Published 30th October 2015
Back in the summer I sold one of my small SAAS apps that had around 100 paying customers. After trying a few private channels someone recommended I try selling the app through a broker. I had sold a few apps on Flippa before but nothing of this value and I wanted to see if I could get a decent valuation for it. So I decided to use the broker and the sale went through without a hitch.
One of the conditions of the sale was that I had to sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). The broker told me this was fairly common practice and, as I had personally witnessed the sale of a much larger WordPress company under the same conditions, I didn’t think too much of it. Admittedly it wasn’t the ideal conditions to sell the app under but if I wanted to sell the app at a decent price this was a small compromise I was willing to make. Or so I thought.
The NDA prevented me from making a public announcement of the sale. So after the app had been transferred to the new owners I thought that was the process complete. However back in September the app went down for a couple of days. Customers, understandably, started to complain. This frustration was multiplied when we had to inform customers that we couldn’t help as we were no longer responsible for the app. This left us in a awkward position where we could do nothing to resolve the situation. Some irate customers even accused us of trying to scam them. Not good.
Thankfully I managed to get in touch with the new owners and the app was back up again shortly afterwards. However the damage had been done. Seeing customers publicly scold you is a hard pill to swallow, especially when it is justified. So what did I learn from this unfortunate situation?