Back in 2007, three guys came up with an idea for a theme shop and called it WooThemes. Well, one thing led to another and in 2011, WooCommerce was born. In this podcast, I chat with co-founders Adii Pienaar, Magnus Jepson and Mark Forrester.
We dive into some specifics from the days past, and they also give insights into Woo today and in the future.
A Chat with Adii Pienaar, Magnus Jepson and Mark Forrester
In episode 96, I talk with the co-founders of WooThemes about:
- Where they are today
- What they each remember most about the days of WooThemes startup
- At what point they each felt they had come onto something big
- Whether they suspected that WooCommerce would become what it is today
- Their advice for a builder who wants to create their own plugin
- Today, from the outside looking in, what they each think the future of WooCommerce is
Connect with Adii, Magnus & Mark
Bob: Hey everyone, BobWP here Do the Woo episode 96. This is a Woo Perspective. And this is probably the most exciting special Do the Woo podcasts. There has ever been the history of Do the Woo podcast, which as I said, 96 episodes ago. I'm excited to get going on this. This is called the official Woo reunion.
And for those of you that don't know these faces right now you'll know them very quickly but I'm just going to give a quick shout out to our sponsor PayPal, check out their pay later options. Best thing to do for your clients. Yeah on that, wow we have the originals. It's like, I don't know what it is. It's like having a reunion of a rock band or something, but it's pretty amazing. I'm going to just let them introduce themselves because if you don't know these faces you, like I said you'll soon know their faces and you probably heard their names. Let's start with Adii. Just tell us a little bit about yourself.
Adii: Yeah, well I guess like Bob can probably share is probably what happened after we were forming, you are right, which has been oh that's eight years ago, eight, seven, seven years ago seven or eight years ago, right. But I ultimately kind of founded another company, SasS company in the e-commerce space called Conversio, where we built email marketing automation for e-commerce brands and subsequently sold that end of 2019 late 2019 to campaign monitor spent some time with them last year. And I've since gone on to work on a new startup, new SaaS startup again in the same space called COXY where we're hoping to help e-commerce brands make smarter and better purchasing decisions.
Mark: Adii straight into sales mode there, huh?
Adii: Exactly, you have. Mark you have to put the website on man, you guys know this by now.
Mark: Yeah on a personal slide, I'm English born in South Africa, living in Cape town. Co-founder of two children, yeah, a husband. And once upon a time started Woo with these two characters and was always more the creative one definitely not the technical or the financial back then, learnt on these guys. I'm a terrible surfer, a football fanatic a bit of a gadget geek, keen photographer. And these days I am spending a lot of time when I'm not with my family in sort of the early stage, predominantly Cape Town based texting. I've invested in a couple of businesses and advise and love working very early stage on product strategy, go to market campaigns. Yeah, that's me in a nutshell.
Bob: Cool and last but not least, Magnus.
Magnus: Magnus from Norway, I met these two South Africans via email back in 2007, I think it was. And co-founded WooThemes and WooCommerce with Mark and Adii. I'm the only Norwegian guy in Woo and with two South Africans. So always kind of felt like a bit of a outsider, but they took care of me, but went on to other things after Woo was acquired in 2015 from 2017 or 2016, 17 I've been angel investing in companies locally in Norway. So my whole pitch now is I'm the co-founder of WooThemes and WooCommerce and I invest in startups.
So I've done about 20, 22 investments in local startups and enjoy kind of giving back on my journey through founding a company, to do an exit and hoping to see some more Norwegians go on the same route I've gone and also preaching about remote work is my passion now. Outside of that I'm also a bad surfer and a snowboarder and an average fly fishermen. Got two daughters and soon to be wife I hope, engaged for about seven years living happily in Norway with low COVID rates.
Bob: Wow, so. Okay, I know you've told the story a million times so I'm not going to get into like the whole story but I thought would be a great way of starting this as you probably learned from their three introductions. Yes, this is WooCommerce and WooThemes basically if they didn't exist. I wouldn't exist right now, at least as podcast wouldn't exist, I guess I would exist but I'd be doing something else. I usually ask people at the beginning, how do you do the Woo, which is really weird because you are the Woo, I mean, in a way. So that question doesn't fit.
