Logo Drama!

September 30, 2007 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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I woke up not too long ago to find an e-mail on my Blackberry Pearl notifying me that I’ve apparently been “caught” and that I’m scum for “scamming people”.

Whoa.

Apparently, it stemmed from a recent post on JohnCow.com (Note, Cow.com, not JohnChow.ca). Here is what he wrote:

Tyler Cruz dot Com seems to have found the same logo/mascot designer as we used for our header, Sosfactory dot Com, but it looks like he’s trying to pull a cheap trick to con his readers!

He’s claiming that that mascot of his was “just” $500 and that anyone that wants a “cheap” mascot like that too, needs to contact him. What a load of cow-crap! Those logo’s run for a couple of hundred dollars less! Not only is he trying to con his readers by making them pay more and pocket the difference, he’s also is not supporting the awesome Sosfactory guys that did his logo design this way. Not cool Tyler.”

Sigh. Nice reporting. You sure did your research Mr.Cow. Normally I don’t give people who post and troll for linkbait, the time of my day and attention they want and are baiting, but when people are creating slanderous tales trying to ruin my reputation (whatever that may be now), I feel the need to respond.

First of all, I should note that Mr.Cow never contacted me nor asked me any questions. Instead, he assumed the worst and concocted this tale for obvious linkbaiting reasons. I’ll try to clear things up as best as I can now, before more people start jumping on the bandwagon and believing anything they read (read his comments. To those of you who aren’t making your decision until you’ve read my response, thank you).

Why not divulge who did your logo?

Did SOSFactory.com do my logo? Yes, they did. And they (two guys) are absolutely fantastic as I had already stated.

Many of you wonder why I did not divulge who they were. I went through this before already when I found a new vBulletin skinning company: good freelance work, logo designers, vBulletin skinners, and yes, even cartoon and mascot designers are hard to find. For web publishers like me who seek the best, they are truly rare gems to find.

It is against my own best interest, then, to shout their name from the rooftops for the following obvious reasons:

  • They will become too busy due to an influx of work and popularity, making turnaround times longer, and making waiting lists extremely long.
  • Their prices will hike up through time as demand increases
  • And lastly, my competition now has a good resource to use.

I learned this fact after first using vBulletinSkinz.com almost couple years ago, only to have them become unavailable to me after many people found out about them from my sites, as they became too swamped with work.

Why did you lie about paying $500?

That’s strange, I don’t remember ever stating I paid $500. Here is exactly what I wrote:

“I’d highly recommend him, and he only charges $500.”

I paid, as JohnCow.com pointed out, $250. So why then am I stating that he charges $500?

Well, believe it or not, I was trying to help Sergio out (SOSFactory’s owner).

After my logo was finalized and he sent me the PSD, I told him straight out that he was charging too little and should increase his price. I even told several other people this on MSN who can testify to this.

He does such great work that I feel it’s wrong for him to only be getting $250 per mascot, and told him he could probably get $500-$750, and that’d I’d probably be willing to pay up to $1,000.

The following screenshots are part of the MSN conversation I had with Sergio:

Continued…

Continued…

If somebody thinks those screenshots of my MSN history are doctored or made up, you can ask Sergio for yourself.

As you can see, contrary to Mr.Cow’s statement of:

“he’s also is not supporting the awesome Sosfactory guys that did his logo design this way. Not cool Tyler.”

…I was actually trying to help him get more money for his logos. And obviously Sergio had agreed with this and knew about all of this before I posted it; I had asked his permission first. The above screenshots should explain everything.

But weren’t you still trying to make a buck?

Of course. In fact, it was Sergio who first suggested it when he responded “if you do it you are my agent” when I said “I bet I could get you customers who would get you $500-$1000″.

Another reason I kept SOSFactory a secret was because if people knew who they were, they might find out from other sources that he used to charge only $250 and then try to get it for his old price. I don’t know if Sergio is going to stick to my $500 suggestion now, but I certainly hope he does, because he’s definitely worth it.

My final thoughts on the matter

The only thing I think I’d do differently next time would be to be more clear that I didn’t pay $500 but that is how much he charges now.

