From John T. Peters: “The Copycats”
I’ve spent the last ( nearly) three years of my life working to grow Tripology. Much of that time was spent traveling around the US and the world (London, Prague, Berlin, Athens, etc.) telling people about our business and model. I swear, between VCs, conferences, trade shows, webinars and other random events, I think I must have made a thousand presentations of one sort or another.
All of a sudden, in the past three months, I’ve been contacted by people from the US as well as overseas (specifically London, Moscow and Berlin – hmm, you think they were at my presentations?), looking to create the next Tripology. They say they’re “far along” but guess what? Yep, they have questions; lots of them. They all go on to make it sound like it will be so simple and I’m sorry, but I just have to laugh. They all say they have the code “under control” or “the team in India/Russia/ (insert any country name here) is on it” and it is clearly almost done.
All they want is some research, background, PowerPoint presentations and/or data (read LAZY). Now, I’m all for helping friends with anything they may need, really. As for copying us, I’m flattered. However, why on earth do they think I’ll just hand everything over to them? We’ve spent literally thousands of man hours developing hundreds of thousands of lines of code for some of the coolest algorithms I’ve ever seen. We’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars on research. We’ve mingled and schmoozed till we could hardly stand and we’ve worked like dogs to get where we are. So, please forgive me if I’m not about to wrap all this into a nice little package with a big red bow on it and ship it off to some stranger that’s managed to find me on LinkedIn or one of my blogs. Want some general info? Maybe some basic stats? Heck, want to do a partnership? I’m in. Outside of that, sorry, I can’t help you.
By the way, I don’t blame you for trying. I would have done the same thing, but with a lot more tact.