Despite being, or perhaps because it is the biggest commercial genealogical organization Ancestry.com has received a lot of negative reaction to the decision to no longer support the popular Family Tree Maker software after the end of 2016.
From a strictly business perspective the decision makes sense; Ancestry.com targeting its efforts to a growing part of the business with more profit potential.
Do the partners in Ancestry.com, and President and Chief Executive Office Tim Sullivan get it? Ancestry's clients use the service for personal, emotional reasons - family. For many who have been using FTM for years, perhaps since the Banner Blue days, Ancestry's move feels like having family ripped away for corporate profit. By not providing a path forward for FTM users Ancestry is coming across as a bully.
“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.Go to Ancestry.com's mission statement and you'll find the word community used three times, but in the context of the company being a facilitator not a member. Where's the friendly face, an organization that's part of the community, not just a business serving it?
Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
The Lump of Coal Award for 2015 goes to Ancestry.com.