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Anyone else getting "tire kicking idea theifs"?
Old 12th July 2006
  #1
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GearBit's Avatar
 

Anyone else getting "tire kicking idea theifs"?

Not that this happens to me alot but has anyone else gotten people who have come in for a "free opening consultation" and then find 3 months later that they have released a self produced CD with all of your ideas but done in a half assed manner?
Old 12th July 2006
  #2
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I had exactly this same thing happen. My attitude is that people who don't have very many ideas are really protective of them; people who find it easier to be creative just figure "I'll think of more".

It sukks but what can you do?
Old 12th July 2006
  #3
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GearBit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
I had exactly this same thing happen. My attitude is that people who don't have very many ideas are really protective of them; people who find it easier to be creative just figure "I'll think of more".

It sukks but what can you do?
Great observation. On my more optimistic days I also think "ah well, I'll always have more"
Old 12th July 2006
  #4
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meteor's Avatar
 

Anyone else getting "tire kicking idea theifs"?---


All the time. I work in both creative, strategic and technical elements of production and I've accepted it as part of the gig. However, I have found ways of setting it up better. For ex., it happens so often I've turned it into a selling point. I just mention to the prospective client that our first meeting about whatever project will just be a casual "shoot from the hip/ top of my head" appointment. If that experience makes them want to hire me... great. If I have to go to them for meeting #1 they owe me lunch and, if it's far enough, travel expenses. I tell them that they are welcome to walk away with any of my ideas or suggestions that they feel compelled by cause day 1 is on me. I also tell them that if they find my input and suggestions to be good in a casual setting, I'm assuming they will understand that it is just a sampling of my capabilities...etc.

I have found that this approach tends to create some sense of loyalty to myself before any discussions have even taken place. Additionally, I think it paints me in a more confident, good-natured, non-desparate light - even if I might be insecure, unruly, and as desparate as a reality TV star staring at a timer that reads 14:59.

The main thing is that I think I am giving my self a bit of an edge by embracing rather than trying to protect myself from this self-centered, bad-karma bit of human nature.

cheers,
Old 12th July 2006
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Funny thing that happend to me recently:

A band came for the consultation. I spoke about the very low quality recorded on a 4 track portistudio demos they played me and what I was going to to bring out the best in what the band had going on.

The band never called me back!

A month later, I was at a friend's birthday party and this band's guitarist's mother was there. I didn't know it was her and she didn't know who I was at first. She was telling me this story about her son's band and how they produced thier own CD in her house and she described to me the approach her son had devised to make the recording process more interesting for the group which was an exact regurgitaion of a few sentences that came out of my own mouth when speaking to the band a month earlier.

Three months later the band called me back and asked if they could start recording at my studio.

I told the lead singer that I thought they would do a better job themselves and that I was busy for the next while which was true.

He replied that they had made the whole album and that it sounded bad in the end and he couldn't figure out why because they bought a Mac G5 and a few good microphones (Studio Ptojects C1's)
Old 12th July 2006
  #6
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GearBit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hershal Pearlma
Funny thing that happend to me recently:

A band came for the consultation. I spoke about the demos they played me and what I was going to to bring out the best in what the band had going on.

The band never called me back!

A month later, I was at a friend's birthday party and this band's guitarist's mother was there. I didn't know it was her and she didn't know who I was at first. She was telling me this story about her son's band and how they produced thier own CD in her house and she described to me the approach her son had devised to make the recording process more interesting for the group which was an exact regurgitaion of a few sentences that came out of my own mouth when speaking to the band a month earlier.

Three months later the band called me back and asked if they could start recording at my studio.

I told the lead singer that I thought they would do a better job themselves and that I was busy for the next while which was true.

He replied that they had made the whole album and that it sounded bad in the end and he couldn't figure out why because they bought a Mac G5 and a few good microphones (Studio Ptojects C1's)
WOW...and I thought I was the only one.
Funny how they do seem to come back later. Patience
It seems that my experience is that these people walked away with gear names and words like "compression" but the important point they failed to hear in the consultation
was that their rapping sounded "lite". That was my nice way of putting it. Reality was that it was like vanilla ice with a lisp.
Old 12th July 2006
  #7
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danasti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearBit
Not that this happens to me alot but has anyone else gotten people who have come in for a "free opening consultation" and then find 3 months later that they have released a self produced CD with all of your ideas but done in a half assed manner?
You gotta sell the ideas. You have to make them a buyer - so you need to qualify them and find out if they have the money and are ready to spend it.