When you go back to that, our first year of startup, what for each of you, what do you remember most about that time? What was it that really stuck in your head? And, really, probably, maybe I don't want to say it was impactful, but it was something that first year really has always stayed with you throughout your journey at Woo and beyond, or whatever, deep questions.
Magnus: I can go first on this one. I just remember kind of being told by Adii and Mark that you have to quit your day job. That was kind of like the big step for me. It took me almost a year after meeting these two guys before I actually dared to go and talk to my boss. So that kind of monumental happening of me saying I'm going to sit at home and work whilst everybody else I know was in a corporate job. I felt kind of like a freedom, but also very scared. So the thing that kind of gave me lots of enthusiasm back in those days was just like I didn't know it was in a startup. I mean, we were just doing this and trying to make some money and build some designs and build some themes and just how easy it was back then to build the theme and get it on the marketplace and get people to buy it. I mean, it must be so hard now to be an offer of a theme or a plugin and try and get known in the WordPress community.
But I feel like just if you just spent the weekend coding and designing and putting it out there, people would automatically download it and almost buy instantly from you. So I kind of feel like we were so lucky to be in the right time. And often I kind of pinch myself and say yeah, we did a lot afterwards to be successful but just being at that right time, it felt so lucky.
Mark: It was a bit of a fairy tale looking back at it because this is before we had these wonderful tools like Zoom and Hangouts and Teams. And we managed to connect through our WordPress blogs. It was thanks to WordPress itself, that we did connect. And for me, the biggest thing was just that shift in mindset from being a WordPress freelancer and renting my time to this annuity income that could be earned through digital products. And that's even evolved now digital products now is not as sexy as SAS offerings but just the simplicity of that digital product model. Yeah, it was such a huge learning back then and such an aha moment.
Adii: Yeah, right. And I think the interesting thing that disrupting off for both of you guys said there right 'cause I don't think we ever thought that we were building a startup, right? That's not the point. Like, that's just not the way it happened. Like I think to some extent I always feel like we got into a space at just the right time and WordPress was growing. And so many other things outside of our control happened to us effectively, right. And like that pushed us forward, push us to learn, right? Pushed us to do things to improve et cetera, to grow the business.
But like, in that first year I don't think we realized that this was a business. Like it was definitely not a startup. And I can remember I think, for me like that first realization thing that I went back to is, I mean, at that stage, I started that year 2008. I started working corporate gig that's my first and only corporate gig, I was in university. And I like six odd weeks later I made kind of the jump to WooThemes full-time purely because WooThemes at that stage or the first theme before it was even WooThemes, right. 'Cause I think WooThemes only came in, like June, July of that year was earning me the same amount of money that my boss was paying me, all right. So again like for me, it was just, hey I can do something that's more fun and I can earn the same amount of money. It was not about building a business, especially not the kind of the size of the business that we ultimately ended up building.
Bob: Yeah, yeah, I want to talk a little bit about this with WooCommerce but maybe stick a little bit more around WooThemes. And this doesn't, the three of you don't have to all answer this, but do any of you have a feeling of when you's thought, whoa I think we hit something here. It's, we started back and we were just, we want to put some theme together. We want to make some money. Was there any point and maybe there's not even an exact date you can think of but it came up, it hit you and you thought, man I think we're onto something.
Magnus: I remember the first email of, one of the first emails from Adii when we were discussing premium themes. And I said I've sold a couple of on my own personal website. And they were doing okay. A few a hundred dollars a week or something and Adii said, well I've done $12,000 the first month of premiumnewstheme.com. So that kind of blew me away. And we joined up forces and made the first theme. And I think I only sold news press was my first theme. And I think it only sold about $4,000 but still almost the same monthly wage I had at my job, my day job. So I kind of thought like, how's this possible to earn this much money off something in one month?
Like I'm an unknown in this space. Nobody knows about me, but I just like with a bit of a designing and bit of coding from Adii, suddenly we had another product and then Mark joined forces. I think we instantly saw this kind of like untapped market place and just ran after it. And obviously WooCommerce is a different story but WooThemes was kind of like just tapping into that premium WordPress marketplace was kind of my first feeling of something special.
Bob: Yeah, yeah what I was going to ask about the WooCommerce. When, okay so you're, WooThemes 2007, WooCommerce 2011. Now WooCommerce, I think the story again has been told, how WooCommerce came to be, but can you just for those that haven't heard it, I might let one of you refresh how that whole theme materialized or at least how it became a, it's like what do you say a glimmer in your eye type of thing except there's usually that's left for the better things like kids, but as far as WooCommerce, when did that start to crop up that idea and how did it crop up?
