NewsGator acquires FeedDemon

Yep, the early reports are true (I slept far too late to break the news myself, it seems!).  NewsGator has acquired FeedDemon and TopStyle from Nick Bradbury, and Nick has joined our team full-time.  The press release and some detailed Q&A are online now, and Nick’s own take on the deal is here.
 
It’s a pretty exciting development for everyone involved.  From my perspective, this is huge…so let me tell you a quick story, one that goes back two and a half years.
 
Way back in the beginning, we had an Outlook add-in – and it was immediately popular.  A little less than a year later, we followed with what is now known as NewsGator Online, and thus was born the platform we’ve been building on ever since.  We now had a presence on Microsoft Outlook, on the web, mobile devices, other e-mail clients besides Outlook, and shortly thereafter even on the TV with Media Center edition.  And all along, we were building on the key insight that people wanted to use multiple applications and devices to consume content.
 
Synchronization was the story, as implmented in our first-generation sync system.  It was lean and mean, and worked.  Read your content in Outlook, the web, your mobile phone, etc., and never have to read the same content twice.  It was a good story, and we spent a lot of time and effort on it.  And it turned out it was true – people do want to use multiple applications and devices to read their content.
 
But it turns out people wanted more than we were offering.  They wanted to use desktop applications as well, and still take advantage of the synchronization capabilities inherent in our other products.  They wanted to use Outlook at work, and use a best-of-breed desktop application at home.  Or vice-versa.  Or maybe they didn’t want to use Outlook at all – I’ve seen it happen. :-)
 
And to the “why do I need a desktop application” nay-sayers - lots of people swear by them.  Not only is the GUI generally richer than that on a web application, but offline support is a huge feature.  Many of our Outlook customers download news in the morning, and read it on their commute on the train, bus, etc.  The same use case holds for those using desktop applications.
 
So we built a second-generation sync system, and opened it up to a few partners – most notably Nick Bradbury, who implemented support for it in FeedDemon.  This system worked well, but it had a nagging problem – the actual state (read/unread/deleted) of items wasn’t synchronized – only the fact that you had downloaded the item, or marked it read online, was sync’d.  But download an item into FeedDemon, and it magically disappeared from NewsGator Online.  Not exactly the ideal behavior.  Incidentally, our first-gen Outlook sync system worked in a similar manner.
 
So we started working on the next version of the Outlook add-in (which is in a late beta stage right now), and the 3rd-generation sync system and API.  One that would truly provide all of the missing sync capabilities – read/unread/deleted state, flags, etc.  And along about the same time, I posted our near-term product roadmap – talking about API’s, our enterprise products, and what we were doing with the Outlook and consumer products.
 
Then I called Nick (much to his chagrin, I had managed to collect all of his phone numbers!).  See, we still had a hole in our product line.  We had great coverage of Outlook, the web, mobile devices, even TV’s.  But we didn’t have a desktop client, and we’ve encouontered lots of customers who wanted exactly this.  I asked Nick if he’d be interested in joining forces with us in some manner, and he said he would be.  Turns out that Nick’s customers had been consistently asking for the same capabilities as those we were building into the next-gen online system…
 
Many meetings and a few months later, here we are – announcing a deal we’re all super-excited about.  Our industry-leading RSS platform company - and the best Windows desktop aggregator, being added into the platform.  What a great story for our customers.
 
So what happens now?
 
Most of it’s in the Q&A I linked to above.  In a nutshell…within the next month or two, all FeedDemon customers will get a free 2-year subscription to a NewsGator business subscription plan, giving them access to the Outlook edition and other NewsGator products.  And all NewsGator paying subscribers will get access to FeedDemon at no additional charge.  All of this will take effect as of the upcoming FeedDemon release.
 
And the upcoming versions of FeedDemon will be completely integrated with our online platform, providing seamless synchronization capability…and it will begin integrating lots of other features that are made possible by having a strong online platform to base them on.
 
Looking out further, we’ve got some great ideas, and lots of plans.  Nick, as our new Architect, Client Products, will continue work on FeedDemon and TopStyle, but will also be lending his considerable expertise to our other products.  Jack Brewster (who you might know if you frequent the FeedDemon/TopStyle forums) is also joining us to take over support of these products…which should make for a seamless transition experience for our customers.
 
Please join me in welcoming Nick to our team!

