I’m feeling adventurous

I’m doing something right now that might be really fucking stupid:

I’m going to publicly name something I don’t like.

I’m going to publicly denounce something that might be totally my fault.

I’m also going to say something that MIGHT be better just left unsaid.

Posting something like this has been on my mind for a long time, but I think it’s sudden re-emergence is a combination of being a little ballsy from having to blog everyday, and re-reading a fantastic post Adam McFarland wrote.  <– Go read that and the comments.


Let me jump right in then explain (before I start getting rational and cancel this post):

There are two companies I do not like.  One is called RaveWorx.com and another is RaveHaven.com.

These companies were both started because of me. Not BY me….but because of me.

I love to share information to some extent.  I enjoy it because it gives me something to do, and in the process it often helps people.  So a while ago I created a six part series about how a business I created called HouseOfRave works.

Now there’ve been MANY clones of HouseOfRave, but most of them never get fully setup.


RaveWorx.com:

This was started by a guy named Karl Weinmeister who lives in Austin, TX. (which is funny because I live here too).  A few years ago I saw this “rave products” website sprout up (nothing wrong with a little competition)…but a little research showed that the same Karl Weinmeister who owned the website WAS ALSO A VISITOR TO MY BLOG.

Innntteerresstting  ::strokes beard::

I dug a little deeper and noticed he’d been involved on NevBlog through the comments and through direct email correspondence with me (he asked questions about how I setup my drop shipping business).  Now he “all of a sudden” had the exact same type of business.

I rang up Karl (someone I’d never directly spoken to) and told him over the phone, “Hi, this is Neville.”  He was stunned…but knew exactly who I was.

We met up for dinner a few times and talked.  At least if I have a competitor I’d rather be on good terms with him.

I was glad my post had helped fuel Karl’s foray into starting his own business…but flat out copying my model…not cool in my book.
Did he do anything illegal? Technically no.  I freely posted all that information out there for free.

RaveHaven.com:
A guy named Haroon Saleemi (who also was a reader of my blog and asked questions through the comments) popped up with a website called RaveHaven.com one day.  I dug around and found out he had a blog.  His blog was documenting him starting some businesses.

His 1st business: RaveHaven.com = Based off my HouseOfRave.com

His 2nd business: PartyRhino.com = Based off my BodyMonkey.com

It was almost HILARIOUS to read his blog posts about “How he came up with selling rave products online” without mentioning me.  After I left a few comments on his website, he stopped blogging.

When I called Tarun, he pretended he didn’t know who I was, but quickly dropped that charade.  He then said, “Well, you shouldn’t post what you do online.” Maybe he was right. Perhaps I should just hoard all my useful information to myself?

Anyhow, he was moderately cooperative with me (although not as much as Karl).  I made it very clear that he was not to use any of my original photos or videos or copy.  To his credit, I’ve never seen DIRECT rip offs of my site….although there has been been VERY obvious “renaming” of his products to reflect mine, and he once did a re-design of his website that used the HouseOfRave slogan “Light Up Your Night”.  I called him about it…and to his credit, he changed it right away.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. Whether it’s rational or not….those are some people that kind of ruined blogging for me.  There have been a BUUUNCCH of HouseOfRave copycats….and probably the ones I should be most worried about I’m not naming.
While I’m being all honest here, I may as well try to list my subconcious fears of some of these copycat businesses:

  • I probably fear them a little
  • I don’t want them to make them more motivated to improve their businesses
  • I don’t want to reveal any big secrets of mine that have improved sales
  • I don’t want to reveal time-sensitive secrets that give me a competitive advantage

Here’s a little excerpt from a comment I left on Adam’s post that inspired this post:

I admit I put up a guide which essentially shows you step by step how I built House Of Rave….however it’s meant as a LEARNING tool, not as a “How to copy me” series. The VAST majority of people who email me about that love the post because it inspired them, and they went on to create a similar MODEL businesses, but in a totally different industry. That’s FANTASTIC that a small series of posts I did helped someone start a new chapter of their entrepreneurial life.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Blog posted on: August 4, 2010

    23 comments on “I’m feeling adventurous

    1. Adam

      Man I’m becoming a regular fixture on your blog. We should start a co-blog :)

      Kudos for having the balls to write this post. It’s awesome that you actually picked up the phone and called these guys. It is ridiculously ballsy for them to literally copy your business like that. I think the vast majority of people do what you intended – they take all of the concepts you write about and then apply them to their own projects. Unfortunately there are a small subset of people who literally copy you and don’t see a problem in doing it.

      I know I’m always walking that same fine line with my posts. I mean, I’d say 50% of what I’m working on I never mention, whereas when we were less established I was comfortable writing about almost everything. It’s sometimes easy to forget when blogging that the entire world has access to your thoughts and not everyone will use the info you give them in a positive way.

      Reply
      1. Neville Post author

        Thanks Adam, definitely inspired by your post.

        1.) It feels kind of good to just get it out in the open

        2.) I didn’t really bash these guys.

        They DID take it upon themselves to make a business…which I admire….however they did it in bad form (my opinion).

        I’d like to think that even if I posted all my secrets on this blog, I can execute them better and faster than anyone else.

        Reply
    2. Joshua Holt

      Nev, great post. I, too, am impressed that you picked up the phone and called these guys, although you’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. I’m sure they never saw that coming. Like Adam above, I have taken the concepts you’ve posted and used them in my own projects and so am grateful that you’ve shared as much about the HoR as you have.

