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.
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.
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.