thc: a cure for career hangovers?

[Anthony Adams was a recent college graduate working for IBM. Now he sells hangover cures:]

Hi Hugh,

My name is Anthony Adams, I am 26 years old.

I worked at IBM out of college (2007) in a cubicle doing software sales/order taking and sitting in death-by-Powerpoint meetings and I hated it. Actually, hate is a strong word. I tolerated it. And that’s even worse in a weird way. Comparing horror stories with my fellow recent college graduates, my job actually wasn’t that bad. But I knew after about a year of trying to play the game that it wasn’t for me.

So I hatched an evil plan and spent my nights creating a dietary supplement that prevents hangovers at www.drinkthc.com. The site is pretty bland and in the process of being redone now that I have investors and bigger plans, but I started with nothing more than a desire to get out of the corporate world, threw myself into the unknown and came out alive and much better off than I was before.

I’ve sold my product through the internet to 41 countries on six continents and am just getting started, with appearances on NBC and Thrillist.com along the way. In hatching my evil plan, I have developed skills they don’t teach in business school (SEO, internet marketing, etc.) that will ultimately allow me to continue working for myself without ever having to go get another corporate job, even if my current evil plan happens to stall.

All the best,

Anthony Adams

[Got a good #EvilPlans story you want to share? Feel free to ping me via gapingvoid@gmail.com, Thanks!]

Comments

  1. Great, some loser decided to “create” another worthless “diet supplement” (among tens of thousands just like it) and unleash it on 41 countries. Just what the world needs: another product that does nothing–zip, zilch, zero, nada, null–to help the human condition.

    SEO? I won’t even bother to comment on that one.

    Evil plans indeed! I haven’t read this new book (and realize the previous effort was non-specific) but sincerely hope its stance is against this kind of crap instead of for it.

    • Ah, and what amazing contribution to humanity have you made lately, JasonG?

      I see you left no URL, therefore I assume the answer is “Zero”. Does that make you a loser, too? ;-)

      “I’m too cool for SEO but not cool enough to leave a URL”? What’s that all about?

      • Well said Huge. Some people create and others hate. Anthony Adams is a creator, while JasonG is a classic example of the hater.

        We each must ask ourselves, “Which one of these am I and which one of these do I want to become?”

      • Hugh,

        I didn’t think what I’ve done for humanity was on-topic here and certainly did not ask for you to plug my life or deeds but I appreciate the fact that you think it matters in this context that I be doing *something* good in order to give credence to my objections. So, here’s a small example (sorry, there’s no url available*).

        Every week my fiancée and myself have date night. I’ll bet you know many couples out there that do the same thing. Sometimes I take her out to dinner at a nice place and I earn enough to do this every week if we wanted. More often than not I cook a nice dinner instead. Cooking has been a hobby for a while and I could easily do it for a living at some fine restaurant (BTDT: to avoid going bat-shit crazy I keep it a hobby). :) Typically, preparing the dinner takes a considerable amount of time and effort, sometimes extending days before doing various prep finding ingredients, etc… It is less expensive than going out, but good quality local ingredients don’t exactly come cheap either (not to mention all the equipment). It sure would be easier to go out! But, there’s benefits.

        There are many who benefit from my effort: the local farmers, who maintain a market because of people like me who give a damn about quality; everyone else benefits too, indirectly, by enjoying a slightly less polluted world because of this localization (see _Omnivore’s Dilemma_). My fiancée who gets to enjoy a great meal benefits by not having to deal with traffic (and we cause less traffic) and or dressing up. I get to have a little fun AND enjoy the fruits of my labor. I love knowing that she loves me for doing it. It is long-term and short-term benefits all around.

        IIRC, you talk about the benefits of long-term and short-term views in your first book (and in many cartoons). As I recall, you also talked about the productivity benefit of reining in one’s drinking habit.

        Yet, here we are on this very page talking about some product that purports to take care of one side effect of drinking-to-excess and simultaneously has about 99.999% (five-nines is en vogue after all) chance of not working. See http://quackwatch.org for many discussions of other worthless supplements. Drinking in moderation does not present this side effect.

        Mr. Adams no doubt benefits from the sales of his “product” and he also, no doubt, supports the employment of at least a few other people (clearly all dues paying members of humanity) so one can say humanity as such does benefit. It’s not as bad, say, as funding places like Halliburton (which is pretty darn *good* for humanity based on the number of people they keep employed), but it’s along that line. At least drinkable THC is unlikely to be killing people directly, even if it may encourage excessive drinking. This is what the consumers of Mr. Adams’ product are getting for their hard earned money. I see benefit for him and his suppliers alone. Maybe an unfulfillable dream of a night out without consequence for the buyer counts too, is that what you’re trying to support?

        I do things for the short-term too. I am a union employee and voted for concessions last summer because I thought it was the right thing to do. I know for a fact the guy sitting next to me voted the other way because “why should we care?” It’s a valid mentality and Mr. Adams’ is just as valid.

        Again, without having read the book–I believe there are many evil plans that have nothing at all to do with inventing something, or starting/improving a business as such. That’s why I gave the examples I did.

        SEO is a dangerous word. If by SEO Mr. Adams means things like optimizing a site’s meta tags and consulting on the benefits of signing up with Google’s et al webmaster tools then great, he’s helping humanity and I’m all for it. Somehow, based on this THC thing, I get the idea that he means SEO in that *other* way. The other way being controlled link-farm generation, paid shills, and other things which are currently poisoning everyone’s search results while researching commercial products and services on line. Of course there’s no proof of this intent, but perception is a powerful thing. If someone has the will to invent and sell a worthless product, what else are they willing to do?

