Seva is just a Word

let’s have a quick chat about Seva, err, ConvertKit. who knows? company names are a social construct.

firstly, they’re bootstrapped and kicking ass:

Seva Monthly Recurring Revenue

but last month they made a mistake.

after rebranding to Seva, which evidently means “selfless service,” they got heat from Social Justice Warriors who claim the new name is offensive and a cultural “rip off.”

man, i love the internet! what happened next was amazing.

call to arms

when Leftists have a problem with someone’s behavior, they don’t say it to that person’s face.

here’s the 2018 menu:

  • protest, without clothes on
  • riot, destroying vehicles and storefronts
  • write viral, emotional puke on Medium.com

before i dive in, feel free to read the post yourself.

Social Just Warrior Rants on Medium (yawn)

a few gems:

  • “And, it truly makes me wonder, can hipster white people leave anything the fuck alone?”
  • “I haven’t done seva in a couple of years but when I do feel the need to, I know I’ll be welcomed with open arms in my community. But, it is mine to claim. It is my culture.”
  • “No, we’re not terrorists.”

(reminder that no emotional rant would be complete without a reference to terrorism and race, even though Sikhism is not a race.)

studies have shown this triggers insecure, white, leftists’ Pavlovian instincts to shout “i have a {{ black / Sikh / gay / purple }} friend!” and promptly apologize for their less woke peers.

in the words of Jas, it truly makes me wonder, are Sikhs good observers if they use the “F” word?

PR nightmare

thanks to Facebook Groups, “muh feels” echo’d the ConvertKit community to the tune of 100s of comments.

kicking us off is the archetypal leftist white woman i introduced previously:

Exhibit A: Leftist White Woman

she’s relegated her ability to think critically by “listening to WOC” yet simultaneously believes white men are worse offenders. perhaps they need a coupon to her spiritual guru.

next is the type of comment that would have worked last century, #RIPY2K.

Lea-Ann FTW

and my all-time favorite. in 2018 we call this a “troll:”

Aaron Hockley for President 2024

after reviewing these thoughtful contributions i weighed my options and offered wagers to a couple buddies.

nobody accepted.

thoughts on culture

let’s clarify a few things for Seva, err ConvertKit, about what culture is and is not.

  1. culture is a choice. we subscribe to 1 or more cultures
  2. cultures we subscribe to are heavily influenced, but not dictated by, geography and family values
  3. culture is not religion, and religion is not culture
  4. there is no such thing as “my culture” or “your culture”
  5. Sikhism, like many religions, welcomes folks of all ethnicities; “white hipsters” and “western buzzwords” are therefore not incongruent with Sikhism

inputs and outputs

just 30 days after a likely $300k+ rebrand — the exact loss we’ll never know — Seva reverse-rebranded back to ConvertKit. let’s call it a Reverse Polish.

Reverse Polish

now we must debate the economic merits of this socially grey area. mobs aside, could it have been a good “business” decision to Reverse Polish?

companies exist to make money after all; who could blame Seva, err ConvertKit, from doing what’s best for the bottom line?

thankfully their financials are public and i’ve annotated this epic disaster.

Seva's New Customers

  • 7.1.18 – announcement, 3rd lowest install week in 12 week span
  • 7.12.18 – SJW rant on Medium.com, hockey stick growth
  • 7.30.18 – Reverse Polish, outcomes TBD

this reminds me of 15 years ago, when Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks came out as anti-Bush and fans were outraged. meanwhile their next album hit #1.

people may “hate” you in public because it helps them virtue signal, but at the end of the day Dixie Chick fans still love country music. email marketers just want to send emails bro.

so while ConvertKit support may have been on fire with “i’ll cancel on you White Supremacist Hipster Trash!,” it’s clear nobody actually cared.

don’t be like ConvertKit

Fomo doesn’t sell $1mm per month (yet), but we also don’t bend over for strangers on the internet.

while ConvertKit obviously listened to the haters, they chose not to listen to paying customers like myself, Lea-Ann, or Aaron quoted above.

as Fred Wilson says, a CEO has 3 jobs:

  1. Sets the overall vision and strategy of the company and communicates it to all stakeholders
  2. Recruits, hires, and retains the very best talent for the company
  3. Makes sure there is always enough cash in the bank

Seva, err ConvertKit, isn’t budging on their new and ambitious vision. they also seem to have a kickass team. and according to their metrics dashboard, cash and customers are definitely not a problem.

why, then, would ConvertKit’s CEO tolerate hate? and why do others call this courage?

https://twitter.com/Harris_Bryan/status/1023993763310587905

find out next time on Startup La La Land.

7 Comments

  1. Mike August 2, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Boos come from the cheap seats.

    If you are OUTRAGED about a corporate rebrand you without a doubt have bigger issues you are avoiding. But of course, you can’t tell people that.

    What got lost in all of this is that Convertkit shipped a really nice product update.

    Reply
  2. Mike August 2, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    This is hilarious xD

    Reply
  3. KJ August 2, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    This could be a great way to get free PR—(as long as the angry mob doesn’t fit your target customer profile) choose an iconoclastic name for your company and announce it on Twitter. The SJWs will do the rest… Adding this to my playbook.

    Reply
  4. Jas August 3, 2018 at 6:40 am

    I lol’d really hard after reading this. Someone shared it with me. I got a few laughs for real and I’m surprised they “bent over” for me/ and other strangers on the internet. I’m sharing this shit everywhere

    Reply
  5. Dean Bowsers August 30, 2018 at 8:13 am

    You’re an arrogant moron, Ryan.

    Also, your vest is tragic.

    Reply
  6. Hemu October 12, 2018 at 8:43 am

    this is super weird. i can understand the emotional fuss attached to the word “seva”. the convertkit case can be used as a study case for branding or rebranding purpose while using an exotic word.

    Reply

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