In with Amify and Out with Trustify

Remember back a few years ago, when Trustify was a thing? Back then Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon were spending their investor's money like drunken sailors. With big fanfare and much press, these two crooks announced their big office opening on the 8th floor of 201 12th St. South in Crystal City. Then all of a sudden, the companies phones were turned off and one day, people showed up for work and the locks were changed. Trustify was evicted for non-payment. Boice, Mellon and the company were sued by their Landlord, JBG Smith and smith was awarded $263,477.21 by the courts. If you aren't up to date on the Trustify Debacle, it's a long story. Trustify was a start-up that got lots of local and national hype for being the next Uber. It was the Uber of Private Investigators because just like Uber, a thing that users use multiple times a month, everyone needs a private eye two or three times a week. This company raised $20 million dollars and cheated investors out of all that money. Founders Jen Mellon and Danny Boice did not try to build a legitimate business. They built a company that looked shiny, allows them to...

Cranky Old Fart as Product

You can't sell to everyone. Your products and services aren't right for all people or companies. So why are you spending so much time presenting a homogenized, milk toast, bland, offend-no-one image? Why are you so afraid of offending the people who make crappy customers? When I work with clients and ask them who are their best customers, they can answer quickly.  When I ask, who are your worst customers, they can rattle off a list faster than my brother-in-law heads for the bathroom when a waiter lays down the dinner bill. When I ask them what traits do they have in common, their answers come more slowly. Talking about good or bad customers is an abstraction. The human mind doesn't do well when making decisions based on abstractions. Here is a trick that can turn that abstraction into something more concrete. Try this trick. It's important to list the characteristics that make a great customer. For instance for me, here are a  few of the traits of a great coaching client: Never Knows Enough Seeks Unvarnished Feedback Runs a Healthy Growing Business Reads Non-Fiction Loves What They Do Make your list. Is every trait equally weighted? Of course not. Try to assign weights to...

Are You A Business Chef Or Cook

In business, there are many buckets in which we can categorize people. One of my favorites is Chef or Cook. Chef (AKA Strategist) - A Chef is creative. They are motivated by intrinsic forces That is they are driven by satisfying the internal need to discover, to learn, to do that which has never been done, to create. They do what makes them happy. Great startup, entrepreneurial CEOs are usually Chefs, they have a unique vision, the need to do what hasn't been done. They don't follow the well-worn path, they blaze the new path. Cook (AKA Executioner) - A Cook is an operator. They are extrinsically motivated. They are motivated by external rewards or avoidance of punishment. A cook doesn't mind doing the same thing over and over again. If there is a pot of gold at the end of the task, they will do that task over and over again and do it well. Being A Chef is a good thing. Being a Cook is a good thing. One is not better than the other just like an Apple isn't better than an Orange or just like a 3rd baseperson (there goes Mr. PC Cranky) s not better than...

From Black and White Binary to Grey-ish

My Dad was extremely literal. You know the type. If I asked him if I could go outside and play, he'd answer, "I don't know can you?" Because I didn't ask for permission, I asked his opinion about my capabilities. If he called someone on the phone, and they said, "May I ask who's calling," he'd respond, "Yes," and sit through for what felt like eons of uncomfortable silence as my Dad waited for the person to ask for his name and not just permission to ask his name. When a server in a restaurant said something like, "My name is Bob if you need me," my Dad would ask, "What's your name if we don't need you?" He wouldn't let me sleep over a friends house...

Attention Communiclique Judge Alston and Prosecutor Hanly

Communiclique CEO Andy Powers is out on bail while charged with 8 Federal Felony Counts (See Post). Meanwhile, while out on bail, it seems that Andy Powers continues to defraud individuals, commit crimes abusing the terms of his bail. In August 2018, a court in Virginia found Andy Powers had defrauded investors and that his company Communiclique was a complete sham (see post). In the summer of 2019, a Bankruptcy court in Declared the company bankrupt and referred Andy Powers to the US Attorney for defrauding the court (see Post). He's still out there defrauding victims! It is time for Judge Rossi Alston, US Attorney, Jack Hanly, and the arresting officer, FBI Agent, Jamie Vera, to haul him back in court, revoke his bail, and protect the public by locking him away until the disposition of his court case scheduled for December 16. Since his arrest, he hired a young man to do technical work for $8,000 and didn't pay him (see the post by this victim here). According to Mihu, the young man mentioned above, Andy, stiffed a pregnant mom. On May 20th, I received a voice mail from an executive at Crescent Solutions. A transcript of the voicemail follows: Hey...

Former Trustify Employees Awarded $260 Thousand Judgement

Eight former Trustify employees, Matthew Scott, Elisabeth Nugent, Kevin Wiggins, Stacy Blackburn, Bey Wesley, Matthew Blanchard, Bernadette Vielhaber and Andrew Little, seeking $35 thousand in back pay. A court awarded these former employees $259,425.49 for several weeks back-pay, lost wages while unemployed, damages and Labor Law violations. The troubles for the bankrupt company and it's two co-founders Danny Boice and Jennifer Mellon keep adding up. Good luck with collections as this group of creditors get in line with other burned creditors. Litigant Type Status Amount Commonwealth of Virginia Tax Lien Judgment $593,054.03 JBG Smith Office Rent Judgment $263,477.21 Centro GS Software Judgment $25,000.00 Eight Former Trustify Employees Back Pay/FinesDamages Judgment $259,425.49 Buckley Sanders LLP Legal Bills Judgment $245,945.00 Dini Von Mueffling Communications Press Relations/Marketing Law Suit $240,305.26 Total $1,627,206.99 If you're keeping score at home, it is now 5 wins for the litigants, zero wins for Boice and Mellon. The latest woes for the Husband and Wife couple keep adding up. In addition these judgment and active lawsuits there is an active criminal investigation ongoing by the FBI into fraud and embezzlement accusations. Danny Boice and Jen Mellon are legally separated and headed to divorce court. Finally, there is still a bankruptcy case pending in Deleware courts. Trouble keeps adding up for the couple in May 2017 threatened to sue me for exposing their fraud and abuse (see post)...

Another Day, Another Day In Court For Andy Powers Communiclique CEO

For the past 2 months, for the past 3 court dates, Andy Powers, the co-founder, and former CEO of a criminal enterprise and $50 Million Ponzi Scheme known as Communiclique (AKA Clique API) promised the court he would have a new attorney in just a few weeks. He's been promising to show up with his dream legal team any day now. Well, boy did he not disappoint today.  At 10:55 AM, five minutes before his scheduled 11 AM Case Review. In walks Powers with a virtual "Dream Team" legal team. He's followed by super attorney Johnnie Cochrane, Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny. Of course, I'm kidding, there is no easter bunny and there is and probably never was a mythical LA Attorney who was going to defend Andy Powers. That was just a delaying tactic. For those of you who are not up to speed. Powers started a fake company, raised millions of dollars. Then used investor cash to fund a lavish lifestyle and totally cheated investors. If you're interested you can catch up here: Commonwealth of Virginia Court Finds Andy Powers Defrauded Investors Deleware Court Declares Communicliiquey Bankrupt Bankruptcy Judge Forwards Bankruptcy Fraud Charges to US...