I hate people that don't even have the balls to be honest about the fact that they aren't going to work with you. Shameless cowards.
Old 12th July 2006
  #8
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Give your knowledge away freely and at every appropriate opportunity. Be the "go to" guy and it really pays off in the long run. Also don't be a complete sap and let "users" drain you....but don't think of anyone as a user until they prove themselves so and even then be gracious and just be "too busy' to allow them to use you.
As a safety always keep 20% in your back pocket for when you need it....like when they or someone they refer to you (which is often how this generousity on your part manifests itself) finally show up with a real backer and you get the "plum" project.
Old 12th July 2006
  #9
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Masterer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meteor
Anyone else getting "tire kicking idea theifs"?---


All the time. I work in both creative, strategic and technical elements of production and I've accepted it as part of the gig. However, I have found ways of setting it up better. For ex., it happens so often I've turned it into a selling point. I just mention to the prospective client that our first meeting about whatever project will just be a casual "shoot from the hip/ top of my head" appointment. If that experience makes them want to hire me... great. If I have to go to them for meeting #1 they owe me lunch and, if it's far enough, travel expenses. I tell them that they are welcome to walk away with any of my ideas or suggestions that they feel compelled by cause day 1 is on me. I also tell them that if they find my input and suggestions to be good in a casual setting, I'm assuming they will understand that it is just a sampling of my capabilities...etc.

I have found that this approach tends to create some sense of loyalty to myself before any discussions have even taken place. Additionally, I think it paints me in a more confident, good-natured, non-desparate light - even if I might be insecure, unruly, and as desparate as a reality TV star staring at a timer that reads 14:59.

The main thing is that I think I am giving my self a bit of an edge by embracing rather than trying to protect myself from this self-centered, bad-karma bit of human nature.

cheers,
Well done.
Old 12th July 2006
  #10
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton
Give your knowledge away freely and at every appropriate opportunity. Be the "go to" guy and it really pays off in the long run. Also don't be a complete sap and let "users" drain you....but don't think of anyone as a user until they prove themselves so and even then be gracious and just be "too busy' to allow them to use you.
As a safety always keep 20% in your back pocket for when you need it....like when they or someone they refer to you (which is often how this generousity on your part manifests itself) finally show up with a real backer and you get the "plum" project.

Thats pretty good. Actually, very good... been those places...
Old 12th July 2006
  #11
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

anybody here NOT taken a few ideas for yourself in this manner at one time or another? maybe had actual intentions of dealing with someone, but then walked away from the meeting thinking it's not the best match, and never following up?

ever received more than a few messages from a person, maybe a new friend or recent date, and not called them back because, well, you just don't want to hang out with them anymore but you also don't want to deal with having a whole conversation about it, so you just wait until they eventually fade away?

ever told a salesman you'll be back tomorrow, and never gone back?

never done stuff like that, ever?

i call it 'being imperfect'. it's not my full time job, but once in a while i get a gig and i do a doozy of a job with it, despite my best intentions and general tendencies to be honest, up front, and considerate.

am i unhappy when i'm on the receiving end of this treatment? absolutely.

do i climb on my high horse and point fingers? sometimes. but eventually, when i'm honest with my self, the finger ends up pointing straight at me.


gregoire
del
ubk
Old 12th July 2006
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GearBit
Not that this happens to me alot but has anyone else gotten people who have come in for a "free opening consultation" and then find 3 months later that they have released a self produced CD with all of your ideas but done in a half assed manner?
Yep. I've had a bunch.

I had one where I gave her a whole concept for the album, we did so demos/player auditions and then I didn't hear from her until she was half way through the production and she had questions.

I had another one, where someone came in "shopping for studios" but it was clear based on the questions they asked that they were shopping for producers and didn't know it. To make a longs story short, it was clear that their first choice for the producer was Phil Ramone, so I suggested calling him and see what he said. They figured he'd be too expensive I suggested hiring him for a day in a rehearsal studio. Sometimes a few comments from someon you really believe in can go a long way.

They called, I heard he came to a gig and then nothing happend. The way we left it was that we'd do a demo track and then compare with demo tracks from the other people they were considering.

