One of the things we're trying to do at WooThemes is to engage with the WordPress community. We're definitely planning the yearly WooTrip around a WordCamp, we have incentives to encourage ninjas to attend & speak at WordCamps, and we're even trying to send ninjas to nearby meetups and share the WooThemes & WordPress love. The past couple days I was lucky enough to visit San Francisco, attend a couple meetups, meet local developers, and take in the culture.
Meet Your Users
Perhaps the best part of the trip was the opportunity to meet your users. I got to meet all sorts of users: aspiring users, novice users, and truly loyal and savvy users. In two meetups in San Francisco I met more WooCommerce users than I have running the AppletonWP meetup group.
It was amazing to meet all of the vastly different levels of users and really dig into their problems. It makes you question your assumptions when you get to hear from the users.
- I met users who didn't know what WordPress is (how did they even find out about this meetup!?)
- I met users who bought bad themes from ThemeForest (ones that incorrectly include functionality in them) and it's too late to warm them. 🙁
- I met a user who bought one of our products and thought that we wanted money to customize the it (which we don't do).
- I met users who love each and every one of our products (yay!)
- I met users who are using WooCommerce to handle all of the payments for their custom web app (awesome!).
Even though I thought we were doing a great job explaining who we are and what we do it's not obvious to everyone (how did someone think we make money off of customizations?). And there are certain plugins, themes, and features that I thought were obvious but those too had some confusion surrounding them (how did someone not understand how variable products work so he used a third part plugin to do what WooCommerce does natively?). With this knowledge I hope we can make our products even more intuitive and easier to use.
In addition to meeting tons of users, San Francisco being the hotspot of technology startups I also met a couple people we can partner with.
- I met someone who's interested in creating a plugin to insert ads into your theme to make the site owner a bit of money
- I met someone who audits FedEx shipping charges and saves users 20% of their fees
Meet The Team
I also got to meet the team, something I love doing and is incredibly hard to do with a remote team. I was able to work with Brent Shepherd, one of our extension developers, for a few days and we discussed every aspect of his product, vision, and company.
I was also able to have a beer with Magnus, one of the co founders of WooThemes, who happened to be in town on vacation. Even though it was a short get together it was great to chat. And how does he seem even taller than last time!?
There's obviously a tech scene here which gives us access to meeting our users, potential partners, and meeting other people on the team. All these things are really important. For a little 4 day trip I think it was a good idea for WooThemes to set this up. I hope we can keep connecting with our users and grow our products organically.