A few months ago, TechCrunch, the Wall Street Journal and a number of other publications reported that Google had acquired the social polling startup Polar and that its founders were going to join the Google+ team.
Turns out, that story was only half true. Google only hired the Polar team, including well-known design expert Luke Wroblewski and his co-founder Jeff Cole — but not the product or its trappings.
Acqui-hires are, of course, a staple of the San Francisco startup ecosystem. But even if those acquisitions are mostly about the talent, there is usually at least some intellectual property involved. That apparently wasn’t the case, because Polar is now owned by Holly Dodge, one of Polar’s early investors.
Dodge, Polar’s old spokesperson tells us, is now the “founder & president of Polar Polls LLC” and, we hear, is “committed to supporting the Polar user community and continuing to provide a free poll service for [its] publishers.”
After its “acquisition” Polar told us that it would shut down by the end of 2014 and that existing users should download their polling data. Now, it looks like Polar is up and running as if nothing ever happened.
When we asked Google for a statement, it told us that “the Polar team will be helping us make Google+ as beautiful and simple to use as possible, especially on mobile.”
As with so many things in Silicon Valley, not everything is always as people say it is. But hey, if you really lamented the death of Polar, at least you’ll be able to continue using it now.