In the end, they didn't do the demo track and picked a producer for the wrong reasons. Unless their budget was bigger than what they told me, or it grew later, they chose the most expensive way to record, and while in the end it's going to come down to a question of the songs, especially with the style of music, I think the album would have been stronger had the chosen me or any of the alternatives other than the one they chose.

For the most part, my rate of follow through with people I sit down with is pretty high. It can be 100% for months at a time. I'm not sure what the average is.

One reason, is that when I have these meetings, I give the best advice I can, whatever that is, becuase that's my product.

I've had meetings where people didn't follow through, but I ended up getting a referral or a band member came back after the broke up, or I learned something in the process.

I've never had one where people came to me, took ideas, did them on their own and I ended up getting left out of the big reward or payday or whatever. People who do stupid stuff like that, crash and burn somewhere along the line. Eitehr the can't deliver without the idea person, or karma strikes.

In the end, both with karma and business, I don't think you can succeed by doing anything short of alwasy giving the best adivce you can in those "tire kicking" situations. If you've go the goods, you'll be around for the long haul.


I did have one where someone copied a business model of mine and has made a very successful business. It's not something that I would have ever wanted to do myself, so it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I'm not going to name names, because it's not something I can prove. I had heard of the business for years before I knew who started it. Our last conversation (he called me) ended with him saying, "So basically this is something I could do myself?" I said "Yes" and then I first heard the business name mentioned about two years after that. I'd love a credit for the inspiration, but still, that's only 1% of the work. The idea alone isn't worth much.

It's also possible he had already thought of the idea and was doing market research, but for a lot of reasons I think that's unlikely.

I just though of another one - I knew someone who had a band that sold 100,000 copies of the first album on vinyl. They later got a major label deal and went a slgihtly different direction. Fairly successful for a few years.

We were at a high school alumni function, and he as giving some kind of presentation for a small group. I aksed if the 100k copies was true, and if so why didn't they release it on CD as they've got tons of local radio support and they'd sell 10k copies without anything beyond a single press release.

He said, yes, just over 100k and that he didn't know why they never released the album on CD, but that he though it was a good idea.

A year later, I saw a note in our alumni news letter, mentioning that they had re-released their first album on CD and set some kind of sales record. I htink it was 3,000+ in a single night after a gig. I don't know the lgositics of if I'm remembering the record correctly. Bringing 3,000 CDs to a gig, seems pretty cocky. It was probably a 5,000 seat venue.

Whether my question was truly the spark that got them to do it is unknowable. But, it is nice to see ideas tested without me having to risk anything. It's made it much easier to take business risks that I've taken, and am taking, after those experiences.

I've got plenty more ideas where they came from and plenty that I'll never have time to do.
Old 12th July 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 

It is nature of "artists" to do this!
I have had it happen a hundred times.

I could say, "Hey, D I C K head! That was my idea!" at some point during every production I am involved in.
People just love the word "I" and find the word "we" hard to say.

I just finished a five year long project with a friend and put A LOT of sweat into it.
I picked the songs, the drummer, played KYBDS and tweaked the beJesus out of the tracks before mixing it THREE TIMES!
Still, even when the the credits list all of my work and say that I co-produced it (which is true) every reviewer thinks the artist did the whole thing himself.
If you heard the raw tracks or the versions I started with you'd call me a genius.
Then again, people that I know are aware that I made it be what it is.
I'm OK with it.
Actually, the artist added four "bonus tracks" that he recorded and mixed himself or another engineer did.
My struff sounds like a record and holds up next to any major label release.
The other stuff sounds like home demos.
Go figure!

I used to write, play, record and produce music for production libraries.
I did about three hundred fifty cuts ranging from blues, C&W, jazz, comedy, industrial/corporate, sports to HUGE orchestral things.
I have heard my ideas used in many radio/TV spots.
The reason is that quite often people use production music as temp music (sort of a demo version) and have someone write something similar.
It is cheaper to have someone record a simlar feeling cut and buy it from them than to pay for the library cut's usage for the duration of the spot's lifespan.
Then again, I did the stuff as a "work for hire," so I sold the rights away.

Danny Brown
Old 12th July 2006
  #14
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andychamp's Avatar
On the first meeting with potential clients, I try to make it clear to them how much of an impact they will have on the finished product. It all boils down to their songwriting and playing abilities and I'm only there to put the icing on the cake.
That way, they sometimes postpone their recording sessions, but most of them are glad they did when they really do come in some weeks or months later.

