What to Do When Someone Attacks with Lies? Fight Back with the Truth

I’m mad and I don’t usually get this upset.

People can say they disagree with my blog posts, tell me it sucks, not like my apps at all, or not like me. I know I can’t please everyone.

But if someone accuse me of stealing and copying their app, writes me an email, leaves a comment on my blog post, and writes on her Facebook that she hopes she can watch karma pay me a visit, that’s crossing the line.

Screw the motto “Don’t worry. Be happy”. I can’t stand around and let it go.

In this post today, I’m going to reveal all about how I developed Gratitude 365. I know many of you are intersted in the behind scenes of it. Maybe it’ll help you develop your own idea.

However, it’s going to be about standing up for myself and disputing these this fetched, outlandish, crazy, ridiculous and flat out insane accusation.

She suggested I blog about my “tactics” so here I am. I have nothing to hide.

It’s my side of the story and let you decide who’s the crazy one.

Finally I’m going to share something lessons I’ve learned that you can take away.

Let’s Start with Last Night

I get an email to my gratitude account. It’s a very short comment and it just says “your tactics would make an excellent blog post.” With a smiley face and her name.

I recognize the name and the email address immediately (explain why later). I’m wondering “what the heck is she talking about??”

It was from another developer of a gratitude journal. Probably the most popular one. Then I did some clicking around and landed on her company Facebook page and it said this…


Really nice, right?

(Hey Melissa, look squirrel!)

Sorry to say but karma is too busy dealing with people who actually deserve it like people who don’t pick up their dog’s poop in your yard.

I added my own comment and link to let her 365 followers decide for themselves. (Anyone else see the irony with 365 followers? Gratitude 365? Hmmm)

But this morning it was removed and her friend, who is just as clueless, left a comment that made her dumber than a 5th grader. You can’t take anyone seriously that writes like that.

(Does anyone really say “lamo”? Maybe she wanted to call me a “lamp” but got autocorrected. Damn you autocorrect!!)

I guess that you are like the people you associate with the most.

I then came to my Gratitude 365 blog and noticed she left a comment!!

So she leaves her website for everyone to go check out. I decided not to remove her website in that comment because I have nothing to hide. If anyone came across it, and wanted to look for themselves, they would see zero design comparisons.

However, she deleted my app link on her Facebook page.

Who’s hiding now?

The Back Story

The reason I knew her name was because I stumbled upon her when I first learned the idea of outsourcing app work in late 2010. I had her gratitude journal app earlier in 2010. I remember I had it even before I decided that I wanted to develop apps. I just like the idea of keeping a gratitude journal.

Just like many apps, I stopped using hers not too long after I downloaded it. The cartoonish design and functionality didn’t make me want to use it every day. I did keep a gratitude journal with pen and paper in 2011. The app has been still been on my iPhone though.

I came across her website when I began to seriously think about app development and saw she had a book on outsourcing app development (which I wouldn’t recommend anymore). Since she had success doing this, I bought it, since I wanted to learn anything I could. The was in addition to the another ebook I had.

Fast forward to 2012.

In February 2012, I see an update for her app in the App store on my iPhone. So since I’m a customer already, it notified me of a new update. I opened it and noticed a complete redesign. Looked pretty nice. Used handwriting style to make it feel like a journal.

But when I played around with it, I didn’t like the new functions. I didn’t care for all the new features she added such as adding weather, my location, and changing the fonts to just name a few.

I wouldn’t want those things if I kept a gratitude journal.

I noticed too in the reviews in the app store that lots of people didn’t like it. Too much going on. Gave bad ratings and said they wanted the older version back. I agreed the older one was much better.

Entering the Market with a Different Approach

Since Photo 365 came out, I’ve been thinking about what’s another app I could do. Everyone kept asking me if I was doing more apps. I wanted to, but couldn’t come up with an idea.

The idea for Gratitude 365 didn’t happen at that moment of her update, but the following month I thought, “Why not enter the market place with something different? Do my own version of a gratitude app.”

I downloaded other gratitude apps in the store (and there are lots) and noticed they seemed to be popular. Read the reviews and people enjoyed them.

However, I felt like their designs were not that good at all, but functionality was more simple. Still had too many for my taste. Her app had a nice design, but too many bells and whistles.

So I decided on great design + simple app. I wanted the focus back on what you’re thankful for. To me, that’s the whole point of a gratitude journal.

Simple as that.

Starting the Work

I used the same team that worked on Photo 365. They did a great job with the design and features on that one. Worked started in late March 2012. In April I got the first designs back.


Looked like how I drew my wireframe, but they also added in their creativity to the layout.

A couple weeks later in April 2012, the next design update came. It looks very similar to what’s in the App store now.



I wanted it to feel like they were writing on notebook paper. They did a great job conveying that.

The app was supposed to be done in May. Then delays came and soon it was July and the app wasn’t ready. The whole app was done. Features all included.

The only problem were fixing the bugs. This was a frustrating time for me because I didn’t want to wait. The waiting sucked.

The team were slow to fixing them, probably cause they had other projects to work on and this was running longer than expected.

Signed Up as a Beta Tester. Why Not?

Sometime in July 2012, I see an email from my inbox. It’s from the other gratitude journal developer asking for beta testers for her next update. I don’t remember being on her list, but maybe I signed up two years ago on her website or it was on the list cause I purchased her ebook.

I don’t recall any other emails from her before that.

I didn’t see the harm in signing up. It’s right there asking me with a link to click on. She was using a service called Testflightapp.com, which is very common for developers because it easily lets people test out your app for problems.

From what I remember she was fixing errors and adding some new features. That’s what she needed testers for. To test it out on their device and report back with any problems they had.

