Thanks to our Community Sponsor
Jake’s company 10up recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. He has successfully built an agency in the WordPress space that works with a lot of the top brands. WooCommerce has played a part in that as well, and moving forward, he is bringing eCommerce into the 10up fold more and more. Especially interesting is his work with enterprise and how WooCommerce plays into that.
A Chat with Jake
In episode 103, Jonathan and I talk with Jake about:
- Jake’s journey to his 10th year with 10up
- The highlights of growth for 10up over the last decade
- The advice from his experience to new agencies
- Suggestions for product makers in the space and how to approach agencies with their pitches
- The role WooCommerce plays in the enterprise space and challenges and strategies Jake has used
- Jake’s opinion of why WooCommerce has done so well in the market share
- Taking the same lessons we have learned in the enterprise space with WordPress and using them with WooCommerce
- His thoughts on what is standing in the way of WooCommerce’s growth in enterprise
- If Jake could wave his magic wand to support growth with WooCommerce in enterprise, what would that be?
- How Jake defines enterprise, what his company growth in numbers have looked like over the decade and how he came up with the name 10up
Connect with Jake
Bob: Hey everyone, BobWP here. And we are back with Do the Woo episode 103, where we're moving into the second century and with a lot of great guests as well. And of course, one of my illustrious co-hosts is joining me. Jonathan, how are you doing today?
Jonathan: I'm good. I'm in your top three, right?
Bob: Yeah, top three. I haven't got quite a rating system up yet, but we'll see what the criteria will be for that so...
Jonathan: And yes, I am doing very well. It's starting to get, I quite like snow. In North Idaho, we've had some decent snow this year, but I'm quite enjoying the early allusions to spring that we're seeing here. It's already a little bit warmer, so I'm doing very well.
Bob: Excellent. Well, I want to dive right into this because we have someone on that I've known for several years and I'm really looking forward to catching up with them on everything that's going on with his business.
But first, just a quick shout out to PayPal, who is our community sponsor for us. I talked about this before, but do check out their pay later options. If you have clients that are looking for getting into that space and looking at another way for conversions on their site, definitely check that out and check out their extension on woocommerce.com, the PayPal checkout extension.
Jonathan: And a quick shout out. We have a WooCommerce live payments episode airing that will have aired by the time this airs and PayPal was a contributor. They contributed some really helpful information about the value of pay later to that episode. If you didn't see that, check that out, that's something that you might find useful for some of your clients and the folks that you all serve. It was really nice to them. They put some good stuff together.
Bob: Cool. Well, I will put a link in the show notes to that for people can go check that out.
New Speaker: Well, we have someone, as I said, that has been in this space for quite some time. I've known for quite some time. We occasionally run into each other, when we were able to run into each other in the good old days, and I'm sure we'll do it again sometime in the future, but we have Jake Goldman from 10up. Hey Jake, how you doing?
Jake: Hey, good to speak to you. I'm doing well, I'm doing great.
Bob: Cool. And Jake, you've been in this space, like I said, and we're going to talk about this journey, because you just recently celebrated the 10th anniversary for 10up, which is a huge milestone. What do you do to Do the Woo? What is 10up doing right now around WooCommerce?
Jake: A bunch of things that we're doing around WooCommerce a little fair to say I think, our best adventures are still ones that are in front of us. Historically I'd say over the last few years we've used it for a good handful of projects as a add on for secondary e-commerce activities and enterprise. We haven't really in our earliest years found the customers we tend to work with seed as a primary platform, but one example would be a long time customer now of 10up, for those of you on the West Coast, you may be familiar with Boudin Bakery. They're known for their clam chowder in San Francisco. It's one of the original sourdough company. They have a completely proprietary design for ordering your meal in advance or ordering your takeout. But they always have had little one-off campaigns products, so for example, they have this bread pre-ordering system. For the holidays you could order, I don't know, a turkey shaped sourdough bread or something like that, or pumpkin shaped for Halloween, that kind of stuff.
And so for example, we have seen real interest with people that are already using WordPress as their primary CMS and adding in Woo to add that very discreet, very specific kind of functionality. We did tickets for another client in the past in the theater space, speaking of old fashion models now, things we used to do.
