Aidan Corbett is CEO and Co-Founder of Wayflyer, a company that provides funding to WooCommerce stores for inventory and marketing. With his diverse background, Aidan brings many insights to the conversation, including his experience launching his business in 2020 as well as his thoughts on whether new businesses should offer a variety of services and products, the value of bootstrapping, and seasonal inventory tips, plus a new perspective on coming on the WooCommerce ecosystem.
A Chat with Aidan
Jonathan and I talk with Aidan about:
- His journey through finance and coding before .landing on WooCommerce
- What it was like starting a VC-backed business in 2020
- Whether you really need to specialize and pick a focus or niche
- His advice for those entering the Woo business ecosystem while doing several things already
- His recommends on bootstrapping vs looking for outside funding
- In the funding game, what characteristics a business should have in order be viewed as low risk
- Where seasonal inventory comes into play— and the challenges around it
- How agencies or developers assess whether their clients are low risk
- How he views the WooCommerce ecosystem as a newcomer to the space and how deliberation played into favoring WooCommerce as an eCommerce platform
Connect with Aiden
Thanks to our Pod Friends
Jonathan: Welcome to Do the Woo Episode 111. How are you Bob?
Bob: I'm doing good. I like that, 111. We're binary now.
Jonathan: That's a lot, man. 111 episodes. Congratulations on that.
Bob: Thank you.
Jonathan: The show just keeps rolling along nicely.
Bob: Yeah, we just keep plugging along, all my wonderful cohost keep me in line so that's good.
Jonathan: I love all the events stuff that you've been doing as well. There's a lot happening across the across Do the Woo lately, and I don't see very many idle moments in your past and certainly not in your future.
Bob: Yeah, that's for sure. I just, I'm doing some other stuff. In fact, there'll be a podcast coming out before this one, it will be talking a little bit about everything I'm doing. It's just a lot of stuff so we'll leave it at that.
Jonathan: That's fantastic. Well, before we get into today's show, we have some sponsors, you want to kick us off with our community sponsor.
Bob: Yeah PayPal and they've been a longtime sponsor. In fact, I'm going to just give a special shout out to them, because they've been a sponsor now for six months, our community sponsor. This will be actually their last episode as a sponsor, we'll be bringing somebody in, in a while as a community sponsor, but I want to thank them big time for their support. It's been amazing, and they kicked off a PayPal ecommerce platform, they call it. And basically they pulled together everything they're doing.
And amongst all the stuff that you can get through PayPal or your clients can get through PayPal, you can also get fraud, protection and seller protection. So that's an important critical piece, especially on the seller side of things, avoid chargebacks, reversal fees, customer disputes. Anyway, they have this whole suite of stuff, kind of packaged up real nicely. Send your clients over to paypal.com/business/solutions and we'll be telling you more about that.
But I also want to mention a couple of our wonderful Pod Friends we have going now.
Jonathan: Yes. So I was excited when you introduced that, there's a lot of great folks in the ecosystem. And Pod Friends gives them a way of helping to help to support the community and also for folks in the community to learn more, and we've got two this week.
First up, we have Mindsize they're a fantastic WooCommerce focused agency that if at scale with all sorts of big stores, they've done doors at scale to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of orders. They're doing this thing called a site performance audit now, where they'll do ongoing evaluations of ecommerce stores, and yeah they do a lot of great work. So check them out at mindsize.com. And thank you to Patrick and the team there for being a Pod Friend.
We also have Foo Sales, they help turn your WooCommerce store into an omnichannel, retail platform. And for those of you working with clients who care about that, food sales is a great option to have in the back corner. They have if I'm recalling correctly Bob there's like a point of sales app.
Bob: They do. And it's pretty cool. We have a past Podcasts how that went during this COVID thing because you think point of sales boy that could really crash. Because your point of sales becomes virtual and he had a really interesting story on that. So if somebody wants to dig through and find that, but let's get on to our guests, and actually, I think it's kind of cool.
Speaking of Pod Friends, our guest is a Pod Friend in turn, so I'm going to let you introduce our guest and get into the conversation here.
Jonathan: Awesome. Well, I am happy to introduce Aidan Corbett, welcome. You're the CEO of Wayflyer. And you're joining us from London is that right?
Aidan: Dublin? So in Ireland.
Jonathan: Ireland. That's right. Excellent. Well, it's great to have you on the show with us.
Aidan: Great to be here.
