blue and yellow plastic blocks

Matt Cromwell and Kim Coleman are back with their second episode of WP Product Talk!

They’re joined by Lesley Sim, of Newsletter Glue, to discuss the decision-making around building a new product. You could be at the crossroads of launching a new major feature or pivoting your whole WordPress product business. Don’t miss this episode!


[00:00:00] WP Product Talk is essentially a crazy idea that I had and invited Kim to cohost with me where we said, Honestly, we should use Twitter spaces to talk about WordPress product, business stuff and see if folks are interested in, in hearing about it.

[00:00:16] And so far I think the reception’s been pretty great. Kim, did folks reach out to you and tell you what they thought of the episode and everything? Mostly just through Twitter and, and messaging, but I think they found a lot of value in, in being able to listen to it back. So I’m glad that we’re recording and making that available to people.

[00:00:31] Yep, absolutely. Shortly afterwards Matt Madeiros from the WVU minute reached out to me and said, Hey, would you mind if we redistributed the recording for you via the WP Minute? And I said, Sure. Sounds great. So, you can also catch the recording on Twitter if you could find it through camera MRIs profiles.

[00:00:50] But you can also catch it on the WP Minute. Permanently going forward. So that’s a fun new feature of this Twitter space. Last week we talked about how to monetize free plugins or free products, and this week we’re gonna talk about should you build that new product. And when Kim and I discussed that idea I was like, Actually, I think I know the perfect guest host for this subject,

[00:01:15] I d know if Leslie feels like it’s perfect or not, but she and I had talked about this. I do wanna welcome Leslie to w Product Shop. I’m up our product. Thanks for being here. Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m glad to be here. This is, this is a topic that’s been haunting me for, for a while now. Yeah, I know we, That’s my audio, by the way.

[00:01:38] Yeah, your audio’s coming through. Great for me. Okay, great. Yeah. Let’s do some quick introductions. If you don’t know, my name is Matt Cromwell. I’m one of the co-founders of Give wp which last year was acquired by Liquid Web and we are a part of the stellar WP family of brands. And I’ve been doing WordPress for a super long time.

[00:01:57] Built a bunch of different products and Sunset, a bunch of different products, and didn’t build a bunch of other products, and that’s what we’re talking about. That’s me. Kim, can you introduce yourself? Sure thing. I’m Kim Coleman. I’m co-founder of Paid Membership Pro. We’re a a hundred percent open source WordPress membership plugin.

[00:02:13] We’ve been developing that plugin for 12 years and now we’re getting into the flash sales business with our newer plugin Sitewide Sales. Awesome. And Leslie? Yeah, I’m Leslie. I’ve, I just, well, not just, I built a plugin called Newsletter Glue that you sent email newsletters from your WordPress editor.

[00:02:32] Been doing that for two years now, and before that I was running a digital marketing agency. . Excellent. So great to have you here. I think a lot of folks know Leslie from her Twitter account where she is building in public and sharing a lot of her insights. And that’s definitely where I first learned about you and reached out.

[00:02:50] And since then we’ve been chatting and talking about all things business, and I just wanna let everyone know if you haven’t chatted with Leslie about your own business, you should because she’s got great. [00:03:00] Instincts and insights and I love the way that she’s learning as she goes. So thanks so much for being here.

[00:03:05] Excellent. Cool. So the topic is, should you build that new product, essentially work, especially in the WordPress space, we’re all entrepreneurs and we all like building stuff. And we kind of have this itch to constantly build a new thing. And there’s always an ongoing joke of like, why should I? Buy that new platform when I could just build it.

[00:03:26] Well maybe you could build it, but should you or kind of also like the Jurassic Park thing. Just because you could, doesn’t mean you should, should necessarily . So, and I think we all have some of our own stories about navigating that. That line. And that’s kind of where I wanted to start, if possible, is just tell us a little bit about a time in which you were struggling with the idea of whether or not you should build something new.

[00:03:49] And like especially if you decided not to, would love to hear a little bit of details about that. And I wanted to pass that over to Kim first, if, if you don’t mind. Oh, for sure. I’m gonna go early on. When Jason and I were just getting into WordPress development, we actually built our own. ECommerce products plugin and we never released it publicly.