Another big way that we're involved in Woo is more on the tooling end. So probably one of our deepest involvements in understanding how Woo works and optimizing for Woo is our work on ElasticPress, which is our plugin, our integration for WordPress and Elasticsearch is ElasticPress.io, if you want to read about it, that's both the SaaS service homepage, but would point you to the open source plugin that we use. We very specifically as a common use case of Elasticsearch integration help to optimize that plugin.
We continue to optimize that plugin for Woo and e-commerce specifically, probably one of the most common cases in WordPress. You are not only shopping perhaps very large volumes of content, but you're doing a ton of faceting, filtering the five category medium size shirts for men in this style that traditional SQL is not even with the best caching and the best tables and the world is not really great at, at high performance and scale.
A lot of work on the Elasticsearch and ElasticPress front. And then we are starting to see some new prospects and new customers are starting business with, where we're really starting to see, so speaking of 10 years ago, its like a WordPress 10 years ago. We are starting to see this creep into some larger businesses, some enterprises into being open to it.
Jonathan: Taking this 10 years, because you've been doing this thing full time, it's been fantastic to watch 10up grow over all this period of time. You've seen a lot of change and growth in WordPress as a whole. It's hard for me to snapshot back where we were with WordPress at that point, but suffice to say there's been a lot of growth. Are there any particular highlights that stand out to you as you look at your agency journey and grow into the size and scale that you guys have? What are some of the milestones that stand out to you, if any?
Jake: Milestones in terms of for 10up specifically or?
Jonathan: Yeah, for 10up specifically as an agency growing up in this space and being at the forefront of a lot of different types of things. What are some of the things that stand out to you as you look back on 10 years?
Jake: I think most of the things that stand out to me I would say, I'm not sure if I'm going in the right direction with this, aren't necessarily about WordPress or the CMS ecosystem in particular. Some of them might be, it's hard to ignore over the last couple of years, a change in the way we think about content editing as a watershed moment in influencing how we approach our business.
But in the broadest sense, I would say certainly milestones like in year one, bringing on our first employees and starting to have payroll, certainly a major moment for any business. I would say bringing in our chief executive officer, John Eckman roughly three years in, circuit 2014 is a big moment for me to be able to think about, what does it mean to offload some of the responsibilities that maybe as a founder I'm not necessarily the best at. Thinking about the business, I would say forming more of an executive team and structuring really bonus compensation programs, where formalizing what it means to have structured objectives.
I could probably go on and on, just about those objectives and say crossing a hundred people certainly felt like a major milestone in some sense, crossing 10 million years ago in annual revenue. A year ago, right before naturally the pandemic and major economic moment, we brought on a dedicated chief financial officer. That was always a role that was one of those classic, everybody does a, CEO and I, a financial manager and an outsourced contractor on some financial stuff, all split. Quantifying that as a full time, very senior executive C-suite role recently felt like a major moment to me. For some reason in my mind I mark more of our major moments by people that came on our team, milestone is the team size.
Jonathan: Kind of the impact that has.
There's a lot of ways you can go with this, no right or wrong answers I think. With Woo in particular, I've been seeing a lot more of new agencies coming into the space, and folks recognizing this opportunities and service. In broad strokes, what advice, if any, would you have for folks who are getting into the service space as you look back on the 10 years of lessons learned and the winds and the difficulties, any broad stroke advice for the new agencies starting up?
Jake: Yeah. I could probably give a lot of broad strokes of advice.
Jonathan: Probably write a book.
Jake: A few things that always jump out to me, and again, some of this is philosophical depending on where you want to take your business. I'm always an advocate for people, A silly as it sounds, really spending the time getting the assistance that they need to, to understand their real numbers. Really on a lot of people, especially that ooch over from a freelance where you're covering yourself into building a business, I think understandably wing it, but I think understanding what is the actual cost of my first payroll, what do I actually need to achieve to be able to be comfortable doing that? I think some people are surprised when they actually put pencil to paper and surprised in a good way. And then maybe it's less difficult than you think it is to make that leap.
Jonathan: That's a great point.
