LeadPages CEO response to pushback from Elegant Themes fork

Yesterday I wrote a bit about LeadPages forking Elegant Themes' Bloom plugin to create Rapidology, a popup plugin. Late last night, LeadPages CEO Clay Collins wrote about their thinking when deciding to fork Bloom.

When I wrote about the fork yesterday, I was mostly ambivalent, but somehow Clay Collins' post made me more against their position, if nothing else because of how rookie of a PR mistake it all was.

I know he probably doesn't know the WordPress ecosystem as well as many of my readers, but I do think he has a pretty good idea of it and of the potential backlash for a commercial -> free fork like this. And it would've been pretty easy to gear it all a bit differently. My disdain for the way they handled it turned into a Tweetstorm (sorry!). Here's basically what I said:

The CEO ofΒ @LeadPages in the spin room. Many reasons why they come off badly here.

1) Yes, they link to Elegant Themes, but should’ve started the whole thing with a blog post and reasoning, versus as a response now.

2) Citing it as a big launch on social media and calling it β€œA Free Gift From LeadPages” is hilarious, given they’ve done nothing yet.

3) Hijacking activation with a huge required email capture clearly shows the desired goal for the plugin. Not to mention breaks WP rules.

4) Their promo video calls one feature β€œsomething we’ve never seen anywhere else.” Smooth.

5) Dude, you raised $27 million this summer. Pick on someone else or do your own thing to capture some damn emails.

Anyway, I don't particularly think they handled it well. But I figured I'd let you know that their CEOΒ did indeed follow up. But I think he would've been more successful just saying nothing.

Also, I said I'd report back on why the plugin was pulled. And as noted in the previous post, it is likely because it was too direct of a copy, though the email capture upon activation was probably worthy of the removal as well.