Jonathan: And we'll kick off with our opening question. Aidan, how do you Do the Woo? What's your connection to the WooCommerce ecosystem today?
Aidan: We Do the Woo by providing funding to WooCommerce stores. So for companies that need money for inventory orders, or for marketing, Wayflyer is a merchant finance solution that will give you money very quick, without taking an ownership stake in your business to help you run that marketing campaign, or make that inventory order that will help you grow that a bit quicker. So we started about 12 months ago, and started off with a number of different platforms and WooCommerce is one of the big partners for Wayflyer and I think we're the only merchant finance solution currently on the WooCommerce extension store.
Jonathan: It's an interesting time to start a business at all, like in the midst of a pandemic, but particularly one in financing. And I'm really curious from your perspective, because on the one hand, there's this degree, at least for me as like an outsider kind of looking in, it's like, if I was in the finance business right now, I'm not really sure I'd want to be touching this. There are stores that needed it but there's a struggle, but there's also a lot of opportunities. I'm just curious, I imagine that you had plans to get into this before the pandemic.
Aidan: Yeah we did.
Jonathan: What was that experience like saying, "Okay, we're going to get into merchant financing," then the pandemic hits, how did you think about that?
Aidan: It was pretty hairy. So we were raising money from VCs back in March. And I actually flew home on a plane with 15 people. And the week previously, I'd flown out to the US on a plane with 200 people. So while I was in the US, that's when everything kind of kicked off in that week in March, I think it was St. Patrick's Day, funnily enough, where everything kind of tended to shut down. So we had a lot of VCs lined up to invest in us, and a lot of them delayed as a result of COVID kicking in. But we decided to begin financing businesses anyway in April, because what we saw was companies and stores that were not directly affected by the pandemic, that companies that sell bags, or hospitality related products, that was probably the best time ever to start an ecommerce store.
I guess what happened was, all of the major brands left Facebook, and they left Google ads. And at the same time, we were all at home, scrolling through our phones, which meant that Facebook had a lot of ads to sell. And so the cost of acquiring a customer for most of the businesses on our platform halved during April, because you just had this huge inventory of ads that the social platforms had to sell.
So if you weren't selling something directly related to hospitality, or that was going to be affected by COVID, that was probably the best time ever to launch an ecommerce store. Once we saw that trend, we expanded pretty heavily in April, May, June. And that also made it easier for us to do our seed round then later that summer. But it was an interesting time. But turns out for a lot of ecommerce stores, it was probably the best time.
Jonathan: And I love that perspective, because oftentimes when something crazy is going down, there's a natural human tendency to let fear kind of take over. And like, we're not going to do anything right now but the reality is that yes, there's a lot, been a difficulty, especially in the hospitality industry. A lot of pain there. But the reality is like you said, people are at home, their patterns have changed. We've seen that now in the year since that yes there's a lot of growth. And those patterns are sticking, like people are becoming more used than ever to buying online. I'm curious, any other anecdotes or highlights of like starting a business in the middle of a pandemic in terms of things that you didn't expect?
Aidan: One other kind of element and again, I think we were really lucky, because we were one of the companies that were beneficiaries of COVID. Because we're funding ecommerce companies, so one of the hard parts for us was really tracking seasonality. So because the way that we basically evaluate companies for funding, we look at historic performance. And for example, we would look if we're going to give you money in September, we'd look at how you did the previous September, and try and predict what's going to happen over the next Q4, that was harder when COVID kicked in, because it just changed everything.
So it made a lot of not just for us, but for a lot of lenders who were doing prediction models on performance, I think COVID really made it difficult for our data science team to know price and give people the correct volumes. Because ultimately, what ended up happening was everybody ordered to little. We could see that through October because you got to order so far in advance, we did see that almost all our customers ordered too little. And that was really hard to see because not everyone saw the second wave of COVID kicking in which meant that more stores stayed closed on the high street, which meant that people bought online, but we could see that inventory levels after Thanksgiving were really, really low because everybody ordered too little.
Jonathan: Man, it's always hard because you don't want to get stuck with too much or be too optimistic about something but on the other hand, like if you're... It's hard.
Aidan: Inventory prediction is one of the dark arts of running an ecommerce store and it's really, really difficult.
Bob: Yeah, like for toilet paper, hey I remember those times in the US. But that's another whole story.
