The Journey To The IPO

OK! This will rank as one of the strangest ReviewMe reviews I’ve ever done. Why is that? Because the blog requesting the review, IPOJourney.com, has a grand total of two posts. That’s right, two posts.

It’s very easy to review a blog when it has a lot of information for me to critique. However, giving me two posts to work with doesn’t give me a lot to write about. However, IPO Journey doesn’t want me to write about the blog. Instead, they want me to tell you about the concept behind the blog.

What Is IPO Journey About

Using the tag line “Let’s try to get rich together,” IPO Journey seeks to get a bunch of people together, build a company from scratch, and have it become an IPO or be bought out. The foundation as to what the business will be based around is the domain name www.insane.com. Those that help build the business will in turn receive shares for their work. If someone designs the logo, he will receive shares in the company. If someone creates software used by the company, he will receive shares. If someone comes up with a business idea on what Insane.com can do to make money, he will receive shares.

If all goes well, Insane.com will become a big hit and everyone involved will get rich from the IPO or buyout. IPO Journey will be the blog that documents the trip from concept to IPO.

What Is Wrong With IPO Journey

Where do I begin? First, we don’t know who started IPO Journey or Insane.com. The site is not associated with any names and the blog has no contact information. The person who sent the review request never gave his or her name. The two posts at IPO Journey lack “posted by” information. A WHOIS search for Insane.com revealed that the owner is hidden behind a private registration service. IPOJourney.com is registered to a company called Net Marketing 2000, which is a one page site with no real contact information.

Not only do we not know who runs IPO Journey, we don’t know how to become a part of the concept. There is no sign-up form or “how to get involved” page. I can only assume that you participate by commenting. The author does ask for business ideas in the first decision post.

If the object of IPO Journey is to get people together in a collaborative effort to start a new company and take it to IPO, why does the blog have Google ads? That seems completely counter productive to me. The object is to get people to join the IPO effort, not leave the site by clicking on a Google ad.

At the end of the day, I cannot figure out if IPO Journey is serious about what they’re doing or not. The entire project seems slapped together without much thought or care. The idea of a collaborative effort to take a concept from startup to IPO is a good one. However, unless IPO Journey completely revamps the site to create a lot more trust and transparency (and a way for people to participate), they’re not going to be the one to do it.


120 thoughts on “The Journey To The IPO”

  1. Daniel says:

    I agree. The google ads send a message that this is not really about trying to get people to help but rather as a gimmick to get more traffic.

    1. Andrew Chen says:

      The owner of insane.com is the owner of stockmarketblog.com. I follow that blog for a while. And he mentioned on that blog that he wanted to sell the insane.com domain. stockmarketbog.com originally posted his day trading records and later changed to post stock related information. I believe the purpose of ordering this review me is to market the insance.com domain.

      1. Matt Jones says:

        He ovbiously knows something about blogging, he just needs to get his thoughts togethor!

        1. Jane May says:

          It’s a good concept, a creative one atleast. Sounds similar to Agloco in that its giving portions of its stake to people. Because of the structure, I don’t think it’ll fly. A for effort though πŸ˜€

        2. Dave says:

          The idea isn’t developed enough, he’s ordered the review prematurely

  2. Nate W. says:

    This is a sad state of affairs when a publisher shells out $300 for a review of a completely undeveloped and untrustworthy product.

    1. sami says:

      How about the ‘reviewer’ who forgets that there is a ‘reject’ button specifically for these type of sites?

      1. tke71709 says:

        How about the people that bitch that all reviews are positive so the whole review process is a scam?

        There’s nothing wrong with a negative review.

        1. Marc says:

          I completely agree. There’s nothing wrong with a negative review at all.

      2. Alex says:

        πŸ’‘ I can see why John wrote this review. I don’t think there will be a lot of 2-post blog ‘disasters’ asking for a review from John Chow dot Com in the future. Nice way to set an example and make some cash along the way.. What emoticon should I post here? I know : 😈 πŸ‘Ώ 😈

        1. Matt Jones says:

          Yeah, especially because his reviewme price will keep rising higher and higher.

          1. dude says:

            hahaha very evil 😈 😈

        2. Marc says:

          But if you read the blog now, the guy’s already improved his strategy based on this review. If anything, I’d say there will be more 2 post blogs requesting reviews since John can shake you up and get you headed in the right direction.

          There are cheaper ways to accomplish this, but to each their own…

          1. Ashwin says:

            well said that man

      3. Marc says:

        Why would John have rejected this review? He had a lot to say on the topic and was able to use it as a prime example of what can happen when you don’t heed a lot of the advice he publishes here. In my mind it’s a perfect fit for a review at johnchow.com

    2. Gary Lee says:

      a $300 backlink is what they got

      1. Yah that is one damn expensive backlink. I think he will find out real quick that his return on investment was not very good.

