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A Click Labs Development Review

Click LabsReview
I thought it was about time I put up an in depth review of my experience with Click Labs. We’re now about 9 months after the end of the project, which has let us develop a much clearer picture of their work.

Using Click Labs came as a recommendation from a friend. Said friend had never used them for Ruby on Rails dev, but had for mobile.

After a couple of chats with the CEO and a project manager, I was convinced they were a good choice. They seemed like they had built some really cool projects that looked good as well. And I could understand their English easily. Very rare for a development team in India!

We specced out the project and paid the initial fee of 25%. A week later they cam back with a login page design which was actually pretty good. Until this point I was pretty nervous – we’ve been burned by a lot of devs before. In this case I was really impressed with the initial design, so calmed down a little.

Unfortunately, that is the end of the positive experience.

The initial estimated 7 weeks development time blew by. In the end, we took the project off their hands after 7 months, unfinished. By this point I’d had enough of the backwards and forwards, countless voice calls and scoffing when we explained the functionality we wanted.

To clear up that last point, the focal point of our app was a specialised calendar. This calendar needed the ability to handle recurring events on a schedule. Every time I referred to Google Calendar as an example, the project manager would scoff as if we were asking them to recreate the entire app.

Every time they would release a new version for me to test, about a third of what they said they had done would actually work. Seemingly, they didn’t test anything themselves.

The front end left a bad enough impression. If only I had taken the time to dig into the code behind, I would have canned the project right then and there. It was a big mistake on our part to check code so late in the project. Even I, as a total Rails noob, could recognise the state of disarray the code was in.

We’re talking:

  • No use of layouts (full markup in every view)
  • Tons of (bad) repeated javascript in every view
  • Hand coded route for every single action
  • String concatenation in text fields instead of model relationships <- Holy shit, what!?
  • The list goes on

It seems as though the developers were new to Rails. Our new devs have theorised that they were perhaps PHP devs trying out Rails for the first time. Not a single aspect of the “convention over configuration” philosophy had been used.

Fast forward to now, and we’ve basically doubled the project cost, maybe more, getting it to a state of readiness. In the end we’ve torn out almost every bit of code Click Labs provided. It would have been simpler to start over, but as they say hindsight is 20/20.

This goes down as one of the worst business decisions I’ve ever made, and the most costly as well. From what I can tell, they’ve got a really good sales and marketing team who can talk the talk, but lack the development team to back it up.

If you are thinking of hiring these guys, feel free to reach out and ask me anything about the experience.


Reject script for nuisance Twilio calls

If you’re using Twimlets to forward your calls from a Twilio number, and you’ve been getting loads of weird calls from numbers, here’s a quick fix.

<?php echo “<?xml version=\”1.0\” encoding=\”UTF-8\”?>”; ?>

<?php $from = $_REQUEST[‘From’];
if (strpos($from,’266696687′) !== false) { ?>
<Reject />
<?php } else { ?>
<Dial callerId=”<?php echo $_REQUEST[‘From’]; ?>”>+YOUR_FORWARDING_NUMBER</Dial>
<?php } ?>


  • Upload that to any server with PHP
  • Go to your Twilio phone numbers and select the offending number
  • Copy your current Request Url to the Fallback Url
  • Add the URL to your script as the Request Url
  • Save

In this case we were receiving calls from +266696687 (Anonymous) so that number is being rejected in the above script.


What to expect at a Wilson Luna event: An honest review

If you’re a big Wilson Luna fan, there’s one of two reactions you’ll have to this. Either it will offend you, or you’ll feel sorry for me for not being ‘compatible’ with Luna’s teachings.

I really hope it is the first, for the latter is exactly what you are being conditioned to believe each minute you spend in front of this NLP and sales master.

tl;dr: Avoid like the plague

Upon leaving his 2 day Entrepreneurial Intensive, my predominant emotion was sadness. A deep sadness for all the poor people that had been caught hook, line and sinker and trapped within a crazy, crazy world.

Once I made it home, it felt like my mind was recovering from a 2 day battery of intensive NLP and sales techniques. There is not a doubt in the world that Wilson Luna is a sales genius. An ethical one? I’m not so sure.

It was early on the second day where a few of us started catching on to some of the tricky things he was up to. The biggest clue was seeing how his many minions, dressed in black around the edges of the room, were acting. With their relentless single claps (what the hell is that?), yelling “yes, yes” at every second sentence, spontaneous jumping around in fits of happiness or long embraces in the middle of the talk, it was as if they were under the effect of a spell, or hypnotized. As the weekend wore on, this weird stuff just got more and more intense. It seemed that they were basically falling deeper and deeper into Luna’s trap. It was actually really scary and saddening to watch.

The Value

It wasn’t all bad though. The guy definitely has some solid business advice. None of it could be remotely classified as groundbreaking, but many people could take away a few great pointers and concepts provided they are willing to sacrifice a full two days.

The marketing will tell you that the Entrepreneur Intensive is high content with minimal selling. While Wilson is very very good at hiding his sales pitch, in reality the whole thing is just one big pitch with maybe 5% actual content sprinkled through.

I wouldn’t have gone to the event if a few people hadn’t said that the content was worth going for. Free seminars almost always suck. But somehow, he’s even convinced the minions that it is a high content seminar. These minions act as his sales army, much like other semi-cults like Landmark.

Perhaps the biggest value was in his “business teardowns.” This is where people in the audience get up and pitch their business, and Luna tears it down and explains what’s good about it, what sucks, and the direction he would go. There was definitely some gold in here. A common theme among his advice was to become a supplier or distributor of whatever it is that you do. To be in with a chance to get stood up, you parted with $100 for the VIP package, which I regrettably took. Fortunately I did have a chance to speak. However, a miscommunication resulted in being advised to ditch building software and instead do software services.

