Oct 6, 2009

The Inside Dirt

To answer my recent question of "What's up at ePrize?" the "ePrize Tattler" sent me a missive from the perspective of the inner sanctum.

According to "Tattler," there's some major dissent amongst the ranks with much of that stemming from problems at the very top of the house. The problems began around 2006 or 2007, when things started falling apart at ePrize. Lying to customers and taking on work that never should have been done, just to put money in the bank. This stopped being sustainable and ePrize experienced the first real growing pains, that led to "Project Gold Medal." This dismal failure brought about a change of regime and the addition of Gerry Miller to the ePrize "team."

At one point there was discussion of turning the reigns over to Miller completely. Unfortunately, this golden boy was quickly tarnished. He did the unthinkable; insisting on results rather than lavish spending. Monies went to a book, parties, conferences, etc. The total spent estimated at $100 million, resulting in some close calls getting emergency funding for inconsequential stuff like, um, payroll. "Yes, the champagne is paid for but the employees are not..."

Sales numbers slipped and the Board of Directors turned off the money faucet. Miller stepped into the role of sacrificial lamb. As per the usual at ePrize, all blame was heaped at the door of the person who left (or was fired) last. You could be the best employee in the world but your reputation goes in the shitter once your feet hit the bricks.

And when Miller could no longer be blamed for ePrize's failures, the economy "fortunately" turned, giving "Leadership" a song to sing from the hymnal. Forget poor salesmanship and so-called leadership. Tattler writes, "We are being out-planned [...] by stronger, better companies. We're being beaten at our own game."

Add to all of this some other dirty laundry like extramarital affairs, sexual harassment, drug use (?!?), unchecked egos, and other unwise investments and it sounds like ePrize is in need of a shake-up... all the way up to the top. Until then, more people are going to continue to be thrown under buses as a diversion for mismanagement.

19 comments:

Over Caffeinated said...

I was never a fan of Robb Lippitt but it sounds like Robb and Gerry got the same kind of treatment. I remember Josh and Robb going around and around about sweepsXpress (aka Caffeine). Josh pro. Robb anti. I wouldn't be surprised if Robb got the blame for Caffeine's failure even though he detested the idea and the cheapening of the brand.

Anonymous said...

Do you think eprize jazz musicians have created their own delusion of grandeur. Is this an investor jamming frenzy, or could it be the caffeine overdose. Regardless the fountain of investor cash appears to be drying up, tired of the smell of yesterdays champagne.When the easy cash runs out and sales need to start producing enough operating income to cover expenses, it becomes a whole different ballgame. No longer can the no- limit space cadets take flight with other peoples money, now they need to earn it the old fashioned way. Its gonna be hilarious watching the scramble.

I AM WASTED should be the new battle cry.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the obfuscation on this blog just becomes a little much. For the sake of clarity, can we all agree that Linkner is star of the post? We're talking about his affairs and his drug use? (One toke over the line, sweet jeebus).

But I'm a little lost on the sexual harassment. I mean, more than usual? More than Jordan checking out every gal that comes past his office? More than having a "hot chick" pool?

Anonymous said...

Hilarious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josh_Linkner. Note the comment that the article was removed because Josh is a "non-notable CEO". This stuff is so funny you just can't make it up.

Anonymous said...

The sad fact is that Caffeine WAS a good product. It wasn't going to be the huge money-maker they thought, so it was not marketed and killed off. I still think it was a good business model.
Oh, and thanks very much for providing us our 2008 tax forms and info so late in the year. Good thing the stock is beyond worthless.

Anonymous said...

I'm out of the loop. What's the harassment/affair dirt?

Anonymous said...

this is getting way out of line. People's personal / family business is none of our business. Let's keep this blog about ePrize and not the gossip pages.

Anonymous said...

Normally I'd agree with that but when the CEO is fucking around with the way the company is running as well as with girls on the staff... well... that's a horse of a different color.

Anonymous said...

Caffeine was a good idea, as was SweepsXPress. The real problem was that everything ran under the ePrize banner. It should have been spun off into its own company. Having it under the ePrize banner let it be known how cheap and easy creating a sweepstakes can be. It cheapened the brand. Like a lot of things at ePrize, it was a good idea that was handled wrong.