Jake: I would also say I'm a big advocate and again, this is my style of business, but I'm a big advocate for not letting your self think of supply and demand as a zero sum game, which is to say the wrong way to build a business, which can be how, especially if you're risk adverse, how you naturally think of it is I wait until I have an opportunity, then I go find the people to fulfill that opportunity.
I'm a big advocate for always be hiring, always be searching. Even if you don't think you have the team in place to do that work at that moment, keep looking for what those next opportunities are. Even if you don't have an immediate hiring need, start having those conversations. You might find people that are worth making the sacrifice for it, they don't come around along all the time. And you don't know when you're going to need that help and you don't want to start that process only once you need it. If I had to pick two pieces of advice, spend the time and energy to understand the numbers and the finance underlying your business, and always be searching for those in the market for that next talent, that next opportunity. Don't wait until you have the need.
Jonathan: I like those advices because I agree wholeheartedly and they're also hard to do, drawing from my experience in the agency world and talking to other agency folks. It's that feast or famine tension makes a lot of folks, it's easy to be risk averse and you end up missing opportunities when you're like, man, I wish I'd hired that person. We need them now.
Jake: Nothing about building a business that's easy.
Jonathan: Well, congratulations. It should go without saying. You guys have done fantastic work on a lot of fronts. 10 years is not trivial in the agency world, so congratulations.
Jake: Thank you.
Bob: Actually I think that BobWP became, it was 10 years last year at this time, so I was just thinking, we are similar. We're just one year off, and you've grown quite a bit more than BobWP has.
Jake: I suspect if we looked out there in the ecosystem, there's a lot of companies that are somewhere in that seven to 12 or 13 years-old. It really was if you look back I'd say in that seven to 12 year range, that really was I think the, a big watershed time in this space for companies to start emerging and to really be able to build a business and their lives.
Bob: I noticed that there was a lot of "ten year" around that time. And there's also a lot of people that got into WordPress initially. I talk about 2007 and that's another lump around that time, so I think it was that late into 2010 that lot started. One of the things, and this is something that occurred to me and I'm not sure if you have a real straight answer for it, but I talked to a lot of product makers in this space. What is your suggestion to them? They create this product and they, I shouldn't probably say this, but they salivate think it, oh, it'd be great if 10up knew about my product. And then you get all these emails. Everybody's getting these emails all the time. Can you sit down, jump on a demo on Zoom, I'd like you to show a product, and it's like, okay, I got 20 of these today. I'd spend my entire life doing that.
Are there any suggestions you could give to those product makers? I think we'd probably go down the route of just building relationships over time and getting into the space, but anything that comes to mind that you might tell them to consider before just sitting down and thinking this is going to be easy. I'm just going to pop this and they're going to love it?
Jake: I'm not sure, I'm cautious that I have too much good advice to give. I'm always a little bit allergic to people that are in the product businesses that declare themselves the experts in service and agency business. I'm likewise reluctant to sit here and pretend I can opine as an expert on how to build a product business, half into the absent products, but they're largely been organic extensions. What I might offer in terms of the way that we think about releases is I do think products that are born out of a first interested customer and a first real use case tend to be better products than ones we dream up in our garage. I'd say whether it's a free open source solution we've made that has taken off and really gotten mass adoption or even things like elastic press from the products that we do offer at 10up there wasn't, we sat around and dreamed up what might the market want or what might be, what might be cool or what would I want?
In fact, a couple of times I would say we took that direction. They were not successful initiatives. They were all born. A out of this is a real thing we are seeing repeated need and interest for. And maybe it's a luxury we have as a services business, but almost all of them came out of, here's a first customer. We got to do the work anyways, we're doing it for them. How do we think about doing it in a way that is a little bit more abstracted, put] some of our own investment into it, to build in a way where we can experiment it with being a standardized offering. And it gives you a real world trial. It gives you some income helping integrate it into your first customer. I guess I'm rambling but long story short.
Jonathan: If I'm understanding the question right, Bob, and correct me if not, part of it is product companies will rightly see agencies, especially depending on the type of product fit, but they'll rightly see agencies as a key, Oh, we got to get in with them. If they like the product, then they're going to recommend it to their clients, et cetera. And that can quickly be a waste of right. But sometimes it can be a really good fit. Products can empower them more opportunities on the service side in terms of integrations and customizations.
