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Eric Greenspan of Make It Work

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Eric Greenspan of Make It Work


Make It Work Stops Working

Tech Support Company Ends Business


Monday, June 25, 2012
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After more than a decade of home tech support throughout Southern California, Make It Work and its familiar fleet of red Mini Coopers have called it quits.

“We’ve been heading the wrong direction since 2008,” said co-founder and CEO Eric Greenspan on Monday. “We had a substantial client base, and tried to ride the wave of the economy like everyone else, but the revenue just stopped flowing.”

Make It Work, which dispatched employees from its La Cumbre Mall headquarters to customer homes, was also hurt by shifting consumer tastes (user-friendly smart phones and tablets) and emerging technologies (self-healing operating systems, solid state hard drives). “We actually got more of a variety of calls, but the volume wasn’t there,” said Greenspan.

A few months ago the company shifted its pricing structure — from per hour to per job — and last year secured a contract with Costco to offer tech support for products sold from 20 of mega-retailer’s California locations. The life-saving bids worked to a degree, but not enough to keep the company afloat.

“We were running on fumes,” Greenspan explained, a dramatic down-shift from a time between 2003 and 2008 when Make It Work’s revenue soared and its growth seemed limitless. “You can only offer so many promotions before you start giving your services away,” he said of more recent days.

Greenspan spent Monday helping his 34 employees find new jobs and watching as the leased Mini Coopers were picked up. The company is selling off all its equipment and supplies just to pay final paychecks. Of how the closure has affected him personally, he said: “I’m financially ruined. I’m going to be forced to seek relief.” The father of two kids, though, said he’s already received a few job offers and hopes to be back on his feet soon. His former technicians, he went on, have been directed to keep an eye on Make It Work’s Facebook page, where potential employers are already posting other job opportunities.

Wrapping up what he described as “the longest day in my life,” Greenspan suffered insult to injury when he discovered his biggest competitor, Techease, had called a number of local media outlets — including The Santa Barbara Independent — to talk of Make It Work’s demise and explain Techease would be taking over its customer base and honoring any prepaid service contracts.

While Greenspan did seem to have such an agreement in place, the preemptive calls from Techease owner Evan Asher to this paper and others have made him rethink the transfer. “Evan will no longer get our business,” he explained. Greenspan said he encourages other area tech support companies to contact him if they’re interested in absorbing his client list.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

I have seen some low life things in my life, but Techease just took the prize. They must come from the Bernie Madoff School of Ethics.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2012 at 6:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It was a great idea.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2012 at 9:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We never root for anyone's failure in this business and are sorry to hear of MiW's experience.

Make IT Work set the bar high in terms of insanely clever, catchy marketing and brand name recognition. I can't imagine how challenging it must be to work with the scalability of such a model and I'm sure that you guys did all you could to make it work. See? It's impossible not to use that phrase. Our thoughts and well wishes for the future are with you all.

As per Eric's request, we would be happy to help technicians who need some part-time work and/or clients who want Apple Certified support for their iDevices. Please feel free to drop us a line at Contact@MicksMacs.com or check out our website at: www.MicksMacs.com.

We're also on FaceBook if you'd like to reach us that way.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Micks-M...

MicksMacs (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2012 at 10:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mick'sMacs is great, I'd recommend them.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2012 at 11:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

MicksMacs, you're a class act. Seriously.

Sorry to see Make IT Work go.

realitycheck447 (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2012 at 11:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So with MakeITwork out of business, who are the remaining players in the local market for IT support services?

Do any of them have any Linux expertise ?

ljp93105 (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2012 at 11:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hello All,

My name is Wyatt Olsen. I started a company called Technology Consultants of Santa Barbara 2 years ago. I am a ex Make It Work employee. I am shocked to see them go. I will be interested in taking some make it work employees on. My email is wyatt@tcosb.com.

For customers looking for a new IT company to work with, we offer the following services.

-Windows Support
-Windows Server Support
-Apple Support
-OSX Server Support
-Linux Support
-Residential Internet and Networking
-Commercial/Professional Networking
-Consumer and Professional Home Theater Installation
-Consumer and Professional Audio Distribution Systems
-Consumer and Professional Video Distribution Systems
-Closed Circuit Television Installation and Sales
-Website Design and Development
-Search Engine Optimization
-Managed IT Solutions

Our rates are significantly lower than Make It Works. We will not try to sell you "Prepaid Hours" and we are readily available.

Please contact me at 805-636-3431 or at wyatt@tcosb.com

TCOSB (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2012 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

But can you bake a cherry pie?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2012 at 1:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm sorry to see anyone go out of business and I'm especially sorry for all the employees who lost their jobs. I wish all of you good luck. At the same time, as a regular Make it Work customer who for years resisted the pushy service agreement hard sell but finally gave in last year (against my better judgment) and bought five hours upfront (only one of which I've used), I'm feeling a little bit screwed. I thought it was a little weird when MIW announced it was scrapping its service agreement policy right after I bought mine. Just FYI to anyone out there in the same line of work, I'll gladly transfer my business to anyone who'll pick up the MIW service agreement...

frankielee (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2012 at 1:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken,

We can make excellent Cherry Pie, If our Cherry Pie does not meet your expectations, we will refund you and waive any restocking fee.

