Lemon Squeezy: Taking on ecommerce & WordPress

“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in” a famous line from Godfather Part III and a recurring theme I’ve noticed for those of who have used WordPress for a while.

No matter how much we might moan about the shortcomings of WordPress, it’s still pretty darn powerful. The core of WordPress is getting better, read: Gutenberg and Full Site Editing. Some sharp edges, yes, but software is software — it will iterate into something great.

Maybe you left WordPress a few years ago because of Gutenberg, but I bet you second guessed yourself when that Netlify CMS lacked a user and permissions system, custom post types, and an easy way to install a contact form.

Oh, and what about ecommerce? Yeah…well…what about it?! WooCommerce, still the sleeping giant, is about to get some lemon squeezed right in the eye.

JR Farr returns to the Matt Report to talk about his latest product, Lemon Squeezy. A NOT Easy Digital Downloads alternative that’s looking to take it’s share of the e-commerce market. Learn more about the collective and the other products JR is a part of over at https://makelemonade.wtf/

Episode transcription

[00:00:00] Matt: Welcome back to the Matt report podcast, special guest today, a man that I met God, I don’t know if I had my notes in front of me. If I was a professional podcast or years ago at PressNomics spoiler alert, there was some stuff in the news about pages. And maybe we’ll talk a little bit about that today, Jr.

[00:00:17] Jr. Welcome to the program. 

[00:00:20] JR: I know, man. Thanks for having me again. When I 

[00:00:22] Matt: interviewed you last time, I think it was right on the heels of you selling your company and you’re back building another company. You are the co-founder of a man. I was just trying to think of, of a great word. An Avengers team.

[00:00:37] You certainly don’t want to be like, I dunno, the guardians of the galaxy co-founder and CEO of make lemonade recently launched something called lemon squeezy that we’ll talk about today. Yeah. How many, well, actually, let me, before we get in. Was it two years ago. I remember taking a phone call from you.

[00:00:57] You were asking me about starting a podcast. You started a podcast. Oftentimes I would broadcast that podcast onto my big screen TV. And watch you drink old fashions talking about startups. What 

[00:01:10] JR: happened? Yeah, no, that’s a good question. So, like, So me and you go way back, right? Especially in the WordPress space.

[00:01:17] Mojo was, was a good ride. Built a marketplace up, went and did the executive life at endurance for a long time, and then wanting to go on my own again. And so I got way into SAS customer attention because of what we were doing at Bluehost and things like that. Anyway, I was trying to get into that space and trying to find lightening in a bottle like I did with WordPress so quickly.

[00:01:40] Right. It’s so fast. It’s like, oh yeah, I can do this again. And starting a company again is hard. And so, we tried to get into that space and it just kind of fell flat. And so yeah, I did a podcast for it around it, and we broke down a lot of different SAS companies, onboarding, offboarding, things like that.

[00:01:56] But yeah, it was a good, it was fun though. I felt like I learned a lot, especially. Podcasting and being able to articulate things with words right. A lot better. So yeah, it was a great, it was a great production. Yeah. Thanks man. It was actually believe it or not. It was in my basement. Oh, wow. There you go.

[00:02:11] Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:02:12] Matt: Awesome. What’s the. In that world, let’s say the SAS world that you learned. I mean, you came from WordPress through WordPress, into endurance, arguably the largest corporation that touches, well, I don’t know if it’s the largest, but a large corporation that touches WordPress. Then you go in and try to do like, what many of us might listen to this week in startups, tech crunch.

[00:02:34] And we’re like, Hey SAS, world. What’s the biggest, what’s the biggest difference that you found from that world versus the WordPress world? 

[00:02:44] JR: I mean, obviously the community is way different, right? Cause because there’s so many different sounds. So you got, you got enterprise, mid market, small market SMBs got bootstrap, versus most people in the WordPress space are bootstrap.

[00:02:54] So that was like, everyone was on like some of a playing field back in the day. I would say the [00:03:00] end of where I come from, everything has been bootstrapped, so I, I don’t get me wrong. I definitely had opportunities. I still do to, to, to go raise like most of us, I guess, but I just it’s in my roots, right. To like, just build it and self-fund it and grow it.

