How many franchisee advocates does it take to infect a whole system?

November 8, 2010

Depends on the skill and toxicity of the lone wolf.

It starts with a WordPress blog like one of these 18.

Investment autopsies happen at

January 19, 2010

To support life, death must be studied.

WikiFranchise was created for the study franchise investments; to try to reduce failures through understanding. I jabber on about fleeting things here on FranchiseFool but WikiFranchise is what I’ve been up to this last decade or so.

Medicine advanced through the study of human and mammal physiology.

Pathology is a medical specialty which:

is the study and diagnosis of disease through examination of organs, tissues, bodily fluids, and whole bodies (autopsies).

Without studying many separate cases, very little independent information can be gathered to avoid future business failures. Patterns start to emerge and new discoveries can happen.

I worked in in both provincial psychiatric and acute care teaching hospitals in my career. I came to appreciate the value of classification, persistence and doing what you can to advance science in the service of people. I think the effect franchising has on families makes this work worthy. Not easy work, but necessary at least as a way of remembering.

As often happens in surveys, patterns emerged. I chose to categorize risky behavior (from an investor’s point of view) by describing them as best I could.  John was a great help and remains as a good friend.

While some of the the stories are not very pretty and could be viewed as negative, I think it’s better to know the possible business risks you’re facing before you sign control of your life savings away as a mom-and-pop franchise investor.

Where WikiFranchise goes from here will depend on what others think.

It’s a bluff: Predatory franchising is an antiquated technology

July 30, 2009

WizardofOzThe industry elites know it’s curtains for predatory franchising.

What gave them power (litigation) has been stripped away.

Oh and the financial institutions (especially the government guaranteed loan program administrators) are very, very nervous about being past the tipping point.) They know what lenders’ due diligence duty is.

The old software was based on the economics of scarcity and is hopelessly, helplessly out-of-date.

Advances in  communication (bandwidth, storage & processing) have smashed the franchise bar’s closely-held monopoly on how franchising really works. What they charged $300 per hour for, is now largely available for free here, Blue MauMau or

It seems ironic that their crowning jewel (intellectual property) has been used against them.

Search a:

  1. tradename tag cloud or
  2. tradename directly (ie. McDonald’s or Quiznos), or
  3. name of a franchising executive.

Immediately, 100% anonymously and for free, this reveals what they had so successfully charged for  concealing in the past.  High-quality information, immediately available with the promise/threat of 1,00s of semi-anonymous contributors writing on WikidFranchise via personal narratives.

The true costs of opportunism (reduction in negative externalities) is more accurately being assigned to tradenames and and the individuals who control them. What we were told was random, now appears as it really is: a well-thought out system that is repeated all over the world. Designed as precisely as any Swiss watch.

  • The goal?: to re-distribute (not create) capital.

The King Experts, the thought-leaders  know this. The Fixers denied, got angry, bargained and then got into a major league funk in the last 10 years.

They now accept that putting the internet back in the bottle is impossible.

  • It is a revolution.

Franchisees need to walk into an empty room and go about their business of making money since the law has become irrelevant. The curtain has been pulled back.

Frightened, old fools: more to be pitied than ever feared.

What is current, has currency with politicians.

BusinessWeek franchising article

March 12, 2008

BW Logo

Please find the current Special Report on Franchising. I am quoted in the article Is It Time to Buy a buy Franchise?

“If any promise is made, you should have it in writing, and if you put it in writing and it isn’t included in a franchise agreement, you should assume you are dealing with a liar and a scoundrel,” says Stewart.


But he suggests that a majority of the new offerings being marketed are “non-sustainable,” and that the number is greater than in the past.

“These fly-by-night systems come in to the market because people allow them. They buy them and they think it’s just like McDonald’s.”

There is also a slideshow called Franchising Experts Weigh In. I’m the last guy [far right] with the red face on holiday.

“If you really have no experience in an industry, like collecting dog poop, then you should work there [first]. You need to understand what that potential franchisee is going through.”

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