No resign. Nothing different from looking at the app in the App store. Same old stuff.

So I downloaded the beta and tried it out. I remember it feeling exactly like the version that came out in February. Didn’t notice anything different. I tried it out for a minute and then closed it.

I didn’t report back any bugs and that’s normal. When I had beta testers for Photo 365 for an update, I had 30 people signed up, but only five gave me any feedback.

I’ve been a beta tester for other apps and have seen follow up emails from the developer saying no one has given feedback yet and please do.

So it’s common to have people sign up, but not say anything.

What I saw in the beta, in the short time, look exactly the same in terms of design as you would see as a paying customer of her app.

So curiosity took over and that’s why i signed up for testing.

I didn’t act like I was James Bond and steal intelligence nor drink a martini while doing it (though I could really use a drink now).

Here Comes the Finger Pointing

That brings us back to last night when I saw the email, Facebook comment, and blog comment.

I almost didn’t want to respond to such false bull**** in her email. I was going to let her think what she wanted. However, after I saw karma coming after me and her blog comment, I had to say something.

I wrote a long reply telling her a summary of what I’ve told you here.

(Note: In the blog comment, she specifically said “stole my design”. In the Facebook status says “copied her app”. In the status update, it could mean copying her features or design, which I didn’t do. I have no idea. But I sense she means mine is a total rip off of hers.)

I explained to her, like I did here publicly, why I was on the beta list.

Sure it doesn’t “look” good, but the beta list isn’t anything exclusive. Anyone who signed up just saw maybe some new small features. No new design at all. Nothing super secretive. At least I didn’t see anything in the minute I used the app.

If something was so secretive, you wouldn’t recruit strangers to help you test it. You’d ask friends and family that you know.

I wasn’t testing out the next big app like Instragram or Angry Birds. Come on.

What I saw in this beta, you could pay 99 cents and download it in the App store anyways.

I certainly didn’t steal any design from her. I don’t know why she thinks that.

I think she believes because I was on the beta, I quickly gathered my resources to come out with an app that came out before her update was released.

The time frame would have been less than a month!!

If only my apps could have been done in just one month!! Oh I wish that was possible with Gratitude 365 and Photo 365. Both took 5-7 months actually.

Little did she know I had the idea already back in March, and final look was done by May already. I took NOTHING. ZERO. ZILCH.

Being a beta tester means nothing, in my opinion, since nothing earth shattering was being revealed.

You Judge Yourself

Okay so you want to see what all the fuss is about. Take a look for yourself. Her screenshot is on top. Mine is on the bottom.

Her app

Gratitude 365

My app

Remember she’s saying I “stole her design”.

Hey look! It’s another gratitude app which was created in May 2012. I wonder if she contacted them about stealing her design as well.

I show you that one because ideas will be duplicated. We all have a calendar. We all have daily entries.We all have list. That’s where the similarities end.

If you dig deeper into each app, you’ll know that each one functions differently.

I did my app my own way. How I’d want it to be as a user.

Honestly, I don’t need to know today’s weather, or have my iPhone tag my location (today’s gratitude was written in the bathroom).

Some people like it. I don’t.

Her design is more fancy with the handwriting style. Mine is more modern.

How many apps are there that let you add filters to your photos? Tons

How many apps help you take panoramic photos? Lots

How many apps let you keep a daily journal? Many

My point is ideas will be done again.

I know there will be more gratitude apps. In fact I got this email from Karol Gajda the day I launched Gratitude 365. (Read from the bottom up)

Did I freak out? Did I convince him to stop? No way.

I thought that was funny. It’s going to happen with any business idea and especially in the App store. I know Karol will make it his own style, and it’s up to the buyer to decide which one they like.

I always tell people who email me that look for competition in the App store when developing an app. That’s a good sign. Karol is a fan of writing gratitudes and probably looked and noticed competition. He’s a smart entrepreneur.

I had to ask around

I knew 100% in my heart, I didn’t steal or copy anything. But I wanted to ask other people. I’m too close to this situation so of course that’s what I believed.

I turned to my app development group I’m a part of on Facebook and my Twitter followers. I knew they’d be honest with me. Here are their responses and really great insight to the situation.

Screen Shot 2012-08-22 at 11.55.55 AM

Screen Shot 2012-08-22 at 11.02.05 AM


Thanks to you guys on Twitter for taking the time to chime in as well.

Mars Dorian summed it up well. Her style and my style aren’t even close.

I wanted to hear from developers so I’m glad Kyle gave me his thoughts. He develops awesome games like Wordstack, which you should check out. He knows about people trying to do similar apps like him.

What I Learned and You Should Too From This

1) Some people are crazy. I believe she saw my app in the same category, wondered who this new app was ranking higher than hers, did some research and contacted me. She assumed I stole secret info from her beta testing.

For a long time I know she had the most popular gratitude app, and now maybe can’t accept the fact that someone else came along. She can’t stand to see competition. I can’t rationalize any other way for her to think my app copied her and hoped bad things would happen to me.

2) If you’re developing apps, you can borrow another idea. Ideas have been done over and over. What matters is how you execute that idea.

There’s Coke and Pepsi. Wal-Mart and Target. McDonald’s and Burger King. The television show “LOST” and every crappy copycat that came along afterwards.

Same idea, all executed differently.

As long you don’t blatantly copy, you should be okay.

3) Stand up for yourself. I know in the past Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income has had doubters question if he really makes that much money online. One guy even criticized the shirt he wore in his videos. Huh?

He knows 100% what he doing is legit and felt like he had to stand up for himself. The internet is full of people who go around and say stupid things to just piss you off, but sometimes you can’t just stand back and let that person attack your character and how you do business.

