Thanks to our sponsor
Patrick Garman, CEO at Mindsize, has been in the Woo space for a long time. From building the local pick-up type options in WooCommerce to running a full-fledged, digital eCommerce agency, he has covered a lot of ground. Learn more about the history, the rebrand of his agency and a lot more from someone who can certainly be called a WooCommerce expert.
A Chat with Patrick Garman with Mindsize
In episode 97, Jonathan and I talk with Patrick about:
- His long journey with WooCommerce, from its inception as a full-time developer to running his own agency
- How they worked with doing a major rebrand of Mindsize and his tips for anyone looking to rebrand
- Why he pulled in the new maintenance service and how they chose to design the services
- How they create a balance between doing unique, high-end work and providing services like maintenance.
- Patrick’s advice for someone starting a new agency
- His perception of the potential for WooCommerce
Connect with Patrick
Jonathan: Welcome to episode 97 of Do the Woo. Bob, how are you today?
Bob: I'm doing good, Jonathan. How about yourself?
Jonathan: I'm doing very well. Enjoying the cold here in the Pacific Northwest.
Bob: We're going to have a few freezing nights here on the ocean too. So, yeah.
Jonathan: I'm taking the kids skiing. So our school here does a field trip. That's actually a ski day. So, it's kind of rough, right? But we're going to look forward to doing that this Thursday. It will be my first time out there. Get a little bit of snow.
Bob: Cool. Yeah. I won't tell you about my skiing adventures when I was a kid.. I'll save that for the skiing show.
Jonathan: Excellent. Well, we've got a fantastic sponsor. We want to do a special thanks to PayPal, who's our community sponsor. Just a reminder for anyone listening that when you're working with clients, consider the PayPal Checkout extension, which allows your clients to offer customers the options for pay later. It's a great way to increase those conversions. Bob, I think we'll talk about that a bit later in the show.
Jonathan: But before all that, we've got a fantastic guest today. We have Patrick Garman. He's the CEO of Mindsize, a digital agency that specializes in ecommerce. Patrick, welcome to the show.
Patrick: Thank you. Happy to be here. I do have a bit of a complaint for you guys though. You guys up north and in the cold weather, your cold weather is leaking. I'm in Texas. It's not supposed to be 30 degrees out right now. So if you could come collect your cold weather, bring it back home, I would appreciate it.
Jonathan: We'll get right on that. Okay. So, we have our first hard hitting question for you, Patrick. You ready for it?
Patrick: Bring it on.
Jonathan: How do you do the Woo?
Patrick: I do the Woo by breaking ecommerce stores at scale. I've worked on a variety of platforms, variety of stores. Everything is relative in life. I've ruined ecommerce for myself by working on ecommerce stores at a scale that makes everything seem small. Doing nine figures on multiple platforms and multiple stores a year with an average order of 30 bucks, it's hard to do. It's a lot of orders, a lot of sales. And then typical stores are small now. So, I do the Woo by telling everyone in the world that WooCommerce is scalable. Anything they say that it's not, it's just false.
Jonathan: I can hear an amen to that. So, I want to talk about some of the stuff that you guys do at Mindsize and what's happening there, but we'll love to start with just for those who don't know anything about your background or what you've been doing, how did this journey to ecommerce start for you? Where did it all begin?
Patrick: It started very small. So, my now wife then girlfriend wanted to sell cookies online. She's always loved cooking and baking. So she had an online bakery. We were selling cookies and cakes and that kind of stuff online. We went through a variety of ecommerce platforms and I ended up finding WooCommerce.
It was very early stages, like version 1.1. Actually, I didn't know of Jigoshop before and the whole controversy that came with Woo. But I found WooCommerce as very early stages, just needed some extra features too. So we started using WooCommerce for the site, used one of their default themes or your guys' default themes, the one that had the storefront banner type multicolor one, a real old one. I think it was WooStore. We started selling cookies online with it.
It was actually led to some of my first open source contributions. I was not the developer, then I am now. But as local bakery, we needed to do local delivery, which wasn't an option. So I knew at the time WooCommerce was trying to get all these extensions, that you could build an extension and sell it.
