We hear a lot about smaller storage companies - when they (nearly inevitably) get bought by the 'big dogs' and established players.
And when that happens, who knows what forms the integration will take and what the result will be?
Take something like VDI-in-a-Box (not a storage player, admittedly!), which Citrix snarfed up from Kaviza a few years back. At the time, VDI-in-a-Box was promising and looking to the future and adding more features to make it a more complete solution that was viable for more companies.
Citrix bought it because - in my cynical mind - such an expansion for the product would directly compete with XenDesktop. So, they bought it and set it in stone as the 'small' option, meaning that if you wanted more features, you needed XenDesktop, thus artificially ensuring that that product still had value.
The problem is that this required, essentially, freezing VDI-in-a-Box and thus there was never an upgrade path to migrate to XenDesktop and get those extra features that Citrix ensured were the sole province of their pet software.
This is the crux of the issue with smaller tech companies.
They offer something different - some different and easier way of doing things, like VDI-in-a-Box - but don't yet have the full features or compatibility or reliability or service presence to compete with the established players.
They are either snapped-up at that point to add the capabilities/technology to an existing port-folio or they continue to close the gap as the product matures and are then gobbled to either add a more complete product to an existing line or to, effectively, kill the impending competition.
Yes, it's cynical and sometimes companies really do intend to continue and develop the technologies they have acquired, but even then that process often fails or is not profitable enough and these offerings are 'streamlined' away to concentrate on other things or simply to cut a bunch of staff and make some quick turnaround for their EPS and keep the analysts happy.