My biggest takeaway was a mindset shift in the way I see rich people. My usual reaction to a dude in a Ferrari is “fuck you rich prick”. That was turned on its head, which is a good thing in my opinion.

The Not-So Value

wilson luna portrait

Wilson Luna Portrait
(Let’s get this to rank on Google Image search too)

The biggest thing being drilled into your brain for 2 days is that you will likely not succeed in business without following Luna’s advice.

Towards the end of day one I’d even started believing this. Absolute fucking insanity.

He seems to build up a kind of “us versus everyone else” mentality, where the people in the room are almost guaranteed to succeed and everyone else not so much. He even likened signing up to his $5k program to betting on roulette with 90% odds…

You’re also being told over and over that it is wise to invest in your business’ future. You’re told (in subtle ways) that not spending money will hold your business back. Conveniently, you get many opportunities to spend $5,000 at the back of the room.

The real question is if the money will give you any actual value. My researched and honest opinion would swing pretty heavily towards a no.

That money basically gives you access to 4 seminars in Australia each year (more if you want to travel to London) and a Facebook group. I spoke to many minions who were adamant the content of each seminar was always new and valuable. When asked what kind of things changed, they really struggled. I’d be willing to bet that there isn’t a whole lot of extra content being delivered – just more NLP trickery to convince them to sign up all of their friends.

I personally know people who have dropped over $10,000 into this guy and don’t have an actual functioning business yet. Ouch.

Should you go?

You honestly may get some value out of this seminar. But there is no way it is worth 2 days of your life, especially a weekend. If you are the type of person susceptible to hypnosis, my suggestion is to stay a long, long way away from this.

And some people have even done research into the guy’s past to see if the things he claims about his business prowess are even legit. It doesn’t seem so. The whole thing could very well be a load of shit.

Update 18/05/15

Check out this new post from Gallina for a great [heartbreaking] list of online reviews from people who lost their last money and more to the Luna.


Cool free book on building authority and modern SEO

A couple of my friends are doing the digital nomad thing and living it up in Thailand (or to be more correct, a friend and his wife. Pretty sure I’ve only met Jill once?) These guys are the real deal and have been living off money they’ve made on the big bad internet for ages. Very jealous of them.

Their newest business is all about getting out of your 9-5 and living the digital nomad way. While moving to Thailand doesn’t really appeal to me, it appeals to a shit load of people. Even so, they still put up great info very regularly.

Of this info, the best is a free ebook they’ve just released. It covers everything from generating your business idea, finding your angle, building a website from the ground up through to building a real following and of course making money.

Definitely worth a read. It’s free, duh

Check it here.


I quit my job!


It’s been a long time coming. Pretty sure it’s been over a year since I told work I was quitting.

They kept sucking me in with less hours, more money, new contracts, whatever. Everyone knew I was only there until I could live from our business, but eventually they stopped believing that I was leaving. That was the big kick.

Now, I am a full time Chimp. You probably thought we were full time already. Technically 40 hours a week working on AkturaTech is still full time. In combo with working 40 hours a week at a “normal” job, that’s what we call “not having a life, at all”. Albeit required for getting a dream off the ground and finally working for yourself.

For those wondering, the old crutch was that of a Control Systems Engineer. In normal speak this would translate to an industrial programmer. Very logical, very nerdy, very bad at writing. But of course that’s all going to change. I fully understand that my writing sucks and you’re going to have to endure it while I get back into the swing of things.

Things are looking pretty good for AkturaTech. We’ve recently launched ChimpRewriter and the relaunch from SpinChimp went incredibly well by our standards. People seem to be loving it. Can’t complain about that!

Where to next?

With SpinChimp, we built the product before we even tested if it would sell. This is a really dumbass thing to do, but we did it anyway (clueless blokes at the time).

In engineer-think, if the product is better, people will buy it. Us engineers research the CRAP out of stuff before we buy it and are turned off by markety stuff. We honestly believed that by having a better product, that’s all we would need to do.

With some research I learned about the differences. Check out <a href=””>this article</a> about marketing to engineers. The biggest thing that struck me was “Engineers want to know the features and specifications, not just the benefits”. All we would ever do was spruke the features cause that’s what WE wanted. Silly stuff. Benefits are aparrently the bread and butter of normal marketing.

On a related note, this Seth Godin <a href=””>post</a> talks about persuasion vs convincing. We did a shitload of “convincing” in our early SpinChimp days and still do to an extent. We’re getting better though.

Two lessons:

  • Validate first
  • Learn how to market for normal non nerdy people

So the next major thing for us is to take some of the 10+ ideas we have and find out if there is

a) a market, and
b) people will buy it

In other words, will it make money?

There is a ton of info out there on this. This is what coming posts will be about, as this will be a fairly lengthy period of building basic ads or landing pages, generating quick traffic and finding the best means to do both of these.

There’ll be some good info coming for those of you in the same boat as us.


We’ve Moved – JimmyRose.Net is no more!

Not only that, there is a new theme as well. Kinda boring at the moment but with a bit of a tweak here and there, eventually it will be pretty.

The move was a lot less painstaking than I thought it would be. Obviously things can go very wrong when changing domain, but in this case the biggest hassle was creating a wildcard redirect on the old domain so that all the old links recirect properly from the .net to the .co equivalent.

The cPanel wildcard rerect simply does not work with WordPress. Probably because of all the URL rewriting etc that Permalinks does – but somewhere buried in the WP forum, I found this golden snippet.

Throw it at the end of the .htaccess on the root of your old domain, and boom…. all done.

redirectPermanent /


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