Adii: Oh, I mean guys correct me if I'm wrong, right. I think it popped new crop top or like popped up at least into conversations probably around about 2009 already. Where 'cause at that stage we sort of shifted which themes were selling really well. So initially it was all these kind of how do you turn WordPress officially blog into more of a new site, these kind of magazine layouts that was popular back then to business brochure kind of type websites. And when we started getting more businesses to buy the products, they would ask us do you have shopping your shopping cart functionality? So we knew it was there for a while. We just never thought that we would get into it.
And I think at that stage the only e-commerce plugin for WordPress was WPE commerce, if I remember correctly, all right? And it wasn't easy to use and especially not from a tempting standpoint. And I think the thing that we always stood for in our products was the design focus. I think that's what differentiated us from the start. Like we were not tech heavy. We were always much stronger on the design side. And essentially embarked on this, via process, I think it went find a freelancer to build e-commerce plugin for us, didn't work out almost convinced Andrew Nacin to whilst he was working kind of closely with Matt, right. To work on something with us. And I think he was just about to write some new code and then he could unfortunately not kind of your pull that through, decided to bring that internal to kind of the devs that we had in-house. Realized that they do not have, they literally don't have the experience, right.
And it's not me criticizing them. But I don't think that with our core competency. And I think that through all of that eventually stumbled on to what Jay and Mike had been doing with Jigger Shop and ultimately kind of entice them to join us instead for the source code at that stage which then became WooCommerce.
Magnus: And I think it's important to add in the, our initial thoughts about WooCommerce was not to kind of create this e-commerce plugin that was going to take over the WordPress or even the internet e-commerce scene. It was more about selling more themes. We just wanted to kind of build e-commerce themes and this WooCommerce plugin was needed to do that. So when it took us kind of like, I dunno, six, 10, 12 months before we realized like, okay extensions is maybe the way to go here. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Adii: Yeah we left into that part. I mean, that was you're right. Like that was always our focus like let's just build this thing so we can sell e-commerce themes. Like we did not think about monetizing the extensions portal, I mean that was totally something that kind of your Jane Mike had envisioned and imagined then bolts with just shopping. And we'd literally just inherited that portal off.
Mark: And just one other thing to add, I think what Adii said we were design focused we were absolutely customer led and big fans of like Zappos and the likes. And we had our ideas board and we followed that religiously as to whatever rose to the top was areas we should focus on along with the revenue data we had back then. And yeah we learned a hell of a lot from our customers and yeah that was definitely the sort of springboard into e-commerce.
Bob: Did any of you have the gut feeling at some point that WooCommerce would become as big as it is right now? Was there anything that hinted towards that or was it like sometimes you look at it now and you think, whoa, what did we start? It is pretty cool.
Adii: I mean, I guess like for me like the bit that I would probably add is for me it became evident much later, right. I mean, I think I've mentioned this before publicly at least but I mean part of why I ultimately decided to move on from Woo in 2013 was, and it goes like I think you remember I was bullish on building WooCommerce hosting right. We're hosted with commerce at that stage. 'Cause I thought that that was going to be a thing. And we didn't, we weren't aligned on that vision because again tech was not our core competency at that stage, still wasn't. And I think, but at that stage, at least, like I had I mean, I feel so hindsight, I'm not, sorry, I'm not Oracle, but like I, there was something there, but that began, like I was 2013, right. I mean, at that stage Woo in WooCommerce was a multi-million dollar a year business. It was growing exponentially, et cetera. So it was almost easy to pattern match at that stage. And just kind of your forecast or extrapolate that curve upwards.
Magnus: I think going on from that, I mean we had ADX at the business in 2013 and at that time we've kind of liked working out how to best grow WooCommerce was it through hosting or was it just for the plugin and extensions? And I think when we went to IRC conference in Chicago in 2014 just being approached by a top venture capital company and saying like we know what you guys are doing, and this is awesome, we want to work with you. And just getting that kind of like, okay this is not a lifestyle business anymore. We can't just treat it like a hobby. Almost, it felt like a hobby up until that point at least, when we saw kind of like, okay there's lots of customers and merchants relying on us, not screwing up this. So how do we kind of like, make sure that that happens.
