Over the past 48 hours, Peak Studios has caused hundreds of internet marketers to express their amazement, support, and very little criticism of my overblown response to Jeremy Wyss’s blackmail threat, which he carried out yesterday.
In a nutshell, here are a few indisputable facts –
- In October 2008, I made a very friendly and amicable phone call to Peak Studios in Colorado, about some unsavory tactics that were used by an employee of theirs. I did it because I thought the business owner should know that he had someone doing this, but it never dawned on me that it only scratched the surface of what this company was up to.
- In December 2008 I found out about a fake Google profile review on my business, but first did some investigative research, and proved using video, that Peak Studios was leaving fake negative reviews not only for MY business, but on the COMPETITORS of their CLIENTS websites too. That post immediately began to rank on Google’s page 1 for their name, and I completely forgot about it.
- 14 months later – yesterday, I received an e-mail threat from the co-owner of Peak Studios, Jeremy Wyss, (not from Quince Wyss) that if I did not remove my old post, that he would e-mail all of my clients, and tell them just what sort of person I am. I then wrote about the attempted Peak Studios blackmail and posted his threatening email in it’s entirety.
- Last night, more emails were sent out, and this morning, I’ve already had to talk to 5 people about, as one of them put it, “some cryptic email that told us to’ watch out’ for Scott Hendison”, and wanted to know what it was all about.
So, this post isn’t about who’s right or who’s wrong but more importantly, what’s WRONG with me? Why do I continue to write about this? Why do I feel is worthy of wasting even more of my time?
I’ve been engaging in a bit of introspection, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far, but I’m sure there’s more…
1. To Protect Our Industry
I value the internet marketing industry greatly, as it’s made me comfortable living for the past umpteen years. Its companies like Peak Studios and people like Quince and Jeremy Wyss that continue to give it a black eye. The VAST majority of used car salesmen, lawyers, life insurance agents, and yes, even Internet marketers, are trying to do the best job they can ethically, yet our industry is continually perceived with the negative light of “snake oil salesmen and dirty tactics.
2. I’m Having Fun
Look, I REALLY enjoy my work, but there’s nothing quite like having a FULL BLOWN PASSION for the subject at hand, and really being able to crush it on a campaign.
I’ve said for years that SEO is almost like playing a real time strategy video game, which I unfortunately almost never get to do anymore, and this allows me to do something I enjoy with some extra enthusiasm that I don’t often have anymore. I’m lovin’ it!
3. I’m Angry
I admit having an almost sadistic mean streak when it comes to people who refuse to admit they are wrong. A therapist would probably say it comes from my father, whom I love to death, but will NEVER admit when he’s wrong.
My whole life I’ve gone overboard in being the first to take the blame when I really AM wrong, and not “sticking to my opinion” at all costs like a baseball umpire.
For example, I’m probably wrong by continuing to write at this very moment by wasting time here instead of doing actual “work”, but…
4. My Ego
In the e-mail that Jeremy Wyss sent to my contacts, he repeatedly said that “Scott’s ego” is the problem. Well, I plead guilty as charged, and yes, being able to work in my industry, ranking highly for their individual and company names does feed my ego, but it that a crime?
On the other hand, what THEY were doing, leaving fake reviews for their client competitors, might actually be ILLEGAL in Colorado, mightn’t it?
5. For Demonstration Purposes
Really, if you think about it, this whole process is pretty educational from an internet marketing 101 perspective . ot only does it teach some SEO ethics, but it also demonstrates the power of a few links, some social media, and the power of the internet in general.
In fact, I’m thinking of coming back someday and making a video series out of this whole fiasco, showing the various search results, and Peak Studios slow but steady decline into oblivion, as I bring safety and security to the people of Boulder.
I’ve heard back from a second attorney now, because I did want to sue him for defamation, but he too told me it was a waste of time.
The price tag he gave me to pursue Quince, Jeremy, and Peak Studios is far too high, and he also said that I would have to show damages. Since I’ve had zero negative response from almost anyone, and haven’t lost any business or income, there are no damages.
In fact, he said, other than a vague “Scott’s not looking out for youre best interests” there wasnt anything really defamatory – which is why I blogged about the blackmail in the first place!
7. It Feels Good
Have you ever been so angry that you can’t think straight, but you can’t do anything about it? Isn’t that the worst feeling? Luckily for me, I do have the resources and knowledge to do something about it, which is to warn others about an unscrupulous company in the industry I work in. It feels REALLY good, and when thats something that wont make me fat, give me cancer, or ultimately force me into a 12 step program, I tend to obsess.
8. I Haven’t Won Yet
I am one competitive SOB, and I’m not ashamed of that. Over the fall of 2008, I tried multiple times to take the high road, but a turkey that drowns by staring into the rain cannot be reasoned with. After their malicious attempt at damaging my family income, I will not be satisfied until they’re off page 1 entirely, or they’re charged with a crime by the Colorado Attorney General
9. I Have The Time
One of the benefits of being self employed is that I make my own schedule, and set my own priorities, and I really enjoy that. That freedom is what allows me to go snowboarding mid-week, or coach my kids’ little league team, or in this case, make a complete fool out of myself fight evil where I find it.
Seriously, it’s with no shame and full transparency that I’m trying to make a shift from being an SEO consultant to providing some very cool white label WordPress SEO tools, and so of course I want some links!
Can you imagine what the groupthink session would have to be like?
The first person says, “Okay, let’s invent a character in your industry that is not only shady and underhanded, but he’s actually harming clients too – then – you expose him!”.
Someone else would pipe up from another chair, “Wait, even better, let’s make him appear so incompetent, that he doesn’t even realize he’s done anything wrong in the first place!”
As everyone is nodding in agreement, someone else would chime in, “Wait wait, I’ve got it! Let’s come back to it over a year later, and have this guy try to BLACKMAIL them for posting the expose in the first place!”
I can see them all ROTFL right now, can’t you? ( I love meetings like that, and it reminds me of camp.)
There you have it, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, on exactly why I’m on this mission to make the truth about Peak Studios unavoidable.
For those that haven’t seen it, here’s the video…
That version from YouTube has been disabled, so here’s a copy…
Do you agree or disagree? Why not write your own blog post telling me where I’ve gone wrong, or suggesting some more legitimate and effective tactics for spreading the word?