I built this local delivery feature. I submitted it to be an extension. I'm pretty sure Mike Jolley actually replied to it and was like... I'm going to summarize in the blunt way I do. Mike Jolley was a lot nicer about it, but basically, "This is so simple. We couldn't possibly ever sell this." He then led into, "But you could gladly contribute this to WooCommerce core." So, I contributed the first local delivery and cash-on delivery features.
Jonathan: Oh, wow. I didn't know that. Wow.
Patrick: Yeah, the local pickup type options to WooCommerce. From there, I actually did build some extensions after that, that we ended up selling or I ended up selling on the WooStore. From there, I ended up getting a job at Woo, worked at Woo for about two years. After leaving Woo, worked in some really large stores. So that's why we started working ecommerce at scale.
I think at the time, WooCommerce.com was one of the largest WooCommerce stores. We surpassed that a couple of times over on some of our stores. I wrote some of the initial issues on GitHub that led to data stores and how to grow sites a lot bigger than they are now, which led to things like the custom order tables plugin from Liquid Web. We actually use data stores now, too, on a client site or a couple of client sites for products. So, if you think grocery chain, you have one product, but different versions of it per store. So you can have something like, "Here's the original product, our inventory and our pricing availability." All that is now per store based on data stores, our data stores.
Jonathan: One of the things I'm curious about, give us some context for the agency transition because you've done a number of things. Back when you first built it, were you doing something else? Were you already doing agency or development work?
Patrick: So, I had a full-time job at an actual store.
Jonathan: Ah, okay.
Patrick: So, I was the primary technical resource for a company of about 3,000 people in size that almost exclusively was existed, all 3,000 some people to manufacture and pack and ship in market and all the approach. I was the lead technical resource and I'm doing all that. At a certain point, when you're doing millions of dollars a month in sales, we ended up moving to Shopify. So, probably a sore subject for the store podcast, but of course-
Jonathan: We love Shopify.
Bob: Oh yeah. We let it drop in every once in a while.
Patrick: Yeah. When we talk to stores, we use the right tool for the job and WooCommerce comes up more often than Shopify, but Shopify for a simple store doesn't make sense, and for them, it didn't make sense.
Jonathan: They do some things really well.
Patrick: That was early times in WooCommerce. We made it more scalable since then. After that, the technical challenge was gone on Shopify. They didn't need a developer like myself to sit there and monitor servers in the site all day, every day. So then I could go back to freelancing, find more clients, but you don't get the size of projects an agency does.
Jonathan: Yeah, it's true.
Patrick: That led to Mindsize and growing Mindsize into what it is today.
Jonathan: So, you guys just recently rebranded. I'm really curious, having been through several branding experiences myself over the years, maybe yours was super smooth and painless, but I'm curious just what was that process like for you? Is this the first time you've done that or are you a pro at this at this point? What's the rebranding been like for you?
Patrick: First time to this extent. So, some context of why we rebranded, in 2020, it was a big year for all sorts of different companies, bad year for some, good year for others. For us, it was a big year. We grew a lot. We transformed a lot. I became the sole owner and CEO of Mindsize in the middle of 2020. So Mindsize at that point, we wanted it to reflect what we wanted. We, being my wife and I, since we own and run the company now. The branding wasn't on par with what we wanted. The vision of the company, the voice of that company wasn't us. Since we now were the voice of the company, we wanted to bring it more in line.
Patrick: So we went through a few versions of logos, started with the logos and colors first. I'm the kind of person that when we do something, I'll make baby steps, iterate on a lot of things, but we came up with a couple of different versions. I would have an opinion when I first saw it. And then over the next few days, let it simmer. We had some early logos that initially seemed cool, but then as you play with it, put it on T-shirts, put it on our website, just let it sit there, it just didn't work out. Ended up working with a design agency down in Austin sent here, friends of Mindsize, really like working with them on some client projects, but told them what we wanted and then they came up with a couple options. Coincidentally, I don't like teal. I hate the color teal. They came up with a version that was Mindsize with purple and a teal-ish color, and I hated it at first. I don't like teal. I don't want to see that. My wife and I just scrolled right past it.