Like I said, you can not like my writing. You can not like my apps. You can not like me. I can’t disagree with your opinion. However, don’t accuse me of something that isn’t true.

4) When you do things honestly from the beginning, you’ll have nothing to hide. That includes making sales and how you conduct your business. The same can be applied to your life. Don’t be dishonest.

Don’t make guarantees you can’t deliver. The only things guaranteed in life are death, taxes, and stupid people on the internet.

When someone accuses you of something, you won’t use more lies to cover your tracks. You know in deep down inside (or when hooked up to a polygraph) that you’re telling to truth.

5) Just laugh about it. After awhile when something so ridiculous is said about you, you just have to laugh at it. I imagine Hollywood celebrities must laugh at the tabloid headlines sometimes because they’re so ridiculous.

I started this post pretty upset, but by the end have been able to laugh about it.

6) Let them waste their time hoping you fail. When you have success, you’re going to find people who secretly or not so secretly post it on their Facebook. If that’s how they spend their time and attention, then that’s their problem. If someone hopes you fail, then go out and prove them wrong.

What Do You Think?

If you were in this situation, how would you have handled it? This is all new for me so I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Most importantly, do you believe I “stole her design”? Do we look like Barbie twins?

If I’m right, please leave a comment and show your support!




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95 responses to What to Do When Someone Attacks with Lies? Fight Back with the Truth

  1. Benny, I’m so sorry to hear you’re having to deal with this nonsense. I’m one of those people who feels like it’s not even worth my time to go chasing after people I think ripped me off or stole my idea. But whatever, maybe she just has a lot of time on her hands. I think you handled it and are handling it perfectly. You’re upset and annoyed (rightfully so) but you aren’t being hateful and rude.

    Your design looks nothing like hers and I agree with the comments from your Facebook group – she’s just jealous yours is better. We all have ideas and moments when we encounter “strike and ignite” fires from other people. But goodness, if we all went around yelling at people for stealing an idea we’d have no ideas left. There’s nothing new under the sun, even the app she developed. She didn’t come up with that idea on her own.

    You can rest in the fact that what you did was legit and honest. Stay strong!

    • Thank you Carrie and I agree with everything you said. I almost didn’t want to give my energy to reply to her email. Because I knew I didn’t do anything wrong, so why even bother giving her a response. ust seeing the other comments got me more upset.

      Really appreciate your thoughts on this! Your opinion seems to be like every other reasonable person’s out there. 🙂

  2. Benny so after reading this and looking at the evidence I think you and many others have already answered the question…No copying.

    This other app developer clearly is not a fan of competition & instead of welcoming healthy competition she wants to belittle & demean her competitor(s).

    I know you had to get that off your chest and that’s fine, but like you say there will always be people who don’t like you, judge or criticize you the only thing you can do is keep being genuine…that never fails !

    • Hey Jeremy. I almost didn’t want to write this post, but by the time I hit publish it really helped me get things off my chest. I’m the type of guy that usually keeps things to myself and let it build up. But in this case, I couldn’t.

      I know I’ve seen other Photo 365 type apps after mine, and I certainly don’t mind because none are plain ripoff of mine. That’s how business is. You open up a sandwich shop and someone will open one up just one block away (this just happened near my house). So there’s always competition.

      Really appreciate the support!!

  3. Hey Benny,

    I had to stop by and give you my opinion. I know we’re suppose to turn the other cheek and let them say what they want but when they are bashing your reputation, that’s something that can’t be ignored.

    Like all your other good friends you’ve met online, I believe I know you to be the a guy of high integrity and I have no doubt that any app gratitude journal that you were to open will be similar in nature. The design and the bells and whistles are probably different but everyone is doing it. It’s like people writing about the same topic, it’s been said 20 million times already. Some people just might like your presentation much better.

    I say hold that head up high my friend and carry on. You rock and we all stand behind you! Bring em on…


    • Hey Adrienne!!!! Great to see your smile face. Thanks for reading giving me your thoughts. Your words are right on. I feel better after getting this off my chest, and it helps to hear the support from good friends like yourself. Thank you!

  4. Hello, Benny –

    It’s always distressing when someone makes a snarky remark in a public forum such a Facebook – or anywhere else, for that matter. My thoughts, after reading your post, were to go and investigate the two apps in question. Which is what I did.

    As you well know, I already own your awesome Gratitude 365 app so, in fairness, I purchased the “other” app which is touted as “the Original”. (I had to giggle at that claim when I saw it – there is nothing truly original under the sun – everything is energy and a part of the “whole”.) And I will be very truthful here (trying to set aside my prejudice over my love for Gratitude 365):

    Apples and Oranges. That’s right. They are both the same in their intention: Keeping a daily Gratitude “Journal” just like apples and oranges are both fruits. It will come down to the user as to what their favorite will be…just like someone preferring apples over oranges.

    Oh, and I will add that, in searching for her app I typed in “Gratitude” on my iPhone. 48 Gratitude apps for the iPhone came up and, guess what? A lot of them have the exact same intention/function that the two in question have – and some of them are free.

    However, your Gratitude 365 app is, by far, more streamlined and intuitive and isn’t that the point of an app to begin with? Make it quick and easy for the user? The first time I used the “other” app, nothing was saved and it took a little work with it to figure out how to use it. And I’m a typographer/graphic designer so I much prefer your app’s un-numbered list with proper spacing. See? It all comes down to preference. And I really cannot see a guy buying the other app – it’s far too girly (she’s already cut herself out of 50% of the app-buying market). And I’m a girl! And, no you are NOT Barbie twins – you’re more like Barbie and Ken.

