Recently we launched a site with several pages copied from 37signals' Highrise. We did more than take inspiration from their design - we actually used html & css code, and hotlinked to images on their site. We apologize to David and 37signals for ripping off their work. It was stupid, lazy, and disrespectful of their creative efforts. It's particularly painful for us to have done this to 37signals because they are big heroes of ours. We just hope they will accept our apologies.
The fact that their blog is now down with a database error does not exactly inspire much confidence.
So one of them snags the source from Highrise and changes some images around. I'm sure he previewed it, it looked fine and he published it. He probably forgot to change out the button images because they looked fine.
Who knows if this is how it happened, but it really seems like it could have been an honest (but definitely pretty stupid) mistake.
Edit: Not sure why this is getting downvoted, anyone care to explain? Action in startups is not always deliberate.
I would bet money there is not one web designer here who has never taken a tiny snippet from another site. It's kinda more of a matter of the quantity of content that they took. Plus the hot linking was especially dumb.
For full disclosure, I'm a young entrepreneur (<25), run a company that was started a few months after curebit (my cofounder applied and interviewed for the same YC class with a different idea), have raised pretty close to what curebit has raised, and am also a 500startups-funded company.
I'd just like to take a minute to hope that a couple of screw ups by others won't put companies like ours at a disadvantage. It makes me sad to think that "how old are you guys" is one of the first questions someone would ask, since I'm not sure physical age has anything to do with how people react to different situations. I'd sure like to think that if I screwed up people would chalk it up to me being me and not my generation.
I also hope people realize the big mouth investor with no taste (especially in what he wears ;) isn't the only person vetting 500startup companies. He has a whole investment team. Yes, Dave does pick a lot of the 500s companies himself (he was our biggest advocate), but the entire 500s team has a say. I also think you're overlooking the fact that curebit was also supported by YCombinator (and Dave has a lot of respect for PG's team and the companies they accept).
I don't condone what curebit did (far from it). I am close to positive someone at YC would have at least helped hash out ideas for design (and 500s' mantra is design, data, distribution), and, Dave has always said: running lean doesn't mean running cheap. But I hope that what one company does doesn't ruin it for the rest of us.
I knew that if I just asked "how old are you?" it would come off as a snarky comment on the situation. That's why I also included "Not making a judgement, genuinely just wondering."
While I wasn't trying to tie age to the issue at hand, I would have to disagree with your assertion that physical age doesn't have anything to do with how people react to different situations. Maybe experience is the real driver but obviously that is closely related to age. Either way that's neither here nor there.
As for the rest of your comment, I'm not totally clear on what you were trying to get across or who you were responding to but it still doesn't seem like it deserved to be down voted.
regardless, we don't shy away from helping our founders, even should they go astray. not proud right now, but we hope to be helpful where possible.
live & learn.
Proper apologies have three parts: 1) What I did was wrong. 2) I’m sorry that I hurt you. 3) How do I make it better? It’s the third part that people tend to forget…. Apologize when you screw up and focus on other people, not on yourself.
This has stuck with me and I noticed you were following on it very well, patiently and with humbleness.
Guess what? The issue will not die this weekend..
What is your plan B?
This is beyond the pale and it is not a case of 'live and learn'. Every single one of us as developers have taken the page layouts of others, even looked at their code and then coded something ourselves based around it. What you don't do is list layout code straight and insert your own images and URLs. I take it you're investing enough to employ people with HTML, CSS and front-end skills?
Will you throw some funding at me please?
The only way to try and stop it is to prevent people being able to create a new a/c from an ip address they were using to login with on their proper account. (and maybe penalize them for trying).
That's probably a fruitless effort though with proxies et al.