I’m pretty mad at Mr.Cow for making those accusations about me on his blog, without even taking the smallest attempt to find out the facts. Again, he never asked me anything, but instead posted it on his blog, and then messaged me on MSN this morning stating “I just posted about your scam on my blog. Feel free to post your response.”

I find it interesting that he had the time to try to get me to respond to his linkbait (which unfortunately worked I must say), but not the time to find out the facts before slandering me.

For those people that have already made up your mind about me after reading and believing what Mr.Cow said, I feel sorry for you that you’re so easily manipulated and swayed.

For those of you who waited for my response, thank you for not jumping to conclusions and believing everything you read.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below, subscribing to my RSS feed, or following me on Twitter.
Posted: September 30th, 2007 under Miscellaneous  

47 Responses to “Logo Drama!”

  1. trigatch4 says:

    I understand why you were reluctant to publicize the logo designer’s name as you’re right… it’s hard to find reliable people like this that consistently pump out great work. I also can see how you tried to work with him to promote his business, earn a little more while also getting paid yourself… I have no problem with that.

    But personally, I think the relationship with this designer is more important. Plug him. Get him work for free. Recommend him. And then guess what… if he knows you’re helping him out, he’ll help you out in return. He’ll bump you to the front of his work line if you need something turned around quickly. He’ll make more changes/revisions than he would a normal client. He’ll give you price breaks. If you truly think you found a “gem” than instead of trying to keep him to yourself and hide your affiliation I believe you should work on building a strong open relationship. You’ll find it much more effective.

    Also… not sure if he had an opinion about this after the John Cow post but if not… I’d pull the post down until he approves it. Even though you’re just talking business it sounds a little bit like you’re “conspiring” to the haters and critics. Make sure he’s okay with you posting screen shots of your conversations… simply out of respect.

    But when it comes down to it… it’s a nice logo and as far as John Cow goes.. almost any publicity is good publicity.

  2. john Cow says:

    Just registered to be polite and reply:

    You just confirmed what we said. You’re pocketing $150 from your readers each time you refer one to Sergio. It would be nice if you mentioned it and made your plan clear from the get go. That way any assumptions that could have, and are in fact made, could be avoided.

    As far as how busy they would get after you told the world about their services: You’re no ShoeMoney and don’t have the online profile to brag that much.

    As far as stating that he only charges $500, that’s misleading people. Most people reading that sentence would assume you did pay $500.

    “Again, he never asked me anything, but instead posted it on his blog, and then messaged me on MSN this morning stating “I just posted about your scam on my blog. Feel free to post your response.”” Since you’re so clear in pasting all your conversations with Sergio, why change what we said to you on MSN? We said the following: “18:33:21 http://www.johncow.com: I’ve posted about you in regards to your logo.
    18:33:40 http://www.johncow.com: feel free to reply and explain your actions.”

    We stand by our initial opinions on this matter..

  3. krillz says:

    “Their prices will hike up through time as demand increases”

    Yet you increase it yourself, which is really not cool, as they charge a lot less in reality. Well congrats you managed to increase the price without revealing the source. I have to say that was impressive!

    And what are you mad about, from what I can see Cow was right, they did not charge $500, and you were trying to get a cut from it.
    In a way you were trying to hustle your readers, he was right on those points, I guess you’re angry with the fact that it came out.

    And wouldn’t you be mad if I sold you a gadget for $500 that you later see in the shop for $200?

    # And lastly, my competition now has a good resource to use.

    Like they wouldn’t know about that, a quick search, or asking around would get them there anyway. Unless the rest of the people here around are as selfish and egoistic as you are, then they wouldn’t, but thankfully most people respect others and want to help them out if they can. Secondly not all would jump on and buy a mascot right away so that point falls out.

    My last question for you is, so you were aiming to bump up the price to $500 for all others, and still get new work done for the old price?

    Your explanation here just proved what a person you are, you would have done yourself a favour by not replying to it, as you just blew your reputation out the window.

