There are a few rumors circulating online about the origins of a website called SMP Debate, a person named Tyler Green, and my involvement in the story. This post is written to set the record straight.
I have been meaning to write this post for some time. I am not particularly proud of this story, but I don’t want anyone to doubt my integrity based on incorrect information from unreliable sources.
I launched SMPDebate.com in January 2013
At the time, I was working on a consultancy basis with HIS Hair Clinic. I managed their forum, their blog, co-managed their marketing strategy and was involved in most major decisions that needed to be made. An entrepreneur at heart, I wanted to do more outside of my role with HIS Hair Clinic, however at the time they did not want me to work elsewhere in the scalp micropigmentation industry. I understood why they felt that way, but I felt stifled and dissatisfied and wanted to do something else.
SMP Debate, much like Scalp Guru, was launched as a side project for fun, not as a commercial venture. I have always had a strong interest in blogging, so to build an article based website in the SMP world, an industry I knew and loved, was an obvious thing to do.
What about Tyler Green?
I decided very early on that SMP Debate was to provide unbiased information, and I knew this would be compromised (or disbelieved) if people knew it was authored by me, a publicly visible member of the HIS Hair Clinic team. Also given their wishes, I did not want the owners of HIS Hair Clinic to know the site belonged to me. For these reasons, I created the psuedonym of Tyler Green.
As I wrote more and more articles for the website, the traffic started to increase and the industry took notice. At the time, there were no independent websites for the SMP industry at all, so it didn’t take long for prospective advertisers to start knocking at my door. I think Vinci Hair Clinic were first, quickly followed by more.
This left me in a difficult position because my advertisers were paying Tyler Green, a psuedonym, for advertising. Although we were delivering a great service that was as promised, I wasn’t comfortable with this scenario, but I was stuck in an awkward situation with no real alternative.
As the website continued to gain traction, people started asking questions about Tyler Green and the ownership of SMP Debate. This included HIS Hair Clinic, and eventually I told them what was going on.
Ian and Ranbir, the owners of HIS Hair Clinic, were disappointed, but to be fair they were reasonable about the whole thing and didn’t respond to any of this particularly harshly.
Transfer of ownership
One issue I hadn’t anticipated, was the fact that HIS Hair Clinic had trademarked the term ‘SMP’. This left me with a problem as the website, SMPDebate.com, was subject to this trademark, throwing into question any long term future the brand could have under my ownership.
I took the decision under the circumstances to transfer full ownership of the website, SMPDebate.com, to HIS Hair Clinic. Although I do not have the exact date, this took place around June 2014.
Around the middle of 2016, roughly 2 years after the site was transferred, SMP Debate was transferred by HIS Hair Clinic to an individual named Laurie Downing. I’m not sure of his background, but I believe that he was a former client of HIS Hair Clinic.
I have no involvement with SMP Debate, or even know if it remains an active project, as I haven’t noticed any new articles published for a long time.
Scalp Guru is the largest and most respected website in the scalp micropigmentation industry, by some considerable margin. Our reputation of integrity and honesty has meant that from time to time, we have spoken the truth about certain providers and the quality of their work or training, and we have also refused to accept advertising from a number of low quality clinics.
This has made us a target, with a handful of slam pages and negative reviews being the weapon of choice. My history with SMP Debate has been used several times to attack my business and my character.
The first rumor was that I, under the pseudonym Tyler Green, blackmailed providers into advertising, under threat of a negative review being written on the site. This is completely false. I haven’t blackmailed anyone in my life, and honestly I don’t think I’d have had the balls to even try it, given my already precarious position. The advertisers I had, approached me, not the other way around.
The second rumor I heard was that clinics around the industry were, unknowingly, paying their biggest rival (HIS Hair Clinic) for advertising. Again, this was completely false. All payments were made to my company, not to HIS Hair Clinic. When ownership of SMP Debate was transferred to HIS Hair Clinic, the payments stopped. I don’t know if HIS Hair Clinic approached my advertisers for a continuation of their agreements, but my understanding is that they did not.
Furthermore, upon transfer of ownership, the new owner was shown in the site footer. The cover-up that both myself and HIS Hair Clinic were accused of, didn’t exist. Their name was in clear text on every page.
Was I in the wrong?
In hindsight, I should have launched the website out in the open and been honest with Ian and Ranbir about what I was doing. Writing under a pseudonym is commonplace and no big deal, even if a few people thought otherwise. However, as soon as I started accepting advertising, I should have come clean and revealed myself as the author.
I’m not proud of how I handled the situation and I wish I had dealt with it all differently, but I made a mistake. We all make bad decisions during our lives, and this was one of mine.
In my defence
Yes, okay so I should have acted differently, and perhaps it wasn’t my finest moment, but I stopped feeling bad about the situation a while back.
The bottom line is, it was a long time ago.
I haven’t owned or had any involvement with SMP Debate for over 4 years. Since then I have:
- assisted thousands of clients, usually with no financial incentive to do so.
- worked with a large number of clinics and lined their collective bank accounts with millions of additional dollars.
- built a much larger scalp micropigmentation brand in Scalp Guru, based on a website that gets infinitely more traffic and a Facebook group of which virtually every technician in the business is a member.
- run a solid and ethical business with several employees and contractors.
- alongside Jemma I launched the world’s first independent scalp micropigmentation conference.
- taken every opportunity to be a positive, vocal and leading ambassador for the scalp micropigmentation industry.
Simply put, I’ve paid my dues. I do things the right way, and I help a lot of people. To the tiny minority who insist on attacking my character and my company online, I ceased involvement with SMP Debate in June 2014. It’s about time you let it go.