And I think that's kind of like what led to the acquisition in 2015 and just making sure that WooCommerce was in good hands that kind of like I think like 2014 was like, okay WooCommerce is going to be big, like looking builtwith.com and seeing like the market share we're like, is this right? 42% of all e-commerce stores, this can't be right. But I mean, it depends on what data you put in there but it was a big chunk of all e-commerce stores for sure.
Adii: Magnus are you telling me that I should have just taken you to IRC a year earlier than I might've been able to ride out the journey with you guys?
Magnus: I think that's your mistake Adii.
Adii: I've always been slightly impatient, so fair enough.
Bob: Do you feel that was around the same time Mark, as far as I mean did you feel that was when you saw the potential or you knew it was going to be big with Adii and what Magnus has talked about.
Mark: Yeah, look, I think Adii leaving the business was obviously a monumental moment for Woo and sort of a big strategic sort of moment where we would to try and think as to how we can really realize value here. And I think IRCE was definitely quite a big moment like Mark said just seeing WooCommerce almost in their flesh, a digital product behind screens when we're not in an office at all but feels quite virtual but actually have that sort of tactile experience but massive e-commerce event like that.
And having been from South Africa and Norway and going to see the scale of it in America, we're obviously always two steps behind, but I think, yeah Adii and his vision for hosted WooCommerce coupled with I think, there was serious growth pains. I think we were constantly trying to put out fires whilst trying to think of the future. And it was a huge burden to knowing that so many businesses were jumping into e-commerce and it was underpinning their whole business model. So just trying to exist that and to grow at a pace that we knew would be sustainable.
Bob: And you probably never thought, I mean you've known each other, I've known the three of you for years. It seems like I think I bought my first WooThemes in 2008 or 2009. It wasn't too long after you came out and probably never occurred to you knowing me. I'm sure I'm not on your mind much these past few years but you could never predict that. Oh BobWP probably start this site totally based on WooCommerce and start a podcast. So I threw in for a Woo again, though, a very tiny, tiny one.
Thanks to our sponsor PayPal. PayPal has launched a new pay later option called Pay in 4. This mean that your clients can offer their customers the option to purchase over time in 4 interest-free payment. This feature is one of two option from PayPal for pay later with the other being PayPal Credit which gives store customers more purchasing power through flexible and transparent choices in how and when they pay. This second option is subject to consumer credit approval.
So offering those payment options is good business. Did you know that 64% of consumers surveyed say they are more likely to make a purchase at a retailer that offers interest-free payment options. And 56% of consumers that responded agree that they prefer to pay a purchase back in installments rather than use a credit card.
Well, this seems like a no-brainer to me. Clients can grow their sales and get paid up front with no additional risk or cost.
All you need to do is download the PayPal Checkout extension on the Marketplace at WooCommerce.com. Just head on over, click marketplace and search for the PayPal Checkout. Suggesting that to your clients will certainly open up sales opportunities for them.
Thanks for PayPal for being a community sponsor at Do the Woo. And now back the conversation.
Okay, over those years, let's say you're somewhere and somebody meets you for the first time and they discover, wow, I'm talking to the masters here or this is amazing. And they're wanting to get into the WooCommerce space and build extensions and stuff. And they look at you all starry-eyed and say what's your best advice? What did you learn from those all those years at Woo? What advice can you give me as a builder or is there somebody that wants to build a product for WooCommerce? I'll go ahead and I'll start with Magnus. I'll put somebody on the spot and then go around Adii and then Mark.
Magnus: Well, thanks for putting me on the spot.
Bob: Yeah, you're very welcomed.
Magnus: I think like WooCommerce, I don't think many people in Norway know what will commerce is except the people that actually want to build an e-commerce store. And people often send me emails or call me on the phone to say, "Hey, I'm into WooCommerce. And I see there's Norwegian founder, you must be an expert." And I'm like, "Yeah I've found co-founded WooCommerce, but it's been like four years since I've been actively in the business. And I don't even know how many extensions we've got now, so okay, cool." "But how can I do this and how can I build a store?" And then I'm like, how do I answer that? Like, should I like do it for you? I feel like I'm back in the days when somebody ask me about a theme, can I do this? And you say oh I'll do it for you, but I can't do that anymore.