  4. smemon says:

    hmm..

    i admire Tyler’s honesty, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to mis-lead readers..

    like johncow, i would have assumed Tyler paid $500 for the logo and as tyler mentioned that figure, i would have assumed that was the going rate for these guys..

    had johncow not forced more clarity on the issue, there are a few guys out there who could have been scammed out of a few hundred dollars extra..

    sure, from Tyler’s point of view it’s easy money if he thinks he can profit out of it, but it’s at the expense of some unsuspecting readers which at the end of the day, are the guys who matter most.

    put it this way, had you just paid $500 for a logo design, when the REAL rate was $250, would you be happy? No. Because you’d just ‘lost’ $250.

  5. [...] dosage of blog updates. Apparently for today, there’s a drama over two bloggers, namely Tyler Cruz and the [...]

  6. DotDriven says:

    It’s pretty obvious that it ends up link bait for all 3 (cow, cruz and sergio) but in the end it does feel pretty cheesy seeing you do that Tyler. I mentally rolled my eyes when you pulled the whole “I’ll tell you the vb skinners info if you pay me” bit a while back as well. But this is even a bit more sneaky.

    If you really cared about helping Sergio out why not plug him and just tell him to raise it rates. Why take a (pretty large) cut by trying to take advantage of your readers? I mean, we all know most bloggers are pretty much out for themselves and everything they do is more selfserving than helpful (cow and even chow included). That is pretty accepted but it’s nice to know about it regardless. Hell, your loyal readers may have wanted to pay the hike just to support you as well if you made that clear rather than sneaking in the difference.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do agree that it is a good business move to keep your good resources secret but you lose that argument in a way when you are willing to sell it out. If that was really a concern you wouldn’t share it regardless.

    in the end, hopefully Sergio will get more business, make some extra cash without someone trying to take a cut and see who his real allies are. Sergio, I can’t afford $500…hell, I can’t afford even $250 but I am a fan of the work I have seen so keep it up. The work you do speaks for itself, you don’t need anyone filtering your customers ;).

    Tyler, I usually agree with a lot of your post but a bit disapointed this time.

  7. DotDriven says:

    ps the screens of the messenger chats seem to be offset some where your name appears where he was talking and such.

  8. cashquests says:

    Not cool. You got a good price and then pumped it up to sell to your readers…not cool at all. You could have offered the same price and just kept a 10% cut but actively working to increase the price for your readers is just evil.

    A lot of your reasoning just comes across as excuses to me. You didn’t want him to get too busy but you still gave people an option to contact him (via you). That would still work to send business his way so that doesn’t make much sense. Also, you talk about wanting to help him out, but you don’t want to send too much business his way?? That seems a bit hypocritical in my mind.

    Consider this analogy – I bought a great car for $25000 and my friend loves it and asks me where I got it so he can get one too. I tell him that I’ll take him there but it’s worth $50000 so you’ll have to pay that. And then you keep $15000 of the price – You wouldn’t be friends for long!!

    I don’t care if you were trying to make a buck or not or why it happened or what your intentions were – the truth is that you gave your readers and INCREASED price. That’s taboo. You should only offer your readers the same, or a reduced price. Sure you can take a commission but making them pay more than what they could get if you weren’t involved is pretty much ripping your readers off. Evil.

    • Jez says:

      Surprised to see you getting

      “cheap thrills and attention by bashing others” CC.

      Why are you calling out other scams… to gain trust and credibility so you can pull bigger scams of your own perhaps???

      Pot calling the kettle black….

    • Matt Jones says:

      I agree with you CashQuests. It is “evil”, which at the moment seems to mean something that will be disapproved of by extreme white hatters but will make the cash. Is that so bad? Is what either of them did so bad? It’s this sort of scandal that makes the world go round.

      I’m not saying I would do the same on Blogging Fingers, because unlike johncow it is not the sort of site that thrives on this sort of this sort of event. I disagree that the buzz from all this will die down and be meaningless. Both johncow and Tyler have come out on top. People may not “like” johncow as much, but they will still read his blog. Now that Tyler has responded the same thing goes for him.