      I wonder if the knock-offs have the endurance to keep up with you in the long run? People forget that you’ve been refining HoR for quite awhile now and the kind of people that make duplicate copies of ideas and material usually don’t have a lot patience in the first place (hey, I can get rich quick if I set up my own rave store!!!).

      Have you ever thought about signing an exclusivity contract with your distributor for certain items? How about setting up some of your own trademarks? As you success increases (as a long time reader, I know it will), you should incorporate some legal strategy to your growth as well so you can send some cease and desist letters if needs be or otherwise have a few more tools available.

      Reply
      1. Neville Post author

        Joshua,

        I’m glad you’ve taken the concepts outlined in posts and applied them to your own unique use. If that was how everyone used them, people like me and Adam would be very happy to openly post all our secret sauce recipes.

        By the way, I do currently have legal strategy involved. It wasn’t the case in the past however.

        Also, different suppliers can carry similar items, so just because the suppliers maybe different, there is some definite overlap.

        Reply
    3. Mark

      Dude, you need to get over yourself. What model are they copying? Dropshipping consumer retail products? I’ve known about that for over 12 years. It’s super easy to find a dropshipper and build a website around their business. I don’t see your model as being original or proprietary. I’m pretty sure I can start a similar business to Houseofrave.com within a week even if I never read your blog. I have no interest in doing so, but I do read your blog regularly.

      Now, that being said…I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work you’ve put in. I know you make it seem easy, but given my experience, it’s not easy to consistently turn a profit year in and year out. Just because someone copies a model, doesn’t mean they run with it like you have. This is what capitalism is all about. Given the type of business you run, you have to assume that others will find out you’re profitable and try their best to enter the same market. Now you have to innovate and lead. I don’t think you’re one to sit on your hands and complain about the competition, regardless of this post.

      Best of luck,
      Mark

      Even if they didn’t get the info from you directly.

      Reply
      1. Neville

        Mark,

        I wasn’t complaining about them copying the MODEL, I was complaining about them copying EVERYTHING including the product.

        Drop shipping has been around since….well, I don’t know…but for a long time before I showed up.

        I do thank you for the feedback though. It’s true others will copy you when you’re successful, so you have to continue to innovate. It is however a few people that kind of “make me think twice” about what information I put out there.

        It’s actually some of the other companies that I know DID NOT necessarily copy me (at least I don’t have hard evidence) that I’m usually more worried about.

        Reply
        1. me

          It’s the American way.

          You do know you’re promoting their website and you’ll probably help increase their pagerank by posting their websites’ links

          Reply
      1. Neville Post author

        John,

        1.) I took the CONCEPT and applied it to a different medium (my own blog) rather than a stand alone site like MillionDollarHomePage (enough people copied that).

        Had I totally ripped off a site and called it my own, that would be a different story.

        2.) I completely agree with the Affiliate Marketing Experiment conclusion about this….why spill your secrets when they’re so easily duplicable?

        HouseOfRave is getting harder to copy since PageRank, goodwill and the sheer amount of custom photos and videos is pretty high right now.

        Reply
    4. Shane

      Nev, Thanks for the series. I appreciated it then and your other experiments including the IM series. It’s too bad a couple lame apples would not simply out of respect stay off your turf and apply the techniques elsewhere. Isn’t there a code like the “guy code” or something. I hope you won’t be too discouraged from sharing in the future. Anyway just wanted to say thanks.

      Reply
    5. Rob

      Hey,

      I think it’s pretty shitty what they did, but I think it’s human nature. As an above commenter said, if they can’t be bothered to come up with an original idea it’s unlikely they’ll put as much effort into maintaining and growing things as you have.

      It’s good gamesmanship, but not really good sportsmanship…

      Reply
    6. Fan

      This is my first post on your site. I’ve been a fan for many years and come here once every couple of months.

      I dont think you have anything to worry about. Keep some info related to your new ventures secret until you start.

      If people are copying everything it means they dont have the ability to be creative in any way. Therefore, until you do something they are stuck. You will always have the upper hand and the experience.

      p.s. Need to see some more mini-adventures like selling water on the side of the road.. :)

      Reply
    7. Fan

      Ok, second post…breaking records!

      Havnt been to your site in months…just letting you know that the new format sucks.

      Reply
    8. Pingback: Sweat Proof Undershirts? - Neville's Financial Blog

    9. Cait

      After reading this post, I laughed to myself. I have been looking online for a few days for business info about RaveHaven.com. I feel that this is a site that should be shut down completely. The page is extremely misleading, there is almost no way to contact anyone about any order issues, etc. It is THE worst site I have ever visited or done business with. I find it that much more hilarious that they are just frauds, obviously they have NO CLUE what they are doing as far as selling product and offering customer assistance.

      Reply
      1. Neville Post author

        Cait,

        Sorry you had a bad experience with them. If you have tried all regular channels of communication and failed, you should contact your credit card company with any problems and file a chargeback.

        As a business owner myself I DETEST chargebacks, but they sure get my attention quickly.

        Also….try HouseOfRave.com instead ;-)

        Reply
    10. Ravehaven is a scam

      I’m so pissed at Ravehaven right now and found this post through Google. I’ve contacted their support (forget about a phone number) and no one has answered me. I was just thinking this website must be a total scam, then I see this and realize it is. I’m contacting Visa immediately about getting my damn money back. Thx for the info.

      Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>