Am I paranoid?

This isn’t the first time that someone has suggested Sage like to copy KashFlow’s marketing activities. Given that Sage are often (supposedly derogatively) referred to as a marketing machine instead of a technology company, I’ve always taken it as a compliment.

There have been a few things they’ve done recently that look like they’ve taken a degree of ‘inspiration’ from what we do, but I dismissed it as coincidence.

Then, last week, they released this video introducing their low-functionality SageOne product.

As I watched it, I was struck by the similarities to the intro video on our home page.
From 2D people “unfolding” from the ground, to speech bubbles coming out of crowds  – even the use of the “[there is now] a better way” line that we’ve been using for a while (including in our video).

I was still willing to put it down to coincidence…until I saw the part of their video in which the SageOne logo develops arrows that spin around like KashFlow’s do in our video. SageOne doesn’t even have arrows in their logo!

Maybe I’m paranoid and it’s all just a big coincidence, or maybe – just maybe – someone in the Sage marketing department doesn’t have an ounce of their own creativity, and has decided to steal it from a startup instead…

I’ll let you decide: Our VideoSage Video

What do you reckon, am I paranoid or am I right? We’ve got a vote running on Facebook so you can have your say – Of course, I know anyone who says I’m paranoid is just out to get me.

Duane Jackson - Founder

As Founder of KashFlow, Duane writes primarily about the trials and tribulations of starting and growing a successful business. Having handled KashFlow’s PR internally for so many years he can’t resist writing a bit about that too.

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  • Adam Hempenstall

    This is shocking. There are actually no words.

    • Patrick

      Too right. If there were Sage would have stolen them!

      • Stu Bradley – Marketing Executive

        Joke stealer.

      • James Basoo

        Thats just bad form. I’m all for getting a little inspiration, but flat out copying, even down to the logo is just shameful.

  • Stu Bradley – Marketing Executive

    Good job there are no words. If there were, Sage might nick them too.

  • Paul Bulpitt

    That is an amazing coincidence. The guys at Sage must be really hacked off that they’ve gone to all this effort and they could have just copied what KashFlow did. Poor them.

  • Chris Pettitt

    The day people start copying Sage is the day I get worried.

  • Rob C

    Cheeky fuckers.

  • Andy

    Ha ha ha, robbing mo-fo’s. They are on a two-fa now :-)

  • Stewart Setter

    It does look as though the creative juices at Sage have dried up.

  • Simon Swords

    They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – you should feel flattered :)

  • Marc Smith

    I’m the editor with an explainer video company and it’s quite plain to see that it’s a copy. Thankfully it’s a bad copy. It represents the differences between KashFlow and Sage quite well. KashFlow is better in every way. Simple. And you’ve got Lord Melchett voicing your video – Bah!

  • Stefan Boyle

    Agree with Simon… if anything it’s flattering and it makes for great content and PR when a big business pinches ideas from a small business!
    Ultimately, it will just embarrass them in the long term so let them keep doing it and spread PR all over the internet about it!!

  • Sean Fleming (@flemingsean)

    I like to be different. Which is a good thing, because I don’t see it, I’m afraid. I don’t think they’ve ripped you off.

    Their video is shite – especially when you consider how deep their pockets are. What is with that annoying “wey-hey” thing..?

    Yours is not shite – I was impressed that you (and I mean this in the best possible way as you are a young company) are turning out slick marketing like that.


  • Will Hawkins

    A compliment but also, perhaps, the moment to start to register trademarks on your lines which they are using?

    KashFlow is still my favoured accounts package!

  • Kord Campbell

    You aren’t paranoid. It happens all the time, but defending against it is time consuming, expensive, and frustrating. I have a similar situation going on with Zoho if it helps to read about others dealing with this same sort of ba behavior:

  • Simon

    You shouldn’t be surprised. They’re just dinosaurs that lack a single innovative idea of their own so pretend they’re something else.

    It gives you yet more ammunition. Good luck.

  • Shawn Borsky

    Some “inspiration” certainly did happen but to be fair, their video is different enough, its more likely that its similarities are because you are competitors rather than direct copying. The flip up animation is an easy and common way to transition shapes on screen and the double arrows is also fairly common imagery. However, the KashFlow video feels much more genuine and solid, a much better presentation :)

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