The poster came close to outright accusing Jeff of a number of nasty deceptions, ranging from faking crashes (and teaching his students to do the same), lying about the customer service costs associated with handling them, and using this and other sneaky techniques to promote his new site.
The poster has gotten some time off to cool down and think about how he handles questions like this. I replied, left the comments there long enough for the involved parties to see them, and deleted the thread early this afternoon.
In the mean time, Jeff had typed the response I've copied below. I think this merits reading, and that he should be allowed the response. With that...
The comments from Jeff Walker:
I suggest that some of the folks here should
actually go read my blog post, as well as my
replies in the comments on that post. Most of the
questions raised here have already been answered.
Here is the link:
JeffWalker.com ? creator of the Product Launch Formula®
The name of the blog post in question is "Server
Crashes and Marketing Morons"... and there's a
reason for that title.
It's because the people who think a server crash
is a marketing tactic really ARE marketing morons.
To put that in context... the people that have
watched my Warrior Forum posts over the last seven
years know that I'm not one to spend any time
slinging mud, name calling, or going into
histrionics. And I've got a thick skin... I know
that my position makes me a target. That's OK... I
can live with that. It comes with the territory.
I just don't like to see people that don't have a
clue misleading lots of people who aren't
experienced enough to know better. That's why I
wrote that blog post.
There are a group of people that perpetuate this
myth that server crashes are a marketing trick.
Those people don't have a clue how business works
(or hardware for that matter.)
Unfortunately, those "marketing morons" often have
loud voices and sometimes convince other people
with their mis-informed opinions.
So I'm going to answer a few specific points:
- I have NEVER taught that you should have a real
or fake server crash. Let me repeat - I have NEVER
taught that. Note that there are no PLF Owners
popping up in this thread saying... "yeah, Jeff
taught that you should crash your server."
The OP says he's never seen my stuff, but he's
guessing at what I teach? Right.
What I *have* taught is that most problems in
business can be turned around into a positive...
you can almost always turn lemons into lemonade.
- I have done dozens of product launches. I have
only had one server crash so far (that was for PLF
2.0). I also had the server crash for the blog
last week... but that really wasn't a product
Could I have been better prepared for both of
those? Absolutely. Do I wish I was? Absolutely.
Did I ever claim to be a server admin or hardware
Does being really good at business give me
superpowers in every area of computers and the
Internet? Sadly, no.
- With regards to my customer service costs...
those costs were NOT for dealing with the server
hardware. Any costs related to the actual server
crash were absorbed by my host (Rackspace).
Here's where my costs came from...
Before the server crashed, the site was up for
about 30-60 seconds... in that time a lot of
people were on the site trying to order (no doubt
using Roboform). The page loaded in their browser.
Some of them actually got their order through in
those first few seconds. The rest of them hit
"enter" and they got "site not found"...
Of course, when you try to place a $2,000.00 order
and get a "site not found" and then the site's not
available for 30 minutes, then what's the first
thing you do when the site comes back up? You put
in a support ticket.
Within the first hour of the server being back up,
we had HUNDREDS of support requests. Those are not
easy support requests to deal with... especially
since SOME orders actually did go through in that
first 60 seconds. Every single one takes research
to deal with.
In addition, we had database errors - very common
if your server crashes in the midst of a ton of
database activity. And when the server came back
up when had more database issues with both the
helpdesk and the membership site - neither was
running properly. All of a sudden we're running
support through a gmail account (ever try running
a customer service TEAM through a gmail account?)
And, of course, we had a lot of duplicate orders
to deal with. People didn't know if their order
went through, so they put two or three or even
FOUR orders through. (Membership site database
corrupted, they aren't landing on the right pages
or getting the right emails... so they put another
order in.) Think about it... someone has an extra
$2-6k on their credit card bill - is that an easy
support ticket to solve?
We sold approximately 500 copies in the first
hour, and more than 1,000 in the first 10 hours.
Because of all the database issues, MOST of those
people required handholding by our customer
Bottom line, I had to triple my customer service
staff for three weeks. We also had to get software
help to deal with the database issues from the
Naturally, some of the extra customer service load
would have occurred whether or not we had the
crash - just because we sold so much stuff (which
is reason for the big range of my estimate of
$20-30k)... but it was the server crash that just
- Next, my guess at the lost sales of $100,000.
This is just my estimate. I have no way of knowing
for sure, and I stated that in my blog post. But
the launch did $1.1 million in the first hour and
$3.4 million total. I heard from a LOT of people
who were not happy about the server being down who
told me they were not going to buy because they
thought I was playing games. I think that $100k is
a conservative estimate... that's about 3% of sales for the launch.
I did NOT have a hard limit on the number I would
sell with PLF 2.0 - we could have sold more.
HOWEVER, after that PLF 2.0 launch I limited later
releases to 500 copies (because of all the
customer service headaches with the 2.0 release.)
- With regards to my email after the blog crashed
last week being "pre-written"... well, like I said in
my blog post - there are a lot of "marketing
morons" out there. I can write an email like that
in about five minutes... that's what I do for a
OK, that's enough ranting... I don't plan on
spending a lot of time responding to this thread.
You can read my responses on my blog. All I have
to say is this - there's a TON of cynicism and
skepticism among Internet Marketers.
I can completely understand that - because there's
a lot of BS and a lot of scams out there.
However, I think getting caught up in the cynicism
and bile and hating takes you down a short path
that ends in loserville. The people who are out
there getting stuff done and building businesses
are not the folks who are spending their time
hating on people in the forums.
It's like you have to make a choice - you can
spend your time being a hater in loserville, or
you can get out there and get to work and build
I know that it's a lot easier to go the loserville
route - there's no work involved. But the rewards
of actually building something are a lot greater.
And the people you get to hang out with are a lot
I love Internet Marketing. I love what it's done
for me and my family. I love what it's done for so
many of my friends. I love what it's done for so
many of my clients. I love all the wonderful
friends I've made in this community. I love how
I've gotten to meet so many incredible people
along the way.
And I really love how this little community (and
I'm talking both about the IM Community in
general, but also about this crazy WF community)
is literally changing the way business is being
done in the world. The impact we're making is
When I started out, I just wanted to make a few
bucks so my family wouldn't have to scramble to
pay the bills each month. Then when I started to
have a little bit of success... I just wanted my
wife to be able to quit her job so she could stay
home with the babies. Then when my business took
off, I just wanted to make enough to be
financially independent. But when I hit all those
goals a few years ago, it was time to look around
and think bigger. And this is what I think...
I personally think that entrepreneurs are the
agents of change in this world. We're the people
that are making things happen. And it's us... the
Internet Marketers that are leading that charge.
We're creating jobs, we're creating innovation...
we're making the world a better place.
I know sometimes it's easy to forget all that and
get caught up with all the idiots, morons, and
haters... but I just do my best to look past them.
Because (and I'm sorry if this sounds goofy or a
little hippy-groovy) what we're doing is way
beyond making a few bucks... we're changing the
OK, that's it from me. I'm probably not going to
be monitoring this thread or posting replies. Any
further comments will be in the comment thread on