Both I and a close friend are involved in separate startups. I'll cut to the chase. I am essentially a geek, and don't like "beating about the bush", or unnecessary "hyperbole" or "hype". I know my stuff and when I get the impression that someone is "buls***ing" or trying to pull the wool over my eyes, I take it as a personal affront to my intelligence. As a matter of fact, one of my startups is based on exposing the widespread fraud and ripoff in a particular industry - which "scratches my itch" very nicely.
Back to this post. My friend (lets call him Sam for now), is a "people person" - he is prone to bouts of irrational exuberance, and quite frequently "over gilds" the lily when talking about his products/service. Sam is an amateur/hobbyist programmer - yet wrote his "application" himself - which is (almost always), a bad idea. I took a look at his codebase and was completely staggered - apart from the shockingly poor quality, he also does not employ any of the typical software development practices such as version control etc. He applies "patches" in an ad-hoc fashion when one of his clients reports a problem - and often cannot recall the last patch he applied - and has absolutely no idea what "side effects" his patches introduce to the core codebase. To say his code is "half a*sed would be very complimentary.
I have almost come to blows with him when I suggested he adopted a better style of programming which would provide a basic architectural framework, which would in turn make his code more robust/scalable and easier to maintain. So I thought "screw this. I'll keep my comments to my self".
Now, he is embarking on a marketing spree, and is using buzzwords to describe his product/service - and I know full well that that is not the case. As a sales person (or at least a person with salesman like abilities, he has realized that people respond to certain buzzwords, and so he now includes those buzzwords, as a "matter of course" in his marketing material).
Well, whats that to do with me I hear you ask ... Well, he is constantly asking me act as a reference for his product, or to add a comment/testimonial (with my name) so he can show to his clients. Also wants to link up with me on linked-In - but I cannot possibly be associated with the crap that he is selling.
I mean Sam is a nice guy and I value his friendship (outside of work) - and he knows so many cool people etc, etc. BUT I don't want to be associated with a substandard product - I have my own business/online reputation to manage. I am not sure how to break this to him without offending him (if left to my own devices - thats exactly what would happen). Can anyone suggest how I may somehow let him know that I do not want to be associated with his business - without sounding churlish/offensive?