Dean Ditto said...

I'm curious how many caffeine sweeps were actually sold. WAS there a market for it? If it successfully cheapened the brand then one would believe it at least sold successfully. What was the target market?

Anonymous said...

After years of development and nearly 5 millions spent Caffeine produced a grand total of 16000.

Anonymous said...

Your CEO is fucking around on lavish parties, chasing skirts, smoking dope and spending money frivolously. Sounds like the right time for a new CEO to me. :)

Anonymous said...

Stop with the lies. I've known Josh personally for years. He does not do drugs and has never once even flirted with anyone on his staff. There are no lavish parties and excessive spending anymore.

He is a great leader with great character. He's created jobs and helped Michigan tremendously for 15 years. He gives a tremendous amount of money to charity, and has helped hundreds of people advance in their careers. Are you bitter because he's successful? Just looking for someone to blame for your own issues? It is one thing to discuss issues about the company in a forum like this, but to baselessly smear a great man's character is disgusting to me.

Anonymous said...

haha ha, ur comment reads "no lavish parties and excessive spending ANYMORE". the emphasis on ANYMORE is mine but the word shows josh spend excessively in the past all the way until the money ran out. what a joke. he just stopped spending cuz theres no more money to spend and he had to fire person after person as a result.

also i know personally of several time when josh has used drugs even in the presence of other eprize employees like when he was in amsterdam with alesya or at his little ypo parties and stuff like that. he is a liar who has ruined more careers than hes created and fired people over and over then lied about it even to the press. he lies to clients and employees and the press and will say anything at the moment to get what he wants.

as for girls i have heard personally many times totaly inapropriate comments direcly from josh regarding jennis tits and tias ass hes also made totaly wrong comments about stephanie lyons and cynthia delavega. if i had money invested in that place id be running scared becuz its a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

I cant speak for employees, but as far as others in the promotions industry like myself, people HATE Linker and ePrize not out of "jealousy of success" but becuase of Linkner's totally unethical and downright nasty way of doing business. Stealing other agency's clients by badmouthing and outright LYING to them about their current promotions shops is just the start of it. There is a GOOD reason why the ENTIRE promotions industry would dance a jig and spit on ePrize's grave WHEN it dies. And its got NOTHING to do with jealousy and EVERYTHING to do with the bullshat way Linker does business.

Anonymous said...

what jazz musician doesn't smoke pot? BFD.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, who *doesn't* smoke pot. Is that affecting ePrize?

Anonymous said...

I don't care to hear about all the garbage on this site. The only thing I found interesting to hear was that "Caffeine was a good product"?

Really? How so? I mean, it allowed the small guy to offer a big boy prize on their website. From what I understand, ePrize made a profit by collecting $1 for every entry the customer "wanted". It's assumed nowadays most people use a crap hotmail, gmail or yahoo account that they never check. An email given by a customer is not necessarily gold or significant value.

What I'm trying to say here is what stopped someone from offering a Caffeine prize on their site just to bring in traffic? What happened if they don't care about the email and contact info.

It seems to me more people would want a sweepstakes on their site just to bring in traffic numbers, not collect info. That's just my opine...

Anonymous said...

"Caffeine WAS a good product." Right. Spend $10M and make people pay $1 per name. Great ROI model. I can just imagine how this played out:

JL: Phhhhhhht---What should we name this new sweeps express?

Coworker: Don't know man. Pass that sh*t though.

JL: Dood... I GOT IT! CAFFEINE! Like when you're all gung ho and want to keep going and going to win stuff, ya know? Here you go.

Coworker: Hahahahahaha. Yea. Caffeine. Like the stuff in Pepsi, I mean Coca-Cola, I would never drink Pepsi. Like it would keep you up and going to all those clients sites to give them my info and digits and all. Great name JL!

JL: Yea. Caffeine. That is a great idea isn't it? Cuz I thought of it. Bring that over here for another. Phhhhhhhhhhht.