  9. Wow big drama,

    This post is just link bait and reduces your reader ship check the feedburner stats.

    dam for $150 you’d go that far? just put up adsense and make over $50 a day in profit

  10. Jay R says:

    Coming clean about being deceitful doesn’t amend the fact that you were, plain and simple, being deceitful. Funny thing is that the only reason I stay RSS subscribed here is for the occasional train wreck that seems to happen here every few months or so like this one… so I guess my comment doesn’t really make sense since this is the kinda stuff I stop by to see here ;-)

  11. IP says:

    This blog is part of his business. He doesn’t hide that fact, if anything, he openly publicises it. He’s here to make money. He shares free information in return for the little revenue this blog earns. He isn’t your friends, you’ve not been deceived. He had a business opportunity and took advantage. How many of you guys wouldn’t do the same?

    The way I see it, $200, $250, $500 – whatever. If Tyler put a site up tomorrow offering the design service at $500 – what interest is it of you guys how much he’s outsourcing the projects for? It’s business in its simplest form, buying at one price and selling for profit.

    This blog is a business. Remember that. If you’re questionning this, you should question every company who bills you for something and sources that something at a cheaper price.

    The only person to benefit from this is the artist and deservedly so. Great work, whatever the price.

  12. Austin says:

    I’m not that big of a fan of yours Tyler, but in this case I think you were right. I would protect my gems til death and even try to make money off them, too. Also, it’s wrong of John Cow to post that shit without talking to your first or getting all the facts from Sergio as well.

    This is the internet everyone and if you try to stay 100% positive morals you aren’t going to make any money.

  13. Chris Bowyer says:

    I don’t normally comment here, but I do read from time-to-time. But now, I’m not sure why I should. Time is precious enough without spending it reading blogs that knowingly and intentionally hide the best resources from their readers.

    Anyway, I won’t pretend to know what was going through Tyler’s head, but I do know that the numerous explanations offered create a number of contradictions, which is usually what happens when people try to come up with explanations after-the-fact.

    For example, how can Tyler simultaneously be trying to help SOSFactory, and not want to send them too much business? And why would he willing deny a “good resource” for his “competition,” yet regularly post case studies and development tips? Is this blog supposed to help other developers, or not?

    And, let’s be honest: a blog would have to be several magnitudes of size larger than this for there to be a “flood” of recommendations. That’s not a slight at Tyler, that’s just reality. I would guess that very few blogs have that kind of weight.

    I think Tyler just needs to decide what this blog is; it it just a log of his thoughts, poker-playing, and another avenue from which to make money, or is it a genuine resource to other developers? It’s pretend to be the latter, but in his efforts to defend himself from John Cow, I think he unwittingly revealed to everyone that, at least up until this point, it has completely been the former.

  14. Jez says:

    And this ‘business’ tried to pull one over on its customers and got called out by a competitor hoping to take some of its market share for itself.

    Do you not think JC is a business ?????

  15. Ok, so Tyler tried to make some money. READ HIS BLOG!!! He is all about making money. He switched over to doing PayPerPost, and he does every review he can, for the money. He has very good points for everything that he did. I don’t understand where anyone is coming from saying he is deceitful, blah blah.

    If he wants to make a cut because he found a great resource, and he was willing to share that resource with everyone else, so be it. I have seen a lot of far worse crap out there. Like lying about getting sued and closing your site.

    • Chris Bowyer says:

      I don’t have much interest in getting dragged into some ongoing debate here, but I feel the need to reply to this “he’s just trying to make money” meme that seems to be popping up a bit.

      Nobody denies that Tyler was upfront about wanting to make money. And nobody’s claiming that it’s wrong to want to make money, either. What is being claimed is that it was done so dishonestly; the language was sneaky, and it put profit before usefulness to its readers.

      In other words, the problem is not that this blog exists to make money; it’s that it exists to make money, even at the expense of the readers who make it possible.

      You mention PayPerPost, but those are clearly marked, and — amazingly — no one complains. There is no reason a blog cannot try to make money in an open and upfront manner. And if it doesn’t want to, then it should never imply to be even an occasional resource for developers.

  16. AndrewPatrick says:

    This is bullshit and hypocritical. Most business minded people would of done the same thing.