        1. Alex says:

          Exactly, $300 for a link and a good dose of bad reputation is not worth it 😐

    3. Jane May says:

      He must be making some $ with the other site…I hope!

      1. Alex says:

        Maybe he has I nice day job?

    4. Dave says:

      Yes, like John is going to turn down a review me, we’re talking about 😈 here!

      (I’m going to officially designate that as the ‘John’ smiley.

  3. Jenny says:

    All I can honestly say is…Wow… πŸ˜•

  4. Ali says:

    I was just wondering ,if you knew the website had nothing to offer why did you accept the reviewme offer? I believe you have the option to deny them?

    From your post it doesn’t seem like you liked any aspect of the site or the blog in general. Why take their money for it?

    Just curious that’s all.

    1. Greg Stratz says:

      He is evil plain and simple.. They for some reason wanted to spend money on him he took it. He probly wants to break last month’s 8.5k in earnings..

    2. Gath says:

      Isn’t that the point of ‘ReviewMe’? From ReviewMe’s own FAQ:

      We do not allow advertisers to require a positive review

      Reviews are meant to be both positive and negative. If someone asks you to review their crap site why should you have to reject them?

      1. Ali says:

        Umm…to avoid the kind of comments you see on this post for instance.

        Plus I think it limits the credibility of the blogger. I like JC.com a lot, the guy is on my IM list. But I didn’t expect to see a review just for the sake of writing the kind of post he did.

        I commend him for giving constructive points, but I feel he could have just denied the post and told the guys to come back when they have more going on.

        1. shokthx says:

          I think it makes his credibility better. You now know that he is not going to give a good review of something that doesn’t desrve it.

          1. Marc says:

            I completely agree. If you read nothing but positive reviews, you start to get the feeling that the author is just trying to make himself more appealing to get more submissions. This demonstrates without a doubt that if you ask John for a review, he will give you an honest review, whether you like the end result or not.

        2. Marc says:

          As far as the comments on this post are concerned, I think that stimulating discussion on a controversial topic is fantastic from a blogger’s perspective. Why wouldn’t John want people from both sides of the issue discussing it intelligently on his blog?

        3. Dave says:

          Are you going to stop reading JohnChow.com because of this post? If not, then it doesn’t matter…

          Not trying to be harsh, but I’m just saying… John is about making money with this blog. As much as he can, he has said that before and that’s exactly what he’s doing.

    3. Yumcha Girl says:

      I’m with you on this one. Although it is quite remarkable that someone would shell out such a sum of money for what looks like nought return, I can’t fathom John’s reasoning for accepting to take the review on.

      If you accept a review for the sake of the money, not the quality of the subject, you may find that the better sites/products/services will not want a piece of what could potentially be a bitter tasting cherry pie. Especially if they fear that they will come under attack. Although I think it only reasonable to expect a fair and balanced critique of my own product (should I want a review), I wouldn’t expect that the ‘paid’ reviewer would slam my product either (I would like to think he would decline to take me on if he didn’t like what I was offering).

      Anyway, my 2 bob’s worth.

      1. Marc says:

        “I wouldn’t expect that the β€˜paid’ reviewer would slam my product either (I would like to think he would decline to take me on if he didn’t like what I was offering).”

        If that’s the case then you should explore some of the other sponsored review programs out on the web. ReviewMe.com and a few others put no requirements on the tone of the review. Some other programs allow the advertisers to specify a tone.

        You need to know what kind of program you’re signing up for before you shell money out. With regards to the person who purchased this review, he’s taken it very well, as I would expect from someone who would have solicited such a review.

        As a side note I find it interesting that the person who paid for this seems perfectly content with his purchase yet so many onlookers are angry on his behalf for some reason…

    4. John Chow says:

      I accepted the review because the site is related to what I talk about – making money on the Internet. I am not required to give a positive review.

      This was also a good chance for me to show that a sponsored review doesn’t have to be positive and that my opinions can not be sway by offers of money. Sometimes, learning what is bad can be more valuable than learning what is good.

      1. Matt Jones says:

        Thats very true, if we only ever learnt what we should do we would do what we should do… but also what we shouldnt do! (that does make sence…. just!)

        1. Alex says:

          It’s good to learn from your own mistakes, but it’s even better to learn from mistakes of others..

    5. Jane May says:

      $300 is $300. Especially at the monthly income recap.

