The first time I virtually met Dre was when I co-hosted the popular DradCast web show.
Following that episode, we finally met in person at PressNomics in Phoenix Arizona. The whole experience was like meeting an old pal from college all over again. He saw me from across the room, charged at me (yes I was a bit frightened) and he gave me a big bear hug. At that point I knew he was a good dude and true to form from what we see online.
Back when I was setting up for my previous Matt Report interview with him, I was excited to dig into how Brazilian Jiu-jitsu steered his success in business and his personal life. Often, we find ourselves looking for a magic bullet for running a successful business — when hard work and discipline is staring right at us.
His interview proved that and more for the young entrepreneurs out there.
Today I’m excited to learn that he’s taking on a new challenge in his life, joining WebDevStudios as VP of Operations. He’ll be sure to strengthen the management team of Brad Williams, Brian Messenlehner, and Lisa Sabin-Wilson. After leaving Sucuri back in May, we all knew it wouldn’t be too long until he found a new home, and this looks like the perfect fit.
I am very excited to be taking on the role of VP of Operations at WDS. – Dre Armeda
The Force is strong
In the below interview, Dre articulates that mergers and acqui-hiring is a natural progression for our “little” WordPress world. In fact, we recently saw this with WP Site Care acquiring Audit WP and Chris Lema joining the folks at CrowdFavorite.
If you follow this podcast, many guests and myself included, always recommend some form of partnership. If you’re designer that can’t code, team up with a developer. If you’re a boutique WordPress agency, find a larger agency or advertising firm to work with. Heck, maybe there’s another WP shop out there willing to form a stronger allegiance!
Interview with Dre Armeda, VP of Operations at WebDevStudios
Give us the elevator pitch of your new role at WDS!
I am very excited to be taking on the role of VP of Operations at WDS. In the new role, I will not only work on operational responsibilities, but I will also be involved in business development, along with talent acquisition, and sales and marketing efforts.
What new challenges and goals are you excited for that are different from your past position?
WDS is a successful and established organization. I am very excited about that, and I’m very excited to become part of the leadership team that will continue growing WDS into it’s next stage. WDS is on a wonderful trajectory and I am eager to become part of the team during such an exciting time!
It seems like the top end of WordPress enterprise agencies are starting to shake things up. 10up recently brought on John Eckman as CEO, Chris Lema announced his new role at Crowd Favorite — now you. What does this mean for the WP ecosystem in your opinion?
Natural progression really. I would be concerned if we weren’t seeing these types of changes. I think this is still very early in this growth period of business in WordPress, and naturally we’ll see more ramp up as the economy in the space continues to expand. My senses tell me that we’ll soon start to see big moves from organizations outside of the WordPress space that really escalates growth in the PressNomics if you will.
I talk to a lot of small agencies. What advice would you give them level up their game and scale to WDS standards?
Don’t go at it alone. Expanding and growing means interacting and working together. I always say that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Don’t be afraid to talk to those already there, and don’t be afraid to take chances. Being completely risk adverse won’t get you to the next level.
I know it’s still early, but what advancements in WordPress or our ecosystem in general do you think we will see as the top end agencies grow?
I think we will see more collaboration between those agencies down the road enabling mind-blowing advances in the way the world uses WordPress. It’s exciting the things these agencies are doing for large companies now, but as we continue to drive into big business, we will reach bigger successes faster if we go at it together!
Let’s look into the future: As WordPress gets easier to use with more hyper-focused “flavors” like StudioPress Rainmaker, will the solo freelancer and small shop slowly become extinct? What’s your prediction for the WP services landscape?
What I can say is 22+ percent of the internet is powered by WordPress. There will always be a market for freelancers and small shops. There are already many very well-focused solutions out there for websites, and even before the advent of developing and managing your own website there were solutions that eased the pain. My feeling is we won’t see a decline in demand anytime soon, if anything we see an increase in complimentary services not services pushing the small guys into extinction.
Lastly, what does this mean for The Dradcast? 🙂
I had the distinct pleasure of sitting next to you on a panel at WCMIA 2014. I said it then, and my take is the same. The internet would have to go extinct for the DradCast to go away. The show must go on!