I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I sat down with the founder of Flywheel.
I did my usual routine of background checks, blog post readings, and Twitter stream scanning. I knew going into the interview that he did A LOT. I was most interested in how he launched all of these “valley-like” startups from the midwest. But when I got to know Dusty’s story is the hard work he put into all of his efforts. Simple and down to earth efforts of building something great.
Ship it, talk to customers, polish it, rinse and repeat. All of this in the super competitive WordPress hosting space. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!
Interview with Dusty Davidson
The WordPress website hosting industry is a crowded space. However, Dusty Davidson and his team are positioning Flywheel as a software company providing managed WordPress website hosting for designers.
That has been a very important approach to the companies success thus far. Make a beautiful product for people that instill the same values with their own work. WordPress is already a passionate space — appealing to designers is just icing on the cake!
Takeaway messages from Matt’s conversation with Dusty:
- To validate your business idea, chat directly with the people who have expressed inbound interest in your service. Don’t avoid calling just because it will take an extended period of time.
- Do the things that do not scale to understand the customer’s pain points.
- Stay focused on what you do best, your customer and your product to build your business.
- Large markets have room for many participants that are differentiating themselves and capturing passionate users.
- Respect for your competition breeds innovation which benefits the end user.
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Times Correspond to Video
0:30 Why another WP Managed host
5:15 How do you build a 10X better host
9:00 What was it like to get your 1st 100 clients?
11:30 How did you reach out to the 1st dozen designers?
13:30 How are you marketing to designers/developers so they will refer clients?
16:00 What is the current roadblock to your growth?
21:00 Advice to plugin developers for pricing to properly account for support?
24:00 Wish for plugin developers to do
26:00 Has Flywheel recently automated some processes? How to roll out features
28:00 Did you have a backup plan/MVP/Pivot point?
32:00 What next for Flywheel
33:30 What else do you do