Lee Odess has vowed an "an army of people working overtime" against IPVM as I have not agreed to his demands. Meanwhile, he says he is launching a competitor to IPVM. Since I expect some level of attacks from Odess to continue in the future, I wanted to document this here so that the public can understand what Odess is doing.
Odess is upset by what he believes is a 'personal attack' and, in response, has declared that I am dealing with 'demons' and to speculate about my parents and family members. It's an odd choice of rebuttal to engage in blatant personal attacks but that's fine.
I did not fold to Odess' demands, he emailed me saying:
sure you may have some people follow [IPVM] but it loses effectiveness everyday and there will be an army of people working overtime to make it such [emphasis added]
I have been legit bullied in my life, from elementary school through into adulthood, so I find it hard to sympathize with Janet or Lee. Yeah I've already said the comment John made probably should not have been made, but damn, for it to spawn all this?
To me, this also is starting to reek of "white knight" to me. All these dudes coming to the aide of the hurt attractive woman.
I wonder if John had made such a comment about me, would Lee or anyone else be rushing to my rescue?
It's one thing to address the issue of the comment. But to take it to this level just seems insane to me.
No one famous just have a friend that is Canadian, although given that he is a true friend maybe I would be the one to post mean things about him making Daniel the number 1 Canadian I would rush to the aide of in this situation. You really got me thinking.
When did our society become a bunch of thin-skinned wimps? It’s sad that most can’t take criticism, anymore. We have developed a society of wimps that can only call out bullies versus fixing their own deficiencies. If I did a crappy job at XYZ and someone called me out, I’d take the opportunity to look in the mirror and fix what I did at XYZ so that I don’t repeat it at ABC. The deflection and lack of accountability by crying bully is becoming to common place.
I respect Lee Odess, but starting a new platform is hard. In order to challenge the original platform, he will need a significant number of influential community members (maybe some employees?) to switch over.
But I am a fan of competition. If competition forces IPVM to improve, then that's a win. Or if Lee's platform gets just as good at testing and reporting, but without the petty controversies, maybe I'd switch over (if I could stand the boredom :P).
Purchasing hardware for testing is expensive and takes additional purchases (switches, cabling, cameras, work bench, ladders, etc) that will quickly add up to a lot of money. How is that purchasing funded? Then you still need software, and VMS's licensing can add up quickly as well. Servers to run everything aren't cheap if you want it to be stable. Where are these going to be installed at and how do you pay to keep them running for an extended test?
I use my house as a personal workbench/demo/playground/whatever and even then these costs add up. None of this factors in labor or salaries either!
my initial thoughts are that there many avenues to get product starting with buying it. Also, I believe we have a very technical and great industry that can crowdsource most of the breakdowns etc based on process standards.
I give him an A for confidence and an F for understanding reality.
Run ads for non industry stuff to support it, like Amazon/Best Buy/Taco Bell commercials.
I don't know if that's their plan. I invite them to experiment with it if it is. This is a guy who averages 50 views per his 150+ videos over the past 6 months, I am not exactly sure why he would imagine he's going to get enough views for ads to cover costs.
Two other things from the exchange. We should all have Lee's self-confidence, he said to me:
This is an industry fed up and not willing to stay silent anymore to your cyber bullying and tactics.
turn a corner to being a reputable resource leading the industry and stop it
I am well aware, for many years, that IPVM has many detractors and that my name is a swear word among many executives. But for Lee to declare an industry as a whole shows a lack of understanding of 'an industry'. SIA, sure, but the industry is much bigger...
Lee alleges that I feel 'empowered by all the citations' but that was me responding to him about IPVM not being a reputable resource, where I noted:
In your most recent email, you declare "turn a corner to being a reputable resource leading the industry and stop it". However, IPVM is the industry's most cited resource (NYTimes, WSJ, WaPo, CNN, Reuters, etc., et.c) and it's not close (SIA, The Inside, all other industry publications together have fewer citations than us). Surely you are free not to like us but, by the common understanding of reputable, IPVM clearly is that. Thus, you likely have some other definition of reputable and I would welcome you sharing what it is so we can understand what specifically we have done that is not in line with that.
