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Discussion in 'vBulletin Discussions' started by Joe Ward, Jul 3, 2013.
I do support now on vBseo.
What's your username there? When did you start?
I got cricket-rolled!
Juan has privately admitted to his co-founder, Ilia, that vBSEO has failed and claims he plans to make an announcement.
It seems that he's now following my instructions advised in this thread - regarding disclosing to the community the state of the company.
I'm at least thankful that vBSEO customers and community members will finally be told the truth.
He made no mention of why he's neglected customers pleading for support in recent months.
He says he has no further intent to sell the company, citing non-specific reasons. However, the ultimate fate is a decision to be made by both co-founders. We can only speculuate, at this point, whether his decision to stop trying to sell vBSEO is due to agreements he has already made - or transactions that have already occurred. To be investigated.
He has not shut down the payment page, despite knowing his plans to terminate the company and extended absence of staff.
I certainly advise against further purchases at this point in time. Exercise your own judgement. In my opinion, this is a very bad purchase decision.
I've spoken behind the scenes, via PM and email, with both Raymond Lyle (CEO) and Jack Bafia (formerly COO, now President) for comment.
Both individuals willingly communicated with me, but I believe were purposefully non-specific about the precise relationship they have with Juan and when it was terminated.
In my opinion: all of these statements appear to be avoiding a direct response or to diminish the actual relationship between Topify & Juan, Crawlability Inc/vBSEO, and any of Juan's various projects/DBAs funded by Crawlability resources or team involvement. I've indicate this same feeling to Ray and have not received a response since Monday, July 8th.
Disclosure: After seeing my follow up questions, Ray did offer to chat via a call. I declined, informing him that I wanted all communications to be written as I referred to as keeping a "paper trail".
As you can see from the images I included, online research indicates that Juan was documented as "President" of Topify Inc. He also posted online that Raymond Lyle was his business partner.
If that is the case, I simply do not understand why Ray has been so non-specific about their relationship. However, in what I consider to be an attempt to diminish the association, it raises the question for me of whether or not we can rely on Ray's insistence that Crawlability Inc. or any of its assets are involved with Topify.
We do know that the lawyer who was negotiating the sale of Crawlability Inc./vBSEO and acting as a go-between with Juan and Ilia, appears to have direct associations to the Topify founders.
I certainly encourage the Topify team, in the interest of transparency and in respect of their positions as thought leaders in our industry (Forumcon), that they be more forthcoming.
Ray/Jack - Why not clear this matter up with a clear, direct, and comprehensive response?
If there was simply a failed partnership arrangement and no non-arm lengths transactions occurred with Crawlability Inc. or its project/DBA assets occurred, this is a very simple matter to clear up - on the record.
1. How long has Juan & Oleg been involved with Topify without letting any customers at vBSEO know?
2. Why is Topify seemingly reluctant, IMO, to clearly state their association?
2. Seems pretty clear to me:
How is your visual acuity, Joey?
How's yours? https://www.topify.com/team
I would say that's 'official"
I'll lay it out for you Joey, since we're sharing pictures.
Your picture says: Juan is not the current President of Topify Inc.
My picture says: Juan was previously listed as President of Topify Inc.
It'd be pretty weird if D&B randomly listed somebody as President of a company when they were never actually associated with the company.
I agree. Very strange, indeed.
Think in a way vBulletin changes that came later was partly responsible for the demise of vBSEO. After vB4 came along with it's own built-in SEO features, unlike vB3 which vBSEO capitalised on. It was obvious many would make do with the stock SEO features in vB4 and vBSEO would start losing sales as a result of it. Problem for them... they put all their eggs in one basket creating a SEO add-on just for vBulletin.
"Juan does not work for Topify; but Oleg does"
Accurate or not, (and im not saying I know if he was the pres or not) -- what does previous have to do with anything? What does it matter? That's what I don't understand.
TRUE or FALSE: Because vBulletin installs reportedly decreased, the vBSEO Team was not able to tell customers why they disappeared or disclose that any of them were working for another company?
vBSEO customers have been abandoned. Nobody bothered to let them know the team (one or more) had moved on to another company.
Question: Would you, Joey, publicly state that you feel it's ok for the CEO/lead dev of a company to move to a new startup, apparently abandon a company, and join a new startup without telling their customers is an acceptable/ethical business practice?
If Topify Inc. has associations with Juan, we'd like to know to what true extent. If any of Crawlability Inc. intellectual property or resources were used in partnership, at any point, that needs to be investigated.
I know what your saying, and I'm saying that Ray already answered that earlier. Juan is not employed by Topify and Topify has not acquired any part of Crawlability Inc and Crawlabilty has not funded or owns Topify.
I don't really follow your line of reasoning Joe. Just because you had a falling out with Juan, doesn't mean he's a pariah now. Yes, vbSEO is now a failure, but I'd put most of that on the failure of vBulletin. No business that is centered around vBulletin is going to do very well, most have already failed and vbSEO held out longer than most. It seems pretty clear to me that Ray said Juan doesn't work for Topify and that they are friends, what's so unbelievable about that, and who cares if he works for Topify or not anyway? You act like Juan has leprosy or something but most of us don't care what happened between the two of you and would be happy to see him succeed in whatever venture he goes into next.
Unfortunately, Joey, Ray never acknowledged Juan as President of Topify Inc at any time here, or in my private exchange with him.
He described his association in diminished terms, never referring to any official collaboration or role, and certainly did not mention Juan fulfilling an executive position with the company - as the D&B info seems to clearly suggest.
Given that apparent contraction (IMO) in the info provided, I'm already very reluctant to consider any suggestions of a complete arms-length transactions - or no transactions at all - as completely trustworthy to me... or at least worthy of continued investigation.
FYI - There was also an acquisition attempt by a Chicago based lawyer, who we believe may be a direct associate of Ray and other members of the Topify Inc team.
There's a lot of information here that needs to be investigated and we need much more transparency than what has been offered so far.
Perhaps there is some very simple way to describe everything as presented. This is a great forum to make those clarifications.
Joe - I suspect "WE" don't need anything, but perhaps YOU do in re your contractual dispute with Juan. I don't know what happened over at vBSEO, as I was never a customer. (which I know your aware)
Hi Peter - I respectfully accept that you and many other people may not care about the status of vBSEO, or the circumstances that lead to any issues between vBSEO founders, etc.
If you want to see that there are members of the community that do care about the status of vBSEO, a great deal, you can visit vbseo.com and click "New".
If you think that vBSEO's management or current status was entirely related to a decline in sales of vBulletin, unfortunately, I believe you are very wrong.
If you think that abandoning customers and not acknowledging that you've moved on to a new venture is not important, you differ from me a great deal in your ethical and professional business standards. The sales page at vBSEO is open. Part of the contract is to provide support for 1 year. If they left, and it was over, it should have been closed - absolutely no question about that.
Ray did say Juan doesn't work for Topify. He said a lot of other things that quite selectively never mentioned that he was at some point, President of Topify. And since I presented the new data, he hasn't communicated again.
It's relevant because it establishes how long the team has had their focus elsewhere, while vBSEO and its customers were neglected.
I'm glad that he (Juan) has your support, and I wish you the best of luck if you purchase whatever he's selling the next time.
Keep in mind that this is an admin community, and there are people with interest in discussing these matters including many long standing members and customers in the vBSEO community.
I haven't used any of the colorful labels for Juan you've inserted.