I’m Always First To Criticize But Today I’m Going to Compliment Rob Monster and Epik

May 19 2011

If you are going to run a business you’re going to encounter problems.  Things never go quite as expected and the sign of good businessman is not how many problems you have,  but how you handle them.  I applaud Rob Monster and the team at Epik for handling my problem admirably.

Rob and I have had our differences.  I think he’s a stand up guy, I just didn’t think his business model at Epik would work.  Despite my thoughts, I also know that I am often wrong as well, and decided to give it a shot.  During the process I did get a little frustrated and vented through my blog.  Each and every time, Rob did his best to personally answer and explain why and what was happening. I talked at length, face to face at DomainFest and left convinced of one thing.  One, I think I had gotten the flu and two, regardless of whether things panned out, Rob and his team are putting everything they have into their business.  When things go wrong they are just as frustrated as their users because they have 100X the money involved.  Their commitment to their project was reinforced when Braden Pollock (edited because I watch too much baseball) was added to the company.  Braden knows lead conversion as well as anyone in the industry and certainly could bring something to the table to help increase click rate and search engine rankings.

But for me it didn’t work out.  I didn’t get the results I was looking for and felt it was time to move on and Rob felt the same.  Rob and Epik could have given me a hard time about leaving but they didn’t.  They realize Epik is not for everyone and agreed to do a few things for me and that was it. No delays, no questions, only professionalism and courtesy.  And that’s why I am writing this.  I haven’t been paid or forced to write anything.  I’m saying it because quite often in business you work with people that are courteous and friendly when things are going well but the second they turn,  they become asses.  I appreciate Rob and the Epik team for their professional approach and would recommend that anyone explore a relationship with him and his company.  I only hope they can tweak their business model and get a little closer to where they want to be.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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22 comments

  1. Spike

    Did you get your money back? I’m not impressed with what I got for my money. I earned more parking my domains.

  2. Troy

    Sounds like we agree, Rob is seriously nice, Epik is seriously flawed.

    My sites are now de-indexed which means they are worth less than they were when they were parked pages.

    Oh well, you live and you learn.

  3. Troy

    It’s not just their fault? How is that?

    Thy built the sites that Google decided to deindex. Now we can probably say the job that they took on was a difficult one, but that does not mean that when they failed to do it that it was not their fault. Who’s fault would it be? I guess that to some degree it is my fault, but that is only because I trusted a company to do something that the ended up being unable to do. What they did was completely their fault, that I was on the receiving end of getting valuable domains deindexed is partially my fault. But they deindexing is all theirs.

    Would it be considered Google’s fault that they run a tight ship?

  4. Ryan

    Sounds like a paid endorsement, based on a refund, how much you charge per endorsement Shane $249?


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Ryan,

      I tell it like it is. If I have a problem with something I say what it is and why. If someone treats me well I say it. If it comes across like a paid endorsement then so be it. It’s still how I feel. I do this for fun. I don’t have to kiss anyone’s ass.

  5. deindexed

    The question is are they or any development company liable for de-indexing your site? Violating google tos is a no no and if it happened on their watch after they were paid to do it right who’s responsible???

  6. Jason Stewart

    Nothing to say except GREAT things about the entire Epik team. I have had email correspondence with many parts of the Epik team and spoken to Rob on the phone two times. Both times Rob took time out of his busy day to speak with me and give me straight-up great advice.

    I truly believe Epik will evolve to something great and that they are trying their best to get their….who else in the industry is putting in THIS much effort?

    I have told both Rob and the Epik team if they ever needed an endorsement I would provide it.

    While results may not be yet anywhere close to what I was hoping for it is absolutely no fault of Epik’s. Some people complain Epik is too expensive, I disagree, Epik offers great value for the effort they put in.

    So here’s my advice to anyone considering Epik: expecting overnight big profits? Don’t bother.

    Looking to build a brand and protect valuable domain assets, start talking with them today.

    Regardless of industry, if you would like to call me a customer, Epik has been the most game-changing end-user experience I have ever had. 10 thumbs up for Epik, Rob, Luke, Cliff and the entire team. {too many to mention}

    Cheers
    Jay

  7. Rob Monster - Epik

    Thanks for the post.

    Epik is taking somewhat of a lower profile these days, in part because we are hard at work refining our platforms, and growing our own portfolio. As an investment category, I am as bullish as ever about domain names as an asset class. I have blogged the reasons at length on the Epik blog.

    The drop is better than ever and we are putting a greater emphasis on developing domains and promptly selling to end-clients. That is working. The other thing that is working is hands-on domainers who add value to their sites. The passive owners are the ones who are missing the boat.

    It is great to see domainers experimenting with development. I have the opportunity to interact with a lot of folks who are going beyond parking. In the case of product portals, they were insanely successful for a while. Our new 3.0 portal layouts are a much richer experience and will soon feature continuous streaming of relevant content even for passive owners.

    As for refunds, it is true that we have been honoring our performance policy of recouping $249 within 12 months and/or buying out portfolios. That said, I do think it is much more sensible for owners to proactively engage in a dialog around how to *succeed* rather than to pre-suppose that they won’t succeed.

    Looking ahead, Epik has some pretty interesting things cooking, including one strategic move that I think will be of particular interest to domainers. Details to be announced in a couple of weeks.

  8. deindexed

    @mike
    log in to your gdaddy account
    go to domain manager
    go to tools
    go to exportable lists
    add new list
    click on whois searches
    and voila they send you the email letting you now it is available to download at the same location where you created the list request.

    cool feature.
    you could have always asked your gdady rep………….

  9. SL

    @Mike: One of the perks about being an exclusive domainshane.com member is Shane offers a free google lookup service. Whenever you need to look up something on the internet, just send him an email and he’ll drop everything and perform the search for you. The turnaround time is amazing.

    But that’s not all. The next time nature calls he’ll come to your house, perform an extensive analysis of the situation, then calculate just the right amount of toilet paper you should use.

    It’s all free, just ask him about it.

  10. SL

    @Shane: My stomach is feeling a little odd.

    After you’re done at Mike’s place, please come over to my house in about 15 minutes. Maybe sooner…

  11. steve

    @mike

    The whois lookup is there at godaddy. I used the tip and use it at godaddy a lot now. Sales reps at godaddy don’t always have the correct info. Shane gave us good info.

  12. Jeff Edelman

    I have found Rob to be a really stand-up guy. And he’s incredibly responsive and smart. What he’s been trying to do with Epik isn’t easy.

  13. Voice of Justice

    I agree with Domainer. Rob is a stand up guy until you ask for your money back. Then he becomes very contentious.

    I hope Epik abides by their guarantee of a full refund as stated on their own website to ALL customers and not just those with a public voice/blog.

    http://epik.com/blog/product-portals-make-money-guaranteed.html

    “There is no lock-in and if after 1 year on the platform, if you have not sold your domain or the site has not yielded at least $249 in gross revenue, we’ll refund you your setup fee, no
    questions asked”.

  14. Braden Pollock

    Shane, Thanks for the kind words.
    I’ve worked with Luke Webster since he first started DevRich. He is as honest as the day is long. When he agreed to be acquired by Rob Monster and Epik, one of his reasons was for doing the deal was his feelings about Rob. He told me that Rob was smart, successful and “a stand up guy”. After I got to know Rob, I felt the same way.
    Ultimately, I made a substantial investment in Epik and joined the Board because I believe in Epik and most importantly I believe in Rob.

Comments are closed.