Update: Todd from FlightFox has apologized
This just happened:
lol @flightfox just plagiarised NomadList and so (after a previous horrific exeperience) I'm never using them again https://t.co/PPIaJVbO9k
— @jongold (@jongold) October 14, 2014
@levelsio Oh how original https://t.co/onle5vrX0L
— Fred Perrotta (@FredPerrotta) October 13, 2014
@nomadlist_ seems familiar… http://t.co/bGFRXUFZuS
— that grum guy (@grum) October 10, 2014
Last month, I launched Nomad List, it tells you the best cities to live and work remotely and is targeted towards startups with remote teams and digital nomads. It’s part of my challenge to launch 12 startups in 12 months.
Just now, FlightFox, a self-described marketplace of flight experts, launched a new page that looks eerily familiar to people that’ve seen my site Nomad List:
Even the city details themselves:
Eventhough they used the wrong picture for Chiang Mai as Yury notes:
@flightfox @levelsio @FredPerrotta I like the picture of Chiang Rai for the number one city, Chiang Mai, only 3 hours away.
— Yury (@ytspar) October 14, 2014
It’s not just the concept of putting up a list of cities to work from remotely. That’s not unique. Sites before Nomad List have done it, and other startups are working in this space, like Teleport. But it appears as if FlightFox directly scraped my site, merely stripping out a few cities and adding a few others to make it look theirs.
They obviously thought it was to blatant and tried to cover it up quickly changing the title of the page from:
The 17 Best Cities To Live Cheaply for Nomads
The 17 Best Cities To Live Cheaply
However, their Facebook page still show the old title:
Do I care? No I think it’s pretty awesome and flattering. And it shows direct market validation:
@cwaring @jongold @flightfox obvs if inspired by @levelsio, attribute it. Other than that, isn't that the beauty of the web? Validation etc!
— Marie Steinthaler (@marmarlade) October 14, 2014
If a funded startup like FlightFox puts up a page like this, there’s obviously people interested in it. And the power of the internet is that people copy. But when you do it so blatantly, it’s common courtesy to link back, attribute and mention your source. And they didn’t. That’s not very nice. And it’s not very smart PR for them now either.
Especially not if you start denying it, then you’re pretty much asking for a social media storm:
@levelsio @FredPerrotta thanks for inventing remote working for us all 😉 We'd be so lost without you both.
— Flightfox (@flightfox) October 14, 2014
@flightfox @levelsio Sarcasm isn't becoming of corporate accounts, especially when directed at a customer and fan. Next time, try humility.
— Fred Perrotta (@FredPerrotta) October 14, 2014
However, I agree with @heyalexej, it’s done very well and it gives me some great cues on how to include hostel/hotel/apartment listings on my site.
@ytspar @flightfox @levelsio @FredPerrotta It's done very nicely though. I like how they represent the data and resources.
— chmod +x bull.sh (@heyalexej) October 14, 2014
They could’ve done it just a little more appropriately though. If they’d tweeted me or sent me an email to ask me to use my data, I’d love to share it. I even have an API they could use. Or even if they didn’t ask but just attribute Nomad List as a source. But they didn’t.
@marmarlade @cwaring @jongold @flightfox or why not talk to @levelsio and include @nomadlist_ somehow. That would be most fair.
— Robert Fonó (@fonorobert) October 14, 2014
Twitter didn’t like it:
@flightfox actually, I take back my carry on. Upon further investigation, its a rip-off. You could have been a bit more discrete about it.
— that grum guy (@grum) October 14, 2014
@jongold @levelsio @flightfox Don't think they realize how badly they just shot themselves in the foot…
— Freedom & Fulfilment (@FandFdotcom) October 14, 2014
@FredPerrotta @flightfox @levelsio wow. not cool. not cool at all.
— Daniel Tay (@legendt) October 14, 2014
@levelsio @flightfox @nomadlist #ripoff
— Ryan Lim (@bg26892) October 14, 2014
@jongold @flightfox not cool.
— Chris Waring (@cwaring) October 14, 2014
However, if they’d done it appropriately, we wouldn’t have all these tweets and this blog post and they wouldn’t have given Nomad List all this attention today! And who am I not to embrace that? ^____^
P.S. I'm on Twitter too if you'd like to follow more of my stories. And I wrote a book called MAKE about building startups without funding. See a list of my stories or contact me. To get an alert when I write a new blog post, you can subscribe below: