Mr. Simon Edhouse (and, while I’m here, some SEO)

Question: Who is Simon Edhouse and why is there a “Mr. Simon Edhouse” entry on Encounters of an Entrepreneur?

I’ve just got home and found out my internet is on vacaction. Given I have an *urgent* e-mail to send out I’ve had to get onto Virgin Media tech support….

There’s only so much distorted MJ I can handle, so I started browsing Facebook on the old iPhone and stumbled upon an absolute gem of a link from Hermione Way of At first glance, I couldn’t work out why Hermione’s link was getting so much attention:

Hello David,

I would like to catch up as I am working on a really exciting project at the moment and need a logo designed. Basically something representing peer to peer networking. I have to have something to show prospective clients this week so would you be able to pull something together in the next few days? I will also need a couple of pie charts done for a 1 page website. If deal goes ahead there will be some good money in it for you.

Simon [Edhouse]

Nothing unusual here – a new business seeking free consultancy from a design and branding expert. To be honest, I’ve written very similar e-mails myself 🙂

I believe free consultancy, particularly related to design and branding, is an essential factor in the success of a new business. A new business can look much more credible with a decent set of business materials (website, letter heads, compliment slips, business cards etc etc) which can help with securing clients, growth and so on. Assuming designers choose the right businesses to work with, some free work could/should result in paid work down the line.

Back in 2005, David Bland (Bland?) was kind enough to help out with the Smarter Housing branding, modifying the logo slightly before producing templates for basic business stationary. His work looked very professional and helped both of us – I was able to get a foot in the door with early clients and Bland? has had plenty of paid work since. More recently ‘designer Dave’ was more than happy to design the Smarter Card and stationary templates, at no cost. Of course, as soon as we began trading and required promotional materials including posters, flyers and stickers, I sent the work to Bland? as a typical paying customer.

Have a little nosey at and you’ll see Simon Edhouse has a very different approach to securing free consultancy. The series of e-mails between David Thorne and Simon Edhouse makes a very entertaining read.

Published by Adam Arnold

Adam Arnold is a 20(ish), father & founder of the Smarter Group; a member of CTVF500; Entrepreneur in Residence @ Wolves Uni; SPEED+ Mentor & an #sbs winner.

Join the conversation


  1. ‘Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story huh?’…

    I posted a similar comment to this on one of your other pages, but after a few days it hasn’t been approved. Common guys, aren’t you after some more hits?

    The fact is… I asked Cory Doctorow (BoingBoing) to ask David which email address he had used to send these emails to. (because I can get a log from my ISP of all the emails I received on those days) – David’s answer to Cory came in the form of one of his fake emails with an expanded header from a ‘de Masi Jones’ email address. (where we both worked together in 2002/03) In other words, he is claiming that that he had received them from, and sent them to “Simon’s deMasi Jones email address”… I left de Masi Jones 5 years ago. I resigned from deMasi Jones and went back to University and did a Master’s degree, then started Virtusoft. – My email account at deMasi Jones finished the day I left.

    David is a serial prankster… funny yes, honest? No.

  2. Mr. Edhouse, by the nature of his comments-in-response, is a commonly recognisable sponge-like virus of a quality to be avoided in business at all costs.
    As with Mr. Edhouse’s other entrepreneurial ventures, no doubt when his ship comes in, he’ll still be waiting at the airport.

  3. For “Mr. Simon Edhouse”, well… For all I see… you are the one who is swearing all the way through. I think this represents a lot of personality.

  4. I’m sorry, I’ve worked with way to many arseholes like you to know this must be quite close to the truth, mr edhouse. Good luck with your bigger than twitter project. I’m sure it will grow as large as your fat head.

  5. From doing some web research, it’s clear that the emails Mr. Thorne posted are fake.

    But it’s also clear Mr. Edhouse failed to Mr. Thorne, and proceeded to request additional free work.

    So it’s clear Mr. Edhouse deserves all the wonderful publicity to which he has been so unusually receptive and light-hearted in receiving.


