Six Apart is shutting down their Vox blogging service at the end of September. I’m surprised it has taken this long…
I, like most people, never got why Vox even launched in the first place but it’s a great lesson in product portfolio management. Vox was originally pitched as a blogging platform that embraced video and images, was easy to use, and had a social layer, which is all great but I thought that these are attributes that their Typepad service, the flagship product, was supposed to embrace. In other words, they created a new product that highlighted how their flagship product was deficient, or at a minimum redundant.
This, like a lot of things that Six Apart did, were distractions that opened a very large door for WordPress to walk right on through. I say this as a frustrated former customer of Six Apart, my first blog was on Typepad and when I implemented blogs internally at SAP I used Movable Type but in the end these were both decisions I regretted and this blog has operated reliably and to my satisfaction on a self-hosted WordPress installation and SAP now uses Jive and other products behind the firewall.
Six Apart has some redeeming qualities, they do very well in select international regions and I understand that their ad strategy is paying off, but they are also a great example of a company that pioneered a market segment and became dominant only to lose their status, permanently at this point, to an upstart with a better product and clearer vision coupled with really good execution.
There’s been some deal buzz around Six Apart for the first time in a long time, it would not surprise me to see them get acquired at this point, they have been around a long time and their investors certainly will want to see something happen.