So I just direct them to people I know. An agency, there's an agency here which is a worthless VIP member. They do most of the kind of work or advice that I should be giving. But I think it's really hard to give somebody who wants to build an extension or plugin or a theme and kind of these times, because there's so much competition like where do you start? So, I would try and focus on one thing and solving that, like advice I give to most startups is to find one problem and try and solve that really good, better than anybody else. And then build from there, that's kind of my best advice.
Adii: Yeah I'm like, Magnus the one thing you mentioned by the way, that's, I think compared to where we started right, we just need a greater WordPress ecosystem. Everything is much more saturated and competitive price. I mean, I even found that in building conversion rights where you'll commercialize our initial integration and we only bolt shop by afterwards and our shop points patient totally lacked kind of new commerce exponential shop. And up until the exit was the majority of our business. And I think to your point was like doing that one thing is I think for anyone wanting to build something is just like really solve a need, like really figure out like just the one thing you can do to be valuable to a WooCommerce business to WooCommerce user. And again, using that example for network Conversio, like I think we did that really well for Shopify. We obviously did not do that well enough for WooCommerce. Like there is a difference between those two things. And I think as a founder, as a builder, like that's the part that you need to figure out. Is how do you kind of really build something that resonates with customers and just really creates value then value enough for them to actually pay for it.
Mark: My 2 cents, I think I'm trying to quantify what WordPress's reach actually is at 40% of the internet it's massive numbers and to Magnus's point, doing one thing really well to find a niche within a niche, a sub sector, an industry, a geography where you can dominate one small feature and start with that and just be so engaged with your customer and so responsive. And don't build the kitchen sink to start just I mean, it's simple sort of MVP, lean logic and it spilled all over the internet, but yeah in the WordPress space I think it just really get to know the players and just immerse yourself in the community. And yeah, just think small to start.
Bob: Now, we have a rare opportunity here because you all three of you. Yeah, founders of Woo, but you've been out of the space and you, I mean you're not going to Woo. And I think a lot of people are interested from the outside looking in what your perception of Woo is and its growth right now. Because you're all in a place, I mean, you're helping startups you're working in maybe still in e-commerce, you've got a different perspective than sitting in the office and working at Woo. What do you think the future of Woo is at this point where you are at this point?
Magnus: I'll go first, like I mentioned it before, but in Norway if you want to go and build an e-commerce store, WooCommerce isn't kind of the name that pops out straight away. There's not much advertising for it. It's kind of more of a if you already run a WordPress site, then you know about WooCommerce the story. And I think just the way forward for Woo is obviously the growth of WordPress and tagging onto that, but there's competitors in Wix, in Shopify in big commerce that are killing it in the e-commerce first store websites. And I think that can, like Woo always wanted to compete against those but I think Woo needs to find, it's kind of like niche within the e-commerce marketplace, which is for people who want a fully customized on their own data.
But part of that problem is that when they want to do that there's lots of, I just went into an e-commerce store yesterday a Norwegian one to try and buy some coffee beans and the checkout was horrible to say the least. And I kind of didn't feel so proud in that moment because I just wished there was a Shopify store. So I can just check out in two seconds like I usually do so.
So I think that there's ways to go for Woo and automatic behind the company now but Woo obviously need to act on those things that are lacking compared to the competitors, but it's really hard to do in an open source fragmented servers space. So that's kind of like the mission is to democratize e-commerce but I think you kind of need to unify some of the features to allow the customers the end use of the e-commerce store to have a better experience. Because, I've shopped so much online during these COVID times.
And every time I get to, for example a Shopify site with the unified checkout platform it's so much easier to buy stuff. And there's lots of WooCommerce stores that do this really well but they've heavily customized it or done installed good plugins that I probably don't know about. So I think there's a lot of potential still in kind of WooCommerce and how you can not only compete but create your own kind of marketplace inside the e-commerce.
Mark: Yeah, I think headless and API driven the e-commerce is obviously a big trend and I'm sure Adii can speak more to that but I think we need to really pick its sort of flavor and its strengths and be the best at just integrating with all the plethora of existing systems out there and inventory management in CRMs. I think Automattic has got a great suite of products that they're getting better and better at tying together, but really showcasing their differential with the likes of Shopify and Big Commerce. And that it's very developer focused but there's still so much more that could be done in the headless department.