  6. Fascinating the lengths that some people will go to, to embellish and reinforce a ruse… I even now find phantom versions of myself commenting after my own comments… I did not “fail to pay Mr. Thorne” ~ “fail to pay” For what may I ask? I long ago stopped asking David to do anything for me, not because he isn’t a talented designer, he most certanly is, but because any kind of deaings with him were always more trouble than they were worth. He would consistently misunderstand the most normal and straight forward communications, fail to attend meetings, and would routinely brag about his extensive hours of mindless Facebook trolling, causing distress and humiliation to random strangers. But he saves his most vindictive attacks for those that he has worked with and who he knows well. ~ David Thorne is a BS artist of the highest order. All those who think his humour is terribly funny seem to also mistakenly believe that he is also honest. In fact he superimposes lies and untruths like so many multiple layers of filo pastry. ~ He and his multiple email accounts, and multiple identities will go on propping up his own mischief… But to what end?

    Great humourists do not also need to be great liars and deceitful people. Their humour shines on its own merits.

  7. Simon could you come and mow my lawn .. for free .. I think its going to grow into something large!

  8. um, don’t listen to adam arnold.

    designers… don’t ever do anything for free.

    adam, your shitty looking website should teach you to pay for some help when you need it.

  9. Hi Chris,

    Welcome to my blog. Yes, that’s right. My blog. Something I knocked up in my spare time using WordPress.

    I note you haven’t left any details for your own company so, I suspect, you may struggle to know what design is unless it slaps you round the face. I’m sure had you been any good you would have directed me towards your company and tried to secure some business.

    My website Smarter Housing ( was done properly and IMHO still looks bloody good, even after 5 years of local estate agents trying to copy some of our features 🙂

    Please don’t let the door hit you on the way out!


  10. No follow up to your post Mr Glass?

    Is this because you’re into coding (THQ) and not design?!

  11. i find this whole thing fascinating!
    I FULLY think david (as proven by his imaginative writing) could be capable of making up the whole thing.

    Simon probably is one of those people who constantly asks for favors without delivering compensation.

    that’s the gamble of the entrepreneur. If you try and seek free support in the beginning of a project which leads nowhere (after having promised the moon) –
    well, your next project/request should probably be met with the caustic type of answers david delivers….

    you don’t get many opportunities to impose on people’s trust

  12. I know I’m kind of beating a dead horse here, but whenever I see entrepreneurs giving other entrepreneurs advice to ask for stuff for free, it kind of riles me up.

    Adam, I agree that giving out “free consulting” is not unreasonable. I am happy to share advice, expertise, opinion, etc. with those who need help. However, designing a logo and graphics for a publication go far outside the realm of “consulting”. This is the same difference between asking a plumber their opinion on how to go about fixing a sink and asking them to actually fix it. As an entrepreneur myself, I respect the time, effort, and cost involved when people do their job. Because I respect that effort, on general principal I would never ask people to perform their jobs for free.

    It’s great that your arrangement with Bland? worked out, and I’m happy that it generated more business for both of you. In my experience, both personal and through anecdotes from others, your situation is extremely rare. Far too often, the free designs delivered are substandard and unusable and/or the designer never sees any additional work. What’s worse, on the off chance that additional work does get referred, very often they’re looking for the same type of (free) deal.

    There are much better ways for entrepreneurs to get quality designs. Work out a trade of services. Work out a payment plan. Work out a discount. Offer something of worth to compensate designers for the effort they’re putting in, besides the nebulous promise of future work down the road. Or look for quality pre-existing designs – reputable places like the Envato network offer excellent designs that are well within the budget of practically anyone.

    And designers, don’t devalue the service you provide by giving it away for free. Not only does this make it more difficult for you to attract high-quality, paying customers, but it makes life more difficult for all your contemporaries.

    On a humorous note, this video captures the essence of the debate well:

  13. This whole ordeal is like watching a daytime talk show or Judge Judy. If this were a court case, the Judge would just let it go as long as possible because he and the jury were amused by the arguments, but right at the very end dismiss the case because the whole thing is so ridiculous.

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