) on
this point, but if I did it was for their own good.  Many
of the aspects of Y Store they've been able to change 
(the pricing, the test drive), they've messed up.  But 
because they didn't dare touch the Editor itself, they 
haven't been able to spoil it.  How many big companies can 
say five years after acquiring software from a startup that 
the software is just as good as it was under the startup?


--Daniel Weinreb wrote:
> Paul Graham wrote:
> >Though you meant this as a joke, this is in a sense the
> >key to success.  A lot of startups are doing de facto
> >product development for big companies.  Because in
> >the startup phase they don't yet have the big companies'
> >pointy-haired bosses telling them what to do, they can
> >use radically better technologies than they'd be allowed
> >to if they already worked for the company that will later
> >buy them.  
> >
> In your case, it worked; Yahoo was willing to buy the code even though 
> it was
> in what they (at least now) consider an exotic langauge. The last time I 
> was at
> a company and tried to sell technology to another company, the biggest 
> problem
> they had with the whole idea was that they didn't like the language that 
> it was in.
> I have a friend (on this list) who wanted to sell his company's 
> technology, and he
> and his co-workers decided to undetake a complete rewrite to put it into 
> a more
> acceptable language.  So the stragegy you're talking about only 
> sometimes works.