Need someone to lead product management at your software company? I create software for people that create software and I'm looking for my next opportunity. Check out my resume and get in touch.

BigBad thieving

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 20 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

Almost a year ago I mentioned that Boston-based Web development firm BigBad was presenting some of my work (and the work of others) as their own. Worse, they were using the stolen work as an example of the cutting edge development they were doing.

I said…

I’m willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt. Elsewhere on their site, the code is credited to “Tim Seit, Applications Developer, BigBad.” Perhaps Mr. Seit didn’t tell his employers that he didn’t actually write any of that code. BigBad may be blissfully unaware of this mis-step.

Tonight Tim Seit contacted me by IM and apologized. He no longer works at BigBad and stumbled across my article when searching on his name. Tim said “when I came across the code I presented it to my manager as code that I came across during a Google search, not something that I had written. BigBad was made fully aware that I made no original contributions to that code.”

So apparently the management at BigBad knew they didn’t write the code but decided to take credit for it anyway, despite the objections of their developers.

March 21, 2004 7:54 AM

This is somthing that really irritates and irks, Law suit comes to mind and also big company bully which is something that we are investigating at the moment,You know who you are!

February 22, 2005 10:44 AM

What's interesting is that they haven't taken it down yet - given that this page is the #3 result on Google for the word 'bigbad'.

Darren Mauro
April 1, 2005 10:48 AM

As fellow software developers, we appreciate Mr. Kalsey's concerns over proper attribution for intellectual property. As Mr. Kalsey points out, a number of the WebToys on our site leverage code or algorithms developed by third parties. In each case, the third party contribution was a code sample made freely available on the Web and its developer has encouraged and suggested reuse of the code. However, since this issue has come to our attention (not directly from Mr. Kalsey but through a third party), we have reviewed the way that each of these is presented. While our review determined that there was no intent to misrepresent who was responsible for which portions of the work, we have also identified that some of the WebToys did not completely adhere to the original developer's request for how the code was credited or could benefit from more visible attribution where third-party code was leveraged. We have made updates to each of the three WebToys mentioned that leverage the work of third parties to clearly indicate this in prominent positions within each application as well as in code comments, according to the specific requests of each original developer. While some of the WebToys contain reused code, we believe that each WebToy represents a unique product of BigBad's concept for how the third-party element combined with original visual design, theme/message, and often additional new code can together provide an entertaining example of the power of the Web to engage, entertain, and inform. This was our intention all along and we have attempted to clarify this purpose on the WebToys page as well. If any of the original developers feel that their contributions have not been properly represented, we welcome a direct dialogue with the concerned party, as this is more likely to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution more quickly than an indirect forum like this one. BigBad

Adam Kalsey
April 1, 2005 11:10 AM

Of course my initial email requesting that the problem be taken care of went unanswered two years ago when I sent it. But once a search for "BigBad" started turning up negative results, then something needed to be done about it, right?

Mark Heverstein
February 21, 2010 8:21 AM

I was browsing around, considering using BigBad for a Higher Ed project I have. However after reading this and a bunch of other poor reviews (i.e. paper pushers, a project-management company: no creative or technical skills, etc), BigBad had gone to the bottom of my list. BigBad -- you're a big bad company, we don't need companies like you around.

Art Director
February 14, 2012 2:47 PM

Even though BigBad is now gone (as a result of mismanagment and illegal activities by its CEO ... Googling will easily provide more detail on this), I must take issue with Mr. Heverstein's comment above. As a former employee, I can support your decision not to go with BigBad in an early 2010 timeframe--at this point mismanagement had taken its toll, employees were not being paid, and the company was circling the drain. But to say that the creative staff at BigBad was anything but top-notch is both inaccurate and unfounded. The team there had a solid record and reputation for creating excellent, award-winning solutions which met client and user needs while also advancing brand, and was well known and well regarded nationally in the Higher Ed space.

This discussion has been closed.

Recently Written

Great prodct managers own the outcomes (May 14)
Being a product manager means never having to say, "that's not my job."
Too Big To Fail (Apr 9)
When a company piles resources on a new product idea, it doesn't have room to fail. That keeps it from succeeding.
Go small (Apr 4)
The strengths of a large organization are the opposite of what makes innovation work. Starting something new requires that you start with a small team.
Start with a Belief (Apr 1)
You can't use data to build products unless you start with a hypothesis.
Mastery doesn’t come from perfect planning (Dec 21)
In a ceramics class, one group focused on a single perfect dish, while another made many with no quality focus. The result? A lesson in the value of practice over perfection.
The Dark Side of Input Metrics (Nov 27)
Using input metrics in the wrong way can cause unexpected behaviors, stifled creativity, and micromanagement.
Reframe How You Think About Users of your Internal Platform (Nov 13)
Changing from "Customers" to "Partners" will give you a better perspective on internal product development.
Measuring Feature success (Oct 17)
You're building features to solve problems. If you don't know what success looks like, how did you decide on that feature at all?


What I'm Reading


Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497


Public Key

© 1999-2024 Adam Kalsey.