I know that we want to talk a little bit about getting into the ecommerce space with products and stuff. Can you just give us in a nutshell a little bit of your, what led up to Wayflyer and then from there, what led up to getting into the WooCommerce space?
Aidan: Sure. So Wayflyer is my third startup. All the startups that I've built have been in the data analytics space, so I have no background in lending or borrowing, or even in ecommerce, but I was a bootstrap founder of a first business called Cubicle and Cubicle does data analytics training, mostly for large corporates. So I spent the first 18 months of cubicle in my bedroom coding up the website, recording myself getting lessons in Excel, Tableau, these types of tools. And ultimately, I ended up selling Cubicle to a private equity company in February of 2020, just before we realized COVID was going to be an issue so I got lucky there as well.
Aidan: The second business that I started was backed by investors, it's called Conjurer, and it's a marketing analytics company that mostly focuses on larger consumer businesses, including some very large online retailers. And actually, the technology behind the Wayflyer is the same technology that I used for conjurer. So my cofounder in Wayflyer came to me in 2019, and said, "You need to stop using that technology to provide some marketing analytics solutions. Instead, you should use it to underwrite small ecommerce businesses, and advance some funds." And it turned out that was a very good idea, so I negotiated a kind of a split with my cofounders in Conjurer. And we set up Wayflyer in September of 2019, and launched it in April 2020.
Jonathan: Nice. So for you, I'm hearing a more of a data science and technical background.
Aidan: Very much.
Jonathan: I'm guessing 10 years ago, you wouldn't have predicted that you'd end up kind of doing this on the ecommerce side of things. What were you doing before all that?
Aidan: The first kind of 10 years in my career, I did all the things you're not supposed to do before becoming an entrepreneur. So I started off by working in government. Then I went to work in management consulting, then I did an MBA. So in terms of Silicon Valley I am at three strikes So it took me until I was about 29, 30 to decide that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but kind of never looked back since.
Jonathan: So it's interesting. One of my favorite books is a book called Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World?
Aidan: Yeah, I know it.
Jonathan: We hear a lot about how you need to select specialize and pick a focus. But I'm not convinced. I mean, yes, there's value to that. But there's also something and we see this a lot with with folks in the WooCommerce ecosystem with builders. You can end up working with a lot of different types of clients and in that experience, and that was my own background as a developer, I found that man, like every time working across different industries, you find patterns that are the same, you find similarities, but I just find it so enriching to have a wide background. So you don't have a traditional Silicon Valley kind of startup basis but from my perspective, I feel like that gives you more of an advantage than not.
Aidan: It's good to be, I think in the early stage of a company. So we're at about 80 people now, and this is the biggest any of my companies have ever gotten to, and we'll probably have 200 by the end of the year, as you get bigger, you need more specialists. But in the early days, you need pen knives and I'm the ultimate pen knife. So I am not a kind of a carving knife that just cuts one type of meat or what have you, I do a little bit of everything. And that's really valuable in the early days, I think it's really valuable in being a founder, because you're not afraid of any specific function within the company. So you'll dip in on sales, and then you'll go home, and then you'll do some programming at night.
And that's really what you need in the early days. But right now, as we're beginning to scale, you realize I need a backend engineer that's just going to sit in Amazon Web Services all day. I need a front end engineer who's just going to use React. And so as the company gets bigger specialists are needed, but in the early days, being able to be multidisciplinary is everything really.
Jonathan: And as it grows least in my experience, part of the magic becomes getting them to work together like having your specialists working with those who are more these generalists and can often serve as the glue between specialists.
Aidan: Yeah, absolutely.
Jonathan: I'm curious drawing from that, like we have a fair amount of like agency owners and small products companies. And a lot of those are starting the small product companies, but they're going to be bigger in the Woo ecosystem. From your experience, as a co founder having this fairly like eclectic background, do you have any guidance that you'd offer to these up and coming folks within the WooCommerce ecosystem that are in that role right now of doing a lot of different things.
Aidan: There's a couple of different kind of piece of advice that I would give. And it's more from the things that I got wrong than the things that I got right. So it's not, this is going to look great for me, here's what I'm recommending, it's more what I didn't do. And the one thing that I would say, and I'm a pretty big controversial on this is that if I'm starting a business, and you have an opportunity to raise money, always take the money. So there is obviously an agency world and also when you're building products, there is an opportunity to bootstrap.