[00:04:10] And this is before WooCommerce. I, Jason’s on, he, this might even be before like the j go shop time or, or right around then. And I think we hesitated with that. Releasing that was we were having children at the time. We were, doing a lot of product of agency work and we didn’t really understand.

[00:04:28] The product space. So I think we didn’t understand, how we would ever monetize something like this. The, the plug-in repository existed, in a very early form at that time. And I think we just let it go. But looking back on it, it could have been even an earlier step into serving the e-commerce, WordPress space.

[00:04:45] And it’s, it’s interesting to think back on that and wonder what could have been if we had doubled down on that instead of kind of shying. Yeah, that’s a tough one. That is a big fish. One way I pitch this question was like, tell us your, what’s the big fish that got away? Stories? Like, we all have those products.

[00:05:02] It’s like, Oh, I kind of wish I would’ve built that back then. That’s a, that being an e-commerce, that’s a big one. Very, very much. Yeah. And it did, I think, paved the way to our understanding of gateways and, and what we’ve done for subscription and gateway integration. So for that, we’re thankful for it, but at the same time, you’re like, Huh, you.

[00:05:19] Yeah, maybe we’ve been a different landscape now having more competition for the eCommerce plugin. If, if there were more early plugins that stayed the course. Yeah. Yeah. I do constantly see new eCommerce platforms cropping up in the WordPress space. It seems, it still seems really difficult though for them for, for small plugins to really get into that space.

[00:05:40] Like there. Several areas that were right for competition. Like forms for a long time were kind of like mostly just gravity forms and contact form seven. And then a bunch of new forms came in and took over. And then in eCommerce, I feel like it’s just been woo for a really long time. Or SEO is another one.

[00:05:57] Like for, it was really just all in one [00:06:00] and Yoast, but some new players have been getting in there. But on eCommerce, it really seems like it’s really challenging to get into that space against WooCommerce. . Yeah. Do, do you ever, are, are you, do you like sometimes kick yourself or not doing it, or, I don’t know.

[00:06:13] I don’t know. I think that it, it would’ve been a different, Business because broadly serving e-commerce, to me, it, it’s too many, types of products, virtual, downloadable, customization, physical products I like that we’re, even though memberships is, is a huge space also, I like that it’s more specific.

[00:06:31] . . And I, I, I use that as a guidance for, for new ideas for products. Because I, I see plugins be successful when they’re very specific. . and, we, Leslie, you can speak to this too, but pricing a WordPress product, there is a ceiling that people are willing to pay. And, for our product at the price it is, there’s products that do such a small fragment of functionality for, for your WordPress site and can be that same price just because it’s, it’s a ceiling that people are willing to pay.

[00:06:56] So, when I think about new products, I think, what is a small low support low complexity. Product and, and that’s what I’d prefer. So I think I’m glad that I’m not serving e-commerce broadly. Yeah. Yep. That makes sense. Lastly, what’s the, your big fish story? What, what one got away or, or maybe you’re in the middle of it right now.

[00:07:16] I think, I think I’m in the middle of it right now. I’m not really sure if there’s anything that’s like, I really felt that like has gotten away. I think. Sure. I’ve had like lots of random ideas over the years, but like having not really, it, it doesn’t really feel like there’s any, like, opportunity cost there.

[00:07:37] . . Yeah. Well that the right where you’re at right now and on, right on the cusp of deciding to jump into it or, or not. That’s, I think we’re going to dig, dig into that next for sure. And I’m excited to dig into that with. Real quick, I’ll say on, on my side of things, there’s several that, that we were trying to balance of of whether or not we would build or not.

[00:07:56] One of ’em was a a, a CRM or a a actually for the nonprofit space, we’d call it a drm, a donation, a donor relationship manager. We went back and forth on whether we should do that to pair nicely with gift wp. For a long time in the WordPress space, people were really saying, That, that kind of contact complexity.

[00:08:17] Just didn’t belong in WordPress. But there’s been a big crop of, of good CRMs coming up over the last couple years. Ground talk comes to mind and fluent comes to mind. There’s a couple others too. And I feel like they’re, they’re doing a good job and I, I sometimes kick myself, . I sometimes wish we really just would’ve jumped in and done it because it pairs so nicely with with give WP Yeah.