[00:03:14] And so I would say that’s like a big thing, like when you’re getting into that space, Man, you gotta, you going up some big boys that have a lot of funding, even if they are in the SMB or mid-market or enterprise, right? Like you kind of get there’s just, the playing field is so much bigger, 

[00:03:28] Matt: so it might be, this might be a softball question.

[00:03:31] I mean, I kinda know what it is cause I know that you’re going to have a bias question, especially now that you’ve launched a lemon squeezy and a side note. It’s not just an easy digital download rev. Okay. Yeah, we’ve got a lot more that we’re going to cover about lemon squeezy in a moment, but I’ve been having a lot of folks on my podcast recently in the no-code space, I’ve been fascinated with the no code space, no comes low-code space.

[00:03:53] For me it sort of like brings that same energy back when I first discovered not even WordPress, but Drupal when I could do things with Drupal as like a non-developer with CCK and views. And we’re talking almost 20 years ago being like, wow, I can code this. Knowing this PHP thing. It’s interesting that, Well, here’s the question.

[00:04:14] What if you were to start, and I know this is, this is the softball moment. If you were to start a little bit more of a technical company today, maybe not WordPress, would you start with a WordPress framework or would you combine a couple of no-code apps that you really love to do something else? 

[00:04:29] JR: Well, I think luckily for me, like the teams that I have along the rides with me, they’re technical enough that I don’t have to, but I definitely think I would.

[00:04:39] I honestly would maybe pick something else. I built mojo on WordPress back then, and that was before WooCommerce and before, easy to download. So like it was all custom and just the limitations sometimes in, around the database and queries and stuff. It’s, it’s not built for that. So. Maybe it’s a marketing site it’s different, but when it comes to a full blown app, I just think there’s way better options out 

[00:05:02] there.

[00:05:03] Matt: Yeah. So there, there are. So it just seems like there’s a no-code app coming online every single day to try to like compete against air table and Google sheets and collide in bubble. Right. And I’m looking at it. Like I was looking at Pais builders rising three years ago in the WordPress space. I’m just like, damn man, you all going to survive this?

[00:05:21] Or there’s this like, The, survival of the fittest and that’s just the market plays out. Yup. Yup. How did you get, so the, the parent company make lemonade, how did you form this team? Because I’ve had four out of five of you on my podcast. 

[00:05:40] JR: So yeah, the founding team there, they’re the co-founders, there’s four of us and it was.

[00:05:45] There was a, quite a bit of work. It was, it was probably at least a year and a half in the making of just chatting and what, what are you working on? What, what are you building and what do you want to do? And so real quick, just talking about, let me just name the, if people don’t know who we are.

[00:05:58] So make lemonade was the [00:06:00] idea of it is when we were all talking before we were kind of in the thick of 2020, where it was just. Shit, right. It was just a lot of sour lemons kind of getting thrown out everyone. Right. All of us were getting hit with this. And so that’s kind of where it was born. It was like, well, let’s take these lemons and let’s make some lemonade, and so we kind of, like you said, formed this quartet or a vendor group, or we call it a collective, which is Orman Clark. Yeah. It was known for donkey was also the, kind of the guy that set the tone on theme forest years ago. And then Jason’s jeweler theme garden, press 75. And Gilbert who was a nivo slider for the OGs and spin up WP delicious brains and myself.

[00:06:42] So yeah, we kind of all came together and we kind of started to really get excited about this, make lemonade idea. Let’s bring all of our brands together. Let’s bring all of our things we have together, and let’s really see if we can build a collective and launch some pretty kick ass products. And the first one is the biggest one that we’re really, I guess, leaning most of our resources into is, is limits.

[00:07:03] Matt: Talk to me about how you kept these conversations going. I think that’s one of the most unique things about WordPress is you have communities, like, let’s say post post status and stuff like that. But I think that it goes even beyond that, where you see folks at a word camp, you see what they’re doing in our space and you just it’s so easy to reach out.

[00:07:21] Was it like that for you? Or are you guys all in like a mastermind and connected in some other way? Like who sparked the first conversation? 

[00:07:27] JR: It was actually so Jason and Orman and Chris Malter were actually having conversations as well. And then Chris Malter and Jason were actually building a product called rivet, which was a therefore, a outside of WordPress as well.