Patrick: And then we looked at the others and we're like, "Those look better." Then after letting it sit and thinking on it, the others weren't as good and came back to the purple and what we will no longer refer to as teal, but is minty green. That was the one that just worked. So then from there, we refined the actual logo and the font and the actual word mark. It's great. My wife was a bit uncertain about it, but the official decision that the official candy of Mindsize is Andes mints. So when we shipped out all our T-shirts and hoodies, like the ones you got, Bob, it had the little box of Andes mints.
Bob: I couldn't even take a picture of that with the swag he had sent because we already had started eating those. So, the package was open and it was all ripped up.
Jonathan: Quick interruption here, Bob, what's the official candy of Do the Woo?
Bob: Boy, I need to think of that. The official candy for Do the Woo? Woo, woo, woo, woo. We will announce that on the 100th episode.
Jonathan: All right. All right.
Bob: We will figure out what the official candy. Yeah.
Jonathan: You heard it here first.
Jonathan: So, I'm curious, being fresh out, I think you guys did a great job. I love all the colors.
Patrick: Thank you.
Jonathan: I appreciate how much work goes into all this. Most people will go through a rebrand at some point. It being fresh in your mind right now, any advice that you'd give to other folks in this space, whether agencies or product companies? Based on your experience, any tips on how to navigate the process?
Patrick: Don't use the first version. Don't just get something you like and sit on it and say, "That's what I want." Like I mentioned earlier, everything is relative. I firmly believe that in pretty much everything we do in life. That first logo is what everything else you see will be relative to, and that means that some will be better, some will be worse. So if you get whatever the first version is and just fall in love with it, maybe it's the one that you're meant to use, maybe not, but you won't know that until you have a few more iterations. So, the first step is rarely the best step in most technology things I've ever done. Whenever we write any program, we never stop at version one.
Jonathan: Good point.
Patrick: We're not still using Microsoft Windows V1. We're not using Apple Mac OS V1.
Jonathan: Speak for yourself.
Patrick: I hope you're not Jonathan.
Patrick: One thing that was important to us is as a company, at least even further back, me personally, I have views of WordPress and how we should do things that are different than a lot of people. Sometimes they're more controversial. Search how to scale WordPress and all you find is blog posts about caching. I firmly believe that as just wrong. So Mindsize is different. We think differently. We tried not to use the Apple slogan there. If you look at all the tech companies, the colors you'll see are blues, blacks, reds. We wanted something different. So we landed on purple. Unfortunately, we share purple with another big name in our space.
Jonathan: It's a good combination.
Patrick: Yeah. So they're slightly different shades of purple. We'll probably end up with the same shirt someday because there's not many purple shirt you can have brand on.
Jonathan: I know. If you figured that one out, let me know because that's a sore spot.
Patrick: I think the ones we have are different than the Woo ones.
Jonathan: Yeah. This Woo shirt that I'm wearing right now, folks can't see, I love it, but it's not Woo purple. It's not our purple. So, I'm sure this is sellable at some point, but it is a difficult to get the right shades.
Patrick: When we're allowed to go back to conferences again, I'll bring my purple Mindsize shirt. You bring your purple Woo shirts. We'll compare them and see which ones are right.
Jonathan: I love it. You mentioned slogan. So just I'm curious, so you chose... Think different is not your slogan. No. Did you come up with a slogan?
Patrick: Nothing that's firm. We've tried to play with some. I've learned in the past week as I've been making some slides for some different talks I'm going to be doing here soon.
Patrick: Every slogan I come up with is already a cheesy book title. So everything I come up with, I Google it and I find a book and I'm like, "I can't use that."
Jonathan: I like your about page. You have this, "When the experts need help, they call us." So, it's not a bad unofficial slogan, very good.
Patrick: So, there was Thanksgiving and that Thanksgiving weekend all the way up until we launched on January 4th, my wife and I basically every evening, every weekend, every spare moment we had was rewriting all the content of the site multiple times. The about us page and the core values page, rewrote that the most, because we wanted Mindsize, when you looked at our website to say who we were.
Starting with core values, we started there first. Just like with what I said, as advice to anyone else doing it, I rewrote the core values page five or six times. I would write that, write the rest of the site's content a little bit, come back to it like, "That can be better. That can better reflect us." My wife and I both have the same opinion that this business exists for us to be able to give back in other ways. So we will continually try and do that and give back to organizations that mean something to us personally and to the business, but that's a core part of Mindsize for us.