And in certain circumstances, that's the right thing to do. A lot of our founders that we back are bootstrapped. But a lot of them also, especially in the early days, do take some outside investments. And I would nearly always recommend taking the outside investment.
Jonathan: That is controversial. Tell me a bit about what's some of the thinking behind that.
Aidan: So the thinking behind that is that the terms that you get on outside money today are so much milder than the terms you got 10, 15 years ago. So the way in which you can raise money today, from different types of angels, it's a much more benign environment than it was 10 to 15 years ago, when a lot of these types of fights began to happen. So the first thing to bear in mind is the terms that you can get today are much better. So there's a huge angel community out there now, where they're more than happy to give 50 to 250k in a cheque with relatively few strings attached, just go build a business and hope that it works.
So the first thing is, investors will have a lot less power over you than they would have historically. And the second reason is that if you don't raise the money, you're probably going to have to give up a pretty big chunk of equity to your early employees. Because you can't give them their market salary. So it actually turns out that you will think I don't want to give up ownership by raising money, if you end up having to require really talented people as part of your early team, you end up giving up ownership anyway.
And in actual fact, you end up giving up more ownership because if you're not going to pay somebody anywhere near their market salary, they're going to ask for way more ownership than you would end up giving up when you're raising money. So it turns out that in most cases, but not all, you do end up getting diluted anyway. So provided that the money that you can get comes with very few strings attached, which is possible today, particularly in the early stage angel rounds. I think it's worth taking.
Jonathan: Do you see that as more a function of just like there's just a lot more capital available today or has there been a shift in mentality?
Aidan: I think a lot of it is actually been the shift in power away from investors towards founders, particularly in the U.S. Most of our investors in Wayflyer are U.S. Investors, because it's just a much more transparent, and the founder has a lot more power. And the reason is actually, I think a lot of it is Y Combinator. And the work that Paul Graham did there, in really making the process really transplant.
And also the there's a venture capital association in the U.S., And they have standard documents in relation to investments and now everybody just uses the standard documents. So if you've got a really unusual term in your shareholders agreement, or in your term sheet that you give to a founder, they can just compare it against the venture capital standard documents and say, that's a really weird term, that's clearly not standard, why is that in there? And so the uniformity today, and what the documents look like mean that it's just a way better environment for founders.
Jonathan: I like that you brought that up, because it's one of those things where I know founders and folks who are, there's almost this badge of honor like, "I never took any money." There's this little bit of a vibe to it. And that's fine, people can have that. But I think and we've seen this a lot, I see this with folks coming into WordPress and WooCommerce now where it's very easy to have, like preconceived notions formed from early opinions that you haven't really reassessed. Someone could have formed their opinion about taking an investment based on what they learned 10 years ago.
My first startup I worked with an angel investor was more than 10 years ago at this point, and I had a good experience, but I've also heard of lots of folks who had negative experiences. So that's A helpful to hear and B it's a reminder for all of us to continually reassess the preconceived notions that we have, because things do change.
Aidan: Absolutely. The other thing to bear in mind, too, and this is the reason for Wayflyer, you don't need to raise money to cover working capital, you need to raise money for product development.
And that's where Wayflyer kicks in. So if your business is doing really well, and you're saying, I know I can sell $200,000 worth of inventory in Q4, you shouldn't need to raise money to go and buy that inventory, you should go out and get financing for that. But it's in those early stages, when you might want to bring on a singular one or two employees, or you want to do some product development. And you might need 80 to 100k to develop a more advanced product. That's when you should do the race. It shouldn't be for working capital, it should be for product development.
Jonathan: I like that distinction.
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Jonathan: So one of the things I'm curious about. There's this interesting tension, as I understand it in your business, where there's a risk that you're taking, but one of your goals is to kind of minimize that risk, and providing capital to strong bets, like you're looking at the historics, you look at the business. One of the things I think would be really interesting is what are some of the characteristics that you see in what makes a business a low risk business?
Aidan: Yep. That's a really good question. So there's a couple of characteristics that I will use to describe kind of the ideal ecommerce business or the business that the characteristics that make it easier to run. So obviously, if you have an amazing insight into a very difficult vertical that would still be really worth doing. But there are certain verticals that are easier to work in than others. And those verticals have certain characteristics, so the first thing is, they're not seasonal.