[00:07:41] Kind of, it was, you could take your YouTube channel and build a site from it. I don’t know if you guys ever saw that, but it’s really cool. And I actually ping them and said, Hey guys, what are you doing with this? Like, can I help in any way? It looks like. Maybe I could help with the marketing side, stuff like that.

[00:07:54] And so that kind of like kicked off a conversation and an Orman got back involved and then it was actually, the four of us were chatting and then eventually Gilbert kinda got brought up and that’s kinda how we kicked things off. But yeah, like it’s funny because it goes back to where, I mean, Jason and I, we met similar to you.

[00:08:11] I mean, how me and you did, which was years ago at a conference. I think it was the first PressNomics, which was forever ago. And so, yeah, we’ve just, it’s all about relationships, right. And I would say that I really pushed hard to get everybody, like, I think that’s one of my strengths is like being a connector and like making, getting, allowing things to connect and, and kind of glued together.

[00:08:34] And I would, I like to think that I really helped be influential in getting us all to finally do what we’re going to do. Even bringing Gilbert over full-time he was at delicious brains building. They just launched spin up WP. So. We had to convince him to come over. And so that wasn’t some easy task, right.

[00:08:51] He was happy with where he was at and, but it’s, it’s, it’s worked out and I think we’ve got a pretty solid team. We’ve actually brought in a [00:09:00] few more makers into the collective which I can briefly mention, which is Mike McAllister, James Kemp, Patrick Posner. And there’s a few guys from the old Moto team that are actually helping with us too.

[00:09:12] So got a nice little squad. That’s working on stuff together. 

[00:09:18] Matt: Lemon squeezy. The, the H one is sell digital products. That easy-peasy way e-commerce space, digital download space, massive untapped, I think in the WordPress world. But before we talk about that, I want to talk about all of these products that are listed on the make lemonade.wtf.

[00:09:37] That’s the URL. If you’re listening to this, make lemonade.wtf, it’ll be in the show notes. I’m on I’m on the webpage right now, iconic app. I remember watching that launch and thinking that’s pretty awesome. Positive notes, dunked, premium pixels, kick link, a whole bunch of stuff. And this new digital S download product.

[00:09:56] How do you keep focus? Is that the magic of a collective, like everyone gets their own little, territory to cover, break that down for me. 

[00:10:04] JR: Yeah. So it ebbs and flows, right? So there’s, I mean, to be fair, some of these products were existing. So dunked obviously was Orman’s he brought that into the collective.

[00:10:12] And so as we grow that, as a team that’s, that kind of works its way into the collective iconic was new. But to be totally honest right 

[00:10:20] Matt: now, 

[00:10:23] JR: The focus thing has been brought up. It’s it’s, it’s been a subjective. Like what do we do? Let’s be realistic. We are bootstrapped. There’s only so many of us are we being silly by pulling ourselves to sin across everything.

[00:10:36] And so, we continue to maintain the products that we have launched. So dunked and iconic and things, but right now the focus is a hundred percent limits with you for the team 

[00:10:44] Matt: I interviewed. Well, before I get there, let me ask you this question on the collective. Is there a way, like when you look at that and somebody’s like, Hey man, I would love to be part of this team is like the application process.

[00:10:58] Is your resume, an existing product you’ve already built and you bring that to the collective to show it off. And how do I get my podcast in there? No, I’m just kidding. How do I like when you bring it there? Like, is that the process, is that how you look for a new member of the collective? 

[00:11:13] JR: So it’s actually, I take a really good question.

[00:11:15] I didn’t even think about that before we came on, but that is a lot of it. I mean, we do have some. I’ve kind of put together how people come into the collective. There, there is a process to it. That’s not the only way. So obviously if your skillset is what kind of we’re looking for at the moment, we’ll bring in there’s different ways that we can kind of bring you in the collective where you can to participate in all the products with us, as well as if you have your own product, then that gets the power of the collective, right?

[00:11:42] Like, I mean, look at premium pixel, for example, that’s a really old brand. I mean, as you can, there’s a sh there’s tons of people on an email list, right. That just get featured into the rest of our products. But like iconic app was very similar. That’s James McDonald. Who’s you don’t know him. He’s an amazing icon [00:12:00] design.