    But the bigger message I would like to convey with this way-too-long comment is: With Gratitude the Universe is Eternally Abundant. There is always enough for everybody. And, isn’t that the point of having a daily Gratitude app in the first place? To notice the abundance?

    With the greatest admiration, I remain



    • Pamela! I love your comment and I don’t just say that because you said nice things about my app. But because you really are the type of person I created this app for. If someone wants all those features, go find another app. That’s not who I’m targeting. I’m looking for people who prefer minimalism. Less is more these days, right?

      I don’t fault others for wanting to add every little detail into their gratitude journal, but that wasn’t my vision for the app.

      You’re absolutely right saying there is always enough in the universe for everyone. I guess she felt I was a huge threat to her and decided to create lies. Just surprised me she would wish those things on her Facebook page. A page that’s supposed to promote gratitude and happiness. Go figure. 🙂

      But I loved your refreshing comment. Thank you so much my friend!

  5. Oh, and if I didn’t make it clear: You absolutely did not copy her app.

  6. Glad you got that off your chest!! Don’t waste any more energy thinking of this other developer. You know you’ve done the right thing and that’s all that matters. Great idea to get the truth out there for public record however!

    • Thanks Tracey! I do feel better after writing it. I let out all that frustration inside of me. I just wanted to show what type of person she truly is. She sent me an email, left a comment, and wrote on her FB about me. And telling lies to her followers. That’s crazy.

      I have nothing to hide and I’m glad to know that others see that I absolutely did nothing wrong. She’s just a jealous person.

  7. Hi Benny!

    First of all, congratulations on the amazing success of your new app! I love the design and the functionality. I had been using a different app for a gratitude journal (not your accuser’s) and when your new app came out I was hooked. It was as if you knew exactly what I wanted and what was missing from the one that I was using. As a fellow app developer, I commend you for such a well thought out design. Anyone can make an app. It takes someone with great vision to make one that’s simple, functional and brilliant.

    That’s what Steve Jobs mastered. He didn’t invent the computer, the portable audio player, the mobile phone or animations. He made them better. He made them connect with us emotionally. And he did it better than anyone else. Don’t you think he had haters? Every great champion has haters. Its a part of being great.

    You’re on the right track Benny. As far as what you are going through, unfortunately it probably won’t be the last time. It happens to all of us.

    Here’s to your success!

  8. Hi Benny!

    Wow…just, WOW. Oprah once said, “The higher up the mountain we progress, the taller the weeds we find.”

    Sadly, this person decided to expend more time and energy trying to bring you down, when that same energy could have been used to create something new or different.

    You’re doing a great job man, and it’s great to see you stand up and defend your integrity and that of your app.

    You have certainly prevailed here, and maybe they should Get A Life That Doesn’t Suck by focusing on innovating like you have…by Embracing The Remix!

    • Thank you Marv! Thanks for sharing what Oprah said. When she talks, I listen! LOL. Pretty bad to see someone who is suppose to be positive and thankful, publicly wish bad stuff to happen for something I didn’t even do. But there are many more people out there like her and we just have to deal with sewage to get to freedom like Andy Dufrene did in the Shawshank Redemption.

      Thanks for the support!

  9. Hi Benny,
    Congrats on the app! I am sorry you have to deal with the bull though.. There are definitely people out there who want to stop you from getting to the top. This girl may not be the last one to try and impede your progress. I salute you for sticking up for yourself and protecting your brand! You’ve put too much effort and work in just to stand there and let someone throw dirt on your name. You DID NOT steal her app. Rest easy and be proud of your accomplishments man.


    • Hey Aaron, always great to see your comment. Yeah sadly there are a bunch more people like her out there. I had to stand up and do something. I couldn’t ignore this. Like I said, you can not like my blog or my app, but when you attack my character, then I have to fight back.

      Thanks for the support!

  10. That sucks dude! Good on you for writing this post. I hope karma bites them in the ass too.

    • It does. Totally took me by surprise, but to her surprise I had nothing to hide in developing my app. Thanks for the support!

  11. Benny,

    I’m both shocked and not shocked that someone accused you of this because anyone who knows you also knows YOU DID NOT COPY her app. It’s clear in the design, the timing, the functionality and I just know you to well.

    I’m so sorry you are going through this rollercoaster of emotions right now.
    I know exactly how you feel too.

    You read what this other person had to say, your heart starts pounding and adrenaline starts pumping. Yu feel hurt and angry at the same time. Or at least that’s what happened to me when someone accused me of stealing their sleeping panda sleeping mask design which i won’t get into.
    This other person blogged about me in a not so nice way. told all their online friends and tried to bad mouth me in etsy forums. I didn’t have a blog to fight back or tell my story but i got amazing feedback from people saying it was obvious that my designs were my own. i digress.

    Back to you and your app. Sure there are similarities but a copy it is not.

    What strikes me as odd is when some people have ideas, they think they are the first one to ever come up with some revolutionary idea and own the rights to it. Noone else can take that idea and modify it and make it better.
    If that were true there would only be one model of a car, one type of computer. Only ipads and no other type of tablets. Songs would not be inspired by other songs for fear of sounding to similar. You get the picture…

    A gratitude app isn’t really that revolutionary. It’s not ground breaking so why all the fuss? There are only so many ways to make it right? I think what you are dealing with is someone who is scared of some competition. Someone who saw your app and was scared because you app isn’t NOT a copy but actually better. Just a hunch.

    What these people fail to see is that all ideas are really just borrowed ideas based on other ideas. One idea meets another idea and mingles in your head and out comes a new idea. It’s called “C-R-E-A-T-V-I-T-Y” and it’s the basis for almost everything new which really isnt’ new at all .Those so called new ideas are how we make progress.