As an added bonus, they're usually faster to deliver good takes, which leaves me more time to mix and makes everyone happier in the end.
And they're grateful for the good advice.
(Those that don't come back, usually aren't heard from again anyway.)
Old 12th July 2006
  #15
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Wow... it's amazing how amusing I have found this thread...
Old 12th July 2006
  #16
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danasti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
anybody here NOT taken a few ideas for yourself in this manner at one time or another? maybe had actual intentions of dealing with someone, but then walked away from the meeting thinking it's not the best match, and never following up?

ever received more than a few messages from a person, maybe a new friend or recent date, and not called them back because, well, you just don't want to hang out with them anymore but you also don't want to deal with having a whole conversation about it, so you just wait until they eventually fade away?

ever told a salesman you'll be back tomorrow, and never gone back?

never done stuff like that, ever?

i call it 'being imperfect'. it's not my full time job, but once in a while i get a gig and i do a doozy of a job with it, despite my best intentions and general tendencies to be honest, up front, and considerate.

am i unhappy when i'm on the receiving end of this treatment? absolutely.

do i climb on my high horse and point fingers? sometimes. but eventually, when i'm honest with my self, the finger ends up pointing straight at me.


gregoire
del
ubk
True Mr. UBIK. I think the point is to learn from our behavior and to be upfront with our intentions. I know no one can be perfect but I like to strive to be honest and lay my intent out.

But you are absolutely correct; we should have a good hard look in the mirror.

I can't recall pretending to be hiring someone only to get them to open up about what they do but I've certainly left a few salesmen thinking I'll be back for something.
Old 12th July 2006
  #17
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
Wow... it's amazing how amusing I have found this thread...
Ditto.

all have valid points - we're all purveyors of theivery in one way or another. I learned everything I know from working on both sides of the glass: does that make me a thief for learning eng. skills while playing my instrument and listening in on tracking/mixing sessions?

I figger if you have the skills, best put them to use. Production is production - your ideas are unique, but are not individual in the sense that no one else could think up the same thing. Having it 'recorded' tho is something different. If someone is blatently plagiarizing your song/material, call foul.

Generous moderators/contributers like MW or ShipShape will give you the shirt off their back re: their tracking/mixing details while other mixers wouldn't give you the sweat off their ballz.

great thread!
Old 12th July 2006
  #18
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If people are using your ideas, that means they think your ideas are good. The more people that think you have good ideas, the better off your are. Be happy and show your appreciation to those who believe in you - 'cause honestly, your just standing on the shoulders of someone else.
Old 12th July 2006
  #19
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"idea thieves" ??

Dude, did you invent recording and every recording technique known to man ?? Does no one else have the ability to think for themselves, read a book, or take a class ?? Do all ideas in this world come from your brain only ?? You're talking as if the client is a complete vegetable, with absolutely no brain at all.

This is preposterous that you call other people "thieves," when in fact all your knowledge came from somewhere else. Get over yourself.
Old 13th July 2006
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by djwayne
"idea thieves" ??

Dude, did you invent recording and every recording technique known to man ?? Does no one else have the ability to think for themselves, read a book, or take a class ?? Do all ideas in this world come from your brain only ?? You're talking as if the client is a complete vegetable, with absolutely no brain at all.

This is preposterous that you call other people "thieves," when in fact all your knowledge came from somewhere else. Get over yourself.
How long until you post a trademark/copyright question?

Never, right? Since obviously you don't believe in them.

"Theft" is in the methodology.

If someone present the scenario, where their comeing to you to consider paying you for your advice/ideas, they "audition" you and then choose not to follow through in order to avoid paying you, it's theft.

When they go somewhere else, because they can't afford you rates, that's questionable.

When the band breaks up, and the recoridn is cnacelled, and then 2 years later the write decides to record the song and your ideas get incorporated unconsciously, I have a hard time calling that theft.


A question I find interesting is - you can patent a circuit deisgn, but you can't patent/copyright/tradmark the resulting sound of that circuit, eventhough it's predictable/quantifiable (the premise of modeling).

As a designer, should you be able to protect the sonic signatures that you've designed?

I've never gotten a "yes" from anyone I've asked (mainly designers) and I find that so surpising.
Old 13th July 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 

If you spend a hour or so with somebody, this does not mean you own them, or they own you.

I ran across a guy one time, who wanted to manage me. Before he would demonstrate how he could help my business, he wanted me to sign a contract giving him 50% of all my earnings for life. Of course I turned the offer down. His contract was written by his lawyer, who was soley looking out for his benefits, not mine.
Guys like this, I aviod like the plague.

