They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And as a serial entrepreneur I’m well aware that when a product takes off, competitors will rush forward with “me too” projects.
But there’s a big difference between imitating a business model, and just copying vast chunks of a project from whole cloth.
So let’s look at (and laugh at) our latest copycat developer and his rather half-baked efforts to mimic BlockAdblock.com in the most blatant ways possible.
Enter, Michael Ghattas. This time, our copycat isn’t from a shadowy emerging market, but from just a few hours north in Canada. (And before you think we’re doxing him, he publicly identifies himself on his competing website, and even publicly provides his McGill email address and a photo of himself there. No I won’t reveal those here. He’s apparently already happy to attach his own name to the trainwreck we’re about to describe).
First off, Michael’s domain name is… surprise… exactly the same as ours, with a different domain extension. Right off the bat, it’s pretty clear he’s not one for originality. Now seriously, let’s just talk about this for a second: If someone were hell bent on copying a website, say for example, “HotOrNot.com” … even if you weren’t planning on blatantly cribbing their designs, what kind of an idiot calls their copycat site “HotOrNot.biz”? Seriously, what?
I know that already probably seems ridiculous enough, but no… We’re just getting started here:
Just as a reminder, here’s a shot from our clean and simple homepage at BlockAdblock.com
And here is a shot from Michael Ghattas’ homage to our humble design: (Note the header names and the icon choices)
But wait… there’s more…
You are of course by now familiar with BlockAdblock.com’s signature “block screen”:
Now (brace yourself) … this is the work of Michael Ghattas:
You’d think maybe he’d at least choose some different fonts, font-sizes, colors, css styles? Nah. Why bother. (If you’re wondering why he capitalizes “AD”, I have no idea either. Perhaps he thinks it’s an acronym)
Is the code cut and pasted? I invite you to immerse yourself in his page source and see for yourself. It’s just too painful to watch this catastrophe of copycat web-design to go any further in this post.
Suffice to say, there are at least a dozen other examples I could cite but you get the idea… I’ve seen some weak copies in my day, but this… This is patently ridiculous.
And so are you, Michael.
On Michael’s own site he uses the following words to describe himself:
Passion, creativity, diligence, adaptability, desire to learn and detail-orientedness are only some of the virtues that make me a valuable asset to a team.