So if you're seasonal, let's say for example 90% of your sales comes in Q4, you're going to have to make a whopper inventory order. And there's probably going to be a long lead time on that inventory order in August and September. So that skill that we talked about earlier of being able to do inventory prediction is much harder than if you're making an inventory order every three or four weeks, because you have a business that's not really very seasonal. So the first thing is seasonality is huge.
The second element is average order value. So if your average order value is too low, it can be very difficult to be profitable on the initial sale. And so if your average order value is very low, you need to get a lot of repeat purchases, if your average order value is very high, it's very hard to experiment with new advertising campaigns, and to really figure out what's working, because you might run a really successful campaign. And if your average order value is $500, that might be six transactions, that's hard to figure out is that actually working because six transactions is not a lot of data points.
So if you have very high average order value, it's harder to experiment with campaigns, if you have a very low average order value, let's say under $25, it's hard to be profitable on the first purchase, and you need a lot of repeat purchases. So average order value is critical, then the next thing to bear in mind is the nature of the product itself. So if it's light, it's much easier to transport. And you also have options potentially using air freight in certain times of the year, rather than just relying on kind of shipping or yeah shipping, essentially.
And then you also have just much better economics and fulfillment in moving things around. And the last element then is channel. So do you have an advantage in the way in which you acquire customers that is not obvious. So they will be the critical things that I would look at. So if you add all of those up, you would look at something that works really well would be something like health and beauty or something, for example, on baby products. So baby products are ideal, because they're not seasonal, the average order value is quite high, you can expand the range, which means you can get a lot of repeat purchases, they're relatively low products and you typically also have a really good margin of them.
So there are certain verticals that we really like that isn't to say that we don't find lots of verticals, but certain types of products and certain kind of types of characteristic of your target customer can make life a lot easier and harder.
Jonathan: It's interesting, because on the one hand, like I can see those patterns, it makes sense. You don't want to hire too long on the average order value. You don't want the seasonality and so there'll be businesses that kind of clearly fit in that. Part of the magic is probably in the exceptions from time to time because there'll be a business that's hard, because of the shipping aspect of things. It's very hard to deal with the logistics side of it, but because you have deep niche insights and some connections, then that can sort of offset that.
But I think it's helpful to think about these things. Because seasonality, for instance, is something that comes up a lot in the service industry, where you'll know that firsthand, if you're working with a client that's seasonal, there's going to be times of the year where they're going to have a lot to do and then not versus if you're looking for these long term clients, then you can't expect a long-term relationship, or an all year relationship to be a high likelihood from a seasonal client versus those who have stuff all year round. So I think those characteristics can also be helpful for folks in the service industry to be thinking about.
Aidan: Totally. And a difficult vertical based on my criteria are toys.
Jonathan: Okay, interesting.
Aidan: Very seasonal, can be quite heavy, have a pretty high average order value, you don't necessarily get a lot of repeat purchases, depending on the toy. That's not to say that you shouldn't sell toys, if that's where your capability lies. But some markets are harder than others. And one of the things you should always do is to say, "Yes, I have an advantage in this market. This is where my passion is and this is where I think I can create a great product." But you need to know is it a good market or not. Because when a great entrepreneur meets a bad market, they say the market's reputation stays intact. I think I'm paraphrasing Buffet there but I definitely believe that, you really want to check your market, especially if you've got some of those characteristics that might make life a bit more difficult.
Bob: So keeping on the same track, if you're an agency, small or big, and you're working with clients, and you want to make suggestions or recommendations, because this may be a big question in their mind is funding whether it's immediate or down the road, it seems like the agency, or the people, whoever's working with the clients can keep these things in mind when they're looking at what the client is doing now, can somebody in that spot that more on a recommendation side of things? Is there anything else that they should be looking at with their clients to feel good about or to make a solid recommendation and say, "Hey, this may be a opportunity for you now, or maybe at some point?"
Aidan: Suppose, in relation to what should an agency bear in mind when they're evaluating clients?
Bob: Yeah. When they're looking at them? Is there anything beyond because I think what you said is pretty much falls in place, they can see this stuff, and know but I was wondering if there's anything in particular that they can do to help that decision process?
Aidan: Absolutely. So the first thing that I would do is look at the vertical. And then there are a couple of different data sources that you don't have to pay for, where you can get a handle, they're reasonably cheap, actually, that we use those data sources too. That will actually give you a handle on how well the company is doing. It won't tell you revenue or anything like that. But it'll tell you some information that hints at growth and traction.
