Brad Williams on running WebDevStudios and Pluginize products

Nearly three years ago, I sat down with Brad Williams, CEO of WebDevStudios, to talk about his journey in the WordPress business world. A lot has changed since our last discussion, and today he’s here to review where his business has grown and the lessons he’s been able to learn.

Season 3 Episode 2 – Brad Williams

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On larger WordPress projects & teams

Over the years, his team has been lucky enough to work on much larger projects with well-known enterprise clients. What we learn from this discussion is: client expectations change dramatically.

Even with a team of 40, Brad still faces size issues in the “big business” world. There are agencies that are thousands of people strong and are preferred over “small” agency like his — let alone a boutique agency like mine or yours.

That said, it’s not about the size of the agency that Brad’s after, it’s about being the best and putting out a great product. I can’t agree enough. As an agency owner, I can get “jealous” of my peers that are constantly hiring and growing their team, but that doesn’t help the clients that I serve now. Like Brad, I care about putting out the best possible product and support that I can for my customer, not how big my company retreat is.

Focus on how you can do great with what you have.

On launching products

Brad’s team has been publishing a mix of free and premium plugins for years, but never had a centralized brand to house them under — until now.

The launch of Pluginize not only places the plugins under one umbrella, but also kickstarts the formation of an entire product team at WebDevStudios. That team is lead by John Hawkins accompanied by 2 – 3 developers backing up their initiatives.

Brad has recognized the struggles of running an agency and a product business at the same and has dedicated this team to just the success of products. As he mentions in the episode, it’s nearly impossible to split the time and dedication of improving product with the same group of people who also serve clients — a dedicated team will solve that.

A lesson on forming a product team

Support is the cornerstone of a successful product. It’s important that everyone that touches the product, in any shape or form, is exposed to supporting it. That means everyone from marketing to sales, should be aware of customer requests and desires surrounding the product experience.

The more your team understands product from the customer’s eyes, the better off your product will be in the long run.

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2 responses to “Brad Williams on running WebDevStudios and Pluginize products”

  1. Lisa B Snyder Avatar
    Lisa B Snyder

    Brad’s interview in 2013 was one of the first Matt Report episodes I listened to several years ago. I had met Brad from attending the WordPress Philly meetup group and my WordCamp Philly committee participation.

    I had smuggled my iphone into the pre-op area before my disc surgery and listened to the interview to calm my thoughts while waiting to be taken in for surgery.

    I was so worried about my family the future of my fledgling business but listening to the conversation about how Brad was building up WebDevStudios gave me the mindset that I could make my business work out during my recovery time.

    My takeaway from the Pluginize interview: The foundation set over the last few years has paid off for WebDevStudios by creating the right work flow for large client engagements.

    1. Lisa, I’m glad this episode and Brad’s story has inspired you! I hope you’re doing well and recovering from surgery, and look forward to hearing more success stories from your business.

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