Stupidity, Dishonesty, and Arrogance – Fatal for a Business

“In a month, I’m going to have the top service in this industry.” He bragged. He then confided that he was building a competing product, and had only bought the one he had from us because he thought it had a feature that it did not. Presumably, he wanted to steal that feature.

He bragged that he was a coding guru. Less of one than he thought, because if he HAD been a coding guru, he’d have known that the feature he thought we had was actually impossible – NO ONE can have it, because the technology that it depended upon was controlled by another company, and they would not EVER make it available.

Never mind the fact that the reason he thought we might have this feature is because he did not read the description of our product. No where did it even imply that it had what he wanted.

Shortly after purchase, he had demanded a refund, saying we had misrepresented it, and that the only reason he had bought is because he thought it had something it did not. Our sales pages clearly described the system, and did not misrepresent it in any way.

But I informed him that he could have a refund if he met the usual terms. He had not. He did not want to. He just wanted an easy way out of his original poor choice. He tried to bully us into issuing a refund that was outside of our policies, and we refused.

He paid the monthly fee, and then listened in on some training calls, and asked for a training session, which he then decided not to do, and was insulting to the two people he talked to about it. He stated that he did not have time to do a day training session because he had “a real job”.

He asked some additional questions, which were indicative that he was trying to copy the site. Interestingly enough, these were also questions he should never have had to ask if he were the “coding guru” he claimed to be, because they involved fairly elementary skills.

Then he stated he did not want the site. Tiring of his games, the manager pulled the plug on it – suspended the site. He went into a panic! Where was his site? Now, he had not even changed the default text in the site, it had nothing in it to even suggest that anyone actually owned it, and was not even usable as it was. So no harm was done to his business by suspending it. We just stopped him from copying it and selling it as his own, and our terms of use state that this is grounds for immediate termination of service (we had only suspended, not terminated).

He then filed a complaint with PayPal, stating we did not deliver what we had promised, and that we had misrepresented the product. We can prove that we did deliver exactly what we said we would. But it didn’t matter, because PayPal refused to investigate, because it was more than 45 days after the purchase had been made. It galls me a little that I don’t have the chance to defend ourselves, since we were honorable in the process.

All in all, a rather nice example of someone who inspires absolutely no fear in me. As a potential competitor, such a person is not a threat at all.

1. He wanted to steal instead of coming up with an innovative approach of his own. Now, anyone who thinks this is a way to get rich quick is not firing on all cylinders! Those who look for shortcuts, invariably fail, because there ARE no shortcuts to success. Just hard work, creativity, and perseverance, none of which he had. You can only clone and steal a product or the APPEARANCE of a service. You cannot clone, and cannot steal, the work and effort it takes to SELL that product or service, or the work that it takes to actually run a business. And people who are looking for shortcuts usually bomb on that.

2. He was arrogant, and overestimated his own skills. Now, there is nothing wrong with confidence, and feeling you can achieve something big even if you don’t know everything. But to think you are an expert and can do anything without having to learn anything else, is always a colossal mistake. His arrogance will stop him from doing what he wants to do, will cause him to make costly errors, and will turn off his potential customers.

3. His manner and communication were so poor, and so rude, that he will repel his customers very quickly. It will make it very hard for him to get clients at all.

4. If he thinks that anyone who works their own business does not have a “real job”, then he will never be able to be successful at owning his own business. Because it IS a real job. In fact, it is a job and a half! It is clear that he thought we played at working, and that he could have what we did by playing at working. Such a person won’t ever be a threat to real business owners.

I am predicting that this person will not be able to get a business off the ground at all. If by some odd chance he manages to make a sale or two, he will quickly burn out on the actual work, and drive his customers away by insulting them.

Stupidity, Dishonesty, and Arrogance are never a good combination. But for a business, they are fatal. And when you spot those in your competitors, especially those competitors who haven’t even got a business but brag about how much they are going to do, you may know that you don’t need to seriously worry about them. They are not any kind of threat to honest business owners, because their own actions will get in their way.

The best way to do business is still by being smart, honest, and by being willing to learn. And it always will be.

Update: He never did get it off the ground. His idle statements were just that… idle. All talk, no action in any way that could result in any kind of competition for our company.

3 Responses to Stupidity, Dishonesty, and Arrogance – Fatal for a Business

  • So… in more than 45 days of site ownership – with the stated intention (duh!) to take what you offer and compete with you using your own product – he didn’t even bother to make a backup of the site?

    Oooooh. Be afraid!


  • Jan Verhoeff says:

    Gotta love those insincere and lazy individuals who have a wanna-be complex and no desire to achieve their own greatness. It’s less insulting when they pass on your good intentions as less that applicable to their needs.

  • Laura says:

    He didn’t SAY he was going to steal our stuff – just that he was going to compete. But his actions loudly declared his intentions.

    I think he did not know HOW to make a backup. That is what is so silly about his claims to being a guru. He didn’t know how to backup a Joomla site. He was asking about FTP and Cpanel and how to do stuff he should have known how to do. Anybody who has any kind of site experience knows how to backup a Joomla database and the Joomla files and restore them elsewhere.

    But yeah… no real threat there!

Grow a Garden!

Gardening doesn't have to be that hard! No matter where you live, no matter how difficult your circumstances, you CAN grow a successful garden.

Life from the Garden: Grow Your Own Food Anywhere Practical and low cost options for container gardening, sprouting, small yards, edible landscaping, winter gardening, shady yards, and help for people who are getting started too late. Plenty of tips to simplify, save on work and expense.