[00:12:01] And he wanted to do an icon set. And so the team kind of got together with him and he did all the icons and then we built everything else. And so, and it leverages lemon squeezy to sell it. So that was like a really, really cool way to bring someone in, to work on just an individual product with us. And then the other team members like Mike and James and Patrick, they’re helping us limit squeezy, but they’re also gonna get the benefit of the rest of the collective too.

[00:12:24] So. It’s it, it can go either way. It just really depends on the person. Yeah. 

[00:12:31] Matt: I interviewed Matt Mullenweg earlier this year. And I think that, well, maybe not, it might not be obvious to everyone and maybe some of you out there are thinking, well, we’ve already got woo commerce. We don’t need anything else who could survive an e-commerce play in this space up against the giant that is Rue commerce and alternatives like Shopify.

[00:12:54] I know that. And I am by no means trying to give you a veteran and proven CEO slash entrepreneur, any advice, but I know that it’s either going to take a boatload of money to compete or just a bad-ass product that is just hitting it on all cylinders. I think this is, this is not really a good question.

[00:13:13] This is me just like pontificating this on a soap box. Like I think this is gonna be a bad-ass product. I think this is going to be the home run side of it. S inside my gut says, you probably feel the same way, because if you just execute on an amazing product, you can compete and you can win. Look at all the foreign plugins we have.

[00:13:33] Right, right, right. Look at all of the similar stuff we have that’s out there. This is, just because the giants out there doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build it. Your thoughts. 

[00:13:43] JR: Yeah, no, I it’s a really good, and obviously we’ve got to be realistic, right? Like we are going up against some 800 pound gorillas.

[00:13:49] Which is fine. I’ve done it before. But I think where lemon squeezy was different, is it is, it is a SAS first. Right. So we, we kind of have this unique ability to package in a lot of features that as much as I love WordPress, like, you do have to put together like a decent amount of plugins sometimes for something to work that costs money, that constant that’s maintenance, that’s conflicts, that’s, maybe opening yourself up to some security issues depending on what kind of plugins you’re getting.

[00:14:19] If it’s not from a reliable source. So. I think that’s a unique thing that we do have. And then I think the team that’s building the lemon squeezy plugin, right. Even though it’s V1 and it’s not extremely powerful at the moment, but it gives you all the power lemon squeezy from day one, which I think is super cool.

[00:14:37] It’s a totally different way of thinking about building it. And we can just totally, supercharge your WordPress site with lemon squeezy. So I think we’re coming at it from a different angle. Which is exciting for me and it doesn’t kind of pin us into one thing. But you’re right. I mean, we’re going to have to just iterate fast and quickly on this thing.

[00:14:57] So, when we first came out, it’s interesting, now that we’re getting in the [00:15:00] WordPress space, when we first came out, it was looked at us, it will be looked at like a, like a Gumroad alternative. Right. It was just, that was kind of the feature set, but we’re releasing some pretty big things around our website.

[00:15:11] And so that’s kind of positioning us into a different market, the WordPress space. Now we’re getting positioned in there against easel downloads. But I will say one last thing about digital products is all of us come from that space. And it’s, it’s complicated. Yes, there’s WooCommerce, but it’s primarily, it’s meant for physical stuff.

[00:15:27] It does do digital stuff, but there’s a lot to think about, right? Like security and how those files are delivered and software verges. I mean, even just the, the auto updates and. You know how you deliver the license keys. Like there’s a lot of stuff to think about. And then that ties way into support. How do you support the product?

[00:15:47] And so I think we’ve got a good, like view, a very good focus view on like how to tackle. 

[00:15:53] Matt: How do you manage, who gets to say, who gets the say in which features to add into a product like this? Because the Gumroad alternative, they easy digital downloads, alternative, the lightweight version of WooCommerce.

[00:16:08] Again, as somebody who hasn’t had the same product successes, you, but have been in companies that have had products assess, I don’t mind those comparisons because it’s just easy for customers to understand, but then there’s like that 20%. Month after month or a year, quarter after quarter, you’re like, okay, but we still need to keep edging our way to a differentiator, a different value prop.

[00:16:30] So who gets this, who gets to lead that with this product? 

[00:16:36] JR: Man? That’s a good question. So right now I think we’ve done a decent job with the four of us of allowing us to. Really give our say, I think when it comes down to like, if, so, let’s just talk about design first for a second. Like how it looks that’s we all know that that’s Orman Clark.