[00:08:38] And I, I think later we’ll talk a little bit about why we said no and things like that. Yeah. See why people would kind of want that all in one place. Be, and, and silly to think, it shouldn’t be long in WordPress because WordPress is capable of, being that kind of admin interface to that huge database of information.

[00:08:53] So, I, I’m a big fan of, one true source of information not having separate databases and separate things connected. [00:09:00] So, Yeah, absolutely. Like there’s a big part of me that thought I would love to offer that offer it as almost like, an extension of WordPress itself. Like it would be a self-hosted thing that was work built on WordPress, but it didn’t look like WordPress.

[00:09:14] And you could like build it into like a sub domain of your site so that it’s like. Offloading all that activity off of your main site. But I was like, as soon as we started thinking through those things, it just, the complexity really amplified. So, and then building it straight into WordPress. I, I do think the way that Groundhog and fluent have gone about it seems to be working overall, but It can get overwhelming in there too.

[00:09:37] So the other big one, honestly, is we talked a lot about jumping out of the WordPress space and building a full donation SAS platform. And honestly we, we spent about a year actually working on it more than a year actually working on it. In the end decided not to launch it. And that was probably one of the hardest decisions we ever made as a brand was actually starting to build something and, and actually falling in love with it personally and then deciding not to launch it.

[00:10:06] That was rough . And we kind of decided not to launch it multiple times. It was like let’s not do it now. And then we brought it up again and, and said, Oh, maybe now is a good time to launch it. And we decided again, nope, not gonna launch. So that, that’s been really rough. I, I’d love to dig into that, like what made you decide to not launch it and then relaunch it and then like what were the decision making factors?

[00:10:29] Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest one is just an acknowledgement that the SAS space is just so radically different than the WordPress space. In terms of, especially in terms of marketing. Like how do you actually gain users in the WordPress space, we do have this built in marketplace of, especially for freemium products that really helps accelerate businesses really quickly.

[00:10:53] Overall, I would say and in the SAS space, you don’t have that at all. You really have to essentially earn and, and buy every single customer in one form or another, whether it’s with sponsorships or with content marketing or with Paid advertising conferences is just a much, much, much higher marketing investment.

[00:11:13] And that was at the end of the day, that was the, the thing that we just felt like we could not do was pull off the big marketing investment in order to launch it effectively. So it, I it’s a pretty cool product, honestly. And it’s kind of sitting there. But We I don’t know. It’s a tough one.

[00:11:31] So cool. Other questions there?

[00:11:34] Not cool. Yeah, I, I have a question. Like, do you, so like now you know, it’s probably been, I dunno, how many years since it’s you started building that. Like, do you feel like you’ve got the marketing firepower now if you wanted to launch it, especially now with like the whole stellar WP behind your. Yeah, totally.

[00:11:52] it’s an interesting question because we definitely have more resourcing available. But the truth is we did the second time around, we did make that decision [00:12:00] not to launch together with Stellar WP Leadership. And so that was a joint. Decision the second time around. And it was really because we were just deciding that we wanted double down on the WordPress space as much as possible.

[00:12:13] And and at the end of the day also it, it is essentially another donation solution, which in many ways, I think you could say, Is a, or, or kind of a competitor itself to give wp we did try to position it as something other than give wp like, there’s other reasons why you would choose the, the SAS platform instead of the self hosted plugin version.

[00:12:35] But at the end of the day, it felt like we probably would be like weaning from our own customer base in some ways. Yeah, I can identify with that right now. We, we said yes to a new product that we’re launching soon, and there are conversations like exactly what you said, Matt. Point toward it, Cap, cannibalizing some people that would use paid memberships Pro, but we’re gonna go forward with it and just see, I think for now, and it is another WordPress product kind of in the content restrictions slash subscriptions type space.

[00:13:05] . , I’m gonna get like red flags from my team for how much I talk about this, but I was gonna say, let’s talk about this. The more, this sounds like a soft launch strategy right now. Yeah, it definitely is. It’s gonna just, put it out there and see how it’s used kind of product, but it, I think it just got too much cut too far within our team and, and we saw too much opportunity there.