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.
Bob: So, what I was wondering and talking about the rebranding, you obviously decided to go the digital agency route, spread out a bit more, and in turn, brought some products to the surface here, as far as some specific products that you could offer. I think both Jonathan and I are curious about how you pulled out those specific products or I should say services and the design of them. How do you decide? You're looking at all these things. How did the ones... You might want to explain the three that you have right now and then we can dive into a little bit how those materialized.
Patrick: Sure. So, you mentioned something there that we're known for ecommerce. We do a lot of ecommerce work. Most of our clients are ecommerce. Ecommerce is also one of the harder things to do on the internet, because sure, you can build a blog and you can live blog Supreme Court cases, things like that, that WordPress is known for and there's ways to solve that, that makes sense. But in most of those cases, you're writing something in a database and then sharing it to hundreds of thousands of millions of people. Ecommerce, every single click of a button on the site, which is why you're trying to get people there does something. If I click add to cart, it has to write that somewhere. If I click checkout, in WooCommerce especially, you're writing over a hundred pieces of data to your database. Without getting into the techie details, it does it in a fairly inefficient way right now, too.
So, we do some really hard work and we do it well. My opinion is that if we can do some of the hardest work well, we can do the other work pretty well too. So if you need a site, a custom application, things like that, we do that type of work. We're trying to get that word out a bit more.
One thing we've done since the beginning of Mindsize is site audits. So we have a lot of experience and expertise in how to make a site run well. So our site audit is a two-week process where we dive deeply into your site and basically come up with a list of, "If the site were ours and the business were ours, here's what we would change and the order in which we would change it and the timeline in which we would change it." So pretty much every audit ends with a timeline of, "In the next month, do this. The next three months, do this. Six months, 12 months and so on." So, we've had that for a while. We're just better marketing it.
The new services really are support plans. That's something before Mindsize even existed, actually I was trying to get into WooCommerce support. What I learned in doing that was without a team, it's very difficult to do. If you can't scale it, it's not going to become profitable and the business ultimately won't succeed. So, it never really get off the ground. Most people probably don't know about it. Now that we have Mindsize and we have a team, we're about 11 people now, we have the capacity to fit support into this with the existing team.
Patrick: The other challenge is senior developers rarely want to be doing support. The type of work we do, we generally need more senior developers, but we feel strongly about helping junior developers get trained up to and helping other people grow. So, support and working on smaller sites that support brings is a good place that you can bring in more junior developers, have them work with the senior developers of how to solve problems and implement them and grow from there.
We basically looked at every WordPress maintenance and support plan we could find. We listed out all their features, all their prices, and basically took every single feature they had and put it at a price point at the tire of everyone else as a store dispersion. We have a ecommerce expertise that I think is unmatched. I think it's worth paying a little bit of a premium for it.
Jonathan: One of the things I'm curious about, so in an agency world, so I spent five plus years in the agency world, one of the tensions that is often there is do you focus on serving? There's this idea that if you're going to focus on doing really unique work, you cap out at around 10 clients or so that you can handle at a time, depending on the size of the agency. And then on the other side of the spectrum is this more of scale work where it's more productized and it's more of a process, but there's not as much flexibility for really unique problem sets. There's not a right or wrong approach. It's just trade-offs on either case.
I'm curious for you guys, as you think about the future of Mindsize, how are you navigating that tension of the specialty skills required to do really unique, high-end work, where it's like big store comes in and they really need some specialization, you've got that, versus the maintenance stuff, also important, but of a different caliber of skill required? How are you thinking about that tension?
Patrick: So I think if I were to make the most generic statement possible about that, usually the agencies doing higher end work are the larger, more well-known ones. They're the big ones. They may have a lot of employees, but they have a lot of big clients too. Don't do a lot of small work. They're also expensive.