[00:16:51] I mean, the guy. Seriously brilliant when it comes to sign. So we’re only going to push it so far. And then I think it’s pretty, like, it’s just like unwritten code that like Orman’s going to make that decision, but then I think when it comes to like marketing and positioning, I think a lot of people look at me for that, and just, how do we position this business and this product, or.

[00:17:10] And so I think it’s just, it really falls in more of a skillset, right. Gilbert’s CTO when it comes to anything technical related in the product, Gilbert’s probably going to have the final say in that. And so, yeah, so that’s kinda how we’ve handled it so far. 

[00:17:23] Matt: Yeah. When I, when I did talk to Matt as part of what I was getting at before is I told him that I still think woo commerce is even though it is the giant, it’s still a sleeping giant.

[00:17:35] Like I don’t feel, I don’t feel like automatic has really started to tap the potential of, I agree how flexible WooCommerce is going to be. And I think that, you, you said before, this is a SAS first product. We’re launching this. I, these are my words, not exactly yours, but we’re launching SAS because we can just control it a whole heck of a lot easier than if it was just a pure plugin.

[00:17:57] There’s was a pure plugin. We get to do the security patches, [00:18:00] the updates, the UI updates, people start falling off. They haven’t updated. It’s a nightmare when you’re trying to make a cohesive experience. And I think no code. Heck even Jetpack is and tools like yours. Aren’t going to condition the users over time, where once we really wanted our plugin and own it and have it in our WordPress site to be like ass, screw it, just make it work.

[00:18:27] Like it’s all a plugin. And I just want access, just give it to me because I think we’re all just fed up with it, to that up until this point. I don’t know if that’s good or bad for the longterm success of WordPress, because that’s what us. But your 

[00:18:40] JR: thoughts? Well, this is so when I first sat down with the guys and we started talking about lemon squeezy, and this is what we always go back to.

[00:18:46] This is like, if this is the punchline, so, and this is going to sound kind of silly, but this is how I literally described to the team. And this is what we, we say. Say, we say, whenever we start talking about the product, we’re like space. Space mountain, which sounds weird. Right? So that ride in Disneyland.

[00:19:03] So if you were to go to that ride to picture it in your head, you, you walk up, you see the entrance and everything, and you’re walking through it. It’s really a whole experience from the moment you see it and you walk through it, right? It’s all dark. And then you go through the ride and it’s pitch black and there’s lights, and there’s all kinds of things, but you can feel it as you’re going through it.

[00:19:18] Right. But you don’t really know how this is all happening, but think about it for a second. If everybody flipped the light. That’d be rods and wires and it, probably bolts and dust and everything looking at right. And that’s kind of the experience today still after all these years, right? It’s like, get your hosting, get your domain name, get your plugins, get your you’re like putting together all these things with the lights on.

[00:19:41] And so in our mind is like easy peasy, lemon, squeezy. Let’s just fast forward this thing a little bit and create a space, mountain experience where you just hop on the ride and you’re just enjoying the experience. And you’re just, you’re just there to have fun and have a good time, or you’re just there to make money or you’re just there to sell this product or this widget or whatever it is you don’t have to think.

[00:20:00] And so that’s kind of how. Are building the product. So I will say from a feature standpoint, we’ve got a long way to go, right? Like right now you can get on there, you can sell anything, subscriptions memberships. We’re also the merchant of record. So you don’t even have to worry about setting up payment processors or anything like that.

[00:20:17] It’s all taken care of. And so I think as we add more features like email marketing and the builder. Themes and stuff like that. I think people are going to really start to be like, oh, wow. Like this is just all here with a click of a button. So 

[00:20:31] Matt: you don’t have to comment on my crazy conspiracy theory, but I’ll ask it and we can cut this guy, a segment out of the show if you want.

[00:20:41] I really think. Th this concept the space mountain rides, fantastic metaphor for all of this stuff is also how jet pack is attempting to win in the long run. And I’m of the mindset that I don’t know, two years from now, you’ll go [00:21:00] to wordpress.org and it’ll say, download WordPress with Jeff.

[00:21:05] Download free WordPress open source version of WordPress, whatever sounds uglier for you to say, I don’t want that. I want this because this is the best way to experience WordPress’s with Japan. And I think that that’s the, the model that, that Jetpack will ultimately win with as much as we all are like, oh, not on our lawn, this thing here, but I think that that is how WordPress wins.