[00:13:23] I can, barely briefly, it is a more direct integration between a WordPress site restriction and your stripe. Merchant account, so, . , offloading everything relating to account management, subscription management, pricing, taxes, checkout to the Stripe portals, because Stripe has come so far since paid memberships Pro started by offering front end user facing.

[00:13:48] Interfaces for profile management, for subscription management, for billing management. So I think we just kind of looked ahead and we thought, what would Stripe pursue doing in terms of WordPress integration and, and creating those connections between, WordPress user accounts and their billing information in the Stripe customer portal.

[00:14:07] So it’s called Restrict with Stripe. It’s gonna come out in depository and, and just kind of have a standalone page, but. . Like you said, we don’t know what it’s gonna mean and there’s no direct upgrade path right now between this product and paid memberships pro. So it’s interesting. I could be on this talk a year from now and, And crying.

[00:14:23] Yeah. Crying about my choices. . We’ll see. Yeah, I mean, that’s the best part is like so many lessons learned along the way, so. .

[00:14:31] Leslie, you had a question there. Not really. I wanted to kind of, I guess since we, we’ve been like, jumping in a little bit. So in, in my notes I identified like three different ways that you could build a new product. And I wanted, and I thought it’d be like really cool to, to talk about the ways and then like talk about where like, both like your and Kim’s products fall into, into that to kind of like help people get an idea.

[00:14:55] around how to think about these things. So the, the three, the three things, or the [00:15:00] three ways in which I think people can think about building new products is so okay, the three things are like, is it a new problem? Is it a new solution or is it a new audience? And you can only pick one. So for example, like you can choose a new solution to an existing problem and audience space, which I think Matt, yours falls into.

[00:15:21] Yeah. Because it’s, yeah, it’s like same, same donation problem, but like, and same audience, but then the new solution is like sa instead of for press. And then the other one is new audience, but same problem and solution. So, the example that I had there was, Yost creating a Shopify app. So it’s like the same, the same problem, right?

[00:15:43] Like SEO websites need seo and the same solution. It’s still Yost, but it’s a new audience cuz it’s not WordPress anymore, it’s on Shopify. . And then the third one is new problem in the same solution and audience space. So the example I gave here was like, Canva making websites. Now they’re like, they’re pretty much just like using Canva as the foundation and then like instead of building graphics, you, you can build websites.

[00:16:07] And it’s the same audience. It’s like people who are no coders like marketers who don’t wanna bother their dev teams or like social media people. That kind of audience, but it’s like a completely new problem. So I’m like kind of curious like, Kim, where where this restrict stripe plugin stripe into.

[00:16:25] I would, I would say this is for me, new problem in the same solution audience space. The problem being, the way that paid memberships pro works the way that most me. Subscription products work. You set up the details about the membership and the price and all the things they can access across your site, kind of within WordPress, and then you tell Stripe about it when they do checkout.

[00:16:47] So this is this is sites that want Stripe to be the end all be all. Maybe they’re already using Stripe. For other billing information for their product. Maybe they set up, straight payment buttons or invoices, and they send people too, so they’re not as into the management of it in the WordPress side.

[00:17:02] They don’t want, to use WordPress to be, to see all of their members. They’re just so embedded and committed to what their tools are in Stripe. And they don’t have like another gateway need. So we’re trying to give them a way to, A direct link between restricted single page on the WordPress site, a single post, single category of content but offload all of that to Stripe.

[00:17:21] Just all the PCI happens on strip side, all the, compliance and things happen over there. So, I don’t know. I, I would say it’s new problem. I for one, I love this separation that, or these three ways that you frame the, the, the question there, Leslie. I think that makes tons of sense. There might be other additional ways too, but these, these three fit really, really nicely overall.

[00:17:44] New solution in an existing problem. And audience based, new audience in the same problem and solution and a new problem in the same solution in an audience space. We’re gonna need to tweet that out or something. Real quick though. Actually, one thing I forgot to do, like best practice with Twitter space stuff.

[00:17:59] [00:18:00] If you have questions or whatnot, folks who are listening in, definitely feel free to reply to one of the tweets or, or do a retweet or anything. The best way though is if you could use the hashtag WP product Talk. Then that I’m watching that there’s absolutely zero activity there right now. So we, we get to own that space if we want.