I'd be curious because I get the same thing. I'll have product folks reach out to me in my role at WooCommerce and say, hey, we want to be on the marketplace, or we wanted this. We want to get in front of more folks or we want to connect with your agency partners. And from your perspective as someone who does work with products that you bring into the clients that you serve, any guidance to offer to the would be startups that would love to have 10up in their list of companies that endorse their product or recommend it to clients.
Jake: I'm trying to think of useful advice. I would say you are looking for people that need help integrating your plugins. And you were looking for customers that want integrate your plugins. Would say if you have adopters, if you have people that are actively looking for help and support integrating your solutions, the most honest answer here is completely saying, I've got a customer who needs help integrating their first product. That's a pretty easy thing for us to say this is, there's a real use of our time on this case, a way to get to know your product. And it's a way to actually build excitement about it.
This sounds almost silly or Pollyanna to say, but do a good job of explaining an SEO marketing in plain terms, what your product does. The reality is we don't sit around and think, usually sit around just in the abstract thinking about what products our customers might want to buy or use. What we're doing is we're encountering problems, business issues, specific requests that customers have. And then we are doing our research to figure out what is the best solution for them. That's not going to come out of someone like cold pitching us or a sales marketing to us, it's going to come out of us doing our research in the market.
Jonathan: No, I like that. Because product folks can be in that position of being able to find customers who are like, yes, I want this and I need this. And if they focus on building that demand and then go to an agency with, hey, I've got actual opportunities here. That's the, okay, well, we can talk about this. It's not just hypothetical, so I like that.
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Thanks for PayPal for being a community sponsor at Do the Woo. And now back the conversation.
Bob: A bit on the enterprise side of things. I've been in a couple of conversations lately and it's been with some of the larger hosting companies and there's been some, I think there was a couple of agencies in there and they were going back on the same discussion, convincing clients to use WooCommerce on enterprise sites. Where does that fall in with 10up? Do you have challenges? Do you have strategies? How about when that big enterprise site comes up and you're going to say to them, yeah, WooCommerce is really the choice you should do. What has been your experiences around that? And is that changing over time?
Jake: Yeah, I spoke to it a little bit earlier. I think they're very open-minded to the extent that they're already sold on WordPress, on where e-commerce is a secondary activity or is a secondary priority. I think they're entirely open-minded to our recommendation about what the right integration is. I think as a primary site feature, the reality is, is that most of the enterprise market, I think is already pretty opinionated about what solution they need to use.
There are definitely agencies out there, some massive agencies like the Accentures of the world that I would say, people that are in Gardner and stuff that I would say drive influence over what are the platforms to use and select. I think that there is sometimes a particularly an enterprise business that can be a bit of a fallacy or a bad assumption about how much we, as services business influence the technology decision-making. At medium SMB scale, absolutely. To be a little bit obnoxious here, it gets where doesn't really understand web tech at all. They come to you and they just say, I have a problem, how do you solve it? At enterprise, big business, I've got a CTO, I've got a VP of technology and engineering at my business. They're not coming to you as a large enterprise saying we have no idea what e-comm is.
Jonathan: It's almost like a job security factor at that level, if they have those types of people, it's their job to know something and.
Jake: So I make the distinction between there are enterprises for whom e-commerce is their business in the extreme, like a Walmart or the less extreme, like a Macy's or a Game Stop, I don't know, I wonder why that's on the mind. There are those businesses where e-commerce is their business. I'll be honest, there is really no world where they don't come to you. They don't come to an agency, frankly. Sometimes you can identify their agency from the starting point of these are the platforms I'm considering.
These are the integrations I'm considering. Again, for the very high level of, I would say the very elite select few where you can influence a Gardner, or you could influence the major influencers on enterprise decision-making. You can drive that decision making process. Sorry to say that as I'd like to think as influential as we are, we are not at the size where we are convincing the largest institutions in the world what e-commerce platform. There should be those you're not likely to have much influence, that you have to really be prepared to adapt and adjust to the options that they're considering.