TCOSB (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2012 at 2:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Extra points for good humor.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2012 at 2:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What hasn't been mentioned in ANY of the local news coverage of the demise of Make It Worse (sorry, couldn't help it) is the substantial amount of investor money that went down the drain with it. One dot com tycoon put $1,000,000 in back in 2004 and another $1,000,000 was raised in 2005 from the Tech Coast Angels. If they were lucky they took proceeds out of follow on capital. At the time the money was slated for "expansion" into the LA and San Diego markets, at least in part because repeat business was almost non-existent with the exception of a very small percentage of loyal customers. Despite the spin given the crash of MIW, it was a business model doomed to failure from the beginning based on the mathematics alone.

emptynewsroom (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2012 at 4:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wonder if the lack of repeat business was because they did their job well, hence no reason to call for help.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2012 at 4:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

CNTRL+ALT+DELETE = TIME TO REBOOT

Draxor (anonymous profile)
June 27, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sad that there has not been a single direct communication to clients who have, as recently as a week ago, bought pre-paid hours...giving cash to the company without knowing it was going out of business...at a point where it had to be clear. We are all out the money I suppose! Will we be able to make a claim in bankruptcy court???

RosieOh (anonymous profile)
June 28, 2012 at 5:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Emptynewsroom is spot on... although I would really questions "smart money" investors that would put venture investment dollars into a services business... All MIW had going for it was marketing... many college (even high school) kids can do the work they did, but without the glitz of Mini Coopers, tee shirts, ad campaigns and sponsorships (not to mention the thousands of dollars spent on radio & print advertising), these wiz-kids can't get the traction that MIW got. It is a tough business to scale when you have to hire more bodies to service customers... Great marketing only helps when there is a valued product behind it!

OutsiderLookingIn (anonymous profile)
June 28, 2012 at 7:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Eric, Jeremy, and Kyle personally serviced my home network PCs and Macs since...well, since before there was such a thing as MIW, and when Gateway and IBM computers were the bomb.
Once MIW came along, I enjoyed many, many years as one of their "original" in-home customers.
The financial demise of MIW does not mean the demise of these guys. They are smart, personable, creative, and energetic; they'll bounce higher than before once the smoke clears.
Look, it's just business...and they aren't the first tech-driven enterprise to suffer at the hands of the scandalous national economy. Bankruptcy laws are there to protect the entrepreneurial spirit, and there is no shame in failing.
I, for one, will keep my eye on these very resourceful guys and will put my money in wherever they go.

OldSchool (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2012 at 8:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah,these cheap bastards screwed me just recently on their prepaid pitch;knowing full well they were bailing out. This is FRAUD and I want my money back. Will the California Attorney General help in a case like this, especially since they were incorporated in Delaware?

AlNeil (anonymous profile)
July 17, 2012 at 8:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I feel for Eric, since he was obviously working hard to keep the place going. However (seems like there's always one of those), his reputation as a local business owner was completely destroyed by his failure to inform his prepaid customers of the company's demise. Instead, after a daily blitz of offers to buy even more prepaid hours, his emails suddenly stopped, short of telling anyone that the company disappeared. He chose to slink away. While perhaps not in the proverbial night, he still acted like a thief. He left the holders of prepaid hours holding an empty bag. I only found out about MIW's disappearance today, a month later, when I got mail from Costco. I gave some MIW vouchers for Christmas, and Costco told me that I can get my money back from them. Pay heed, Eric. That's how a responsible business owner acts. Shame, shame!

SorryConsumer (anonymous profile)
July 20, 2012 at 1:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We've heard several complaints from MIW clients and it truelly is a shame to hear what happened to MIW. But at the expense of other people, you bet that there will be more to come for Greenespan. We've been in business for 14 years and we have experienced the same economic struggles, but we've stuck to our guns and chose to be creative with marketing by being more proactive in our community and speaking to our audience. This sounds like a Geek Squad Marketing Ploy, if anyone has ever researched Geek Squad's Insurance and Warranty Plans. Its a complete rip off.
We've serviced several of the "MIW Casualties" (Clients have named themselves as such) and they have seen the difference. -orangecountycomputer.com

OCComputerInc (anonymous profile)
August 20, 2012 at 3:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am a former MIW San Diego customer and was left "holding the bag" with pre-paid hours. It's unfortunate that the business didn't survive, but Mr. Greenspan has my money that I paid in advance for services not rendered! No phone call, no notice, no nothing! I want my money refunded or the hours serviced by a firm with which Mr. Greenspan perhaps contracted to provide service to his former and loyal customers. Does anyone know how to reach Mr. Greenspan? Address? Thanks

skm (anonymous profile)
September 27, 2012 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As a disenfranchized holder of many prepaid hours, I'm hopeful MIW will find an honorable solution for us to salvage our investment. The least they could do is provide us individually with the contact information for the particular tech who designed and serviced our account.

hartport2 (anonymous profile)
October 7, 2012 at 10:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

www.callcollin.com
If you're a previous MIW client that lost money in a prepaid package. We will honor it!

CALLCOLLIN (anonymous profile)
November 4, 2012 at 4:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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