The smaller agencies, the newer agency, the less known agencies generally are on the cheaper end of the spectrum. Just maybe they don't realize they could charge more. Maybe their quality and skill level is at that level right now and they do a lot more volume of smaller projects. What I've seen from a handful of other agencies is they'll grow from that smaller agency to the bigger agencies. Sometimes by getting that big project, they either succeeding at it and realizing they can and doing more of it or not, but we're trying to find a balance between them.
We do definitely have some larger clients that have that specialty skillset. But just like in the WooCommerce space where a performance change that we'll look at may make perfect sense for a really big store. It may be the make or break feature or change that allows them to stay on the platform. That feature still has a value at the small stores. So data tables, for example, in data stores, perfect for big stores. Little stores don't care as much about them, but it will still make them better. It's a bit of the same here too. The way we architect projects is there's an architect on every project and they do most of the hard thinking. They take a task and turn it into actionable steps that the end developers who don't need that architectural mind to do it.
Jonathan: What I like about what you're describing and for other agency folks listening, especially if you're starting out, what I'm hearing you describe is an expertise-driven approach where you have this, "All right. We're going to have experts." That's your own background in this in terms of subject matter expertise. It is challenging.
At some point you reach a peak in terms of, if you're going to grow further, that's where the support stuff can really help in terms of the predictable revenue and very importantly, the training ground to grow your team, right? Because that's difficult and that's why it's worth thinking consciously about that tension and thinking about the future, because those simpler projects, yeah, your senior engineers may be less interested. There's still always value to be found, but it can also be incredibly powerful way to provide value to the client having access to the expertise and also training and empowering newer folks who eventually are going to be just as skilled and have to start somewhere.
Patrick: Yeah. We've basically grown Mindsize three times. The first time we started with a lot of contractors, a lot of people we knew. What happened there is a lot of work didn't get done. There was a lot of debate of how something should be done because the people we knew, they were experts. When you had 10 experts in a room, there's 10 different ways to do something and no one is going to agree. So we learned from that and said, "Okay. Let's just hire less people we know, but still senior developers and had a bit of the same issue of this is how something should be done and still a lot of debate of how to do something." So this third version of Mindsize and growing, it's actually been fairly successful for us. We hired people.
I have the same questions I ask every person in our second interview and I have for about five years. Even before Mindsize, these are the questions I had. I tell people upfront, "I'm going to ask you things that you probably have never done it at all. Just talk through the process of how you would think through it." I've asked people questions about scalability problems in WooCommerce and WooCommerce subscriptions that they have never touched either platform, yet they can actually describe how they would go about solving. They wouldn't know what they were doing. They wouldn't know how to implement it, but they thought of that type of solution. We're hiring that type of person now. We don't care about your technical skill. We care about how you think.
Jonathan: You're focusing on how they think. I like that. So for folks who are starting out, because the service industry is really important, right? In general, clients, people doing big things, they're going to need help. Oftentimes, you don't have the expertise in-house to be able to pull these types of things off. So there's a lot of opportunity for growth. As your thinking, if someone's wanting to get into this space or there's someone... What advice would you have for new agency folks drawing on the experience that you've had and what you've been through and what you observed about the space?
Patrick: Biggest piece of advice I would give anyone is there's more than enough work to go around, a lot of this in fighting I see of... Yeah, we're all going to fight over clients. We're all going to be bidding against each other at some point. I know other salespeople at other agencies that I have been bidding against and we've been actively having a conversation together of how we could actually better support each other while bidding for the same project. A lot more of that collaboration would go long ways. What you get from that collaboration is different ideas, different perspectives. Maybe someone else is better suited for a project. You help them get it. Maybe you'll learn something from them along the way and maybe they'll do the same for you.
Patrick: Just in terms of how to run a business, try and do the right thing. Be positive. A lot of what Mindsize is, is we're trying to have a positive impact on the world. But as far as developers go, the best thing you could do is find a senior developer who's willing to actually talk through things with you and get all the information you can from them.
Jonathan: Would it be fair to say... I very much agree with that. One of the things I noticed is the difference between short-term thinking and long-term thinking. Short-term, I put it the other way. Long-term we want to see more and more people succeeding, right? Whether one agency gets or the other agency gets it, like you said, you want to see the best fits happen. As that happens and there's wins and as those projects succeed, there's a halo effect to the broader industry, right?