Some space that I think we're starting to emerge where you'll start to see same, I think largely slow burn approach WordPress has taken, I think credit to the folks like, automatic, Jonathan, that are trying to slow burn in this space, but are maybe starting to consider in the same way that maybe WordPress was for non publishing, non media, CMS are starting to say, we use WordPress. This thing looks pretty interesting. People are using it. I think you're starting to see at the edges some enterprise, it's not the biggest ones using e-commerce, but some significant enterprises that have a significant e-commerce requirement start to be very open to considering WooCommerce in their journey of what platforms we can choose. And that's where we can have influence hopefully make a good pitch for why they should lean into that decision making.
There's a whole other set of enterprises where again, it's not their e-commerce businesses, they're businesses that are probably fundamentally looking for a CMS solution that may also happen to have a little bit of e-commerce built into the site. And those I think are very ripe for influence because they're going to turn to their technology partners, they regularly listening to their technology partners, and you have an opportunity to say, hey, you're using WordPress already, consider this.
Jonathan: I have some questions about WooCommerce for you. And it's totally fine if it's a very obvious answer, but I don't like to assume. When you think about WooCommerce success, we've seen a lot of growth in particular, in the past few years and particularly this last year, what do you think are the keys to WooCommerce? Why has WooCommerce done as well as it has in terms of just overall growth in the market? I think according to BuiltWith its like 25% of stores are running on WooCommerce.
Jake: I feel like I honestly I probably should ask you that question. I feel like I'm probably the least informed person in this group to answer that question. My hunch is that it is largely on the backbone of WordPress's increasing market share and reputation of having a good CMS solution.
Jonathan: That's what I'd go with as well, the connection to WordPress. So if that's the case and as that's the case, there is starting to be some change about that. There's growth there, there's a momentum built around it. But yet if you take that connection to WordPress, do you think we can extrapolate the same reasons why WordPress has grown? Or is there enough of a difference with e-commerce as an industry? A part of the question is, is it the same playbook?
And I'm starting to wonder, well there's clearly things that are different about this e-commerce world and its complexity, especially when you get to the enterprise space. I'm more curious than anything. For you as someone who's been in WordPress really well and has seen that growth and you're seeing what's happening and will, do we just take the same lessons that we've learned from WordPress in terms of enterprise adoption or do we think about it differently?
Jake: I think it depends what space you're targeting as your customer market. I think if what you're targeting is again, the SMB, I do think you can succeed on a similar strategy of it's a relatively low friction or specifically low cost option to get your foot in the door, and you can ladder up as your needs grow as a platform. I think many of those same lessons may apply to SMB. I do think there's a... Where it gets very different, I think is people that already have a business that are looking for an e-commerce solution, which is a bit different than somebody looking for the thing that probably indirectly generates their revenue, which is the CMS, unless you're in media and publishing, figure marketing site. And then there's the third wheel, which is enterprise and I do think there's a, I'm probably most informed in that conversation if I'm being honest.
I think in enterprise there's, I'll try to be relatively concise and answer this in two ways. One is, I do think the journey is different for the buyers. If what you're trying to break into is the category of businesses that think of themselves as e-commerce first, it is a different journey and a different sales approach. I guess the only secondary point I would make is I think there's a lot of opportunity in WordPress as a CMS that it hasn't tapped into because for all of WordPress's successes, it still is limited in the enterprise DMS space, and I think some of the same ways, WordPress has never really, for a lot of complicated reasons, ranging from open source software in decentralized development to its community ethos, is almost under optimized on the opportunity you can get in the enterprise space because it also doesn't really follow that.
Jonathan: Let's take WooCommerce in the enterprise for a moment. When you think about that, and that's where you're generally putting more of your effort, time and energy, and thinking about, what do you see, or what are some of the main obstacles to growth and adoption there? If you've taken the lessons learned from WordPress and your sort of sense of things, what do you feel like, what's standing in the way right now of WooCommerce's growth in the enterprise?
Jake: I think there are a few things that spring to my mind. The first one, which is a very hard thing to solve for is in enterprise this many years into e-commerce, there are already major entrenched players that are seen as defacto choices for retail or pick up company of software, whether it's good or bad software, frankly they're already are the go-tos for here are the platforms you want to use. The other reason is when you're talking about very big retail and very big online commerce, Woo is heavily under-indexed on the enterprise integrations that are required. The storefront, I know there are extensions for some of this and there are some plugins of trying to address it, but it's still the case that at that very, relatively small amount of customers compared to the mass market of just, a storefront kind of a thing.