    John Cow is starting to irritate me.

    • john Cow says:

      You know the meaning of the word hypocritical? And most business minded people would value their reputation and relations with “customers” over a quick $150. It seems that some of you really see yourselves as customers to a business instead of readers to a blog.

      Your ignorance is starting to irritate me.

  17. SOSFactory says:

    Hello, this is Sergio Ordoñez from http://www.sosfactory.com

    I think its easier than it looks… I charge around 250 to 350US$ per mascot design, sometimes more,
    sometimes less. Any agent take a comission for his work (promoting the artist), if you use your
    resources and time to market anything I think is fair taking a comission.

    What is a fair price for this task?
    An agent usually takes around 20%. There are design companies who charge 800 US$ per mascot
    desing (done by me) and they pay me just 250US$.

    Tyler is just selling, like all the others do, take a big blog with making money theme, rest advertising,
    autopromotion and paid reviews… what do you have?

    Its just business.
    Cheers.
    Sergio

  18. Tyler, as much as I didn’t like this admission, John Cow appears to have pulled a MUCH faster one on his readers:

    Total earnings for September: $3,338.40.

    Nice! And we were aiming for the 2k barrier! There is a slight change of plans from this month going forward. We know we used to give away half of our advertising earnings, but since we quit our day jobs, we really can’t afford to give away such a chunk of cash anymore. The blog money is now what pays for our rent, food and clean underwear. We hope you understand. To make up for this month’s winner’s loss, we’ll be giving them a free review worth $200, and an ad spot in the RSS feeds. Browie, we hope you won’t mind but you won this month!”

    So I replied:

    You berated Tyler for trying to make $150 off his readers?

    Well you just went back on a published offer to give $1,669.20 to your readers by saying you aren’t gonna give away half your month’s earnings. Sure, you’re gonna give them a $200 review free, but they’re still losing out on $1,469.20 – almost TEN TIMES the amount you screwed at Tyler for cheating his readers out of.

    Now, I’m betting quite a few were followers of this blog because of that prize money – I’m betting they feel quite scammed. Hypocrites.

    And then noticed this post so posted:

    *Cough*hypocrites*cough*: “Just imagine us telling whoever wins the $500 cash competition that it didn’t go as well as we’d like and we’re deciding to keep $400 for ourselves. We’d end up on someones BBQ for sure!

    So yeah – at least you can admit to your ‘cheating’. Whilst I may not like it (I am an up-and-comer and can’t even buy a mascot I’d like for $300ish – let alone $500ish), it is how you have always been. You haven’t ever been a hypocrite. John Cow always has been.

    • john Cow says:

      You’re the true definition of the word “fanboy”. Why not post the rest of your comments where you admit you were ranting without actually understanding what you were reading Sparky?

      Hope you get a cookie for your good behavior.

  19. I am impressed how you have managed to ignore most of this Tyler

  20. I think that this has escalated into more than what it is, a mountain has been made out of a molehill.

    As some of you know, SOS Factory did a logo for me around 6 months ago. As has been said many times, the guys from SOS Factory are great to work with. Quick, well priced and they have given me tips and advice on some things since then for free.

    First of all, I think John Cow was wrong to write about Tyler before getting the facts. Think most people would agree with that.

    I also think that there is nothing wrong with Tyler promoting Sergio’s work and taking a cut. Its just a sales fee and if he can get a few hundred dollars for it then good for him. SOSFactory’s work is underpriced in my opinion but as Sergio pointed out, until they are turning customers down every other day they would be shooting themselves in the foot by increasing the price.

    However, I think Tyler made a mistake with the way he worded the pitch in his post. It was very misleading and I can understand why some people are annoyed with it. I think it was written as a personal recommendation but was really a sales pitch. However, as many have pointed out, Tyler has been very open about the fact that he intends to make money from this blog etc.

