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Reader Interactions


  1. Wow! I can’t believe you were uninvited to speak – how petty is that?

    I’m not a WP developer or designer – I’ve never designed a site for anyone but myself, but I enjoy learning about WordPress (and specifically StudioPress), and I love sharing that knowledge, which is why I spend way too much time on the StudioPress forum. I’m not doing it in hopes of making millions, or whatever – I like the product, and like learning from like minded individuals. I’m sorry someone was so closed minded. ๐Ÿ™

  2. Very well said, Carrie. That’s a bummer you had to deal with that. One of things I love most about the WordPress and Genesis community is how helpful and transparent most people are in helping each make each others’ businesses more successful.

  3. It’s too bad that the organizer felt that way. I run a meetup group here in Tampa based around WordPress and SEO and I’ve never even considered disallowing someone because they might be competition.

    Even if someone is your competition you’re better off making friends than enemies. As you said, they can’t service everyone and at some point they’re going to have overflow. Are they going to send it to you if you turn everything into a war for who can get the most business? Nope, probably not.

    Collaboration > Competition in most cases. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m writing something similar, but a different angle. I’ve never been stiffed like that, but my experience also revolves around a WP Meetup group.

    Overall, we are the most generous group of professionals I’ve ever encountered. I’ve yet to have someone say, “nope, I can’t show you how to do that, that’s how I make my living.” Not once.

    Dallas missed out on your contribution, that’s certain.

  5. Hear, hear!

    Not to mention that I learn an incredible amount from my interactions with the WP community just about every day — why would anyone want to cut themselves off from all of that just to spend all that time and energy on being paranoid instead?

  6. This should never happen. So sorry that you had this experience. Don’t sell yourself short. If someone perceived you as a threat, you might just be one. ๐Ÿ™‚ That said, there’s nothing wrong competition, but there is something wrong with running a WordPress meet-up with the motive of using it to promote your own business and/or abilities more than others.

    WordPress meet-ups are about WordPress, not about the organizers. If you have other issues with your local meet-up, get in touch and I’ll see if we can influence a better, more positive approach.

  7. That is really dumb. I pass code along to other developers all the time with no payment at all so that they can get their work done. I’ve only ever found that they pass work/code back. I have always felt like I’ve got more return from the long term relationship then I would have got from charging for some code. I never even ask for a ‘finders fee’ when I pass work on, I don’t care about that.

    I’d really wonder if the organizer has a struggling business? With that type of attitude it would not surprise me. You should start your own meetup and accept all comers.

  8. Great article, Carrie, and a great way to look at what was an awkward situation. I apologize again for putting you in it, but you are 100% right. I like the fact that we can help each other out on projects and (technically) be competitors without being competitive. Huzzahs for today’s pearl of wisdom!

  9. What JJJ said. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I also hope this person realizes that there is far more available work out there than either one of you can handle alone.

    And if it’s expertise on one area of WP… well there’s hundreds of people with the same expertise. But again, tons of work.

  10. Awesome post ๐Ÿ™‚

    I actually had a client of mine take a moment to talk about how she wasn’t looking to compete with me or steal my other clients. It was bizarre, to say the least. I also had a developer friend refuse to put a “contact” link on the website because the competition didn’t have one….wha?

  11. For me WordPress is all about the collaboration and camaraderie between professionals in the community (developers, designers, bloggers,…)
    Without that there is no WordPress community.

  12. This is just astounding to me… The WordPress community has been amazing. Absolutely amazing.

    Any chance of you coming to speak in Birmingham? I’d totally welcome you in with open arms – you are brilliant and I’d love to pick your brain more ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Great article, Carrie!
    Sorry that happened to you. Treating you like that was very parochial and small-minded.

    I run into that in my city, which is way behind the curve on lots of things. It has the websites to prove it, too. It isn’t as direct as the slap in the face that you received, but is emblematic of the zero-sum game attitude, where the goal is to hoard all the work and not let anyone else have any. Pitifully childish. In short, we’re perceived as a threat. Of course, they don’t understand that in the end, word about their foolishness will get around one way or another.

    What’s even sillier about it is that I’m not competing with them at all, really. Nearly all my work is at a considerable distance.

    Best, Dave

  14. Is there a way to stand up and clap on line? Clap, Clap, Clap. I totally agree. WordPress has such a growing and thriving community that supports and helps one another. People do business with people they know and/or trust. Good rant!

  15. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Point #3 spoke to me more than the others because I’m new in this field,
    I may not have a portfolio that is as deep or a fancy client management system, but I have 15 years of insane customer service experience and I pour passion into my customers products and team/partner/bribe/barter/or sweet talk my fellow creatives and developers for help along the way. Those of us that get this community can really thrive and those of us who cling to the old way… will be stuck there forever. Carrie you can speak in Austin 8 days a week.

  16. Hi Carrie
    Sounds as though the whole situation was badly handled – to be asked and then to be dropped like that is pretty poor form.
    Maybe your friend was a little premature in asking you?

