Latest blog post - The Project - Part 1

Avoid Review Project

The time has probably come to make a move on this project. The project has been on my to-do list for almost 18 years, and for a number of reasons, I think it is time to crack on with it.

I’ve decided to blog about the ongoing build because I want to share the difficulties in building a project like this. I don’t want to be one of those people who look back in hindsight and write about difficult decisions with rose-tinted glasses. In a way, it would be fun to look back on this like people do with the Bitcoin pizza guy, some random person who just wrote what they did at the time and history took its course.

If this works and I turn it into a £100m business, then fair enough. If this doesn’t work and I can’t get any traction, then so be it. You’ll see it in real-time.

By the way, no I'm not crowdfunding or doing this to raise cash - I won't be taking on any investors. The whole point of this is seeing if these types of projects can succeed without all of that, just like they did in the late 90's and early 2000's.

The Idea

The very basic idea behind the “Avoid” project is a travel platform for negative only reviews, no good reviews allowed. The reasons for this are simple,


You Can't Trust Positive Reviews

you can’t trust positive reviews. Fake positive reviews lack the motive to be challenged. No business owner is going to challenge a fake positive review and ask for a site to take it down. One of my loan sites – – I’m almost certain someone left us a fake positive on a major review site. Will I sign up as a business and ask for it to be taken down? No chance. Fake positive reviews make every positive review unreliable. With negative reviews, the motivation is there for businesses to challenge fake negative reviews. With the processes we have in place, we can remove those fake negatives better than any other review platform.


Just Tell Me What's Wrong With Something

The second reason is that people want to know what’s wrong with something, why they shouldn’t buy it. My belief is that if there are 500 reviews for a hotel, humans have a natural instinct to skip the 498 positive ones, and read the 2 negative ones. just cuts to the chase, why should I book this service.


Platforms Won't Bite The Hand That Feeds Them

The third reason is, platforms delete negative reviews as it harms sales. I have seen this with a number of my negative reviews, and I’ve heard this from others, it’s widespread. If these negative reviews are held on a third-party site like, selling platforms can’t remove reviews that harm their ability to make money. A neutral site like Avoid is key to this.

Origins of the Idea

Around 2006, I came across an opportunity to purchase the domain for £1,500. I decided to buy it, although at the time, I don't think the concept of a negative-only travel review website hadn't fully formed in my mind, but I can't remember any other reason for why I bought it - so maybe it had, who knows!

Over the following years, I toyed with the idea, realising that to truly take the concept global, I would eventually need the domain. I knew that if became successful first, the price for would skyrocket if the seller became aware, making it unaffordable.

By 2017, I had saved enough to pursue the purchase of I arranged a deal where I could pay off the domain over two years, with the transaction held by Finally, in late 2019, I completed the payment and was ready to launch the site. However, the global travel industry came to a standstill shortly after, delaying my plans. Plans were put on hold and time is now right to launch, better than it has been for a while

Why I'm Taking On This Challenge

I’m doing this and I think it has a chance is because of the massive USP it has, is the best name in the world for this project. It doesn’t matter if Trip Advisor or start a similar project and throw £200m at it tomorrow, they will never be It’s back to the film “The Founder” where Ray Kroc is trying to buy McDonalds, and he says it’s because of the name, he was of course proven right.

This is the best name, it’s short, it’s a .com, it’s the best verb for this project. There is only one of them, sure there are other extensions, but the .com is the only one that matters here?

My Background

A tiny bit about my background before I get started. If this gets big later on, there are going to be the hoards trying to dox me for whatever reason. I’ll save them the trouble, I'm 45, living in the UK. I don't drink, don't smoke and don't do drugs, I’m Mr boring.


I’m not a millionaire.

I have some nice .uk domain names that I lease out for small amounts of money. Property is mortgaged and I have a good few years left to pay on it. I drive around in a 20 year old Renault Clio van - not kidding. It's fair to say I could raise cash if needed, but I'm not cash rich.


No Staff

This is just me, I have nobody helping on this. I'll probably be forced to reach out to people along the way, but at the moment, I'm just making it up as I go along.


Barely Any Tech Knowledge

I have a very basic knowledge of websites and coding. I use Joomla as a base for my websites, I have had great success with them over the years and would never change to Wordpress. I’m not judging Wordpress, I just don’t understand how it works or why it works like that. My natural instinct is to try my hardest to make Wordpress work like Joomla, so that would explain why it doesn’t work for me.

One of the Joomla Dev's said to me 12 months ago that Worspress is trying to do battle with WIX and those types of sites, Joomla is that more serious level up. Joomla 5 that was released a year or so back is on another level.

Slight downside for me is that the offg the shelf extensions don't seem to be as well coded as those available on Wordpress. There are about 20-25 very well coded extensions in Joomla, then you sort of hit a bit of trying to make do.

Thankfully for the project, everything I need is from that batch of well coded extensions -"Jreviews" "Akeeba Security" "Advanced Module Manager" and couple of others maybe.


I Buy (Did) Domain Names

(mostly and .uk). I don’t tend to sell them, instead I form companies and lease domains to those companies that then run with them and try to turn them into businesses. A lot of these domains I own are in the UK loan industry.

I have recently stopped buying names because I have projects in the pipeline that will never be finished. I need to stop and focus on what I already have, the main one being the Avoid project.


Working From Home

I prefer to work from home, don’t have an office.

This will be that story of one guy sat in his home office trying to start a business to take on the big boys. My aim is to try and take this idea as far as I can without going corporate, I hate that world. It’s a very lonely dog eat dog world and I want nothing to do with it. I shudder at the idea that for my family to eat from the cortporate table, I have to sell my soul and say men can give birth. No thanks. You DEI lot are bonkers, stay away from me, I'm 100% into meritocracy. I will never put myself at the mercy of those crackpots. I will try to build this business profitably from day 1,

Profits mean independence rather than reliance, and reliance will ultimately go onto mean compliance - and that's not me.


Work History

Started out at McDonald's, worked there full time for almost 3 years.

I was once in Royal Marines training, I tapped out and didn’t complete it until the end. I did 7 days then asked to leave. It’s not something I really talk about all that much in great detail as I don’t know anything about the service, never did anything and never went anywhere. If you want advice on ironing, then I'll give you some tips, but that's about it.

Starting The Build

Right now I’m about to install Joomla and add on the components that I need to run this thing. Web design isn’t my strong point so this is going to be tough.

I'll be back shortly with next instalment of this blog - part 2 coming soon.

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