    I do not read JohnCow on a regular basis and I have not spoke with him personally so I can’t really comment on him :) I did speak with Sergio about this the other day on msn messenger and he told me that he had no problem with Tylers post and that Tyler was good to work with. I have also paid for advertising on one of Tylers sites before and he was nothing but professional which is which is why I believe that all of this is just something out of nothing. :)

    I will say though, I think some people are blind to the fact that a lot of bloggers give personal recommendations because they will get a good commission. I dont personally have a major problem with this but clearly some bloggers do and perhaps that is why some people are not happy with the way Tyler wrote his post.

    For example, the majority of top blogs with high feed counts all recently raved about blogrush even though it was, excuse my french, shit. However, very few people criticized these bloggers even though their reviews were very very biased (and why wouldnt it be, they were in a position to get a lot of referrals and get a lot of free traffic to their sites by hyping it up).

    anyways, im off on a tangent now! haha

    to summarise – JC was wrong to post before getting the facts, TC’s post was a misleading and overall, its just a difference of opinion thats been blown out of proportion :)

    • krillz says:

      yeah you take a cut, you do not raise the price yourself and count that as a cut. unethical…

      • it depends on how you view it. I dont believe Sergio offered to give Tyler a discount if he could get him a sale. ie. if Sergio doesnt want to make less money then Tyler has to raise the price to make any money from promoting it.

        It’s known as a finders fee. Many affiliate networks use it. For example, as a templatemonster affiliate you can lower your rate so that customers get a good deal. Some affiliates do this, others dont.

  21. SMM Guru says:

    To late now, COW got exactly what he wanted…

  22. vincent says:

    Seem’s someone is trying to set you up!!
    There are 2 ways to come to the top. A good one and an evil one.
    The good one is to do your best to try to reach the top,
    i’ll prefer this one as it makes you take the best out of you.
    And needless to say, there is the evil way. You just remain at your position and
    make everything to make the people above you fall. This is not nice but many people do that.

  23. Mark W says:

    John Cow should definitely have contacted you before making such accusations on his site. And I wonder how many of you criticising Tyler would have done the same when put in that position.

  24. whens the new layout coming out?

  25. [...] his readers into paying more than they should for a designer’s services.  Tyler, of course, defended himself.  The results?  81 comments on Cow’s post and 40 on Tyler’s.  As far as I can tell, [...]

  26. Gasmoney says:

    seems like a good way to create a buzz for his blog. seems like you fell for it but im sure it works out for both of you. good stuff.

  27. [...] curious to know since there’s an interesting issue going on with TylerCruz and JohnCow.com  over who knows Sergio first( Sosfactory dot [...]

  28. I’ve read most of these posts and I still don’t feel swayed in my opinions. I’ve been following Tyler’s blog for a couple of years now off and on and I’ve been really inspired by a lot of his work. And the way I see it he tells you from the beginning what he is… an internet entreprenuer. I don’t claim to know what he was thinking when he did it, but I know what I would be thinking. And I even remember him talking about it in the post when I originally read it. He’s not going to give out a resource for nothing. And that according to everything that I’ve studied regarding marketing says that it was good marketing tactics with clever wording. You are exposed to it everday in the media. Take a college course in marketing then come back and tell me that they don’t play on emotions and needs of the consumer to make money. I understand that running a blog creates a sense of communal trust, but essentially Tyler is here for the same reason you are here reading his posts. To learn and make money. He’s learning just like the rest of us. And to be given a good reliable source for top quality material is worth $150 to Tyler to me. It seems to me that if I was in his position it would be a great 3 way compromise. Make more for your source, therefore establishing more of a trusting business relationship with your graphic designer. Who wouldn’t want that? Then he gets to give an excellent resource to his users, and to keep him from worrying about his source getting out he also makes some off the top. Seems like a pretty sweet deal for everyone. And I’m more than certain that there are many people complaining that use similar techniques in search engine optimization and marketing. This is a business, he’s an entreprenuer, and he was using marketing tactics… get over it. Thanks for the resource Tyler.

  29. Daniel says:

    I think people missed the point period on this one. The designer who created the logo obviously did a great job, one worthy of $500 or more. His time is more valuable than that of someone with less talent.

  30. It’s awesome in favor of me to have a web site, which is helpful in support of my experience. thanks admin

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