Is Huffington Post Copying Awesome DC?

Starting from the left: Smoking hot dude (that would be me), a random chick, a British looking dude, Arianna Huffington

A long time ago the English cleric and writer Charles Caleb Colton said that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” (well actually the word ‘form’ was added sometime later to the quote). Based on that I must be smoking hot!!!

I just received a note from a friend of mine that pointed me to an article on Huffington Post. They have apparently added a new feature called “HuffPost’s Greatest Person Of The Day”. This only 2 weeks after I had the pleasure of talking with Arianna Huffington during the FedTalks 2010 in DC and telling her about our “Awesome Washingtonian of the Day” feature!!! And they just launched this feature last night!

You nutty Arianna! You bad girl! It’s ok though. I take it as a compliment that your well known News website takes the idea from the little Awesome DC. Besides, we love you too much to get pissed at you. You have been doing a great job for this country and I applaud you for that.

Here is the note about this great new feature on their site:

Every day on HuffPost, we’ll be highlighting one ‘Greatest Person’- an exceptional individual who is confronting the country’s economic and political crises with creativity, generosity, and passion.

And, here is our quote about the same feature:

We nominate one Washingtonian (including folks living in MD and VA) per day on our site and let the community to be the judge their awesomeness by voting for them online.

As for the feature, here are the differences though:

a) Ours has more meat such as user participation and users voting.

b) In Huffington Post, they pick the greatest person of the day based on their credentials and achievements. However, here in Awesome DC, we believe everyone in DC, VA, and MD is awesome. So, we nominate one person per day regardless of their background and let the community  decides how awesome the individual really is by voting. The top three nominees with the best and highest score will be nominated the top three Awesome Washingtonian of the month with a free Ad space on Awesome DC for a limited time as their reward.

There are also other differences though and this is where an entrepreneur is separated from the big companies just adding features. The Awesome Washingtonian of the Day is the first step in a long list of concepts and features that will result in a completely new and powerful social engine, that will unify users’ interactions with all their favorite existing social networks. I will not talk more about this until later as this new platform will be unveiled in November 🙂

It’s funny how our 2500 years of history between the Persians (me) and the Greeks (Arianna) hasn’t changed . 2300 years ago, the Greeks literally copied everything from the Persians including our Postal services during the Darius the great (300 B.C.), the Water Transportation system, etc. and now Awesome person of the day thing 🙂 I love it!

hmmm… I wonder who will be copying this next for their site? Any guess anyone?

As for you Arianna, keep up the good work, and thank you for the flattery. And oh yes, please promise me that you will look to fund my new venture once is up and running in less than two month. But this time I may have to ask for an NDA before we speak 🙂

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

3 Responses to Is Huffington Post Copying Awesome DC?

  1. HH says:


    Wow!!! You are right that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but it would have been nice for Arianna to have picked up the phone (or penned an email if she is too busy) to tell you that her blog was going to do that. No idea is sacred, and I am all for people taking existing ideas and improving it (although I did not see the improvement in this case); but a recognition, public or private would have been nice. I agree she has done a lot for this country and she seems a very nice person (despite not having met her 3 times!), but she should have shown some humility and sincerity. I am sure that they would have taught her that at Cambridge.

    Congratulations on the flattery though!!!

  2. kamran Abdi says:

    You are the man. I am sure your next venture will be a great success. See you next week dude!

  3. David says:

    Certainly, there is a fundamental difference between you as an entrepreneur and others. I have been reading your posts and have been really enjoying them.

    Again, I am so sorry about your recent loss. As a US/Iraqi Vet myself, I just left you a comment on your Barcelona/Iran trip article. Have fun with your buddies and best of luck with your new venture.

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