        It’s a little like email service providers. There are white-hat ones and black-hat ones, but also ones with hats in various colors of grey; SEO is the same. That’s why it’s a dangerous word. If a site is really worth it, and all the technical pieces are put together correctly, the algorithms will pick it up without any “SEO” at all. Business execs clearly see it differently and they have to, as my view as a consumer is NOT in their company’s best interest. See the recent JC Penny SEO scandal…

        I hope Mr. Adams comes up with some better and more helpful product ideas since he obviously has the marketing arm down pat.

        Hugh, I hope you continue to plug people who are the Davids of this world and who have small businesses selling real things. Things like beef jerky and wine and people that do great server hosting and selling cartoons which become real when they represent valuable ideas.

        But this plug right here is not the right direction to be going and this guy is no David right now. He and many others are benefiting only due to a law change in the early 90′s making such products legal and unregulated in the U.S. Change a few names and Drinkable THC would match right up to the spam in my inbox! Please find people more worthy of the attention, that’s all I’m asking.

        I respect most of your views very much; I have paid-for stuff of yours hanging on my walls and sitting in a bookshelf to prove it. No doubt my recommendations to and conversations with friends and associates is worth even more? It’s all about the conversation, right?

        The conversation (what’s wrong with “word of mouth” BTW?) is just not great, sorry about that.

        All the best for the future,

        Jason

        *There’s no url available, yet my fiancée does frequently post pictures of the meal and descriptions of it on Facebook (which I suppose could be another benefit to humanity since it may encourage others to do the same thing). Amusingly to me, these posts of hers about our meal together seem to be quite popular with her friends and that is a conversation.

  2. This is an awesome story and a wicked product. If you’re truly able to solve the hangover cure you will become a legend:) Only the best to Anthony.

  3. Hi JasonG,

    I’d like to clarify my situation and the business I run. In college, I noticed a gaping void (pun intended) in the market for hangover cures. Nothing appealed to people my age and existing products were marketed towards a health conscious crowd and sold in places like GNC, which seemed like a logical disconnect between who would actually need a hangover supplement. I suffer from horrible hangovers and began investigating vitamins, minerals, etc. that would help me function after a night out. This process took years to find a formula that I personally believed in enough to feel comfortable marketing to others.

    After being laid off from IBM, I felt I could either move laterally in my “career” and go find a similar desk job or take a chance and see if my idea had legs. I didn’t want to wake up at 50 and regret not following a dream I had. I would never attempt to market something I didn’t wholeheartedly believe in, and, as you can imagine, the nature of my product requires repeat sales to survive. Without repeat orders, and customers, which my product has, we would have gone under long ago. So someone out there likes it and finds it useful. Plenty of good testimonials via Twitter on my site confirm this.

    I’m not the smartest guy in the room but even I can tell you that a business plan centered around one-time sales of a $3 supplement isn’t going to go very far.

    Straight from Google’s mouth: Meta tags have been devalued due to being abused by spammers and no longer influence search results. So, no, that has nothing to do with my strategy, nor do link farms or other black hat tactics. I send out free samples to bloggers to review my product and link back to me in a very ethical, white-hat way. And the reviews (unpaid) are overwhelmingly positive, but I’m okay if a blogger says it doesn’t work for them, and there are a few reviews out there like that, I admit. You can find these reviews easily by searching online. These links help my site rank well in Google. Combine this with the fact that my product’s name, “The Hangover Cure” is very search engine friendly for generic, high traffic terms like “hangover cure” due to the keywords involved and you have my SEO strategy in a nutshell. Nothing unethical or black hat about it. At the end of the day, if you have a site worth linking to and talking about, the SEO takes care of itself. No link farms or cloaking or any of that nonsense required.

    I don’t force or encourage people to go out and drink to excess but at the same time, I am not naive enough to think it doesn’t happen. That’s who this product was created for; I scratched my own itch and I’ve had more fun and learned more about myself and the business world than I could have ever hoped to working for others.

    I’m not sure why my product evoked such a strong, angry response, given that you have never tried it and it in no way affects you, from what I can tell. It’s not like I am peddling meth to school kids.

    I emailed Hugh because his blog struck a cord with me and I love both his books and every cartoon I have ever seen of his. If an evil plan is an exit strategy from 21st century serfdom in a cubicle, then my story is pretty topical to Hugh’s blog, in my opinion. That’s why I emailed him.

    If you have any questions or would like to talk further, please email about@drinkthc.com and I would be happy to discuss. I think it’s a little silly to call someone a “loser” without knowing my full story. I’ll gladly compare my evil plan with yours and maybe we can learn from each other. It sounds like you and your fiancee have a passion for cooking that could be turned into a full-time business and there is no reason not to go for it :)

    @Hugh, this seems to be “Get Other People to Hate You” from Evil Plans to a T. Awesome.

    All the best,
    Anthony Adams

    • Hey Anthony, thanks for taking time to write your reply…

      This is great- seeing a conversation happening here on gapingvoid. It’s what it’s all about!

  4. This is good. BRB- Going to get some popcorn.

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  1. [...] Macleod is all about Evil Plans.  Since Meg and I love to hatch our own, I always love reading about someone [...]

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