[00:18:19] So hashtag WP product talk and I’ll pay attention. Matt Pritchett does have a good question. I’m gonna get to that in just a little bit. But one thing I love Leslie we, we did make one decision to, to build a new product that you might not have even heard about. We do have this free plugin called, Donation block for, for Stripe which essentially is a donation form.

[00:18:40] Just like if WP, but it’s only Stripe and it’s a, and it’s a single block. And essentially that would fit in your new problem in the same solution and audience space. So we’re still in WordPress. We’re still targeting nonprofits. We’re still doing donations, but we’re tackling it in a different way with the with the donation block.

[00:18:58] And we did that because of the the block library. It, it’s kind of a new market. It’s, I mean, it’s kind of the same market, but it’s also a new entry point that people discovery point that folks can find you. We wanted to build a one block plugin that does donations only with stripe.

[00:19:15] And it kind of, at the end of the day, serves also as a little bit of a soft up sale to give WP because the donation block can’t do all the big awesome things that give WP does. So I can, I’ll go over this quick. If anyone listening isn’t aware when you’re in the block. Click that plus button.

[00:19:30] You can bring up the browse all. If you search for a block by keyword or term that might not already exist in your in. Specific WordPress sites library. It actually proposes some plugins that are single block plugins like Matt’s talking about. Correct me if I’m wrong. That you can then install and instantly insert into your post.

[00:19:48] So it behind the scenes then I think installs the plugin. I think Lifter LMS has one also like this. And it is kind of a cool for people that use the block, their block library are searching for certain keywords. I think there’s a cool pricing table block that even shows up. So like exactly what you said, Matt, it’s like.

[00:20:05] A lead in if someone discovers that blocked and like, Oh, who are the people behind this? Yeah, exactly. I mean, we all know how powerful it is that folks can just do ad plugin and they’ll find you in their word, in their WordPress website. This is the same idea. They’re in Gutenberg and they’re like, building out their page and they think, Oh, I want to add a donation plug in here, so I’ll just.

[00:20:26] Search for donation and it pops up there. We don’t know for sure how many folks are really discovering things that way, but it, it, it’s been out for about a year and I think the last I saw were at 400 active installs of that plugin. So I’m gonna look it up, But Cool. Nice. I I kind of argue that that’s like product or like dev as marketing, though I wouldn’t really say that it’s a separate product.

[00:20:51] Because like the, the kind of like goal of that is to feed into, give WP rate. Yeah. I mean, in some ways also just in [00:21:00] terms of like product by itself, it’s also, I would say probably like the absolute quickest way to get a donation form on your website. Like in, in like less than five minutes, you, you literally, Install the block and connect to Stripe and hit publish.

[00:21:17] It’s super, super quick. So there are real product reasons for it too. Well, it almost might be considered like a, a gift WPP light in many ways. But, but yes. A little bit of product as marketing and also just kind of, We wanted to know more about the block library and, and whether or not it has a lot of potential or not.

[00:21:37] So, we’re still figuring that out.

[00:21:39] Nice. So I think it’s definitely time for us to dig in on Leslie’s pain point. Leslie, walk us through, should we, should we talk about Mets? Should we answer Matt’s question first? How and why to say no to new product? Oh no. Sorry. Matt, Bridget has had a question. Oh, Matt Bridget. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:57] Cause that was pertaining to, Yeah. How did y’all deal with any dip into employee morale after working on something for a year? Only to watch it be shelved? Yeah, I mean it definitely was a tough one. For sure. And actually Jason Adams is listening in right now and he might be even best to talk through it because it was really the development team that it put the most work into the product.

[00:22:19] And the development team that loved it and was highly interested in. I, I think overall the biggest thing that helped us was truthfully, I wanna say that, that everyone loved working for us regardless. And enjoyed our products. Both in terms of the SAS we were building and the WordPress plugin as well.

[00:22:38] Like I think we had a really good foundation of general High satisfaction in terms of being on the team and, and being involved. I think that really set the tone. And then at the end of the day, I think the only thing worse than not launching a product that you love is launching a product that you love and seeing it fail.

[00:22:58] I think that is actually. Way worse than, than not launching. So, and I, we just, the way that we talked through it a bit was really that we felt like we didn’t really have enough of the long term Marketing support to, to really make it succeed. And that made a lot of sense to the development team.