    If this other person wasn’t so paranoid or threatened then they would be able to see this too but they can’t because of fear. But that’s not your problem anymore. You said your peace.

    And for the record, I think you did the right thing in writing about this experience because it could happen to anyone. You’ve shown that you can be pissed and still be civilized about how to defend yourself. If anything, you’ve shown people how to act with honour and dignity in an uncomfortable situation.

    “I find it odd that she and her followers make snarky remarks”

    With that said, I wanted to show you this tedex video called “steal like an artist” by Austin Kleon at Ted Ex. It addresses this very issue that NO IDEA is original. Basically he had an idea and he was accused of stealing it. When he researched further he found out that indeed someone else had that same idea years before. But that that person was not the first either. To make a long story short, each time he researched back he found that others had the same ideas going back over a hundred years i think.

    Watch the video, it’s very interesting.


    And if you are the other app developer accusing Benny of stealing….

    I suggest you save what little dignity you have and do one of two things or both.
    1-Bite the bullet and admit you are wrong for accusing someone of stealing your app design. That’s the high road. And people might actually respect you more.

    2- Or continue to accuse him and hide and erase his comments and links where he talks about this issue.

    I really do hope Karma gets its way with you Benny. Because as far as i can tell, Karma is your friend.

    Peach, Everyone should send this tweet out to their friends and facebook everyday for a week to get the word out.

    • Wow Annie!! I hope she does read it, but she probably won’t cause she’s scared. She’s probably hiding, but can’t take back what she said. She put it out there publicly. But thanks for your support sister!!

  12. I think you summed it up with your #1 lesson learned – some people are crazy. Period. To tell you the truth, I don’t even think she is stupid enough to actually think you “stole” anything from her. I just think she is upset that your app is better than hers and she is the MySpace of the Gratitude app world 😉

    If hers is really the better app more people will buy it – she has nothing to worry about. Meanwhile, she is wasting her time complaining instead of improving her own app…sounds like a winning strategy to me…

    Best of luck with the new app!


  13. You keep creating your apps Benny and I’m going to continue purchasing your apps its that simple. Those designs are different. Tell her to move on and you keep on moving on man.

  14. Tammy Polen Manocchio August 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Benny,

    That’s just crazy. Saying your app is a copy of hers is like Poison saying every other hair band stole their idea for love ballads. In the grand scheme of things this world has been re-inventing the same ideas over and over, but each person’s personality and unique talents help to express them in fresh new ways. Keep putting your fresh take on old ideas with the passion you obviously have and don’t worry about judgement from others.

  15. If anything, the screenshots of the app you posted from May 2012 have a handwritten style that’s more like hers.

    From looking at her site and on my iPhone, it looks like her app is very popular so I really don’t see anything to worry about, she’s still the top dog and there’s room for everyone.

    I honestly don’t see any basis for the design rip-off accusation. I’m glad you decided to fight back and explain your side of the story. I had no doubt anyway that you wouldn’t rip someone off, but I understand you had to get this out there.

    Keep doing what you’re doing man, you’re helping people and I don’t think you’re going to have to worry about any bad karma coming your way!

    • Thanks John! I hope after all this the karma gods are shining on me because I don’t know why she went all crazy and made these crazy accusations.

  16. Copying? She is really grasping. The one downside is her app is getting more attention, but on the flip side, it is negative attention, especially to those that investigate her “issue”.
    I don’t understand how something far superior is copying, also how does one copy gratitude in general, that is like saying someone is copying walking. Doesn’t make sense.
    Keep up the excellent, inspiring work, I don’t have an iphone, but I keep up with your blog and facebook because you inspire me and make me want to do better.
    Best of luck!

    • Thanks Sarah for leaving a comment! I don’t know what she saw in my app that looked like copying. Some people are just desperate and crazy I suppose.

      Thanks for your support!!

  17. Yours is better designed. The concept is similar in that they’re both journaling apps, so you will have some overlap (i.e. calendar), but saying you copied or “stole” her design is far-fetched. The entrepreneurial spirit of this country is based on 1.) Creating new products and 2.) Improving products that already exist. The app store attests to this fact. While your concept is the same (i.e. gratitude app), the “design” is a major upgrade. It’s like saying Facebook copied Myspace – no, they improved an existing concept and users agreed, which is why FB still exists and Myspace has become obsolete. Not cool how she is slandering your name.

    • Not cool at all Ariana, so that’s why I had to say something and prove the facts. She made her statement without any proof at all. To me that’s lame. Thanks for leaving a comment with your support on this! I wish I didn’t have to write it in the first place, but I couldn’t ignore it.

  18. Benny, though I don’t have the app (I’m an Android guy), the reality is as you said. There are many apps that end up being close yet are so different. Goodness, does a person really believe they have a monopoly on something because they created it? I’m sure she got the idea the same way you did, saw someone else’s and wanted to do something different.

    You’ve built up a good reputation online, and as you can tell from the comments here you have lots of support. Yeah, I’d have fussed on my blog also, and I might not have been as nice as you were. 🙂

    • Hey Mitch! She doesn’t understand how a real business works I suppose. Ideas are just that. Especially in the app store where there are like 10 or more apps with the same idea. I wanted to not be as nice here, but I had to hold back for sure. 🙂

      thanks for your comment and your support Mitch!

  19. Benny, the only thing you should be accused of stealing is your wife’s heart.

    I’m afraid your accuser forgot what capitalism is; the drive of true competition to offer a better product or service.

    Remember, nothing is original.

    Keep on doing work, good work, positive work and things will be golden!

    • Hahahah nice one Brad! Thanks for leaving a comment on this. Hopefully she’s stalking me and see how disagree with her.