But I'll answer it in the context of why it's germane to IPVM. Lee is using this as a marketing campaign to compete with IPVM. Competition is fine but it's important for people to understand the context of what Lee is doing.
As I mentioned in the opening:
I wanted to document this here so that the public can understand what Odess is doing.
Rather hypocritical. So instead of beating you and taking the higher road, he joined you in making personal attacks and even bringing your family into it. I would have had much more respect for him if he would have taken the higher road. Now, he sounds like an angry millennial and cancel culture fan claiming bullying. Hard to make a point when you are stooping as low as the person you are claiming wronged someone.
I wouldn't go that far. I suppose it depends on how you read it, since these are just words on a page. There are many kindhearted, totally non-angry people I can imagine saying these exact words (though not in public). Saying it publicly isn't great, but I think angry millennials would have used more colorful metaphors.
[Full disclosure: I think I'm in the millennial age range. But I'm not angry 😇]
This doesn't surprise me. John has long penned deliberately inflammatory and personally-directed "hit pieces" here, none of which I find professional or ethical. If you want to talk about bullying, IPVM's journalism style most assuredly fits that description in many cases. Frequently individuals within an organization are targeted for a microscopic examination of their lives and systematically picked apart, then posted publicly for tarring and feathering in the name of "transparency".
When John receives flak however, all of the sudden it's unacceptable. A fairly benign slight (seriously, if you find what Lee wrote to be highly offensive you should probably just get off the internet) is suddenly an unethical personal attack against him and his family. You would think John's folks were stalked on social media and threatened with death the way he's written it. If ever there was a scenario that epitomized hypocrisy in outrage culture, this is it. John expects the industry to have a thick skin when he's on the attack but not vice versa.
I've long complained about this aspect of the site and honestly, I have zero sympathy for John. You want to be a rabble rouser you should expect return fire. This kind of pathetic bickering masquerading as news is not what I pay a subscription for.
The one that immediately springs to mind is this report. Everyone makes mistakes and the focused attention brought to this one person was excessive and unprofessional. Seriously, what relevance is it that the guy founded a dice company and emphasizing the "gambling and drinking games" aspect? What I gleaned from it was that you were insinuating such activities are associated with a lower standard of person and that it was somehow relevant to speaking to his credibility. It isn't.
In the report you mention that Arecont had filed for Chapter 11 and it is reasonable to presume that's what the salesman was referring to, albeit mistakenly. The client discovered that was false, the salesman was (allegedly) disciplined, and life went on. It could and should have been reported only as "Verkada makes ANOTHER false allegation, here's what was said..." and focused on the company's culture and strategies as other reports have. And I say this as NO fan of Verkada BECAUSE of their culture and strategies.
what relevance is it that the guy founded a dice company and emphasizing the "gambling and drinking games" aspect?
The relevance was that was his previous job.
Let's imagine he had that job, then he worked 10 years at Google, Microsoft, and Genetec. In that situation, I would see it as irrelevant and too long ago to reflect his current experience. But that was not the case.
In the report you mention that Arecont had filed for Chapter 11 and it is reasonable to presume that's what the salesman was referring to, albeit mistakenly.
A salesperson with no experience confused company A with B in an attempt to win a deal. The accusation was extremely serious and the end-user, who I talked to on the phone, was extremely concerned and had to spend a lot of time and energy verifying it was not the case.
It could and should have been reported only as "Verkada makes ANOTHER false allegation, here's what was said..."
Any article can be reported in different ways, yours is valid to me. However, the route we took was about his professional career, including his immediate past job selling dice.
I think you are a massive jerk and I wouldn't have it any other way!
My initial interest in IPVM is because you weren't compromised the way so much of the US Security trade press is, thanks to its reliance on advertisers. The CEO of one of the software vendors with whom we do business is a prolific liar and his utterly dishonest press releases get run verbatim and without question in trade mags, sucking in new customers who may take it (and the ubiquitous tradeshow awards) at face value.