[00:23:18] They, the last thing they wanted was to build something awesome and incredible and, and just see it not actually survive in the long run. So, that’s kind of my short answer. Pritch it, if you’re, if you’re there, still would love to hear your response on your tweet. I don’t know, Kim Leslie, How’s that?

[00:23:32] It sounds pretty authentic and, and true to what what any team should have is if we all have like the respect for one another and the trust for the decision making, we can take what we learned from the project, from developing it. And it’s not to say in two years there isn’t an opportunity that presents itself that you’re on board for it.

[00:23:48] We kind of have done the same thing a lot. We use the shape up method for cycle work and there’s a lot that’s come out of cycle work that is sitting waiting for someone to, to give it the attention it needs to push it over the [00:24:00] finish line and. I think the devs just keep moving forward and, products like that, like they need a champion from all sides of the business to, move something forward.

[00:24:08] So even if, you planned on releasing it in the future and you just were waiting for someone in marketing to pick up that and start running with it, that happens within our team as well. And I think the respect and that foundation the feelings don’t get too. I’m gonna bring in Jason super quick since he is here.

[00:24:23] And he’s gonna speak to the, the, the way he managed the, the dev team. So, he requested, There we go. Jason, you should see the ability to speak now. There you are.

[00:24:34] Nope. . Looks like he accepted. There you go. You’re muted, Jason. Okay. Can you. Yeah, now we hear you. So thanks for being here, man. Yeah, of course. I had no idea. I just saw this and was like, Oh, I’ll join. So I really liked the question honestly, as, as the person who was managing the devs at the time, like it was something I thought a lot about is , how’s everybody gonna feel?

[00:24:57] And I think like the, the real answer to the question is to not act as if it’s not a problem. . If you, if you just like, move, quote your resources on, you’re like, Hey, so you’ve been working on that project for two years, and guess what? Now you’re not. But don’t worry, , like if you just moved them with no explanation that’s really demoralizing to people to just feel like, yeah, they’re shiftable like that versus, we did, we were really transparent with them.

[00:25:26] We really tried to explain like the, the business decision bring them in on why it wasn’t being launched. And and then also to like to share with them, cuz they were being shifted over to give WP and I really tried to share with them why I was really excited to have them on give WP as like, So you been working on this over here using Al and you’ve, you have brought concepts that we don’t have and give and I would love to. Your personal input and effect on this product over here. Yeah. So to first just acknowledge like, Yep, it’s probably not happening. Here’s why we’re sorry, and we totally get it.

[00:26:12] If you’re really bummed, we want to give you space to be bummed, but also we’re really excited to have you move over to GWP for these specific reasons. Yeah. And I would say that since then, the work that’s been done on Give WP has been amazing. So I think in retrospect, we definitely made the right decision because the benefit of all those devs working on Give WP has been immense.

[00:26:34] So we, we only got five more minutes. So Jason, I’m gonna kick you off. Thanks so much for, for your perspective. That was super valuable and insightful. You bet. And of course, thanks for your leadership. And Leslie we really only have like four more minutes. We ended up talking about my stuff way too much.

[00:26:51] This is terrible. Leslie, bring us in. Tell us what you’re going through right now, how you’re balancing this problem of should I launch, should I not [00:27:00] launch? Is it shiny new object syndrome? Or are you able to really answer your this in the context of your three options? Like is it a new solution or a new audience or a new problem?

[00:27:09] Tell us about it. Yeah, at the time went super quickly. I didn’t realize we’ve already gone 37 minutes in. So yeah, we are, we’re, we are currently thinking about launching a new product and it’s something that came from, I would say, Maybe not like day one, but like, I dunno, day 10 or something people were either asking for it or like I’d be talking to other founders and they’d be like, Hey, shouldn’t you just, do this other thing instead?

[00:27:33] Like, that makes so much more sense. And, and I was always kind of like intimidated by it and like, no, we need to, not get distracted and not do a hundred different things while we’re still trying to launch. The first thing But like now, it’s kind of feeling like the right time.

[00:27:48] And so, I’m kind of in the same position as ski, where like, I’m like, I don’t really wanna talk about it in public yet, but like , Yeah, so I, I, I, I’m gonna be like a little bit mysterious about the thing that we were talking about, but it does have to do with email news that in the WordPress space.