[00:21:32] Are automatic wins in that space. Thoughts on, on that WordPress experience is jet pack in the front row seat for a wind like that. 

[00:21:42] JR: Oh man, I have so many thoughts. I mean, I’ll say, I’ll say a couple of things on it. It’s really interesting to think about that from Matt’s perspective because Matt always said he wants to get to 50% of the internet uses work.

[00:21:58] But I don’t know what he’s thought of after that. I don’t know what happens when he hits that goal. Right? Is he. Does does there’s IPO’s there’s, then what happens like that? What starts to take shape for this business? And so I think me, and you’ve always seen it from afar, right? You, you look at the way, they kind of their copies changing on jet pack and the way they kind of position the way it should feel like the, like you said, it, like, this is the way you should experience WordPress.

[00:22:24] I actually think they say it on the jetpacks website. So I think we’ve always thought that was going to happen. It’s just when and if, and, and I don’t know if. If it’s going to be triggered more around what happens with Matt and automatic, right. With the IPO or when it hits the 50%, or is he waiting for something like that for, in order to have to do it at that time?

[00:22:47] Yeah. 

[00:22:48] Matt: A friend of the show, I don’t know if you know him, Jordan gall, he started cart hook, and now he’s on onto another e-commerce product called rally.io, which is a. I hope I’m getting this right. It’s either, either says it’s a decoupled or headless e-commerce experience. Okay. He was building a product.

[00:23:08] I think it started off as cart abandonment or cart recovery. Hence the cart hook name, built it in Shopify as playground and eventually. What I’ll say is crushed by Shopify. He’s not a happy camper. Really? Yeah. He’s been a lot more vocal about it. There’s a great business insider article, which I’ll try to remember to link up to it here in the show notes.

[00:23:30] And I’m going to have him on the show actually next week to kind of talk about a little bit of that stuff, your thoughts on playing in somebody else’s playground. Is that something that ever comes up or you’re like, do you look at this as it’s? Okay. This is why we’re building it as. We start with WordPress.

[00:23:44] We build up there, we springboard to full on just come to our website signup. 

[00:23:50] JR: Exactly. And even right now, I mean, even before we came into WordPress, right. Lemon squeezy has been live. It’s been launched. We have paying customers that are just coming to us from their own ways. [00:24:00] Right. Not WordPress. So we already have that going.

[00:24:03] I look at WordPress is like our biggest integration, right. Or biggest extension. And it’s been interesting because ever since we’ve launched the API, we have like, is it stamp, stamp MADEC is that the shoot? I think it’s the CMS. There’s other people. Are you building plugins around other platforms? So, obviously we’ve been talking about maybe an integration with or the Shopify has people have wanted to do Shopify plugins for lemon squeezy.

[00:24:30] So I think we’ll continue down this path. Just as a way for distribution, that’s the way I’m looking at it. Not so much a risk to the platform. Cause right now we’re like you said, it’s SAS and we can kind of control our destiny, which is 

[00:24:42] Matt: nice. Just too. Recheck myself, dear listener, it’s rally on.com, not rally.io, rally.io, creator coin economy.

[00:24:50] A rally on.com is Jordan’s next venture. You’ll hear him probably coming up on the next episode. Cool. The, the, the future for a WordPress in full site editing. I mean, is this anything that. It comes up on your on your calls at all with the team. Like when you talk about the space mountain ride, like, is this, does this matter to you like full site editing, Gutenberg, Ella mentor, and like this massive whirlwind of stuff happening?

[00:25:25] Does it matter to you or 

[00:25:26] JR: not? Not so much. Yes. Yes it does. I think that, cause I think the approach we want to take. And this is what I mentioned about the plugin, right? Lemon squeezies plugin today, you can connect your store and then you, you, you really experienced lemon squeezy over lemon squeezy, but then you use your WordPress website to kind of display it, right?

[00:25:44] So it’s not. We would like to maybe look at bringing some more stuff. So we’re not having to force people to come over to us. Right. If they don’t want to. And I think that’s how we’re thinking about it is how do we, do we look at some lemon squeezy powered themes? Probably not. There’s an element or ad-ons we’ve discussed.