In a world where online reviews are treated like an SEO exercise it's refreshing to have someone else providing real world assessment such that buyers can make informed choices rather than rolling the dice and taking a chance on vendor scruples.
Lee is trying to maximize damage to build up his competitor.
If you looked at my track record purely from a gender perspective, you'd conclude I am a misandrist. I overwhelmingly, and regularly, criticize men and can hardly think of a woman, outside of Fenner, that I have criticized.
I'm too new to IPVM to remember that article but glad you brought it up. I've gone to great lengths to try and attract women to this blokes industry and have two helpful stories here.
The first, from a Chinese tradeshow where one of the booths had a statuesque model in a cocktail dress. Guests were invited to photograph the QR code which just so happened to be stencilled on her breasts.
Perhaps in copying other aspects of global trade the Chinese might consider copying a more enlightened view of promotions and women.
The second, an Aussie tradeshow. There was a very attractive female standing at one of the booths. Two young wokelings walked past. One had that haircut and they both look like they'd just returned from a protest rally. She muttered, deliberately loudly, "Ugh... Booth babes. How fucking sexist is that shit?"
The "Booth babe" in question is actually the owner of the company and a friend. She then proceeded to brutally slice and dice those two PC babies in a way they will never, ever forget. And when she then started telling them off (in language she knew they'd understand) about "slut shaming" it was just beautiful to watch. Sadly, in a room with about 25,000 cameras nobody seemed to get footage of the encounter.
Thanks for sharing all that John. If I see anything from him on LinkedIn, Twitter etc., I'll be sure to forward it to you so you can add it to your file which I trust you've titled "Crazy stuff from Lee". I have such a file on a similar situation in my own experience. The guy goes on the attack almost on schedule to the day once a year (he's due again in October) but its all bluster, he never follows through on the "rolling billboards driving past all our customer sites" (these will supposedly advertise what a fraud & thief we are) or one of my personal favorites "all of my (his) famous friends with a lot of money will come after you (me)". Still waiting to fill my autograph book with those famous signatures! I'm sure your Lee Odess will be the same.
Lee has repeatedly invited / challenged me to be on his YouTube channel, e.g., saying that I put my powers to evil and that I am 'puffy chest and smart' behind my 'keyboard':
Lee is not criticizing in good faith, given his ongoing ad hominem attacks, what would a conversation like that be, Lee asks "Why are you such a [bully | narcissist | sadist | psychopath]? and then I need to defend myself while he yells at me.
He's been looking for this for months, e.g. back in March:
I get it. He has a YouTube channel, virtually no one watches it and as he has tasted this week that attacking me is his best way to get attention.
Instead of participating in Lee's stunts, I am going to focus on continuing building IPVM.
I have no skin in this game, let me start with that. On the surface this looks like another BS "look at me" attempt by one party with intent to dishonor and steal credence from another. If someone thinks they can do a better job than IPVM then just do it. No need for the hoopla and song and dance. The drama alone has gone too far, If you turn this into anything other than what John said, which was very specific, then shame on you. If you want to be a hero and save the world, quit your current job and join the Red Cross or become a missionary, otherwise people like me have zero tolerance for those simply seeking attention at the expense of others. If you want to be drama laden then move to Hollywood and become an actor. This attention seeking behavior has become more contagious then COVID-19. John, just keep doing what you do. Why am I posting undisclosed? Because way too many of you need to move to Hollywood.
“After years of helping the industry navigate the ever-changing landscape of access control, I am thrilled to continue to support the community as a member of the Latch team,” said Odess
Normally such a quote is prepared by HR or PR, and then presented for approval to the purported hire. In this case, however, I believe the first phrase at least, “After years of helping the industry navigate the ever-changing landscape of access control”, may have been authored by Lee himself.
Such self-aggrandizement is typically omitted from the first person narrative as it may come off as tacky. Moreover, there is no reason to put it in the quote itself, as there is the preceding graph written in the third person as if the company is speaking:
Odess is a proven leader in the industry with nearly 20 years of experience driving sales growth, product innovation, and geographic expansion for leading companies in the smart access and security space…
Apparently, Lee found the praise insufficient, and made amends.