I often get asked what I think about TubeBuddy’s competition and the answer may surprise you. For the most part, I think they’re great and we’re actually friends. But it hasn’t always been that way…
When TubeBuddy first launched, the only other browser extension available was VidIQ. All that VidIQ offered in their extension (from what I remember) was a stats panel on the Video Watch Page of YouTube. Over the course of the first 6 months that TubeBuddy was around, we started building some revolutionary tools - a Thumbnail Generator, Canned Responses to Comments, Copy Annotations, Tag Explorer, etc. And sure enough, a couple months after each of our tools was released, VidIQ would launch the exact same feature, using our same wording in many cases. A complete and utter rip-off. Obviously, I wasn’t happy but kept my head down, focused on ingenuity and unfortunately, over the next year or so, saw more of the same. At one point, I actually had to call them out because I was so frustrated.
But customers don’t care. Most of the time, complaining won’t get you anywhere and I knew that they couldn’t keep up forever. And they wouldn’t have the thought process behind the original designs in order to improve on them in the future. And they would lose their product focus and navigation if they remained obsessed with us.
Fast forward another year and half and VidIQ hired Jeremy Vest - a good friend of ours. It was a shock and a bummer to hear the news, because I knew what a great asset Jeremy would be (and still is to this day). But I do think it turned into a blessing in disguise. Because of our prior relationship, Jeremy and I are able to talk freely and ensure that both products “play nice” and we truly are happy for each other and the companies. Thanks to Jeremy, both companies take the approach that creators can/should try both products and use what works for them.
Now that VidIQ sponsors many of the same events as us, we see their team everywhere we go and we’ve become friends with Rob & Liron at the booth and yes, we actually enjoy hanging out with them (shhh! Don’t tell anyone!).
One thing to note that may surprise people is that I have actually never used VidIQ. I might have installed it once years ago because it was conflicting with something on TubeBuddy and had to research the bug but I spend very little time keeping tabs on them and what they are up to do. If you spend too much time worrying about the competition, I feel like it just brings in negativity and diminishes your ability to be creative. We have our own path and I don’t want to lose sight of it.
Before wrapping up, I’d like to point out another “competitor” - a good friend of ours - Nico at MorningFa.me. He has built a great product (all by himself!) and continues to support and maintain it alone as if he were superman. I have heard nothing but good things about his product and many people use TubeBuddy and MorningFa.me in conjunction with each other.
So there you have it. The once bitter, now friendly, history of TubeBuddy and its competitors. It’s a good reminder that as you look towards 2020, spend less time looking at others for inspiration and more time looking inside yourself.