Main Site Documentation

Is e-commerce really this hard


In this video the guy is basically saying that it’s very hard to start up a legitimate e-commerce business because of 1) fraud, 2) patent trolls.

Does anyone have stories about fraud or patent trolls being so bad that it was a determent to your company?


I guess it depends on what you define as a “legitimate e-commerce business”. I’ve sold several parts from a website I set up, and never had any trouble with fraud or patent trolls. Whether or not the tiny amount of sales I’ve handled counts is up to you. I do know this:
[ol]Pretty much everything he says about BitCoin is wrong.
Using a LiveCD will not “prevent any evidence of your activities from showing up later”.
Running a business, online or otherwise, is nowhere near as complex as he makes it out to be, not in the USA, at least.
I couldn’t be bothered to listen to the rest.[/ol]


I’ve never had any problems …

But there are e-com trolls out there:

[quote]A subsidiary of Acacia Research Corporation, easily one of the world’s most annoying patent trolls, has managed to force into settling a pending patent lawsuit.

The subsidiary, Adjustacam LLC, originally filed suit against dozens of retailers in July 2010, including Amazon, Dell, Wal-Mart,, Eastman Kodak, Target, Sears, and Radioshack.[/quote]


Hey, I worked with that guy in about 1992. I remember he went on a holiday and changed a system file (himem.sys?) to read where in the world he was expecting to be based on the date and his itinerary. Didn’t necessarily go down too well…


Sorry to say this as I have a number of very good American friends but lawsuits and patent infringements seem to be something that originates from the USA a lot more than in other countries.

I know this from first hand experience many years ago, long before patent trolls were around. I worked for a company in Scotland who was developing at the time, a telematics system which was quite ahead of its time back then. Through a government funded initiative to expand our company overseas we where invited to a meeting in Dallas to which we got interest from a local company looking to build just such a system for their clients to support their servicing venture.

Anyway, we met a few months later and we did a demo and came up with a specification for their needs. We took some data from them to include in their version of the app and returned to Scotland to develop it for them. During this time we sent various images to show them the look and accidentally our web designer put one of the images on our website. It was a genuine mistake but the US company decided to take us to court for using their logo in our advertising. It cost the company thousands to deal with this as they had to go to the US to sort it out. We came to the conclusion during this that the company was struggling financially and saw this as a way to make some money but it was eventually won by my company but not before we lost a lot of our money and in the end the company was forced to go out of business and I lost my job.

So based on this, patent trolls and lawsuits are not my cup of tea, as they say. I am all for protecting your rights and your designs but doing so just for the money is not.

Sorry for the long winded post on this.


Thanks all for the feedback, I was wondering the speaker wasn’t exasperating the problem a bit, esp with regards to being able to shutdown a domain buy filing $350 dollar lawsuit.

Therefore these issues, as he describes, are a) worst case, b) only if you’re a US company and c) exaggerated.


so the audience for this session was Australians, not necessarily globally unique but also some of the setup requirements are very specific to us…

There are several key messages that I took from this:

  • There’s a lot of work to set up a legitimate business. The comparison, “doing something quick/illegitimate to scam people” instead, is quick, easy, cheap, and can get you rewards with little effort - in fact, the less effort the better.

  • There’s simple things that a legitimate business can be exposed to that disrupt their ability to use the services they’re funding. Again, compare that to the cheap/free/hard to threaten scammer services they’re using, and there are many more things you need to manage when you’re trying to be a legitimate business (and not everyone is prepared to).

  • A (misplaced) lawsuit can ruin you quickly - when you use legitimate service providers as a legitimate user, you are subject to easily disrupt-able services from respected vendors - as he says, for a $350 filing fee they can do a royal job on you !