Adii: I don't know guys, and Mag I'm leaning more towards you. Like, I think like, don't get me wrong. I think we all know that WordPress open source all these things in general, it is complicated, right. Because there's different forces pulling it into different directions. But I do think like, even as simple thing, right? Like people look at Shopify because Shopify is in the news all the time, right? And one of the reasons they're in the news all the time is they can essentially report on their kind of their global GMV all right. And it keeps going up. Right and that grabs attention. So its share price goes up very simple kind of narrative to sell and build a company on.
And just the fact that Woo kind of continues to lack that due to the kind of decentralized nature of the product of the ecosystem, like is already a disadvantage. I think my perspective is just that leaves so much untapped potential there, right. Because we all know that in terms of merchant volume, at least like WooCommerce probably rivals if not beats Shopify, right. Fair enough we don't know the quality of those merchants can do a comparison between the two but there is a, I still think there's a huge kind of untapped opportunity there.
And I think counter to what many WordPress users actually believe in WooCommerce users believe is they're probably doing themselves a kind of a disservice by having this much customizability, right? Like if you have my guide, this is not about kind of Shopify right. But like they have like only very recently like in the last, like four months they brought out an API where you can touch their checkout, all right. That's where a company that's how many 10 plus years old. So like that's a core part of the WooCommerce is having a really good checkout experience. And WooCommerce stores again, because they tried like people try and hack things together and do things. It ultimately leads to bad kind of or sometimes at these two bad user experience.
So like, I still think like perhaps narrowing that a little bit, and then truly focusing on the kind of almost the power of WordPress cause I think for brands that are content heavy still like WordPress possible commerce is the best way to go, all right 'cause I think the content side of things, SEO side of things truly kind of your beat Shopify by a mile Right, Shopify that's not their core competency. So I would go more narrow, limit some of the customizability kind of you put some guard rails in place and then try and centralize more of these, at least they're really good kind of brands and merchants on WooCommerce to try and start telling the same story. And then I would probably make, if Mark was here on this call I would probably tell them Mark, that at some stage, like just take automatic or even just Woo public, right. It's probably big enough to do that. And just that too in itself is brings loads of other considerations but you're putting Woo into that limelight, right.
For example, Magnus like in Norway probably means for someone starting, e-commerce like they will definitely know about WooCommerce then, right? Then they'll know like the likelihood that they had never heard of WooCommerce then is highly unlikely. So that's probably what would my player. That's how I think about it. I think it's a massive, massive, massive, massive platform which means there's so much kind of potential and possibilities left still.
Bob: Cool, well, that's interesting. And I think that's great hearing because you've been there. And then, like I said, you're outside looking in close this out, what I wanted to do and you're all doing something different now just let us, and you've already kind of let us know a little bit what you're dabbling in. Is there something exciting, special going on right now, your personal life, your business life whatever that you want to share with everyone before we go. And this is of course, totally non-Woo. I mean, we want to know what's going on right now. That's real exciting in your life. And that could be, you spend a weekend at the beach or something and actually had some time down and enjoyed it. So why don't I start with, let's start with Mark this time. I wasn't going to choose people, but I thought I'll get the ball rolling with Mark.
Mark: Ooh, I think one of the businesses that I work with I'm particularly passionate about and is relevant to this and was my first sort of e-commerce based investment, a company called Yabba Fresh which is a food e-commerce business delivering into the townships of South Africa. So it's focused on getting food into the shanty towns here and there using WooCommerce and it's a fascinating case study of it. And it's so far removed from how commerce is done in America, or probably most parts of the world. They've got what's going, they've even accept orders via call me backs. And it is just great to understand e-commerce such nuanced African centric e-commerce and hopefully those sorts of learnings, I can get back into the WooCommerce community in some form, because I believe third world which is what we are here in South Africa, e-commerce is a massive opportunity. And it's where there truly is scale that needs catering for.
Bob: Well, how about Norway? What is, since nobody knows anything about WooCommerce and Magnus what's, what's going on that's pretty exciting for you, right now.
Magnus: I forgot to mention it in the beginning but I'm an avid golfer, all right? So what's always going on with me is waiting for the golf season to start. And we've got about, I don't know, a couple of inches of snow right now and minus five degrees. So I think like post exit of Woo and kind of like trying to find my grounding in what's the path going forward. You spend a lot of time playing golf and just wondering about that. And then you start investing in startups like as a hobby, and then suddenly you've invested in 22 companies and you're kind of like looked up to in the investor community and at least an angel investing.
