Virtual work now and in the future...

Take heed Core77 viewers. (especially young designers entering the field). These kinds of stories are currently growing in our sector of practice. As virtual work takes over, the space for fraud will grow.

I can’t believe there aren’t more Madbirds out there.

Sociopath. Someone should make a reality show locking this guy, Theranos lady, and Fyre Fest guy in a 1600’ apartment.

That is just a very outrageous situation. Shocking but not surprising that someone would try something like that.

I don’t feel bad for anyone in these situations. The only people falling for scams like this are even more delusional than the stupid people than the stupid people that create the scam in the first place.

It’s lose-lose.


I feel bad for them. As experienced professionals we might have seen many of the red flags that someone right out of school with very little experience who is in desperate need of a job might easily miss or downplay in the hopes of getting experience and income.

I was going to say the same thing. If I was looking for a job, and I didn’t have unemployment left, why not roll the dice on something sketchy that I could jump out of?

Also, as someone who has hired before, it’s amazing the amount of recent immigrant CVs and foreign CVs that you get. There is a group out there that is desperate to just have a chance to build some experience.

The part that I find scary, is that this guy closely resembles a few entrepreneurs I’ve worked with. Luckily for me, I met them after they landed their schemes and actually had cash.

Wanting to get rich quick….thinking you deserve all the results but none of the work…thinking work should be easy…those are failures of common sense and work ethic, not experience.

I don’t feel bad for the people who went to Fyre fest to eat a PB&J sandwich in a tent, either.


Really hard to imagine a more cynical response to designers who wanted or needed, to better their situation. Those duped are actually victims in this story, they are not part of the problem. They actually suffered financial and career losses that likely will never be recovered. It’s sad that you don’t see it.

Sure. Call me cynical. I think I’m just a realist. Not a pessimist.

Seems pretty obvious to me-

Ali Ayad has over 90,000 followers on his Instagram - in his bio he describes himself as an “influencer”


Wow. Conferencing software should have AI built into them to detect these kinds of anomalies - mismatched names etc.
Call it AI Ali.
Then again I would never trust a payment contract until I see something real.

I don’t know if putting in 16-hour days make you have a failed work ethic, but it is pretty obvious these designers were dressed like sluts, they deserved it.

we here have discouraged the approach of free work as job application, but this is different. this was “you’ll get paid when the client pays at the end of the project”. This is either a new scam or he genuinely was thinking he could “fake it till you make it”.
He obviously faked a lot to get off the ground, and UI design isn’t exactly hurting for work so the greed is there. but I think it’s wrong to blame the designers

Wouldn’t it be funny if he was faking the voices of the other participants in the Zoom calls? :grin:

haha when reading this I was picturing some digital wizards of OZ character behind some veil.

Crazy read though. The Ali guy is obviously a sociopath or narcissist, which often are very persuasive and charismatic. We really don’t know all the details but it sounds like an elaborate scam. The younger employees might have missed some red flags but everyone misses things and it was during a pandemic.

Often I’ve seen successful older people talking out of both sides of their mouth telling youth that you have to take risks and put yourself out there. Then later scold them for being foolish when the risks fail. It’s very convenient to blame the younger designers. I personally feel sorry that this happened to them.

Big time!

I watched the BBC documentary, great investigative job.

(You may need a VPN if you are outside the UK)

Jobfished documentary on Youtube _

A different design firm with the same name has added a disclaimer on their site. :grin:

_"The BBC recently released the strange story of a fake design agency based in London, which unfortunately used a very similar business name.

Just to be clear … no, we’re not that Madbird."