Ideas Don’t Transfer: A Case Study

Ideas can’t be transferred. It’s just not possible. Ideas can be built upon, but you’ll never fully transfer an idea or dream.

I came across a post by Darren of Problogger that I think gives a pretty decent example of a website that spiraled downward once it was acquired. Zookoda is an rss-to-email newsletter service. It has many great features, and by outward appearances looks like a great option.

“However since it was sold to PayPerPost (now known as IZEA) I’ve noticed the service becoming more buggy and the customer service seems to be decreasing. I’ve had problems with deliverability (for a while there it wouldn’t deliver emails to anyone with a yahoo email address – I have thousands of subscribers using them), emails regularly are not sent and I’ve noticed more downtime and slowness with the site.

Email newsletters have become a central part of my blogging and I can’t afford an unreliable service any more. I’ve hung in there to give the new owners time to improve the service – but if anything it’s gone backwards. “

While IZEA can purchase the Zookoda code and possibly the developers, they can’t purchase the idea, culture or further advancements that Zookoda’s that might have happened while Zookoda was independent. It feels like there’s not a whole lot of motivation from the developers, as their blog is now stagnant. There aren’t any recent updates, other than “we’ve been evaluating for the last few months”.

I can tell you as a developer that if your product is taking months to “evaluate” what to do next, it means you don’t care about it. It should take a matter of days to figure that out, tops.

Turns out money can’t buy everything. ;)

Leave a Comment

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Calgary web design January 7, 2010, 12:05 pm

    If this is true than very few ideas are orginal….like this blog

  • claire spindler March 26, 2009, 8:46 am


  • DavidTan January 15, 2008, 9:51 am

    Great thought. Couldn’t agree more in this context.

  • Chris December 5, 2007, 11:05 am

    Does anybody know how to notify the author of this blog that his ‘tools’ section link, at top of homepage, is broken? Thanks.

  • Jonathan Fields December 4, 2007, 5:51 am


    Interesting post. It’s always pretty fascinating to see what happens to an idea that evolves into a business and then, once well defined, changes hands. Even if the business stays in the same hands, even a dramatic change in leadership can create enough of a strong clash of “ideas” and culture to cause disruption.

    I guess, if the initial idea was failing, then disruption is a good thing, but if it was succeeding, then ideas that build upon growth while minimizing disruption is the way to go.

    Thanks for letting me start my morning with an insightful adventure!