      1. Alex says:

        For the concerns of monthly income recap – $150 is $150, other half goes to ReviewMe.

        1. Dave says:

          So true, 50% cut must start to sting when your review price climbs so high πŸ™‚

  5. Yumcha Girl says:

    Just another thing. Reading paid reviews for sites which will not benefit me (or anyone else here), runs counter to why I visit. I am not slamming paid reviews (I have been supportive up till now), but the other reviews represented value to me as a reader and follower of this blog. Not sure how others feel.

    1. ian says:

      I think it sounds like an interesting idea, dont know how legitimate it is, either way, John shares a lot of good tips on how to make money on the internet, I think it is cool that he pockets some $$$’s for the review. Towards the top, he mentions that it is a reviewme review, so it is easy to just not read it if you are not interested in reading the reviews.

      1. Yumcha Girl says:

        I agree with you Ian. But I actually like the paid reviews – just feel there needs to be some quality control so readers feel they are being given useful advice, and advertisers trust that he will only review good, quality companies that deserve his attention (which ultimately gives them even more value for their buck).

        1. Marc says:

          I think there a substantial amount of useful advice in this post. This website shows you exactly what happens when you dive in headfirst without considering any of the items that John’s always reminding us about. This is a perfect case study and to my mind fits in better with his regular content than any other sponsored post he’s done.

          With regards to the good, quality companies, everyone who’s spending money on sponsored blogging is doing so with a program that they’re comfortable with. That’s why there are several competing programs out there.

    2. Dave says:

      All this buzz generated by this post (even though it’s negative) is actually good for the blog. People are talking…about him…there’s over 100 comments on this post. People are reading it and talking about it

      Well done 😈

    3. Shane says:

      This was easily one of the most valuable reviews I’ve seen John do, and he’s done some great ones. He gives some phenomenal advice that everyone ought to learn from. Maybe you think the advice he gave is so obvious as to be useless, but it’s clearly anything but obvious to most people out there. This person got WAY more than his $300 worth.

  6. ian says:

    The person clearly has money to pay US$300 for a review, and that domain is quite a good quality domain, with a nice PR6, will be interesting to see how the project develops, and who the mystery person is behind it.

    1. Jane May says:

      I agree, that’s a really good PR considering what it is. Don’t know how it will turn out though with the foundation its currently on. Doesn’t seem very strong at all.

  7. Gath says:

    Hmmm – It seems I stand alone thinking that it is okay to give a bad review.

    I think an honest bad review serves at least 2 purposes:

    1. It means I will steer clear of investing my time in IPOJourney.com (the same as a bad review of any product).

    2. It shows that JC is not just writing nice fluff because he is being paid.

    I know the counter-argument to #2 is that he should only accept reviews from sites he likes – but $300 is still pretty cheap to get feedback that stops them wasting more money (they clearly weren’t being told anything useful by friends/family).

    1. I have gotten tired of all the reviews, but I commend John for this one. If you want a review, you deserve a review – good or bad. This site was absolutely deserving of a negative review for all the reasons mentioned. Would you want shares in a company run by someone who doesn’t think that far through things? I know I wouldn’t waste my time doing anything for a share of that.

      I think the negative reviews give more credability to JC and I applaud him for writing them.

      1. Alex says:

        I got tired of the constant reviews too, but the good thing is that every review has a moral behind it..

      2. Dave says:

        It’s true Joshua there are a LOT of review me’s here, but in all fairness John makes some very good posts about online business as well.

    2. Dave says:

      You are not alone Gath! I agree with you πŸ™‚

  8. Joshua says:

    I think John reviewed the site because it was relevant to his blog viewers. The IPO site is related to making money online and whether John says it’s good or bad, people will still go from this site to theirs.

    It is somewhat of a unique concept with a highly memorable domain name attached. $300 is a small price to pay for some PR in a place where many potential clients lie, in my opinion.

  9. Piggy says:

    i agree that if this guy is serious about “taking it to IPO” he should take off the ads and maintain his blog as a purely informational source.

    that being said, it seems like a unique idea and he does own a pretty high ranking domain, so theres still a chance of legitimacy, however small.

  10. Eliza says:

    I think it was a good idea to accept the review, now we all know that ReviewMe doesn’t always have a positive review. It makes it more legit to me, companies will now know that John is willing to give an unbiased opinion.

    1. Jane May says:

      John’s not one to turn a review down regardless of good or bad. Well, atleast I suspect.

      1. Alex says:

        I’m sure he turns down a lot of offers. Otherwise we’d be reading 3-5 reviews per day on JCdC.. :mrgreen:

  11. Jauhari says:

    Monetize Everything πŸ™„

  12. Jason C. says:

    I think John Chow should start monetizing blog comments! Say….$5 for a comment?

