Hi James —
I understand where you are coming from — I constantly ask myself the same question (though perhaps not in those words) —
What I equate it to is this — imagine you go to buy a car, and the dealership has Hondas and Fords and VW’s and such, and then you see this guy on the side of the road with a little self-made shop, and he has this strange looking vehicle next to him, and he says “Hey, I built this car all by myself — you want to give it a test-drive?”
I realize I am that weirdo.
So again, I definitely understand where you are coming from —
I also want to point out that I have nothing but respect for Powerscore — I would argue that, in my lifetime at least, no other company has done more for LSAT students than Powerscore has — and maybe they are masters at working evil schemes behind the scenes, but from everything I’ve witnessed, they seem like a class act all they way.
Okay, with all that out of the way, here’s some information that might match what you are looking for —
1) The LSAT Trainer is not new — it was released about two and a half years ago — but this site, Lsatters, is brand new — just about a month old now. And before creating the Trainer, I co-created Manhattan LSAT, which is one of the most well-respected LSAT prep companies in the country, so I’ve been around in the industry quite a while.
2) Based on my rough estimates, about 20% of all students who take the LSAT will have prepared with the learning products that I’ve personally developed. My best guess is that the Trainer is the second or third most commonly utilized LSAT study resource in America.
3) Since its release, the Trainer has earned more Amazon reviews than any other LSAT study guide, and done so with a significantly higher average rating than any other popular guide. It is also spoken of very favorably and commonly recommended on every other general LSAT forum, including TLS and Reddit/lsat.
4) This is all despite the fact that I hardly spend any time or money on marketing or advertising. In fact, other than for maybe a half-dozen instances where I’ve asked particularly inspiring students to share their success stories with others, I’ve never publicly or privately asked any student to even write a review or endorse my book in any other way.
5) I work on my own – I don’t have investors, partners, marketers, or even an assistant — and this is all by design. I make the books, the videos, and the websites by myself, and I’ve learned how to do each of these things along the way. On my end, I personally love the challenge of being a counterpoint to the larger educational corporations — I want to see how great an influence one teacher, working alone, can have. More importantly, by working this way, I feel I can best ensure that the student gets the highest quality materials I can possibly produce at the lowest possible price point.
6) My lack of focus on marketing (as well as my utter ineptitude at it) is probably a big reason for what you perceive as a relative lack of activity on this site thus far. I’m used to it — I went through this with the release of the Trainer study guide as well — the first few months it was out very few people heard about it and sales were fairly abysmal — but those who did find it appreciated their experiences and the popularity of the book grew organically. My hope and expectation is that the same thing will happen with this website.
Having said all that, I also believe that —
1) Your choice of which study resources to utilize is indeed a very important one, and you shouldn’t make it based on what I tell you or what anyone else tells you.
2) Every student is different, and the value of an LSAT learning product is largely based on fit — what is very useful for one student might be less so for another.
And so what I encourage you to do is thoroughly investigate, for yourself, each of the learning products that you are most interested in, and to make your decisions based on the actual impact you experience — don’t limit your options unnecessarily at the get go, and instead give yourself a chance to try out all attractive tools to find the one(s) that work best for you.
To that end, if you don’t want to buy the Trainer to see if you’ll find it useful, I offer eight chapters of it — roughly ⅕ of the book — for free on the Trainer website — http://www.thelsattrainer.com/lsat-trainer-sample-chapters.html — if you spend an hour or two with those, I’m sure you’ll know whether the Trainer will be useful to you or not.
The last thing I’ll say is that I’m happy to offer my friendship to you whether you use the Trainer or not — if you ever need any help, come on by, and I’ll do my best to be of use to you —