Rise and (possible) fall of Social Mako. The Social Media Management Platform.
I’m Tim. The founder of Social Mako. I felt obligated to write this in light of what is currently happening with the platform. Obviously, my name is attached to it and I *was* proud of what I created before I sold it.
I’m hoping my story sparks some inspiration to other SaaS founders to not do what I did, as I do see it as a mistake, but also as a success. If you know me, you would know that I am the first to admit mistakes, failures, and shortfalls. I welcome and embrase them because they teach us all a lesson of life and in this case: entrepreunership.
I purchased a CodeCanyon script for Social Mako. HOLD UP before you form any kind of judgements about this. I was the 5th customer to purchase this script. Don’t believe me?
This image is on StackPosts website on CodeCanyon. Launch date 20, April 2018. My purhcase date is seen below this image.
Now, 4 months. As anyone who has experienced CodeCanyon, when a script is launched it is a slow launch, unless you do something crazy to get a ton of sales. But at the time of the purchase, I was the 5th person to buy it. Now, this could have been 4 people before me purchasing the regular license and not the extended. Sure, theses all could have been the extended. That’s neither here nor there — my point is that I was one of the FIRST people to even use this script as their own platform.
Why did I use a script instead of coding from ground up? Money. Simple as that. Why would I fork up thousands of dollars to code a platform that is already done for me? What I did not know was that the moment I changed that code, I would not be able to update the platform with any new features that the original developer launched which came free to anyone using the core script.
So, I hired a developer, we got to work releasing features. Because I was one of the first to use this script, it wasnt known at the time where this was coming from, and appeared to be a custom coded platform. So in short: I used CodeCanyon because of money concerns. I saw nothing wrong with this. I saw it as “Why the fuck would I re-invent the wheel when I dont need to?”. Well, this worked out perfectly for me. I had not a single issue dropping thousands of dollars further developing the platform.
Fast forward to The dealify deal. I decided to launch on a platform called Dealify in January 2020 (dont quote me!). They are a lifetime deal broker if you may. Super successful- and this was the FIRST time since launching that someone pointed out that the platform looked similiar to the Stackposts script. So, I handled it just as anyone else *should*. I didnt deny it. But openly stated (which was very true) that I was further developing it to have features that people WANTED, versus just sitting back and waiting and hoping that the original developer would do these features for me. Which I wouldn’t have been able to do anyway considering that I had already made changes.
Dealify was supposed to end March 2020. At this time I was planning on selling it because the platform was starting to gain a lot of traction and I couldnt handle the amount of users, customer service, and the development cost. I didnt have success selling it, so i decided to just bite the bullet and handle it like any other founder would. Well, I was then messaged by a woman who owns another platform in the learning management system sector. She said “Oh, I have amazing developers, i have a lot of money, we can take this to a whole level!) I specifically requested that she keep the values as #1, and kept the same philosophy as I had. So she promised she would.
A month after selling the platform (May 2020) I discovered she was talking shit about the fact that there were “Bugs” on the platform and was pointing fingers. I asked her for a list of these bugs and even though I had already closed the sale, technically this wasn't even my issue. BUT, I decided to chime in. The issues she stated were user error issues. So, after myself and the developer convinced her of this, she proceeded to just create new features instead of focusing on stabilization for growth as Iwas focused on before selling to her. Things began to go down hill from here. From closing down the instagram API for a period of time, to the Google My Business not working properly, to now (fast forward to February 2021) where their API for Facebook had been rejected and blocked by Facebook for privacy violations.
I also found out that this owner I sold the platform to, wound up selling it herself after only having owned it for 8 months. The new owner changed the user interface, and then listed the business for sale (again) on Flippa on or around February 2, 2021.
Later, the listing was removed, with a letter from the platform stating that they were closing temporarily while they handled the facebook issue.
In conclusion: I made no mistakes aside from selling the platform. I stand by 1000% to using code-canyon script at the time. Would I do it again? ? Sure. I have no issues using a script. What I have an issue with is people who do this, and provide no FURTHER Value than if the customer buying into their platform went and purchased their own license for the same script.
Too many people have shot down this idea of using pre-made scripts to make a company out of it. This is further from the “wrong” to those founders like myself who stand by their product at the end of the day, and who drop thousands of dollars and countless hours of support for their customer. It’s the passion behind the product, not how its made which makes it successful.
However, I will say it’s complealy WRONG and unethical do the above and have no intentions to support the product, nor have intentions to bring value to it. I used CodeCanyon as a building block to build something bigger, and not just a means to get money in my pocket. And that my friends, is what makes the difference between a bad founder and a good one.