[00:28:03] So I would say like in my case, it would be new solution to an existing problem and audience space. Yeah, kind of like, kind of like you met. Building, the SA version of gwp. I think like that’s kind of, what we are thinking about and where we are looking at kind of like, sa but within the WordPress space, I think like that’s been really interesting.

[00:28:28] People like. I know that’s like slipping my head right now, but like there a bunch of, I guess even like jet pack is kind of moving towards that that kind of like, it’s like it says, but then it’s so press plugin. I think like that’s really attractive. And so like, the, the three, problem, solution, target audience, pick one thing that I came up with.

[00:28:48] Just kind of how I looked at building, like whether Yeah, like building, building new stuff. Cause I feel like you have to leverage, like if you spend time on a problem or on building a solution and talking to an audience you have that and you should leverage it. And like if you, if I were to go into, I dunno, AI or something right now.

[00:29:10] I, I think I would have to spend a whole bunch of time starting from scratch and . , if, unless, and I think like that would be really, really hard unless you wanted to get rid of the current thing that you’re working on and just like go start something completely new. But if you wanna do both of them, then I think there has to be like, Quite a lot of overlap and like, people don’t like this word, but like, synergy just to maintain your sanity and, help like that.

[00:29:36] The two kind of like, push each other forward, I think. Can you say whether this product is kind of an evolution of newsletter glue or if it would operate in, tandem or alongside I think it’s an evolution. An evolution. Cool. Yeah. And then I think when Bill, when deciding on new, new or new product, should you do this or not, is this something that you kind of have to hire and contract out?

[00:29:58] Or is it something that the [00:30:00] skills within your existing team can support developing marketing, maintaining, Or do you have to like grow the team or do you have to hire, some contractors to complete some of the. Yeah, so we, we hired a country so that, that was actually one of the reasons why I kind of dragged my feet on it for so long.

[00:30:17] It’s just like, we don’t have the, the resources to do it. We don’t have the bandwidth. And then I realized like, that’s, that’s the complete opposite of mvp, lean startup thinking. Like, I should really just. Building something and like seeing how that goes and like launching flows data and you’re like doing all that stuff.

[00:30:35] And that’s way less intimidating than Sorry, man, but like spending Yeah. Building something secretly

[00:30:40] and so like

[00:30:41] Yeah. So I guess like right now we are not really committing Anything really, like we, we don’t have to commit marketing. I, I have like a separate developer working on it. And that’s about it. And then, like I can, I can help like get it off the ground itself and if it, if it works like great then, then we have the resources.

[00:30:57] We’ll have like, hopefully some money coming in and they will have the resources and then we also have the justification to really put some marketing power behind it. Yeah. Awesome. I’m excited to watch. I hope that the timeline isn’t super long and that we’ll get to know more about what you’ve kind of teased here a little bit.

[00:31:15] That’s cool. Yeah, I hope so. Fingers crossed. Nice. One, one other thing that I also wanted to talk about was like, so for us or for me at least, like, in the time that I had this idea and like kind of. Kept thinking about it, thinking about it. Like one of the reasons why I didn’t do it was like, because there were so many unknowns like, what if it works or it doesn’t work, I’m already committed to this other like, new set of glue thing.

[00:31:38] And then I realized like, again, like there was such a dumb perspective cuz like only way to, I guess like, Figure out the unknowns is to dive in and like start executing on it and like finding answers, right? I can’t like sit there with like the a hundred question marks and just be like, Oh look, too many question marks.

[00:31:56] Guess I’m not doing it. And so like one, like I think like that was one of the light bulb moments in my head, like once it occurred to me that I was being kind of silly, sitting there with all my question mark. And then what I should actually be doing is like tackling the question mark one at a time.

[00:32:13] That kind of like, once I realized that, then I was like, Okay. Yeah. Being like, let’s just do it. And, similar to you, like if it fails then you know, it failed like question mark one. Right. And then we can always throw it away then, or like, oh wait, question, but one not to be, great. And then let’s move on and let’s echo question mark two. And like at any point, we can still throw it away, but like, . The only way we’ll know is by like sorting through and executing on each of those unknowns and like figuring out like, is this viable? Oh, yes, it’s viable except for this, Then like, go solve that.

