Yesterday, I smiled. A lot.
I received an email from Tim Smith (Fusetastic) which said, in part:
Micah is at the top of the Infusionsoft pack. Find out in a few minutes what took him 5 years of trial and error with Infusionsoft. There's a reason the biggest names in the business turn to Micah for help with their launches.
As I thought of the many fires I had to put out over the past 18 months, I had to smile. In a sense, Tim's mail doesn't really contradict my own experience. After all, if it takes someone 5 years to learn Infusionsoft, it's natural for fires to erupt all over the place. And to impart five years' worth of trials and errors in "just a few minutes" just seemed so out of touch with reality. So I just smiled.
But today, I smiled again. I had to. More than yesterday. A lot more!
Kyle Leavitt's latest email triggered that one.
By now, most people know what really happened and I don't want anyone to interpret my "smile" as condoning Kyle's or anyone's untruth. I really don't.
Above all, I also don't want anyone to think that I relish anyone's apparent despair, especially Kyle's if it were the case. I don't.
Here's the part that made me think Kyle's email was - in its own way - funny, even if he seems to have hit a low "marketing" point:
p.s. Don't mind the references to InfusionWP...he recently switched to CustomerHub and is still in the process of updating his materials to reflect that.
As everyone knows, Micah didn't "switch". Micah was fired. In the process, he lost access to infusionWP and he had to settle for ... less. Why he would pick CustomerHub over WishList is a mystery since his site is already in WordPress. I have no issue with it as it was always clear that he would have to use a different system after getting fired. He settled for third best but it was his choice to make and I respect it and wish him success - as I trust he will - with his Mastery site.
Another item that made me smile was the one specific item that Kyle "conveniently" failed to mention.
Micah and his new partners - Bob Britton and Grant James - have a flagship product: Infusion Elite. Why Kyle wouldn't mention that Infusion Elite uses infusionWP is abundantly clear. Some may call it "marketing". I don't think so; instead, "smoke and mirrors" comes to mind... Bending the truth, whether by omission or commission, always raises questions as to the integrity of the message - sometimes even that of the messenger's. One should be careful not to indulge in such practices.
Fact: The inference that Kyle was trying to make is simply false.
I wonder why he chose this path rather that simply extoll the virtues of his platform without dragging infusionWP into it? Despair? For lack of an otherwise plausible or logical explanation, I can only imagine that the recent "gains" by infusionWP have led him to conclude that he had to "play hardball". I think it's silly. Unless Infused Systems is really "hurting", as Kyle would have us believe, there's really enough room (and work) for everyone.
How do I know? Over the past two years, I have seen first hand how the "Infusionsoft membership market" has moved.
As the older and better known product, CustomerHub has been able to attract most newcomers to Infusionsoft. As former Infusionsoft employees, Infused Systems still enjoys the loyalty of some former colleagues and they often get recommended by them. To this day, they are still leading us when it comes to Infusionsoft novices. As a simple turnkey system, it's sometimes the better choice for someone just getting started.
After a brief orientation period of 3-6 months, when CustomerHub users realize what their long term needs are, both in terms of flexibility and sophistication, they usually move up to infusionWP.
I can live with it: friendly and fair for all involved. At some point during InfusionCon 2010, I even offered Kyle to let us integrate parts of CustomerHub's billing system on a JV basis.
Just as Micah had to make a rational decision, given his limited remaining alternatives, I trust you, too, will make a rational decision, based on your needs and the alternatives available to you. It may be in favor of CustomerHub, if your needs are limited and prefer hosting your content on someone else's server, or it may be in favor of infusionWP, which even Micah touted as the best membership and integration platform available until his recent firing. Either way, the decision is yours to make and deserves to be respected.
I could provide a long list of CustomerHub users who have switched to infusionWP - maybe even you. I could tell you some of the horrors stories that were alleged. And I could mention lawsuits.
But why should it influence you? What may have been valid for each of the 100+ "converts" may not be valid for you. No amount of mud slinging will change that basic fact - tempting as it may be...
At the end of the day, it's about making the kind of rational decisions that businesses make every day.
And about being truthful - which should apply to both the message and the messenger.