So there's a great website called charm.io and if you type the URL into Charm, it'll tell you the growth score of the company over the last 12 months, it'll tell you what channels they're using. It'll tell you how many Instagram followers that company has, what's the growth in Instagram followers, whether it's using Facebook ads effectively, when was the last Facebook ad created? So you can get a sense of what the growth of the company is without actually having to get access to the financials, and it'll also give you a hint as to what's the technology stack of that company, how sophisticated they are in marketing? Are they using Klaviyo or are they using MailChimp?
A lot of those questions that will help you understand how sophisticated is this company and does it have real traction, and you can check that before you even take a meeting. We check that before we take a meeting. So if I meet with an ecommerce business on the day that I might do a sale, and they haven't connected up their data sources to our platform yet. I'll know all that information about them before I meet them. And that's just kind of classic vetting. And it's much easier to vet an ecommerce company than it is another type of business because all the information about the ecommerce company is all online.
Jonathan: It's interesting to me drawing back from my client service experience, sometimes it's like you'll see a client with a bunch of things that are not in place. And then rightly so you can look at that from the opportunity perspective, like I can help them get all these things in place. That's true. But it's also risky, because in my experience, like some of the best clients were those who had most of their ducks in a row already and they knew what they wanted. And they were looking to an agency to implement their trusted advisor.
I think sometimes it's like they don't have anything in place, I can help that's true, have a couple of those. You also want to have clients who do know what they're doing. And this vetting process can help you figure that out.
Aidan: Big time and it's cheap, and it's quick, which is the most important thing for agencies, it's not a lot of work.
Jonathan: I like that a lot.
Bob: Now, I wanted to kind of touch a little bit more on the Woo ecosystem, the community, the space, and that might be a good way to close it out. And this might be a little bit of a conversation. You're new to the Woo space. I mean, you've quite new and I know both Jonathan and I know the pros, the cons, the good, the bad, the ugly, the quirks, the lovely parts. And it's like any community and it sounds like maybe you haven't been in open source a lot, either, which throws in another variable. What has been your experiences around entering this as a business and even getting to know the people in it, I know, the challenges can be there. But I'd like some insights on how that's been so far. And even kind of what your expectations or what you're hoping to really get out of this community.
Aidan: Sure. We've connected with a number of different communities in the ecommerce space, so Shopify, Magento, Woo. And then also companies who have decided just to build their website from scratch. So they might be using Ruby on Rails or some other platform, and they might use a payment platform like stripe, and the WooCommerce community is much closer to that last item that I mentioned. So I think, and this is very much a kind of a recent view, it's got more kind of a builder mentality to it and it's what we like the most about the Woo system is, it's not about taking a cookie cutter template and just going with it, they tend to be quite dogmatic and quite about wanting control over what they build and also over their data.
Aidan: This is a huge issue in Europe, where we actually see WooCommerce has really strong market share. And we like that they take that opinionated approach, it can create some friction and some difficulties when you're in an open source environment, when you don't have that kind of walled garden around you. But what we like about it is people have made that very deliberate choice to kind of create more control over what they hold, and also for that additional flexibility to really create a special experience for a customer. And that's why we really like dealing with them.
And while a lot of the companies that we deal with tend to be bigger and more successful in the Woo community than in other communities, because they do have that mindset. And they're willing to make that trade off. A lot of the other communities, particularly when you have what I would call kind of a cookie cutter approach to spinning up a website really quickly, it's not normally as deliberate a decision. It's just a very different mindset as an entrepreneur, and the Woo mindset is probably a bit closer to mine.
Jonathan: That's interesting, that point about deliberation, or like the proactive choice, I remember talking to someone who bought and sold businesses for a living. And that's what they did and that's the business they were in. And it was interesting to me to learn that WordPress based businesses in general bought and sold for more than businesses built on other platforms. I'm curious do you see a similar type of thing, based on what you're saying there about the deliberateness like in other words, if someone's chosen WooCommerce and they have a successful business, it was probably a deliberate choice more often than not.
Aidan: Yeah pretty much and to a lesser extent with Magento, especially when you need to start spending a lot of money on Magento is it gets bigger. But if you, to be blunt about it, if you don't pick Shopify, you normally have thought about a lot. Because it is kind of an easy, let's get up and running really quickly option, you have to be more deliberate about the trade offs and understand the trade offs more if you don't go down that route. And that tends to lead to whatever call... Entrepreneurs that are quite considerate in their decision making, which I love to back.