  20. Benny, i made this one short, but believe me, u’r just doing the right thing on the right track

    i’m in zurich and a guy here is showing the GBL t shirt, coincidence.

    keep it up mate


    • Really? A GBL shirt? That is pretty cool! I wonder who it is.

      Thanks for your support on this. Hearing it from others makes me feel better.

  21. Hey Benny – Sorry you had to go through this but I’m glad you decided to write about it. I bought Photo365 when it came out and loved it, so when I saw on twitter that your gratitude app had been released I bought it before even reading about it. 🙂 It’s sleek and minimal just as I expected and far nicer than some of the others I’ve looked at. It seems to be a nice natural follow up to your first app. I don’t think there’s any way you copied the other app and I feel sorry for the creator of that one for getting caught up in petty negativity. Perhaps she really believes that you copied her (which is sad) but she should not have publicly slammed you. There’s room for civility even in disagreements and her concerns should have remained private between the two of you unless she had obvious proof of you directly copying her (but of course there is none). I don’t own the other app but if I did, I would be tempted to delete it now just because of the immaturity and negativity of the creator. It’s a GRATITUDE app for crying out loud. 🙂 She should be grateful someone wanted to copy her app even if it was imagined.
    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and one thing I’ve always appreciated is the integrity and positivity that infuses everything you write (and create). Keep doing what you do my friend and don’t worry about karma – all of yours will be good! 😉

    • Yes she could have kept it private instead of leaving a comment on my blog and putting it on her FB page w/o any evidence to back it up. Empty accusations are just stupid. I had nothing to hide, which contradicted what she believed.

      Thanks for your comment and being a long time reader here!

  22. Envy makes people react in unfortunate ways. (Congrats on the new app, btw!)

  23. Honestly, (I’m bein’ honestly, honest here, ‘kay?) anybody who snidely comments on facebook (and can’t even bother to use capitalization/punctuation like a proper adult) doesn’t get even the respect of a pre-teen Beiber fan from me.

    But I’m glad you took the time to address her libel. Always nice when the person behaving badly gets soundly swatted for it.

    • Thank you for your honesty! This whole post is about being honest. And I also can’t take someone who writes worse than a little kid that seriously. So she can keep her as a friend. I don’t want people like that in my life. Thanks for your comment and support on this matter!

  24. Sorry to hear about someone accusing you of being a liar. Karma will get her back – I’ve been following you for quite a while and read all your stuff; I feel like I know you personally and I don’t think you stole her design at all. It’s unfortunate that the situation had to be handled this way; it could have been handled more professionally and/ or with less stress involved. I’m glad you had a chance to get this off of your chest.

    • Thanks Irwin. I had to get it off my chest. I had no plans to write this until I saw her bad mouthing me here on the blog and on FB. I couldn’t just ignore all that.

      Appreciate the support and glad I’m not the only one that sees no stealing at all!

  25. Like a lot of others said it’s like Coke and Pepsi~ it’s similar but many different gratitude apps are too. I doubt that you copied her and that you really did use your own ideas to create that app. Maybe she just jumped to conclusions? By the way, I liked that you stood up for yourself here. I agree with you when you say disliking someone and lying about someone are two different things and that you have to say what’s true and what’s not in those situations.

    In the end just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t let things like this get to you! ^_^ ???!! (Translation: Fighting!! [just a way of cheering you on])

    • I don’t know what she did. I would hope before someone accuses someone of something, at least back it up. But also if she knows she made a mistake, I’d welcome an apology, but I doubt I’ll ever see one because she doesn’t seem like a classy person.

      I’ll keep doing what I do for sure! Thank you Daphne for the support!

  26. Yo Benny, just showing some love, leaving a comment after reading your post. Glad you got it off your chest, so what app are you making next? =)


  27. Hi Benny

    Annie recommended your blog to me. Wow and what a post to land on!

    I’m so sorry that happened to you. The designs look nothing and I mean NOTHING alike. Envy can be a very bad thing and in this case the other developer is definitely envious of your app. In fact she is jealous. She’s no doubt annoyed that your app is more popular. Heck, it looks so much better; more modern, crisper and much easier to read.

    I don’t know what the functional similarities are but does it really matter? I’m sure most of these apps have similar if not the same functions.

    Hats off to you for this post Benny. Don’t waste your time any longer thinking about it.

    Have a great weekend.


    • Hi Tim! Thanks for checking out the blog. Annie’s a great friend and a smart lady. Thanks for your insight. I wanted to write this post as well to see what other people thought. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss something. But now it’s clear she made statements she couldn’t back up.

      Thanks for your first comment here Tim and nice to meet you!

  28. Hi Benny

    its the best response to the allegations by mentioning the events that led to the app’s creation

    theres difference in the design and layout of both the apps…
    can’t say ones a copy of the other

  29. Anyone who makes snidey remarks about someone on Facebook is pathetic, don’t they realise that It will be seen by millions of people………. My immediate thoughts, were to go and investigate the two apps in question, you come across as a genuinly nice guy and stupid people can easily hurt/offend when they don’t stop and think! Anyway, glad you were able to get it off your chest, that person isn’t worth more of our time or energy!

    • Thank you Amelia for your comment. Getting it off my chest did help, but a shame this whole thing happened in the first place. But I live and learn!

  30. Yikes, that’s pretty brutal. Sorry you’re having to deal with that but it’s definitely a possibility when your in the field. Hope things work out for you!

    • I’m learning it’s going to happen. Never had someone make lies, but I guess it’s part of business. A good life lesson for sure.

