Friendly Competition: Not So Friendly Anymore

Filed as Features on October 15, 2007 6:10 pm

Competition is a good thing in any business. It drives up quality and often drives price down. Competition in the WordPress theme design business is good thing as well, and we’ve seen some great quality in the premium themes that have been released recently, as I mentioned last week. You can get a very professional site for a very reasonable price, and it has been great for the community of WordPress users. My question is, why can’t we keep this competition friendly?


Small Potato, Adii and Brian Gardner, all excellent designers, have all released magazine style themes lately. Adii said that he didn’t like Brian’s Revolution theme, and then released a theme called “Your Revolution is a Joke” (the name was later changed to just “Your Revolution”). Small Potato offered a balanced review of Brian’s theme, but then in his most recent post, says that the themes designed by Adii, to be sold through Unique Blog Design, “suck” and that Adii is a “subtlety-intolerant, contrast-intolerant, design-flow-intolerant, and focus-intolerant” designer.

Small Potato seemed genuinely surprised that Adii was offended by his comments, and Adii said it wasn’t his “plan” to be offensive to Brian in the naming of his theme, all the while preaching that Small Potato should have taken the “high road”.

Are you serious?

Brian seems to be the only one taking the high road here. In what parallel universe do you live, that you would so openly slam someone’s work with pointed, personal attacks and not expect them to be offended? It is also speaks volumes about Nate Whitehill & Co.’s level of professionalism, to offer a theme through Unique Blog Designs called “Your Revolution is a Joke”.

The thing is, Adii is a good designer. Why act in such an unprofessional manner? Why copy the name (and even the layout) of Brian’s theme? He only makes himself look bad by doing so. Ditto to Small Potato. Objective criticism is a good thing, and any designer worth his salt is open to that, especially when it comes from a colleague. But, while anyone is certainly free to express their own opinions on their own blog, expressing them so rudely says more about the writer than the one being criticized.

Bottom line: let’s all take the high road and keep the competition friendly. There is absolutely no need to sling mud — it just gets everyone dirty.

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  1. By Armen posted on October 15, 2007 at 11:18 pm
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    Interesting take on the issue Randa. I wrote about it, but it was more centred on learning from the situation. You’ve brought more of your thoughts into view, which maybe makes for a more interesting read :)

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  2. By Ryan Imel posted on October 16, 2007 at 5:15 am
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    Well put, Randa. Well put.

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  3. By raj posted on October 17, 2007 at 11:59 pm
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    Great piece, Randa. I started following Adii and Small Potato’s blogs recently, only to find what they were saying quite suprising. More so b/c Brian’s theme is far superior than the magazine themes by Adii and SP.

    I was surprised to read Adii’s comments, too. I’ve stopped reading both blogs and plan on spending more money buying Brian’s Themes.

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  4. By David B. posted on October 24, 2007 at 2:21 am
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    I’m not sure how I even got dragged into all this, I think I was looking for something, clicked on an interesting link and clicked on something else and landed on SP’s site. First time I had ever been there, I didn’t land on the home page and read a few articles and said wow, this ‘kid’ has some great in-sight on site design, might add him to the daily read.

    Then I go to the home page and read that story and then read all 90 comments( not sure how that happened :D ) Man how unprofessional can you get I thought, I almost went so far as to make a comment, then I came across your track back and reading here -the back story- it all makes sense.

    And the comments, sheesh, people complaining over $79 WP themes, as a contract designer I charge $560 for a photoshop mock, not to mention creating fully html/css template. People need to get out more.

    All that to say I 100% agree with you and will not be adding SP to my daily read, but I will be adding this site. Thanks for the clarity in all this immature testosterone driven fog.

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