    1. Jane May says:

      He’d be one rich man!

      1. Alex says:

        He’d be one rich man with no comments on his posts :mrgreen:

  13. Gath says:

    If you check out the site IPOJourney.com, you will see the main guy is actually reasonably happy with the review JC gave him.

    To quote:

    Best $300 I ever spent

    Can’t argue with that.

    1. Jane May says:

      Well, in that case it sounds like he got his money’s worth. And that’s probably because he got a spike in traffic.

    2. Dave says:

      I bet all the negative buzz going on at this thread is sending a pile of traffic his way! πŸ™‚

  14. There are now four posts on IPOJourney-dot-com. I’m actually curious what he/she/they will come up with next.

  15. Piggy says:

    indeed it looks as if hes happy with the purchase.

    wish i had 300 to throw around like that πŸ™

  16. Matt Jones says:

    insane.com should be about how insane ‘that guy’ is. He spent $300 to show up is bad idea…

    1. Dave says:

      The idea isn’t awful. It’s actually clever and innovative. The implementation is awful.

  17. Kumiko says:

    Wow! $300 to get your awful site slammed by John Chow. I would have written about how bad the site is for free!

    Kumiko

    1. jake says:

      its going to be a smash hit πŸ˜†

    2. Marc says:

      Go for it Kumiko, I doubt he’ll mind the extra publicity. Remember, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    3. Jane May says:

      As much traffic as he can get will only help him out…show him what’s up πŸ˜›

    4. I wouldn’t have written about how bad the site is for free… maybe for $50-$100 😈

  18. Markk says:

    I support the decision of John Chow to do this review. It was interesting, plus there are lessons to be learned here – such as if you want to market something, make sure you know what it is first!

    1. jake says:

      agreed i like hearing about sites with stupid ideas so i can laugh at them

      1. Alex says:

        Some stupid sites turn out to be great in the future.. any examples ❓

  19. jake says:

    that dude is insane. people will only join if they have a since of security and they wont have one if they dont even know the owners name.

    1. Matt Jones says:

      I thought the prospect of the general idea sounded OK, but having read how much of a scatter brain he is I’m glad I never put any time into it!

  20. tonyrich says:

    First he had the 300 bucks which was good for John Chow. Why would I refuse 300 bucks to tell you your site isn’t all that.
    For most, they’d not be too happy doing that review but I would have done it .Hey if anyone wants to offer me the 300 bucks now ,I am ready.Just don’t blame me if I say something not nice.

  21. Jason C. says:

    monetize the comments! $5 for each comment!

    1. Matt Jones says:

      That would kill the comments, but he could put ads in the comments – like Kontera…

      1. Alex says:

        I’m not sure how that could be accomplished 😐

  22. Everton says:

    John – did you try firing off an email to get more details before writing the review? I don’t have any issues with you taking the money if the product really is that bad, but you could have given them a bit of a chance to explain themselves and to get VFM

    1. When requesting a review, you the reviewee has every opportunity to give more information to the reviewer. In addition, JC has his email addy available. The burden in this case needs to be on the person asking for the review.

      He clearly did not think it all through, which is a reflection on him, not John.

      1. Everton says:

        Just because they didn’t think it through isn’t a good enough reason to take their money! Well, not for me anyway

        1. Brendan says:

          Im thinking someone just wasted $300 bucks.

          It is definitely that persons fault. If you dont want a negative review, dont have so many faults in your site/idea.

          Personally I would feel a bit bad about taking this persons money because they are clearly not getting the attention they want for the money they paid. Only thing i can think is that they didnt know what they were doing when they ordered this review. I would probably try and give a portion of the money back and tell them to order another review when they get their crap together. With review me involved im not sure thats possible though.

      2. Gath says:

        Judging on the site, the review isn’t the only thing he hasn’t thought through…

    2. John Chow says:

      There was no email for me to contact. My ReviewMe control panel just shows the site URL and the message from the customer. Most customer will leave their contact info in the message.

      1. Nick says:

        Hey, if somebody’s going to be an idiot and hand you $300 to discuss a poorly-conceived web site, why shouldn’t you take it?

        Of course, as a public good, you could use some of that money for a contest…. 😈

        1. Alex says:

          This whole discussion is useless now that the reviewee expressed his great satisfaction with the review 😎

  23. I guess publicity is publicity — the site is getting a lot of attention and perhaps that’s that main objective.

    1. Ronaldo says:

      Looks like the guy/girl is shooting in all directions: trying to launch a new concept of making money but at the same time listing the insane.com domain for sale…

      1. The site’s actually picking up on content and readers. Slow but steady — this could be the start of something. 😯

        1. Dave says:

          See, best $300 he ever spent! πŸ™‚

  24. Amanda says:

    Eh I went to the site for 2 seconds then left.

