Two Bad Apples

So a few months ago, someone tried stealing one of our site systems. Yesterday, we discovered another lazy individual who is attempting a similar thing. I find it pretty ludicrous, actually, and while it is irritating that they’d try to steal what we’ve built up, my typical response is, “I wish them luck with that!”.

Early on in business, I’d see a good idea, and try to replicate it (I never stole, but I did rebuild things in a similar manner). I learned that duplicating a structure is far easier than duplicating success with that structure. So they start out disadvantaged in the first place. I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing, am already at the top of the search engines, and already have an established satisfied customer base. Anyone trying to duplicate my success without my help is going to be fighting an uphill battle to begin with, and is more likely to crash and burn than to succeed. So I really don’t have to fear them as serious competition.

Secondly, we have structures they cannot see, and CANNOT steal. We have proprietary software that they cannot access. They don’t even know that it exists, and there is no access to it. I suppose they could buy it along with our other customers who purchase our proprietary software, but I’ve learned that most people who will steal a site structure won’t invest anything else in their business – if they aren’t willing to invest the time to do their own, they don’t invest money to do it right, either.

Our software is a HUGE key to our success. It allows us to streamline our operations and profit where others burn out. Our auto-installer saves us about half an hour per contract. We are implementing elements in it that will save us an additional 2 hours per contract.

We also use special systems and methods for creating the custom parts of the contract. These methods speed up the personalization process, saving an us an additional 2-4 hours per contract.

We have more automation in the works – to speed up site updates, and to speed up maintenance of the automation itself.

These investments mean that we can AFFORD to keep our prices reasonable, and we won’t burn out under a workload that is higher than we estimated. Everyone else has to match our pricing to compete – and if they do so, they’ll go under, because the workload is just too high for anyone who has more than a handful of sites to administrate. Our prices are such that you CANNOT profit by offering the same things we do, unless you do it the SAME WAY we do. And they can’t do that – because they are unwilling to invest either the work, or the money.

We have also invested in making our structure more functional. This is the part they see, and the part they want to steal. We’ll be encoding some of the source, and using other options to protect it, though we’d rather not have to.

Because of those two individuals, and because of other lazy individuals like them, we have to make our Terms of Service stricter for everyone. We have to encode our source code, and we have to do other things that we’d rather not do. Sad, really. They make it worse for everyone.

The only hope is that they’ll learn from their mistake. Because I have no doubt that they are in for a rude awakening.

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