Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stupid Outskirts Press boasts about bad business

I recently wrote about inept and dishonest pay-to-publish company Outskirts Press bragging  about its position in the annual Inc magazine listings of the fastest growing privately owned American companies.

I pointed out that Outskirts's position has been sliding for several years, and had dropped from the top 500 to top 5000 -- but Outskirt hoped that no one would notice the extra zero. 

In past years, Outskirts Press boss Brent Sampson (the same guy who confused "foreword" and "forward") did some advance bragging before the Inc rankings were published.

Perhaps sensing bad news, Brent was uncharacteristically quiet this year.

Finally, on 9/1, he faced reality and tried to make lemonade from the lemon-like news. He wrote a blog post titled, "Is Outskirts Press the most successful self-publishing company?" Of course, Brent thinks it is.

He wrote: "it depends upon who you ask, and by what parameters “success” is being judged, but Inc. Magazine seems to think so, if their list of the top 5000 privately held companies in America holds any merit (which many would argue it does). For the fourth year in a row, Outskirts Press finds itself on this very prestigious list, which ranks the success of private companies (as defined by profitable growth) across a three year span of time.  I won’t delve into the mathematics or business logistics for why accomplishing this feat four years in a row is difficult and, instead, I’ll just post the press release.  We couldn’t have this ongoing (unprecedented in the self-publishing industry) success without the continued support of our amazing authors and our talented production, sales, accounting, IT, and marketing folks. Thank you!"

Brent then posted his self-serving and deceptive press release, linked-to here.

Although frequently a bullshitter, Brent is honest enough -- and foolish enough -- to tell us that: "Outskirts Press first appeared on the Inc. 500 list in 2009 as the 268th fastest growing company in America. In 2010 Outskirts Press was on the Inc. 5000 list again at number 1266 and again in 2011 at number 3088. For the fourth year in a row, Outskirts Press ranks in the top 5000 at number 4530 and continues a healthy annual growth rate of twenty percent."

Healthy growth rate? My ass. If this trend continues, Outskirts Press will disappear. 

Brent Sampson should be embarrassed -- not boastful.

He should be in hiding -- not sending out a really inappropriate press release.

Maybe he should consider changing the way Outskirts operates -- or just close the company.


  1. The INC 500 is based on self-reported year to year growth. If you look at the top companies on the list - the ones with 5 digit growth - you can do the math and see that they had a couple hundred thousand in revenue a few years ago. They're startups.

    I worked for a guy who was obsessed with appearing on this list. We booked under $1 million revenue but agented many times that in Google AdWords accounts (we were a PPC management company). He was waiting to sign a big account willing to let us run their Google spend through our P & L specifically so that we could show thousands of percent in one year growth and appear on the list.

    The list doesn't say anything about a company's long term viability, its profitability relative to any initial investment (growth of 10,000% to $5 million on $100 million in VC invested is a poor return) or its potential value as a stand alone entity. It's the Who's Who of business growth - of some value to those who appear in it, effective for driving INC's revenue, but dubious to anyone else.

  2. I bet Brent Sampson pisses on his feet even when holding his dick with both hands.