I was once told by one of the former presidents of the Nashville Songwriters Association, if anybody in this business asks you for money, "Run, don't walk out the nearest door. The business is loaded with sharks, trying to make money off songwriters. The legit record companies will pay you, if they like your music enough." This has proven to be good advice, and has saved me lots of money.
Old 13th July 2006
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
Wow... it's amazing how amusing I have found this thread...
FLETCHER POSTS ON GEARSLUTZ AND FINDS ITS THREADS AMUSING!
Old 13th July 2006
  #23
Lives for gear
 

$ .02

i guess all of us have stories like this and here's 2 of mine..... a produca i was doing som work for thought himself rather avante' guard was having trouble with a background vocal.... nothing i suggested could be tried..... so when he left for the day i comped a track from a bunch of throwaways spred em out alittle you know the drill.... he comes in the next morning loves the track and decides "we" have invented a "new" technique which he names "munging" i'm told to this date he still claims he "invented"..... #2 i did an ep for a guy once... was encouraged to think of him as partner....his kidz even called me uncle.... so when he's shoppin it suddenly im the hinderence and this indy is gonna "take him to the next level" i was gone of course .... hey i dont mind gettin ****ed every once in a while but come on can't ya kiss me..... btw he got dropped before went into production..

Last edited by dementedchord; 13th July 2006 at 08:12 PM.. Reason: btw
Old 13th July 2006
  #24
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

I'm just reading this thread to steal all of the good ideas you guys are putting into print here!

War
Old 14th July 2006
  #25
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David R.'s Avatar
 

I'm not sure I really know the problem. My ideas come from music I have listened to, or motorcycles I have repaired, or the rythmic sound of my son burping. Nothing is new, it is just recycled from one source or another.

I have had clients come for a consultation, I give some ideas, some of my philosophies on recording, and usually a good cup of tea. My goal is to let them know I can make them sound great. If they take the ideas and record somewhere else, they will always know of me as someone with good ideas.

Kick my tires, if you want to actually go for a ride, you have my number.

Never give away too much, always leave them wanting more.
Old 14th July 2006
  #26
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GearBit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djwayne
"idea thieves" ??

Dude, did you invent recording and every recording technique known to man ?? Does no one else have the ability to think for themselves, read a book, or take a class ?? Do all ideas in this world come from your brain only ?? You're talking as if the client is a complete vegetable, with absolutely no brain at all.

This is preposterous that you call other people "thieves," when in fact all your knowledge came from somewhere else. Get over yourself.
Dude, you left off the "tire kicking" part which is really integral to this thread. Without that then the thread becomes something as preposterous as "every recording technique known to man"
For the folks who know what I am talking about (and it looks like there are a few) thanks for your insights and suggestions.
Old 14th July 2006
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Ya, I know what you're talking about, somebody kicked your tires and didn't buy the car, so now you're pissed and they are a thief.

You're starting to sound like "Diamond Dave," after he doesn't get the $900,000 sale.
Old 15th July 2006
  #28
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GearBit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by djwayne
Ya, I know what you're talking about, somebody kicked your tires and didn't buy the car, so now you're pissed and they are a thief.

You're starting to sound like "Diamond Dave," after he doesn't get the $900,000 sale.
It all makes sense now..... Your Beethovens 5th (Long Version Remix) (!?!?!?) which sounds like a midi file playing quicktime instruments.
And of course these little gems from the 'money from clients" thread...

"Just try taking away my guitar onstage, mf.....I'll beat you to a pulp. I don't care how much big of a studio you have, how much you spent on gear, or how much I owe you, you attack me on stage, I'd kick your ass. Then I'd sic my attorney after you."

"The Hulk, huh,...... okay, come on.....I'm ready.....
I'm not trying to be Mr. Tough Guy, but you guys don't know me. I've had Ken Po (Karate) instructors with Black Belts tell me, they wouldn't want to get into a serious fight with me."

I'll just end now with a quote from someone else regarding you in another thread

"You are one of the thickest people I've encountered in a while. It's either that or you're just so stubborn that you refuse to believe that there are people who will rip you off."
Old 15th July 2006
  #29
Lives for gear
 

and you remind me of Al Gore, "I invented the internet."
Old 15th July 2006
  #30
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 

In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

-R
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