This is the story of how something that started as horrible turned out to be positive, thanks to the indie community.
Late last week, somebody was visiting our logo generator site and started speaking with me on the live chat.
As the conversation started, I noticed that he had been using at least 9 different IPs during his visit. This info was given to me by the chat app.
This made me a bit suspicious, as we limit the number of logos one can generate from the same IP. Maybe he was trying to bypass it? Couldn’t be sure though, as lots of our customers are developers, and use VPNs all the time.
But as the conversation started, it raised even more red flags. Note: the first message is automated and sent whenever somebody signs up.
At this point I’m thinking that this guy is a bit cocky telling me « I would never buy it » but that it’s just that. Maybe it’s his personality? So I keep a helpful demeanor towards him. See how that turned out.
I was in shock.
This guy comes to our website, uses tons of different IPs to generate as many logos as he can, and tells me that he’s going to convert it to SVG and not pay us a dime. I felt horrible.
Also, my cofounder is my wife, and she designs all the logos (she’s done more than 600 so far). So as her husband I was feeling extra pissed.
I’ve been trying to be more active on Twitter lately, and so it was almost automatically that a few minutes after the conversation ended, I decided to share it.
I don’t know what triggered so much sympathy, but I soon received a huge influx of love from the community:
Interacting with people also helped me realize that this guy wouldn’t go very far with the stolen logo.
It’s the dumbest thing to do when you’re starting a business since the more you grow, the greater the damages to pay for infringement will be. In all likelihood, it shows that he’s not serious about his « hobby project », and that he’ll abandon it pretty quickly.
It was just one hour since that terrible conversation happened. Yet by being able to talk about it with people, and receiving so much support, I was starting to feel okay again. The community saved my day.
It seemed like some people also found the conversation funny. When I look at it from a certain angle, I can see why. The guy is so obnoxious that it’s hard not to laugh at him 😂.
The combination of shock + fun + sympathy made for a pretty good tweet, and it started blowing up:
I think it struck a chord with other makers because deep down we’re all scared that something like this happens to us.
What this teaches me is that although sharing your « wins » feels great, sharing your « losses » or moments of despair allows you to connect even more deeply with people. This was a beautiful realization for me.
A lot happened on that day.
It started off with some guy being a dick and bragging about stealing our work. I thought I was headed for a very low time emotionally.
But in mere hours, thanks to the support of the community and the success of the tweet, I got back on my feet. I also saw that this wasn’t such a big deal, since he won’t be able to do anything meaningful with it. So now I feel even better than before the whole thing.
One last thing, I actually replied to his last message. How do you think I handled it?
That’s all, folks! Don’t let assholes ruin your day 🔥🚀!