So, I think it can be frustrating because back in my agency days, I remember I've had some of those same types of experience, either winning a project or losing one, and it's a friend, another agency that you know and have that some context for it. But if you think bigger picture, doing your best and thinking about the best case... I've even been in situations where talking to the client and being candid with them like, "Hey, we want this. Otherwise, we wouldn't be going after it. We want you also to pick the best choice and we think it's us. But if it's not us, we want to see you succeed." Being able to have that level of conversation to me is the key to long-term success and it has a halo effect to the broader industry. Yeah, it's not easy though.
Patrick: No, I want every project. If I don't get the project, I'll help my friends get it. If they don't get it in, then the world is doing something wrong. Yeah. Especially in WooCommerce, in these past few years, WooCommerce is not as mature as other platforms. The best thing we could do as a platform is prove its maturity and prove that it can do big projects and sometimes that requires working together. The more we do that, guess what? The single largest ecommerce platform on the internet will continue to get bigger projects, and then we'll continue to make bigger projects and we'll continue to succeed. That's the way I'm looking at anyways. I've been sharing basically everything I know about WooCommerce scalability since I learned it, talks at WooConf, talks at different conferences. I don't have any secret sauce.
Jonathan: There's something about that mentality that I think is part of both the key and the magic of open source. I'm sure you've had this too. I've had situations back in my agency days of you work on something you're really proud of, you get it out there, and then you discover that someone else was working on something similar. Sometimes it's like, "Man, I wish we'd been talking about this before, but at least we're talking about it now." The reason we are talking about it now is because one of us wrote something and put it out there. Just that process, thinking about that and putting your ideas out there, I think there's so much value to it. You can't see where it goes.
I think that's part of what makes all this stuff work, is you work on something, you solve something, then you'd give a talk about it or you write something about it. And then someone else sees that and picks it up. People don't always contribute. I love that you guys consciously look at contribution as a part of your model and I'd love to see more people do that. It's good for business as well.
Patrick: Yeah. I have gotten work because of my being active in the WooCommerce Slack. We get more people now in the community chats in Slack that happened than we used to, but there were chats in the past where it was like me and someone from SkyVerge and two people there for a chat and whoever at Woo who's leading it. They're just saying these things to the open the room and not getting much response. So it's good to see that it's growing, but still the people who are in these chats, there's just a select few. There's not a lot of store owners. There's not a lot of developers. You don't even have to be actively contributing, just coming to these chats and voicing an opinion, if there's a question, should we do something. More feedback. The thing I've heard the most from the core Woo team in any feature is wanting more feedback of where to take the platform. A lot of times when I'm talking to leads or clients... I heard from Paul once, he wants to talk to more store owners. So I just try and send him all the store owners I can.
Jonathan: Yep. Even at a point that I just want to reference, so WooCommerce's maturity. So it has a lot going for it in terms of its size. It still has a long ways to go. I think for folks listening, the thing to recognize is how much opportunity there is there to be a part of helping to get there, to what you're saying right now. There's these community chats that happen on a regular basis, right? If you're wanting to get involved, there's so many avenues to get involved. I think what I'm curious for your thoughts on, Patrick, is you've worked with other platforms and you've been in this space for a long time. I guess what's your sense of where the potential is for WooCommerce? Where do you feel like we are in that cycle of time?
Patrick: I think a WooCommerce is... And it's in between adolescent and teenage years. You've got two very different ways of looking at Ecommerce and that you see growing. You've got the platforms, Shopify, Squarespace, all those. So those are the Apples of the world. Then you have the Androids of the world, like WooCommerce and other self-hosted platforms. The benefit of the self-hosted platform is you can build absolutely anything on it. We all like to think we all have very original ideas, but a lot of times we're doing versions of something someone else's building, like you're commenting about earlier, but even store owners have that.
There's a lot of functionality that can continue to be built. There's a lot of ways we can build it. We need more feedback, I guess, on where it can go and how we can do it. Seeing more ways that people are using the platform, we can better build a platform for them so that they can come back. Number one best thing anyone can do in WooCommerce is joined me in the WooCommerce core chats or the community chats and tell the core devs that we need different financial payment statuses and ship the statuses for orders. Imagine a world where we could have an order with multiple shipments or multiple payments. That's my plug to get my own personal goals move forward in WooCommerce.
