What’s In A Name – Sharing Your Name With A Douche

A recently received the following email:

Oct 29, 2018, 9:18 AM
to glen

From: The Other Andy Powers
Email:

Interested in:

Message Body:
Hi Mr. Hellman,

I’m a different Andy Powers and I encountered your blog after looking curiously at others with my same name online. I am floored and sickened by the stories about the other “me” and others in their crew. I can’t believe all that stuff really happened (meant only figuratively, as the details are quite clear and reinforced by SEC orders and the like).

I’ll have to keep aware of that AP and his digital presence, in case of misunderstanding about someone looking up my name online.

How are you connected to those people? It took me a while to understand that those posts were part of your blog, not your Driven Forward business. Did you know them already or know others impacted by them? If the facts are so against them as all this, I’m also surprised that they can still appear successful to anyone else.

It’s nice to meet you. I’m glad you are recording the details of the stories and proofs behind them. At the least, I wanted to say hello, after reading all these crazy things this morning.

Sincerely,
The Other Andy Powers

Just imagine being a candy store owner in the late 1930s named Adolf Hitler… the other Adolf Hitler, or a 3rd Grade Teacher named Jeffrey Dahmer… the other Jeffrey Dahmer.

Or the well respected, honorable, non-cranky Glen Hellman, a realtor from Washington… the state of Washington and not the district. What did this Glen Hellman do wrong to suffer the reputational damage of google confusion or twitter confusion… right Andy Medici? 

@glehel is the bad Glen Hellman… @glenhellman is the good Glen Hellman.

These aren’t the only poor schnooks of mistaken Identiville. There are two very local examples of name confusion.

David Steinberg

The Good David Steinberg

David Steinberg is a well-respected businessman, was one of the founders of Swapdrive, one of the great exits from DC, one of the original online-backup companies and a precursor Google Drive and Dropbox. It was a visionary company acquired by Symantec. Today, David is Chairman and co-founder of Radius Networks, another real tech company and he sits on multiple for-profit and non-profit boards. This David Steinberg is a class act. Not to be confused with the other David Steinberg.

The other David Steinberg

This David Steinberg founded Inphonic, a company that went public in a $150 million IPO. David made a ton of money. The company was known for shady business practices filed for chapter 11, it’s assets were sold and it did not emerge from bankruptcy. The other David Steinberg has since started new businesses, including Simplexity (founded with assets from Inphonic).

The common question when people mention David Steinberg is, “the good one or the bad one.” I’ll leave it to your imagination to guess which is which.

Paul Singh

The Good Paul Singh

There is a Paul Singh in town who doesn’t live in a trailer and doesn’t get much press but the good Paul Singh, that is to say, the legitimate business person named Paul Singh built Primus communications to a company that at its peak had revenues of over a billion dollars. People that know this Paul Singh, like Mrs. Don’t-Ever-Call-Her-Cranky think the world of him. He’s the real deal.

The other Paul Singh

Then there is the other Paul Singh, the guy who talks about all his successes and yet can point to no independent proof of achieving anything but being the king of startups in places where startups don’t exist.

When people mention they would like to introduce someone to Paul Singh and their immediate reaction is no thank you… they probably think you’re going to introduce them to the other Paul Singh (my post on the other Paul Singh).

Summary

What’s in a name? If you’re unlucky enough to be named Andy Powers, Glen Hellman, Paul Singh or David Steinberg, and you are the good version… there’s a lot of bad luck in a name.