[00:26:01] So yeah, we’re absolutely thinking about how do we make it, but it’s more in the sense of like that customer, right? Like, What are they experiencing and how do we make this nice for them? Right. Rather than forcing them to come to lemon squeezy, if they don’t want to, that’s really how we think about it.

[00:26:15] But I think in terms of the plugin to start, I think we’re gonna focus more on features that people really want to leverage, like restrict content has. The really exciting one is migration tools for the other popular providers. Those are the things that we’re working on now. And then from there, we’ll kind of see what the, what people want.

[00:26:35] So 

[00:26:36] Matt: I don’t have any segments on the show, but if I did have one, it might be like, read mean WP Tavern comments, like this read mean tweets like celebrities. Yeah. When this was announced and launched, which was what? Two days ago, right? The 10th. 

[00:26:50] JR: Yeah, the plugin. Yeah. 

[00:26:51] Matt: How was the reaction good or bad, otherwise, anything surprised you both positively negatively that you’d like to talk about that you saw from [00:27:00] Twitter comments or anything like that?

[00:27:02] JR: So it’s, it’s, it’s interesting, right? Because for the most part, I would say it’s 99% excitement. Everyone’s super excited. Mostly probably because the team, I think they see the team, they’re like, oh wow. I had no idea that this is who’s behind this. So that’s been really cool. And, but there definitely is like coming back into the WordPress space after being here for so long.

[00:27:23] And I did take a break for a while coming back into it. I did forget, like, there’s definitely people that are. If they don’t know us, so they don’t know where we come from. Right. There’s definitely been like. Well, what is this? And who are these guys and who did, how, how could they possibly think they could do this?

[00:27:40] And so there’s been a few of those and I just kind of laugh it off, but I think we’ll eventually, hopefully win them over. But if not, there’s always a Pepsi and a Coke and you know what I mean? And I don’t mind being a Pepsi, like if, if there’s already a Coke, I have no problem with that.

[00:27:54] And so we’re just giving people options. So 

[00:27:56] Matt: lemon, squeezy.com. I’m looking at the pricing starts at $9 a month. No free. 

[00:28:02] JR: Yeah. Yeah. And I can talk about that. Yeah. So we, so we did, we did have a free plan. We did the transaction model where you would pay high transaction fees on a free plan. And it, we had, oh man, like tens of thousands of people literally using the platform.

[00:28:18] It was a lot. And so we just, and it’s great, but like, you need a ton of volume for that model to really play itself out and time. And so being bootstrapped, it’s like, let’s just focus on building a product that people want to pay for. Let’s make everything SAS. And there was, we had to kind of roll back and there was, there’s been a lot of angry people about that.

[00:28:39] And so we’re trying to find the best pricing. And so this is what’s working at the moment. I think, as we add new features, maybe maybe prices go up maybe, and there’s a new plan that gets introduced. I don’t know. But we’re the right now, I think we’ve found a good price that, because what we did actually is we looked at.

[00:28:55] We did look at, if I was going to do a digital download store or sell something digital using WooCommerce or easy digital downloads, we wanted to make lemon squeezy. So not for a race to the bottom, but just, we were trying to be realistic with the features that we do offer right at the moment. And so, so that’s kind of where we’re settling.

[00:29:14] It seems to be working on, like I said, outside of WordPress, we’ve had plenty of sign-ups and so we’re doing well, but I’m really excited to see this get into the WordPress ecosystem and just, just offer something fresh and new and that’s that wasn’t built, Forever ago. So yeah, 

[00:29:32] Matt: $9 a month is still pretty darn affordable.

[00:29:35] It’s only 90 bucks for the year, sands a transaction fee for selling, which you’re going to get no matter where you go. Unless you only accepted check by mail, which you’re still going to be paying a fee on that too. Did you find, and again, like with with the prefix, that $9 is still pretty, pretty affordable, did you find a better.

[00:29:54] More qualified type of customer from moving away from free. It’s always like the most demanding [00:30:00] customers want things for free. And then as soon as they start to pay them, they’re a little bit better. 

[00:30:04] JR: Yeah. Like, yeah, exactly. And our support totally changed too. Like it was actually just, like a lot of bottom feeding, right.

[00:30:11] Kind of things going on. And the support is actually way higher now, but it’s really good. Like questions, like people are in a trial or they have questions about this or that, or we’re getting way more feedback on the product and like, well, if you guys had this, I would sign up or, you know what I mean?