And so I've like formed this group of five guys that we call ourselves Sprettert in a Norwegian, which is Slingshot in English and we kind of just want to, we hang out every day on Slack, we share deal flow together. And that's basically what excites me every day until the golf season starts. And then it's both of those. I actually, I'm such a crazy golf, not that we built a house in 2018, I've got downstairs, I've got a full-blown golf simulator. So I've actually played around the golf today inside. So I must be about the only guy within 10 kilometers. Who's got an indoor golf simulator. pretty unique for Norway.
Adii: And by the way, you did neglect to say that you're a really good golfer, all right. I mean, at least in open.
Magnus: Try to be, scratch golfer I would say.
Adii: I think we did play a round of golf together once right?
Adii: Yeah, I'm really bad by the way. I'm there for the drugs not for the golf. I can't hit a ball.
Yeah, I mean, Bob from my side I think most exciting thing is you'll see my book in the background. Even when make your new office that I have at the moment, so perfectly placed there. But yeah, my new book, "Life Profitability" "The New Measure of Entrepreneurial Success" started working on it just after I sold coverage of the campaign once or so. So, it's been a kind of a labor of love for about 15 months. So really excited to get that out. And now really just really excited to talk to people about ideas and the book for, cause for me I think going through, both were and then conversion is I'm really a passionate learner and I love again Mark mentioned kind of startup kind of methodology but that kind of boldness to learn approach.
And I constantly think about like when I do things again, when I think about building a new business, for example like how can I do things better? Right and for me at these definition has broadened to saying like, how can I just be a better Adii right? And just be a better person that kind of shows up in my life in a better way. So that's something that's really top of mind for me as I mentioned earlier, I am building a new SAS start up when I told Magnus and Mark about this four months ago. I'm like, I got some choice words on my email where he's like, wait why are you doing this again? Like in a typical Norwegian regional manner. I think I've also just learned that I'm like I'm a maker. I need to make things. I love building teams. And I said, I'm most passionate about trying to do that in a way that is then life profitable and truly kind of not being a hypocrite about ideas that I put out there, but really really loving that kind of those ideas and that, for example.
Bob: Alrighty, well, you're all three of you keeping busy. If somebody wants to connect with you where's the best place to connect and not to ask you how to fix your Woo story. I want everybody to remind everybody. They are not there for Woo support. You got to either buy a book or invest or something like that. So Mark, where's the best place to reach out to you or connect with you.
Mark: I’ll still plug my blog even though I don't publish too much to it lately, but mark.blog, contactable there like you said, please, no theme support. Or WooCommerce support.
Bob: Magnus, we’ll make sure nobody contacts you about Woo either but where can people find you?
Magnus: You know, it's back to my WordPress blog Jepson though. I know I put out some fishing videos saw on there and I've even gotten my contact form. Please contact WooThemes if you have a WordPress WooCommerce question.
Bob: Excellent and lastly, where can people get this book and connect with you Adii?
Adii: Yeah, so I'm @Adii on Twitter and my blog is the same adii.me. And the book details are there so that those are the easiest places to connect. And for everyone listening, Magnus and Mark the guy who left with the Woo before this actually happened but Meg and Mark actually have an official Woo jet and they're happy to like for the white people they'll just commission a jet and they will fly you wherever to meet up. So do ping them about that. I've only seen photos. I've not had the privilege to fly in just yet, but totally try them on that one.
Bob: Well, I’ll make sure and pull that out and put that one on Twitter. But no, seriously this has been great guys. Wow, cool to see you all again. It's been a long time. Just myself, seeing you. I think you gave a lot of food for thought there. I appreciated your sincere insights into Woo from the outside looking in. This has been amazing. I'd like to thank our sponsor PayPal and I would like to thank the three of you for joining me today.
Magnus: Thank you.
Mark: Thanks for making the effort of getting us all together thoroughly enjoyed it and thank you for what you've given to this community over so many years.
Bob: Alrighty, Well, thank you. And yeah, everyone just remember I usually tell you to go do the Woo, but when you're doing the Woo, remember these three and don't reach out for them for support. So until the next time, cheers.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.