Jonathan: Excellent. Hey, one way or the other, man. I love it.
Bob: We'll make it official. WooCommerce is nine years old technically, which falls between the adolescent and teenagers. But let's bump it up to 11 years old in Patrick years, where one more year and it's going to actually have its first teen year and we'll just take it from there.
Jonathan: Oh, man. One of the things in my community work, like you said, I mean, we're in a place right now where we want that feedback. The core folks are like, "Hey, what do we do? How do we shape this?" There's always a tension there and prioritizing because there's only so many that you can work on. But a lot of what I'm trying to do in community is encouraged the store owners like, "Hey, your voice matters and it's being listened to, so share what matters to you." There's always a tension there, right? Because you can't just do whatever's asked, but you listen to that and you be curious and you poke around it.
I think right now we're in a place where there's growth happening at such a rapid place, a pace and a willingness to... It's all in service of how can we really help these merchants succeed? I see that happening and that's exciting. It's been interesting. I'm curious, a bit of an old topic at this point, but it's still relevant, COVID and the pandemic and all this stuff, what kind of effect, if anything, did it have on you guys? What did you see with the clients and the types of work that you've been doing?
Patrick: A lot more people are realizing ecommerce is the way to go. What you'll end up seeing is we've trained now a large part of the country and a lot of customers to shop online. All the things that we knew before about conversion is going to get even more important. So now, everyone is shopping online. I'm sure some people have had some bad experiences on some sites were placing order didn't get any updates. Maybe it was legit. Maybe it was fraud. Building sites that look real, feel real and are real have that good customer experience will be even more critical. But at the same time, building something right the first time also is critical.
For a lot of agencies I know, stores had scaling problems. A store was built and they had to go back and rethink what they did or make other changes to support this scale. Not a single Mindsize client had to go back and redo what we'd done before because we architected from the begin with to scale. We took in on a fair bit of work to fix other people's work and make sites scalable, but none the work we had done before for sites, even for sites that were already high-scale and then tripled their sales overnight, it just worked. It's the magic of writing good software.
Bob: Well, yeah, I think this has been excellent. Well, we'll have you back after maybe a year or so after the rebrand and see where you're at, especially how the support and maintenance has gone for you, because I know that is something you brought to the surface and look forward to seeing how that plays into it. Make sense how you're pulling in the different resources for that. But yeah, excellent. Well, I think that about wraps it up. Before we do anything, tell people where they can connect with you online.
Patrick: I am, of all the social media networks, more active on Twitter. You can find me at PMGarman, G-A-R-M-A-N, not like the GPS. You can also find Mindsize on Twitter and Facebook and everywhere else at Mindsizeme and our website is Mindsize.com. So reach out to us anywhere. We're happy to chat.
Bob: Cool. I know you're on Slack too. So people, go on the WooCommerce Slack, and they can always find Patrick in there flittering around. I shouldn't say that, but he does have a business to run too. So he doesn't spend all this time on Slack.
Patrick: I'm in there more than I should be. The core Woo team sometimes probably likes it. Other times, I probably annoyed them. I exaggerate my opinions a bit because we don't have a lot of store owners in the Slack. So I try and emulate the voice of the store owners in these chats and what-
Jonathan: You are appreciated.
Patrick: That's good. I have you on the record saying that now.
Bob: All right, everyone. Well, we just like to thank our sponsor one more time, PayPal, do check them out with their pay later options. They have several through their PayPal Checkout extension that you can put right into place on your client's site, easy-peasy, so go for that.
Other than that, yeah, just when we were talking a little bit about COVID in 2020, I still have my survey open. So if you build sites or projects or anything with WooCommerce... I haven't quite got to the level where I'm real happy with the response, so I'd love to get some more in before I really put out those results, as well as some other feedback I've heard from a few different people.
Other than that, I think we are good to go. I really, really appreciate you taking the time to join us today, Patrick.
Patrick: Yep, I look forward to being back.
Jonathan: Good to see you, Patrick.
Bob: All righty. Cool. Well, that's it folks. Until next time at Do the Woo.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.