You need an integration for inventory management, for fulfillment, for accounting systems. It's a very different level of game that somebody that has retail stores, has massive brand, has different presence in terms of how deep you need your storefront to go into all of the platforms you use to run your business. It's asking like why, the metaphor that comes to my mind is why, FreshBooks is not going to be a replacement for PeopleSoft, it's one of the enterprise systems. It's the closest metaphor I can think of. There's just a very different level of spend optimization that somewhere between, it's not the focus of our attention in Woo and on the strategy, and somewhere between it just takes just urge to do that work, and there's not an obvious customer asking for it.
Jonathan: To me it feels a little bit like a chicken and egg problem. Which makes me curious about, when that's the case, you can often invest in one side or the other. And because it's WordPress and WooCommerce by extension, no pun intended, there's so much that you can, there's not a limit to being able to create high quality extensions, in terms of being it's open source, you can create these things. I remember a couple years back, I was doing research on SaaS integrations and it was a very easy ask, when you talk to some of these softwares as a service, these folks offering these integrations, they're like, Oh yeah, that's important to us. They agree to the importance, but there was this, well, where do you start? If you're going to build these high quality integrations.
And I wonder what that looks like, because it feels to me it is a bit of that, someone has to start somewhere and sometimes it's clients that say, we want this and we want this, and then integration gets built. What I was trying to go at a while back was, what can we do to encourage more of these software, these platforms themselves, the integration, the things that want to be integrated in to make those investments, to recognize the benefit they can have.
Jake: It goes right back to your, it's almost like a, at scale at a larger scale version of the question we started with earlier in this conversation, which is if you go to them in the abstract, it's hard to think how you organize that. If you go to them and say, I have a large customer who's interested in integrating your fulfillment software, how do we work together to get this customer on board? Both of our systems, that's a lot more attractive as a proposition. I do think it's a chicken and egg problem. I think it's like WordPress itself in many ways, although just one versus slowly slow burn itself up to the scale, there is a challenge of who is your target market?
I would also say none of the enterprise software that I'm talking about that I see come up in the big e-commerce, none of it fills the hole that Woo feels, or like a Shopify fills in the consumer market. They are hyper-focused as their entire model on how do they sell market position, build their brand around enterprise mass scale e-commerce. One of the things I think WordPress can suffer from is when you try and you try and be all things to all people at some level you end up being not a terribly good fit to anyone.
Jonathan: Last question from me on this vein of thinking, if you could just wave a wand and you got, so thinking about your ambitions to do more in the enterprise space, especially like with e-commerce and Woo, if you could just wave a wand and get support from WooCommerce. If there are things that we could just suddenly do to support that and the growth of Woo and the enterprise, generally, what would that look like? What types of things could WooCommerce do to maybe make that chicken and egg, to get something started?
Jake: Good question. Going by the seat of my pants here, but I guess a couple of things that would spring to my mind, one is I do think if it wasn't such an effort, I do think thinking about how you might differentiate a Woo brand targeted at enterprise and hyper specifically market to that segment would be effective. I don't know if that's, you can get cheesy here, Woo enterprise edition, I don't know what you call it, but something that very specifically, not as a side page on the WooCommerce site, but a very specific campaign.
A landing page on a site that tells the same story that these demand ware type platforms talk about, which is integration into your inventory fulfillment and here are how big brains are using it. Take one of those platforms doing it really well in terms of how they tell an enterprise story. Have a Woo version of that story that feels like a bit like the separate edition, the enterprise oriented implementation, even if really all it is Woo with a bunch of very pre-vetted extensions and a different sales front. I think that's one thing that could really help move the needle forward on selling into enterprise.
If we're talking about magic wands, the other thing would be find, even if you have to subsidize them, find a couple of flagship customers that you can point to as doing an extremely high scale and get them to adopt them. Probably not saying anything surprising here, there's nothing like a good story and case study someone you, a business you respect, choosing the platform and succeeding with it to start to move opinion.
