google_logoWhat happens when Google buys your app? On Quora, one reader asked: What is it like to sell your company to Google?

Writely co-founder Sam Schillace responded with a frank email, explaining what it was like when Google acquired Writely in 2006. Google would use the writing app as a cornerstone of the Google Docs project–building the company’s free set of work apps. Check it out:

The scale is breathtaking, and kind of daunting. It’s like going from building cute little paper boats from newspaper to being given an army of welders and stacks of plate steel and being told to build an armada. Also, everyone has an idea about what you should be doing, and they’re all very smart and have more context at google than you do. And finally, you are on a very public stage, and every move is scrutinized. Watch what you say! For us, overall, it was a good experience. Very intense, and not always pleasant, but we got to do exactly what we expected – we turned Writely into Google Docs (with the help of many, many very talented people, particularly the spreadsheet gang in NYC who now run the whole show).

(Mobile image via qisur)