  25. Ronaldo says:

    I see nothing wrong in reviewing a bad site, as long as it falls within the subject of this blog: making money oline. Which it does, in this case.

  26. Kenric says:

    That’s the purpose of the review. If John has to visit the site, read the posts and then decide not to review it, didn’t he just basically review it?

    My question is, when you get a reviewme request, how much of the site do you look at before you decide to review it?

    Look if someone walks up to you and says I’ll give you $300 to try this new Cola drink and tell me what you think, would you do it? You can’t drink it and then say you I don’t review Cherry drinks and walk away. Well, I guess you could, but that would be stupid.

    Although the site had 2 posts, John still gave his usually high quality review with insight on what they should be doing. He could have easily just blasted the two posts and talked about the site layout or something. He did research to find out the registar, owner’s name, etc… He still earned his $300 (or rather $150). πŸ˜‰

    1. Marc says:

      I would also add that it was well worth it from the advertiser’s perspective as well. I don’t usually visit John’s reviewed websites unless they’re of personal interest, but I had to visit this one just because of all of the discussion. I’ll be that he got more traffic from this than most reviewed websites get.

  27. Deepak says:

    let him make money.. why are you people pissed off?

    1. Jane May says:

      lol…more power to him if he can make money with it!

  28. Errol says:

    I think, that $300 was well spent judging from the response to this review. Reason being it will generate traffic for days if not weeks. People will be curious to see what happens. $300 is nothing to spend on marketing.

    JC is a businessman and as a business person why would you turn away money for a review that allows you to be guilt free.

    I think this was an excellent example of making money online not just from JC but also from the person who spent the $300.

  29. There could actually be light at the end of the tunnel here. There’s plenty of time/opportunity to revamp the site. πŸ™‚

  30. jake says:

    the dudes trying to sell the url for 250k
    lol. i dont think anyones going to buy it. i mean maybe a url like fishing.com is worth that but not insane.cim. i mean thats rediculous.

  31. You guys are great πŸ˜›

    Re: selling the domain, of course I’m open to the potential of selling it. LOL why wouldn’t I leave that option open? I’m sure John Chow would sell TTZ if the money was right. Heck, any company, any where in the world is for sale, at the right price.

    This $300 has been very well spent, those that don’t see, well they just don’t see it.

    1. jake says:

      no, i dont think those 300 dollars have been well spent. you might have gotten 10k of unques today but most of us arnt coming back. including me.

      seriously dude, your site sucks.

      1. oh man, you didn’t even like the design? I thought it was “neat” πŸ˜€

        1. Alex says:

          ”Neat” it is, but you might want to fill that empty sidebar..

        2. Dave says:

          He owns the domain insane.com he must be doing something right…*shrug*

  32. Javier Marti says:

    If collaborators want to do that they should join Trendirama instead. Although we have a lot to improve, at least we are on the way already, the idea is original, clearly explained and has great potential. (think quality of posters-readers on that site compared to quality of readers/posters in youTube or digg)

    Click’s potential value to an advertiser and quality of visitors may well be the main standard to value internet companies, rather than page views.

    As Schwarz said “what is the value of a click towards your website from someone that can buy a plane from you?” How much would you pay to attract that visitor?

    Quality is the key in the future, not quantity. And whatever you do, you still need some good business idea behind your site to begin with…

    regards

  33. Xof says:

    Dude! That was an easy $300 πŸ˜€

    1. John Chow says:

      No it wasn’t. Believe it or not, it’s harder to do this review than any other.

      1. Jane May says:

        I can see that. More thought has to go in it because you have no material to work off of.

        1. Alex says:

          Yeah, when I get into ReviewMe, I’ll reject blogs with no posts not because they don’t have no content, but because I won’t have any idea what to write. Ok, I may write one review like this one.. evil πŸ‘Ώ

      2. Gath says:

        Judging on your other reviews, I’d believe it.

      3. I hear you — would’ve been easier if there was more to work with. Good work anyway, John, congrats! 😎

  34. Amanda says:

    Its hard to review a concept let alone a concept thats been half-assed. So it was a good review.

  35. I think it was a waste of money. You will get the traffic now, but it was too early and you do not have enough content to make the readers return to your site.

  36. Mr. Red says:

    I hate when a review requires 200-300 words and only has 3 sentences to pull information from, it gets old quick.

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