[00:30:26] Like. Yeah, you’re right. It’s attracted the right people. And then we’re, you know what I mean? Like we’re, it’s like the Henry Ford thing, right? It’s like, if I listen to my customer, just build a faster horse, but now I feel like we’re listening to the customers that are really willing to pay and they are paying, and it’s cool to see.

[00:30:42] Yeah, man. 

[00:30:42] Matt: I mean, you say that there’s not a lot of features or, you feel like you might have not have as many features as the rest. It’s. I mean, what you look like, you get a nice feature set here. 

[00:30:50] JR: Well, yeah, so I guess so let me actually rephrase that. That’s a good. From a, from an e-commerce perspective, selling things.

[00:30:57] We, I think we’re, we’re really good. We do a ton of stuff. And especially for someone that’s just like, doesn’t want to have to worry about anything with the merchant of record. I think it’s like super slick to sign up for lemon squeezy and just, you can just start selling where we’re really gonna double down on next.

[00:31:14] The editing publishing and editing experience where you can actually have your own storefront and website with themes, Orman Clark and Jason and Mike, they’re all going to have some pretty amazing themes that you can be able to use this lemon squeezy. And then Gilbert’s been working on a full blown, like e-commerce email marketing e-commerce solution.

[00:31:32] So think about filtering and segmentation around your user base. Right? Whether they’re. Coming in our landing page subscribing to a newsletter, or if they’ve purchased a product or multiple products where you’re going to be able to filter a segment, send emails, take actions, depending on who they are, what they are, what they bought, so that’s the kind of stuff that I think we’re moving into next, but you’re right from a e-commerce perspective, I think that, you can do pretty much everything except for selling online course at the moment.

[00:32:01] Yeah, that’s the only real feature left, 

[00:32:03] Matt: Semi hot seat question. The usual suspects aside in the software licensing key plugin space software licensing. I don’t really see that come up on other e-commerce platforms. So prominently is this the easiest way to kind of break into. What I’ll say is the available customer base of WordPress.

[00:32:27] JR: Oh, that’s funny. 

[00:32:28] Matt: Really it could be that I don’t, I don’t, I’m not looking for software licensing on other platforms, but maybe other platforms are doing it and I just don’t see it. I just see this as a very WordPress thing. Ah, you know what? I didn’t 

[00:32:40] JR: even think about it that way. I think, you know why it’s maybe so important to us?

[00:32:43] Cause maybe where we come. Maybe, because we are so heavy from the WordPress space. It’s like what we’re used to, but I will say like people that sell, tailwind components and things like that, they want to, they want to have licensing stuff done. So it’s, it’s applicable other places, but it’s funny you [00:33:00] say it that way, because I guess it could look like.

[00:33:02] I think a lot of it was just influenced where we came from. Yeah. 

[00:33:05] Matt: So who man, a lemon squeezy.com. Check it out, starting at nine bucks a month. I mean, it looks pretty fantastic to me. Any, I mean, I was about to say any black Friday deals, but how cheaper, cheaper could you get for nine bucks? 

[00:33:17] JR: Yeah, I think we’re going to avoid it.

[00:33:19] Actually. I think we’re going to try to, I don’t know. Not do that. See how it goes. Cool, man. But 

[00:33:26] Matt: yeah. Jr. Far, anything else that you’d like to leave the audience with anywhere they should go to? Oh, 

[00:33:33] JR: man. Just, yeah, I really appreciate you bringing them mat. I try to listen to your show and everything that you do.

[00:33:40] And I think you’re, you’re, you’re definitely the best at this. So, it’s exciting to to, to have to be back in the WordPress space and Be with our community again, and maybe went over a few new hearts that don’t know us yet. So, but now thanks again, man. And Yeah, definitely follow along.

[00:33:56] Matt: Absolutely everybody else. Everybody listening, check out lemon, squeezy.com, check out everything Jr. And his team are doing. If you want your weekly dose of WordPress news in five minutes or less, go to the WP minute.com. Join the private discord $79 for the year. You get to get your hand in the weekly WordPress news.

[00:34:14] Get shout outs, help shape the news part of the team. Hashtag link squad. You know who you are. All right. We’ll catch you in the next episode.


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