  31. Hi Benny, my goodness. I read through your entire post so I could understand what happened. I know this is frustrating for you. The people that know you and care the most about you would never believe that you stole the app. The fact is that in this internet world we now live in there are tons of crazy people. Too bad one of them had to try and “stick” to you. Suzanne

    • Thank you Suzanne. Yes the internet is full of crazy people, but I’ve been fortunate to have been crazy people free for the most part. I guess when you’re doing something right, there will be haters out there. Thanks for reading the entire post and leaving your thoughts on this matter!

  32. oh dear!!! what drama Benny. but sounds like you swam through it pretty well. I haven’t tested any of the apps so I can’t say, but from my interaction with you I’d hardly think you would even consider stealing any designs. And you are right, ideas will be replicated. There are a million cups out there in the world, who’s to say someone stole their ideas. To be honest, even if you did steal the design (and I’m not saying you did), that girl should consider it a compliment that someone would flatter her by copying her! Not curse you! a bit immature of her if you ask me – but then again no one asked me haha

    i was once upset that a girlfriend “stole” my idea for a skincare business here in China. We chatted over it one day over lunch and she asked me all about it and said her company could sponsor me etc. At that time I was only thinking about it so was talking to people to bounce around ideas. Next thing I knew, over dinner with mutual friends a week later, she said she is quitting her job to start her own business – skincare business with the exact same model I bounced off her the week before. i was livid!!!!! but for some reason i stayed quiet. and after i calmed down, i thought to myself, “well, the market is big enough, if she wants to do it do, so be it. same business model but different people applying it, could be different results anyways.” and in the end, it was silly of me to get upset, i didn’t follow through with the business as the maths didn’t work out. and my other friend taught me this: “take it as a compliment someone wants to be like you” don’t know why i was reminded of this. maybe just how that girl accused you reminded me of me. perhaps she is feeling a bit bad by now having kicked up a fuss. who knows, you two could become next best friends out of this “adversity” once you communicate, assuming she is genuine about it…

    anyways, i ramble…. just wanted to say thanks for the behind the scenes of an app development. and thanks for being gracious with your bloggers / followers when they also want to do a Gratitude app or write a blog, and you always always always are so generous with your advice and support. it’s very big hearted of you 🙂

    and don’t worry about your false accusations. this world is big. sooner or later another one will come along. just smile that big smile you have and the truth will shine 🙂

    Noch Noch

    • Hey Noch! I would have been upset if I told my friend my idea and she took it took! But you had a good attitude about it. Any idea how her business is doing now?

      I doubt we will be friends out of it. I wouldn’t want to, but I would take an apology. That’s the mature thing to do. However I don’t expect it and I’m not waiting for one.

      Thanks for your support! I’ll definitely keep smiling and being myself!

  33. Gajanan Bala Parwar August 25, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Hi Benny,

    After Reading entire thing i can say one thing Benny.You absolutely did not copy her application.you are doing a great work and keep doing it..

  34. Give ’em Hell, Benny.

    Posers, pretenders, and clones are all over and they’re exactly why I started doing what I do over at my blog.

    You know who and what you are – and so do a TON of others who left comments above.

    Sleep well & sell a ton of apps, my friend.


  35. Good grief! Benny it smells like a marketing ploy to grab some of your traffic.(smart on her part I suppose) I’m not much into apps personally (yeah yeah I know) but I can’t imagine app dev to be an entirely different concept from any other business development. I mean How many app developers are there? How many personal development bloggers out there who also read aristotle and positive psychology philosophies??? How many authors wrote about vampire and warewolves in the same breath? We all have unique perspectives on common interests, there’s nothing new about that.

    • You’re absolutely right, but I guess she failed to realize ideas are done over and over again. It’s about doing it your way and bringing something different too it.

      I really appreciate the comment and support!!

  36. HI Benny,
    Though I use Nokia and never tried this app, I actually have recommended it to my friends who use Apple. Most of all , a person who writes back every email that his reader sent to him is worth trusting! I will keep following your website. I will support you in this fight. As you said, keep innovating and you will lead the market! Bless!

  37. so… ahem…a big person encourages those around them to grow and spread their wings and all that good stuff. that’s what kind of person you are, encouraging, honest. just keep being who you are! and really, at the end of the day, isn’t it more about being who we are so we can keep doing more of what we want to do 🙂 great job!! i think this is an awesome post and i love how you address it so kind-yet-firmly! excited to see what you come up with next!

    • Thank you Mariana! I had to address it my own way. I had to be firm and state the facts. I’m going to keep on doing what I do because that’s just the person I am. Thanks for your support!

  38. It’s sad that in this day and age people go out there and just take your idea, concept, work and even brand to push their own.

    Worse yet is when a big company does it to the “average joe” and simply washes them aside with high financed PR and marketing.

    In this case you were lucky it was a solo person. What is a giant company or multimedia org did it? And then tried to market it so you were the person in the wrong?

    Sad times.

  39. I don’t believe that someone like you who writes with such passion and obviously wants the best for others would compromise his integrity with something like this. Keep crushing it Benny.

  40. Maybe she didn’t spend enough time on reading your blog to know how passionate you are and how you treat your business. As you said, it’s just like Cocacola sues Pepsi for stealing their beverage’s color and CO2.

    Life sucks with these people. Keep your head up and go straight forward to them 🙂 No one can stop such an inspirational entrepreneur like you.

  41. Stephanie @ Fairground Media September 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    (Does anyone really say “lamo”? Maybe she wanted to call me a “lamp” but got autocorrected. Damn you autocorrect!!)


    • No one can take anyone seriously when they use the word “lamo” right? Glad to see she has friends who are missing a few marbles in her brain.