    I’m not sure what the protocol is at a ” local WordPress meetup” but if they are simply informal meetings of WordPress people then the organisers were clearly going against the spirit of the event in withdrawing their invitation.

    If the idea is to push their own WordPress services then I can understand that they wouldn’t want you to meet their potential clients.
    They clearly saw you as a threat and maybe that tells you…. just how good you are!!!!!

    Whatever the purpose of a ” local WordPress meetup” the whole thing could have been handled much better!

    BTW – have you gone over to the dark side… “Jetpack”?
    I couldn’t get the “notify me of follow up comments” check box to work, do you need to activate it?

  17. If you’re ever in south-central Pennsylvania, we’d love to have you (or anyone else who wants) do a WordPress Lancaster meetup! Trying to use it to stifle competition really is antithetical to the nature of WordPress, the GPL, and I’m honestly embarrassed for them. “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”

  18. What happened to you was incredibly petty and sad, not to mention, as George Stephanis so eloquently put, completely against everything WordPress represents.

    I have been taught a lot by this community (and still have so much more to learn it’s uncanny) and I’ve taught things to others – from my experience, and not just limited to WordPress but in general, sharing your knowledge with others is not only satisfying on a personal level, as it’s also one of the best ways to learn yourself, because the people you’re teaching end up teaching something back. That meetup organiser should rethink what he’s doing organising meetups if he’s denying people the chance to network, teach and learn.

  19. Wow that’s pretty disappointing, and I bet it’s more common than we all think. Like you I am amazed by the generosity of those that *get* what WordPress is all about… And shocked by those who plainly don’t.

    Perhaps you should start your own meetup instead. Not to snub this one closed-minded organizer, but rather to give the attendees a choice instead. I’m sure you’d do a great job, build a much better learning environment, and prove through your example the maxim that “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

    • Thanks for the kind words, Jerry. There’s actually a meetup closer to me in Fort Worth that is wonderful. And the meetup group in question is probably great, too – just ruined by a bad apple in this case.

  20. WOW!
    What a bummer. I’m always amazed when people get snarky or get worried about competition (I recently heard an entrepreneur use the word “co-opetition”…which I dug).
    WordPress is SO huge and there are so many opportunities and experience levels that not every teacher, designer, programmer, user, etc. will bring the same thing to the table – not to mention personality. I know I’m not everyone’s flavor and that’s o.k. (maybe it’s because I’m my best audience…haha).
    Unfortunately one person deprived others of a great experience in this case.

    There are a handful of great meetups in the Bay Area… should you be up for a trip! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hey Tony,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hear great things about the DFW Meetup group (*really* wanted to attend the one with Sean Jackson last weekend, but I was out of town). Keep doing what you do!

  21. Great post Carrie. The way I see it, you can either choose to look at the world like everyone’s competition, and be stingy and secretive, or you can see no one as competition, because everything about you and how you run your business and design work comes from your unique expression on the planet. Everyone misses out on beauty and inspiration when it’s all about the competition! Too bad for those WP group attendees..

  22. Hi Carrie! Just found your well-written rant about me. Congrats on good use of the ancient stratagem of presenting yourself as a ‘victim’ in order to garner PR.

    Fact: You were never un-invited you to speak.
    Fact: Because – You were never invited to speak.

    Rudy vastly over-stepped his bounds by inviting you (or anyone else) to speak; he had no authority to invite anyone to do anything. I asked Rudy to act as moderator or speaker for the Meetup and he accepted. He had no authority to invite 3rd parties; and did not ask for permission to do so.

    You want to talk Truth? Contact me. But my guess is: Your victim position is working well for you; and uncovering the truth of the matter is not on your radar. And, you seem to be having so much fun gossiping about me ๐Ÿ™‚ Kind of hate to interrupt that….


    • Hi Dorian,

      My intent in writing this post was to champion the spirit of the WordPress community and the benefit we can receive when working together versus competing.

      I never publicly mentioned your name or meetup in conjunction with the example in this post and am sorry if you received it as a personal attack. That was not my intention.

      If there is something I can do to resolve your frustration or clear the air, please use the contact form and I’d be happy to speak privately.

      I’ll go ahead and close out the comments here.



  1. […] Just last week, one of my new friends mentioned above, Carrie Dils, wrote an article with a title that immediately made me wish I’d posted this when I put it in drafts as an idea. After reading it, we have differing angles and her situation is a real bummer for the WP community in her area. Go read it and we’ll continue the discussion: The Shocking Truth: Iโ€™m Not Your Competition. […]

  2. […] fell into my web of friends when she had a horrible experience at a meetup a year ago, and was told she wasn’t welcome to speak because she was someone’s competition. When that post hit my feed, retweeted by a friend I knew and trusted, I remember spinning my […]

  3. […] Specifically for me, the lesson has been learning to create things, whether they be websites or marketing plans, for my clients and not for other designers, developers, and marketers. In general the lesson is learning to work for your own customers and not your colleagues and competition. Although when it comes to “competition” I take the position of a fellow Genesis Framework developer, Carrie Dils that she share in her post The Shocking Truth: I’m Not Your Competition. […]