Jonathan: And for you from the finance perspective, that's the point that I'm drawing from that is like if they've chosen that there's different reasons that you might do that both positive and negative. But what I'm hearing from you is that, that's a positive indicator. The deliberateness in general is a positive indicator that they thought through it, and that would tend to suggest other things being thought through. And obviously, you're going to look at that and that's where the data comes in to, can the data back it up? Interesting.
Bob: That is interesting. Because it makes me think of it and this is kind of bizarre. And, of course, everybody's used in my bizarre thinking, is that it's like when you've been out partying at night, and you get on Twitter, and you say something you want to, "Why did I say that?" When you woke up, it's almost like, "I've been partying all night talking to my friends about starting this store." I went home and put it up real quick on this platform, because it was really easy. And next morning, you wake up and you got an order and you think, "What is this? Oh, my God I started a store last night, it was that quick." And that's an exaggeration. But it is that thinking it through a bit more where it's not as easy as, I'm in a spot, and I need to do something, and I can get on here and start something right away, without a lot of thought process behind it.
Jonathan: One of the things that from my time in this ecosystem, and talking to folks, there tends to be three reasons why folks have chosen WooCommerce. And it's interesting too, because we'll also see folks like who will start on other platforms then end up on Woo. And it tends to either be because of the ownership aspect, which often touches data. And anything related, we want to own it, we don't want to rent it, and or the flexibility aspect of like, we really want to create an experience that meets our customer's needs, like we want control over that or the just the broader ecosystem.
Jonathan: Like one of the things... I remember this was when WordPress started to pick up in the enterprise, one of the selling points for these big companies was we want to be one of many, it's a derisking factor when there's a larger ecosystem of folks using it. And I think Woo is one of those unintentionally well kept secrets I find in the ecommerce world, because you don't have the big marketing spend, and doesn't have the same sort of overall recognition. But once you get into it, when you're starting to look around, that's what I'm hearing from you in terms of that deliberateness. When you do your research, like turns out that owning this, and spending some more time to figure it out right. Working with some builders who can really help me do this is often a good move from a business perspective.
Aidan: Yeah, and to be honest particularly in Europe, where you need that additional flexibility, because almost everybody in Europe is selling into multiple markets. So in the US, it's a lot easier because you're normally selling into one big market, whereas in Europe, almost everybody is selling into multiple markets. And having that flexibility around being able to customize and edit for different languages and different personalities in different countries, we see will be very popular in that environment.
Bob: We're going to see some agency after this change or tagline to we'll do WooCommerce for you because you need to be deliberate, something like that. So hey we might have just created it for somebody. Well this has been fascinating. I think this gives us a lot of different from investing to bootstrapping to the different things we've gone over, some really, really good perspective I think a lot of people don't always think through or even realize so I really appreciate having you on and-
Jonathan: Bob I'm going to have to leave early to start my baby business..
Bob: Yeah. Just be deliberate about it okay.
Aidan: Baby deodorant.
Jonathan: Or baby toys like the toys one has the seasonality but if it's baby toys...
Aidan: There's no seasonality, obviously pets, babies that's the beauty. Yeah, everyone's buying all year end.
Bob: Yep, that's it. Babies and pets kind of one and the same thing..
Well, where's the best place for people to connect with you?
Aidan: Wayflyer.com is always a great place if you want to sign up and learn more about what we do, and on Twitter have a pretty small following. Hopefully, it's growing gradually. And I'm @Aidan_Corbett on Twitter as well.
Bob: Excellent. I’d like to thank our sponsors one last time, of course, our community sponsor PayPal again, thank them for their last six months of support. It's been amazing. Check them out, they have their clients covered with fraud and seller protection and a lot more with their streamlined commerce platform over at paypal.com/business/solutions.
And then of course, our two Pod Friends. If you need a point of sale for your WooCommerce shop, whether products or services check out Foo Sales for a seamless integration.
And make sure to check out Mindsize.com. Could be for yourself or for your clients for those performance audits that will closely monitor your shop and keep your store supplied with needed improvements. All great sponsors, great guests.
Again, thank you very much Aidan for yeah coming on the show.
Aidan: Thanks, Bob. Thanks, Jonathan. Great talking to you.
Bob: And everyone do go over to dothewoo.io/subscribe. You can subscribe any way you want and keep on top of everything and until the next time, Do the Woo.
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