  42. Hey Benny, I got heated up witht his story! Grrrr. Bully.

    When I heard about your app- I thought, surely there would be alot already in the market but I never checked. It’s really hard to say who imitated and who did not. Some ideas are universal. Just like plagiarism- you cannot say it is so unless perhaps you have a number of words copied exactly as it is. In a similar manner, designs can’t just be claimed as copied.

    My advice to this lady is to talk to her lawyer and file charges! No need to do childish Facebook bullying! She must have been a stepsister to Cinderella.

    • If you look at the other gratitude apps, the idea is all similar. They just have different design and features. So I don’t know what her problem was. It’s like I could call her a “shoplifter” without any proof. I could post it on her FB and send her an email calling her one. At least if she’s going to accuse me of something, have some evidence to back it up. Words are worthless.

      Thanks to the support!

  43. Hi from what I can gather from what you have wrote. I think she is smarting because the update to her app didn’t get the success that she desired. And her revenue stream has probably gone down. Therefore she is probably very concerned about the opposition. Namely you producing a better app than her update did. Therefore taking her custom and income away. So she’s is probably sounding off at you because she feels cornered.

    Good luck with the app thanks lee

  44. As you mentioned, I’ve been criticized and have had my fair share of doubters in the past too, and every time that has happened it wasn’t because of something I’ve done, it was because of something those who are criticizing or questioning me didn’t do. When someone puts the blame on someone else, it’s a way of making one’s self feel better for something that’s not right in their lives.

    This person is accusing you because she feels that her app isn’t as good as yours, and she feels threatened. Yours is CLEARLY better, and although it’s the same idea, it gives the end user a much better experience. Instead of calling you out, she should make a better version herself and come back even stronger than yours, that way the end-consumer is the one who benefits. There are a ton of other gratitude apps out there, but you were called out because yours is the most threatening.

    If there was only one version of every idea out there, the world would be a crappy place to live in. Did she patent the idea? No. Well, then it’s free game for anyone else to create something better.

    Don’t waste your time worrying about this Benny, you know you’re in the right and unless you infringed on a patent, then there’s nothing to worry about.

    • Thanks for commenting Pat! You make some great points that make a lot of sense. It just bothered me a lot that someone would throw out these accusations with no concrete proof. One email I would have ignored. A comment on my blog was pushing it. Then finding her FB page and wishing bad karma on me? I couldn’t sit back and say nothing.

      But I felt better after writing this post, and the support has been great.

      But now she’s got me fired up to work harder. 🙂

  45. Man, tough stuff man.

    What about if you stop visiting and completely shut out the noise? That’s what I try to do, and I’ve found it helps a lot.

    • It was hard to shut it out, but after writing that post, I got a lot off my chest. I feel better about it now and it’s been great to get support. Just gotta stay away from crazy people. 🙂

  46. Benny, as you noted there are always crazy people out there and the crazy really comes out when they are threatened. From the screenshots your app is NOTHING like hers and is MUCH more put together and slick. I build apps as well and none of my ideas are novel or original, they are just different implementations (better in my opinion…LOL) of tens if not hundreds of similar apps. Did I look at other similar apps in the marketplace? Yes. Did I rip off someone else because my recipe app lists recipes and has pictures and ratings? No.

    I respect your decision to stand up for yourself after repeated attacks from different outlets. I generally just keep my mouth shut, but like you said, there comes a point when someone is accusing of something that isn’t true that you have to put your foot down, even if it doesn’t appease those attacking you. I feel like you phrased your rebuttal eloquently and anyone with half a brain can see that you in no way “stole my designs” as she is accusing.

    Keep developing great apps and forget the haters.

    • Hey Benjamin. Like the name! 🙂

      Thanks for your comment. You seem to have the same approach I take when it comes to app. It’s not blatantly copying, but taking an idea and doing it in a different way. I would have ignored her if it weren’t for her constant lying. So I had to do something and glad to have all this support. Shows who really is the crazy one! Thanks for your comment and let me know when your apps are out. Be interested in checking them out!

      • Benny, one app has been out since January and you can find it at http://www.getcrockingapp.com. Our second app is built off the same framework and should be out in a few weeks. We also plan to have both apps in Google Play by the end of the year.

        BTW…Pat Flynn’s blog post about your story with Photo365 is what finally pushed me over the edge and made me move forward with the first app a little over a year ago.


  47. First off, great app to be honest. When I fell on your blog after following it sporadically and noticed you had just released a new iphone app, I was like *oh sh*t *

    1.I know the company you used for your development and they did work for me in the past and they are DAMN GOOD
    2.Your app was really really well designed and simple and easy to use.

    Did I complain no! The more competition the better, it helps you improve. And its the only way to go around in the app store now. You see something your passionate about, you watch for things you could change to own the idea ie improve it, simplify it whatever. Then you launch yours!

    These days its impossible to come up with the NEXT angry birds or fart app! its just a lottery game if you want to go down that route. So I get where you’re coming from.

    I know, who am I? I’m the 5Smiles App guy.

    And No! She hasnt contacted me yet. And just like you, I followed and bought her book in the past in my app store journey.

    I take it that, just the fact that she hasnt contacted me, should be a great COMPLIMENT to YOU. Mind you, my app was in way before yours and no contact from the lady, and soon as you launched yours, you caused the stir! So that means you’re doing something GOOD! Keep on doing it!

    Great app again! I guess we need to keep improving 🙂

    • Hey Martin! Great to hear from you. It’s been awhile. 5Smiles is your app? Wow! I had no idea. I didn’t know about your app till I wrote that article and wanted to see how the other gratitude apps looked. I’m surprised she didn’t contact you. Crazy woman right? Like others said, she’s upset about the competition.

      Hope your app is doing well! I know there’s enough customers for all our apps. Just some will like one more than others based on personal preference.

      Thanks for your comment!