[00:32:47] And then is it viable now? And like, yes, it’s more, it’s closer to viability, but then this, and then, and so and so. . Hmm. I like that because we kind of have been pitching this as a yes or no question. . You’re [00:33:00] saying it doesn’t have to be so polar. It could be, yes. But does it have to be the whole big thing?

[00:33:06] No, you could also pair it down and I also, Derek as hour is on and he’s giving some energy about like, just make the product, ship it. And I, I, I love that entrepreneurial spirit. And there is a sense in which sometimes. Maybe the answer isn’t just as simple yes or no. Maybe it’s like, well, let’s take a stab in the right direction first.

[00:33:25] Let’s, let’s maybe par it down to the bare minimum and, and learn something like start to answer some of those question marks with a smaller launch. Essentially, and you definitely learn a lot as you begin building and you begin trying to craft messaging for something. The pitfall I think is all of our teams.

[00:33:42] We represent such a broad skill range, so it. It’s not something we have to hire out. Like we actually have someone on our team that like, Oh yeah, you can, I can build that. Oh yeah, I can design a logo for that. Oh yeah, I can write a description of that. So I think it’s easy to roll down that path pretty quickly because, we are problem solvers, we are capable and we have, all these skills represented on our teams, but no.

[00:34:05] Absolutely. Well folks, we have hit the 46 minute mark. It’s a record. I mean, it’s only our second episode, but , . I had a feeling like talking with Leslie. I was like, we’re gonna be able to talk about this for a long time, potentially. But I feel like we do need to wrap it up. Kim, Leslie, any last thoughts?

[00:34:21] Any last suggestions? I would say finance tech. Oh, go. You go. Okay. I guess I’m going yeah, just like the, the last thought on on this, like unpacking the unknowns and moving forward step at a time. It’s like, I think especially if you already have a successful product and you’ve got like a whole team in place that can mention it can be tempting to.

[00:34:44] Build like way more than you need to in order to validate something or to answer a question. And I think like making sure you’re putting in the time to craft the, the question currently so that you come up with like small enough experiments. Just to answer that specific question, I think is really important.

[00:35:04] And that’s just like, to avoid overbuilding. Yeah, and so like I, I’m saying this like as someone who always falls into that trap, and so this is as much a reminder as it is advice to anyone listening. Yeah. Good one, Kim. Perfect. I was just gonna say, give yourself a timeframe. Let yourself, explore it.

[00:35:22] Because if anything else, like it’ll renew your the creativity in your mind. It’ll renew your interest in your own product that is succeeding and, and going smoothly for you. So I think if you can set, kind of build a fence around what you’re going to do, like Leslie said, like, make sure you’re answering the right question, pursue it for a little bit, and then reflect absolutely.

[00:35:42] I think my biggest advice would be just ship it . I, I don’t, I, I’m still very much in the, like, I think it’s better to, to, to send it out and see what happens and, and, and fail and try it again. There, there, there’s definitely reasons why we said no to certain things. But [00:36:00] I think it’s, It’s, I think overall, if I had a recommendation for everybody listening in, listening in, I would say ship it, figure it out later.

[00:36:08] And and learn as you go. That’s, that’s better than, than not shipping at the end of the day. But but there’s always reasons both sides. Everyone. Thanks so much. So great talking as always. Kim’s always bringing the great insight and expertise. Leslie, thanks so much for being here.

[00:36:22] Everybody. If you could do us a favor, just send out a tweet of the, of the talk today saying what you learned, what you liked, what you didn’t like what you loved any of that and make sure to tune in next week. Kim, who do we have next week? Next week we have Natalie Lu here from Excess Ally, and we’re gonna be talking.

[00:36:40] Kind of ownership of your product roadmap within your team. So you have all these operating units within your team, developers marketing, and you look to your customers for feedback. You have your C-Suite and your owners who owns your product Rad roadmap, and how do you collaborate on that. Awesome.

[00:36:55] I’m excited. I haven’t met Natalie myself, so I’ll, This is gonna be exciting and awesome. Thanks everybody. See you next week. We’ll be there 6:00 PM Eastern Time next week. Thanks so much. Thank you. Bye.

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