Earlier this month we noticed PRManna climbing up the Hacker News front page and reached out to the creator for an interview. Ryan Waggoner started PRManna in his spare time and was open in saying that the project was inspired by Peter Shankman‘s Help a Reporter Out. The difference between PRManna and HARO is that Waggoner’s product was specifically meant for startup companies to answer blogger and journalist tech queries. Whereas, HARO is a general news service. The question is, are the sites far enough apart to be considered different products?
In the Hacker News thread Waggoner acknowledges that in the time that he’d developed his site, Shankman’s HARO had transitioned from a listserv to a more comprehensive tool saying, “Unfortunately, I took a look at HARO today and they’ve apparently launched something very similar, rather than just the old mailing list that I was competing against. So what do you think of this? Should I just drop it or should I add features to make it more valuable? Alternatively, is there something else I could use it for?”
As of today Waggoner may not have the opportunity to change tactics. The developer wrote a blog post detailing a cease and desist letter sent by Shankman’s lawyer. As a community with your finger on the pulse of tech launches and entrepreneurial resources, we want to know whether or not you believe Shankman’s takedown notice is warranted.