I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Plagiarism

I think I need to lawyer up.

Because six years ago, I came up with this amazing idea: Drumstick Bites. I wrote that the last bite of a Drumstick ice cream cone, with that solid chunk of chocolate, was the best part of the whole thing, so I wanted to sell packages of Drumstick Bites “and market them as a decadent summertime treat.” If you follow the link, you’ll see this was written on July 17, 2015.  

A few days ago, Tara sent me a link. “Somebody went and did it,” she said. Who’s the somebody and what did they do?

THIS!

Two somebodys, to be exact. Jarod and Tyler. They stole my idea and launched their own product called Muddy Bites (the name leaves a lot to be desired IMHO). These are being marketed as “the best part of a sundae cone, now available as a bite-sized snack.”

Hmm. Why does that sound familiar?

Oh.
Right.

BECAUSE I INVENTED THE DAMN THINGS SIX YEARS AGO.

If you look at their About Us page, they write, We originally started back in 2018 when we had an idea to make our favorite part of a sundae cone as a bite-sized snack.

Now that’s good humor, man.

Quit giving yourselves self-congratulatory pats on the back, dudes. You’re not the first ones to have that idea. You just took it a step further by launching a Kickstarter campaign, while I’ve Startedkicking myself for not following through. If I’d seriously sought out investors, I too might have been able to move into a 2,500-square foot facility in Ames, Iowa, and roll out my product (MY PRODUCT!) to 200 Hy-Vee and 7-Eleven retail locations.

Now they’re setting their sights on Walmart, Target, and Costco. They’ve had 50,000+ online orders and employ 40+ team members.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

And of course, I’m not really going to sue them! I’d never be able to prove they actually read my blog post. The fact that I’m still a million bucks shy of being a millionaire rests squarely on my shoulders. Just the idea of starting and running a business exhausts me.

I might send them a friendly email with a link to that post, though. Just for kicks.

The ironic thing is, this isn’t even the first time I’ve come up with a brilliant product idea, only to see somebody else profit from it. I also invented the smoothie and spray tans.

Seriously.
Well, at least the spray tans part…

I was an advertising major in college, and for my campaigns class, we were tasked with creating and marketing a new product. I lived in California at the time, where it’s sunny 364 days of the year and tanning is an obsession. I thought, why not develop a self-tanning spray that would give you bronzed skin without the risk of melanoma? And thus, I came up with Tan In a Can.

Fast-forward several years. Not only are spray tans a thing, but so too is Tan In a Can!

If you’re counting, that’s twice in my life I’ve missed out on fame and fortune. I think I missed my calling: business consultant. I’m clearly the idea guy, while others do the actual legwork.

I’ve always joked that my college professor is probably tooling around the Bay Area in a Ferrari these days, while I’m stuck driving a Hyundai.

But, hey…at least it’s got a nifty astronaut button!



Categories: Daily Life

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

27 replies

  1. Life is full of ‘if onlys’. But just think if you’d marketed it and made your fortune you probably wouldn’t have time to blog. I’m not sure that’s adequate compensation for a Ferrari… but it’s something.
    😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. While I would rather you be getting the profit from those little end pieces Mark, I am so buying that product. Absolutely the BEST part of those cones for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t it reward enough to know that your ideas have inspired others to greatness? Ok, maybe not, but you could pretend it’s true.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t like the name they came up with. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is just like when the Calvin Klein people stole Kramer’s beach cologne idea and developed the perfume called Ocean!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You should totally send them the link to your blog post, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lol, yes you do have to wonder about that college professor! Muddy Bites? That’s an awful name. But I love that I commented on your original post and I still like my idea of them being an ice cream topping.

    Did I ever tell you about my 1990 idea of a pacifier that holds liquid meds like amoxicillin or vitamins? Yeah, someone capitalized on that and it wasn’t yours truly.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I almost thanked you in my post for still reading me all these years later. I think you’re the only one!

      Sounds like you know the sting of stolen ideas just as well as I do. Too bad you didn’t pursue that one…I like it.

      Like

  8. Ah, but this is why ideas aren’t copyrightable. It’s the work that goes into the idea that makes it viable.

    Also why I want to smack every relative or parent of a friend who ever said, “Hey, I have a great idea for a movie, how about you write it and we share the profits?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m currently reading a book called “The Plot” by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It’s about a once-promising author who has slipped into mediocrity. He’s teaching a writing course, and one of his students shares the outline of a killer story he’s working on that is sure to be a worldwide bestseller. The student ends up dying, so the author takes that idea and writes his own novel, achieving fame and riches. But somebody knows his secret…

      Makes you wonder what the big deal is, if he did indeed just “borrow” an idea from a person who is no longer around to bring it to life.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. TBH I don’t think the name Drumstick Bites really flies…sounds too savoury….mind you Muddy Bites sounds like bait for fishing

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Muddy Bites? The name bites.
    Your idea? Brilliant.
    *Suz goes deeper into your blog looking for new product ideas*

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Well, that does bite. But on the other hand, you can now eat a box full of the best part of the cone!

    Before I read your last line, I thought to myself, “But at least you have that super speed button.” And then I read what you wrote. If I had thought, “Astronaut button,” which, in truth, I should have, that would have been TRULY scary.

    Liked by 2 people

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