Why We Are Giving @BoardActive A Wide Berth

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Luckily in our industry, which on the whole is very good and proper, there are still only a few people we give a wide berth to. Typically we look at a company, their product, solution or offering and the owners, management and people in that business and decide pretty quickly if we want to give them any press.

The issue at stake is that our blog is incredibly well read and with 13,200+ twitter followers to boot, even a criticism or mention of someone can give a company a boost – something which may not actually be deserving. If people are, in our opinion, talking rubbish we will typically call them out BUT then there are people that are so obviously talking themselves up and aiming to talk across people, muddy the waters etc. with the sole intent of creating their own news story. In those instances we have found from experience that it is best to ignore them – otherwise of course you give them exactly what they want, the “oxygen of publicity”.

Up until the last 24 hours, that ‘ignoring them’ was exactly the approach we took with Doug Pittman, Founder and CEO of BoardActive, a software company that says it enables brands to geofence any location, measure foot- traffic, and engage users with personalised messages when they enter designated areas. If you follow them on twitter you will know that Doug has made some pretty wild claims, one of the most recent was that his software could have rescued all the (retail) businesses that went bankrupt. He’s loud, in your face and personally we think, well over the top. Anyone who has been in this industry these last 10-12 years will have met someone like him. They usually make wild claims and come and go. So, as stated earlier we figured it was best to leave well alone and ignore. Well up until today anyhow.

Yesterday (Wednesday November 13, 2019) after an industry guy that we knew slightly from old, actively engaged us in what started off as a polite, private discussion about Doug and BoardActive, we received the following nasty and threatening letter from Doug Pittman himself.

Make those slanderous and libelous comments and the run Adrian… LOL

So here goes….If I hear or see one more negative word from you from ANYONE Adrian ….it will be on.

I’ve been nothing but kind to you up until now …..And you showed you’re nothing more a COWARD and a CHILD by deleting me on LinkedIn. Bullies like you hate getting punched back, don’t ya ….. I punch back very HARD.

Now, my attorney will be in touch……

I don’t need trash outlets and worthless blah writers like you…..watch what’s happening in a few days with our announcement. So much for your “Dangerous AND Deluded” slander and libel comment.

Remember, People talk. Not one more “jackass” comment.

Enjoy your Cult closed groupies….Disruptive is charging forward-fast.

Cell: 770.378.2603

Sent VIA my iPhone

Now remember that we were initially in a private LinkedIn messaging conversation with another industry individual (who obviously forwarded our conversation to Mr Pittman after we finished the chat).

In reply to Mr Pittman’s above email, we politely replied, asking him “to stop emailing me with threats” and pointing out the following: –

  • The written word is libel (slander is spoken)
  • For defamation, the ‘material’ must have been made public. You are quoting and sending me text from a private LinkedIn conversation.
  • Under United States law, opinion is not defamation (anybody can talk trash about anybody; what one can’t do is spread lies about people or businesses).

We hoped that would have been the end of it and made mention that we “blocked your friend and I blocked you exactly because I believe that you are “dangerous and deluded” and do not want to get involved in your shameless self promotion”.

Within 30 minutes he had emailed again …


We WILL see who is right and who is wrong in the near future …. won’t we.

You enjoy your closed world….I’ll continue to be disruptive with my invention and work.

It’s easy to sit back and criticize as you see someone bust their ass to take a “thought to make it become a reality.” I would of thought someone like you would be cheering on innovation….but I do understand having the desire to protect status quo.

I’m busting Status Quo to hell.
Watch this ….

Take Care.
Ps I’m fully aware of the laws – promise

So if you have read up to this point, perhaps like us you would have thought that was the end of it. Mr Pittman had the last word. We had agreed to disagree.

Bottom line, we were walking away and politely pointing out that “I don’t want to write about you and I don’t want to engage you in any form of conversation. Please leave us alone”.

Remember also that the only time we had told anyone of our opinion of Mr Pittman was to his industry friend in a private message via LinkedIn and yes, we did use the term “dangerous and deluded”.  For the record, in that LinkedIn conversation we were criticised of pandering to the DPAA and not helping those outside that supposed cabal, we wrote “1. he is dangerous and deluded 2. We check stuff and are not in the pocket of DPAA, look at what (we) write about Firefly, a DPAA member, who is also full of shit” – the point being that many times we call people out, but at other times we just ignore them (BoardActive up until this time is one of course that we ignored).  I am sure that many of you, who have been on the receiving end of our criticism will have preferred if we had said NOTHING AT ALL!

I would love not to be writing this now. I went to bed after these email exchanges and metaphorically put the subject to bed as well but oh no, Mr Pittman did not know when to leave it well alone. Nine hours after our earlier email exchange we received the following, this morning …

And oh yeah one other thing….as far as my thoughts on this comment :

“because I believe that you are “dangerous and deluded” and do not want to get involved in your shameless self promotion”….

And yes that finger graphic was included in the email!

Like most men, I think I am a good judge of character. “Dangerous and deluded” was just my initial opinion and guess what?  I think I was spot on!

3 Responses to “Why We Are Giving @BoardActive A Wide Berth”

  1. Christopher Quirin Says:

    Mr Pittman has gone beyond any defensible position. while he has advocated for his solution he has also compromised friendships, relationships and professionsal courtesy. I am usually a proponent of disruptors and innovators. However, when erratic behavior clouds pragmatic judgement, I have to bow out.
    When Mr. Pittman was judged to be “dangerous and delusional , my first instinct was to alert him to the opinion that he has pushed too hard.
    I can no longer defend my actions as admirable or inconsequential. As the CEO of Boardactive, Doug will have to decide how to react and explain. As an ambassador for goodwill, my job here i done.

  2. Christopher Francis Quirin Says:

    Take this down you made your point

  3. old sign guy Says:

    Having lived and worked at the tip of this space’s spear for longer than most have been out of diapers, we must continue to recognize posers and the self proclaimed gasbags amongst us. This one will pass too, with the dozens of others before them that are now selling floor tile or pitching digitally defibrilated sewing bobbins. The posers audience is almost always the Board or VC that is unhappy with the 50x golden fleece promises made that are undeliverable.
    “Well done is better than well said”. Benjamin Franklin

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