15 thoughts on “NewsGator acquires FeedDemon

  1. Trevor

    I think this is great news. As a loyal ex-FeedDemon user that got a Mac, I’m hoping you guys might have your eyes on a Mac client to pick up as well! Looking forward to trying the online service, Bloglines just doesn’t do it for me. Keep up the good work, and don’t forget about TopStyle – the only other piece of software I miss now that I’m on a Mac…

    Reply
  2. Bob Archer

    Ok,

    So, as a purchaser of Outlook Add-In how can I get access to FeedDemon and be able to sync FeedDemon at home with Outlook Add-In at work?

    Will I have to purchase FeedDemon, become a paid subscriber, or what?

    Reply
  3. Ross

    Great news for sure, as a fan of the NewsGator online service I only have one comment on the following:

    “…and never have to read the same content twice”

    In order to deliver a better experience you need to fix two things to achieve this:

    1 – Sometimes some feeds relist many old posts, presumably because of some kind of spacing change or something on the site, but it’s annoying to rescroll thorugh a bunch of old posts because Newsgator didn’t recognise them as previously having been read.

    2 – Through no fault of Newsgator, if I’m subscribed to two similar news services, say BBC-Europe Edition and BBC-Business and they have the same article under both sections then I’ll get it twice in Newsgator (understandibly), although if Newsgator could detect and delete this it would help!

    Thanks

    Reply
  4. NewsGator's New Friend - FeedDemon

    I’m stunned.  It’s 11am Colorado time and there are already 200+ posts listed on Technorati about NewsGator’s acquisition of FeedDemon.  It’s amazing how the word spreads and it is fascinating to read the feedback (both positive and negative), speculation, and rants (good and bad) about this deal. I’ve noticed several negative comments asserting that “this was driven by the VCs.”  While I’ve clearly been involved in NewsGator’s strategy (and Fred has some flattering words to say on the matter), JB and Greg have been driving the strategy and execution of this business (as a VC, I get to “be helpful”, hopefully in a…[more]

    Reply
  5. Judi Sohn

    I left NewsGator in favor of Bloglines a few months ago. Bloglines interface wins out (slightly) and it has better Firefox integration. This news is enough to bring me back (I own FeedDemon). I’m looking forward to reading feeds in FeedDemon, then jump to my PocketPC or Mac and have the *same* number of unread articles.

    Ditto the plea for a Mac OS X version of FeedDemon. :-)

    Reply
  6. NewsGator purchases Bradbury Software

    NewsGator Technologies has purchased Bradbury Software in a cash and stock deal. Bradbury Software is develops FeedDemon, a feed aggregator, and TopStyle, a website editor, for the Windows operating system. Nick Bradbury lives in Franklin, Tennessee and is the sole developer and runs his entire business from the top floor of his house. Nick develops in Delphi. I used FeedDemon from its first beta until I moved to Mac last May. NewsGator develops free feed aggregators for Windows Media Center, and online as well as a paid aggregator for Microsoft Outlook. NewsGator is currently developing an enterprise server (“Dino”) for…[more]

    Reply
  7. Ben Barren

    Newsgator’s Product Roadmap with enterprise focus, but consumer savvy, is on the money, and proactive strategic M&A (not a buy anything approach) is to be applauded as Newsgator becomes the premiere RSS platform company, globally !

    Reply
  8. Stefan

    I’ve been one of the very early adaptors of Newsgator. I dropped it because I felt that a web-based client was “good enough” for me at the time.

    But you are right: it’s about choice and avoidance of duplication of effort. You are making steadly progress towards delivering on those two requirements.

    Well done.

    Best regards,

    Stefan

    Munich, Germany

    Reply
  9. NewsGator Technologies Acquires FeedDemon

    The full headline reads “NewsGator Technologies Acquires FeedDemon; Acquisition of FeedDemon and TopStyle Strengthens NewsGator’s RSS Platform; Nick Bradbury Joins NewsGator Team” — can’t believe I missed this news (press release). I probably wouldn’t have had if I’d been subscribed…[more]

    Reply
  10. Jason Guinn

    Greg – as always, you guys continue to do fantastic work on your products and services and this will be another great advancement for NewsGator. I’ve been a very loyal NG user for years now and absolutely love it.

    BUT… like some others have mentioned, I have changed over to Mac now. I still have my old PC running just for NG to retrieve news and put it into appropriate folders in my hosted Exchange mailbox. Then I open up Entourage and get to the news by connecting to the Exchange box.

    I, too, would LOVE to see (and pay for) an Entourage plugin!

    Keep up the good work and get us Mac users in on some great software so we can shut down our old PCs and save some energy! :)

    Reply
  11. Pingback: FeedDemon, NewsGator, and Mr. Bradbury - Greg Reinacker’s Weblog - Musings on just about everything.

Leave a Reply