Bob: Well, I have three simpler questions to close out here. This is the wind down, first we start ease into it, go into the big enterprise stuff. Actually this really just came to mind because I was asking somebody the other day, we were talking about enterprise and I said, define enterprise. I said, that's a word that's thrown around a lot. And he said, really big. And I waited and I want to ask you, define enterprise for, I think everybody thinks really big, but is there really more to it than just really big?
Jake: That's a great question. I'll go a little bit meta first and say, I've actually taken to using the phrase enterprise less. When I speak that might sound surprising, so I think when we're in a meeting like this, I use that term so I think we all have a notion of what it means. It's like the classic, Supreme court and pornography, I know it when I see it. And I think we all know what we're talking about, even if we can't define it. But I actually have taken myself to just saying things like larger scale customers or big business or big organizations, instead of saying enterprise, because if you want to get technical and hairsplitting, it is a fuzzy term. I think very big is not actually a bad description for it. I think the thing that characterizes enterprise for you, which is a natural side effect of getting very big, is a significant number of compartmentalized divisions under one roof.
I think of it as I think very practically for me, it's like, there's a CTO office, there's a CMO office, there are multiple divisions working on different products. Bureaucracy might be too strong of a word to use for it, but the notion that you're not talking to a unified tight little unit, again, without using little, just a tight unit with very clear structure and singular decision-making, command and control, budget approval, but you are navigating an entity that has multiple offices, probably multiple budget arms. Multiple stakeholders with different influence on the decision making process is what in my mind what characterizes it.
Bob: Now, I want to close out in lieu of your 10 year anniversary because I always go back, 10 year anniversaries are cool. Everybody's got to celebrate 10 year anniversary. The first year, just to give people a perspective of 10up, the first year, how many employees have, and how many do you have today?
Jake: At some point I lost actual count of the first year exact number, but it was somewhere between six and eight by the end of our first year. As we entered our 10th year, we were, now you just don't count precisely, somewhere in the neighborhood of 220 to 230 plus a good number of regular contractors amongst that team.
Bob: And last, maybe you've told this story and I've never heard it. Where did 10up come from?
Jake: 10up comes from the idea of the last 10% being the hardest on a project. So there's a, probably preaching to the choir, there's a notion that the classic designer or engineer, whomever producer, it says somethings like the classic it's 90% done. I think we all know that have been in projects. It is often for reasons that are psychological. So even the hardest part for the end, and the final approvals you have to get, sign-offs, that last 10% is the hardest. I think the last 10% is what separates the good from the great. In terms of team, the mediocre from the stellar, in terms of craftsmanship so...
Jonathan: That's a much cooler answer than, I never asked. My first thought was the, I always think like Mario, so you get the one up and the 10 of them. And the next one was, people talk about one up on each other and then it'll turn up, they're just that much better. That's the last 10%, I like that. That's fantastic.
Bob: I would have never guessed.
Jake: I'm not particularly religious about names or a bunch of ideas when I started the company that I threw around and I will tell you, which name ended up being one that was selected from a bunch of ideas including the last variations on the last 10% was a bit of what tornado is available? What name is not already taken my agency, wasn't searchable without finding... I'm a big proponent of those being the big practical indexing factors over preciousness about a meaningful...
Bob: Alrighty. Well, enterprise, this was fun talking enterprise hearing more about that. I think that for a lot of people they hear about it, but they're still, maybe that's their dream, their anticipation to have enterprise clients, but this is a good step. Where's the best place for people to connect with you on the web?
Jake: So a one-to-one, that's probably Twitter, that's just @jakemgold. If you want to know generally what we're up to from a business perspective, honestly, 10up.com on our blog is the place to get the best pulse on what I'm thinking about, what our priorities are.
Bob: Excellent. Well, everyone, thanks for tuning in again, thank you to PayPal, our community sponsor.
And I just also want to give a little heads up. We started our WooCommerce builder community events, and from that has sprung the WooCommerce builder event Podcast, which is basically just repurposing it. But if you're into Podcasts rather than watching the event, you'll be able to sign up for that feed. So otherwise, just keeping in tune here to hear all the stuff we have going on here. And I just like to close out by thanking you very much, Jake. It was a pleasure to see you again. I can't wait to see you again in person, but I do appreciate you joining us.
Jake: My pleasure. Also looking forward to that.
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