Stop chasing products w/ Peter Kang

In this episode, Matt Mederios interviews Peter Kang, the partner, and co-founder of Barrel. The Barrel agency has been in business in NYC for about 10 years and works on a diverse range of projects, from helping startups get their businesses up and running to implementing large-scale digital solutions for corporate clients.

Listen to the show:



Peter Kang is a co-founder of the creative agency called Barrel in NYC. Barrel handles the digital strategy, digital marketing, and analytics for many businesses. They create many sites using WordPress, Shopify, and WooCommerce.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • Barrel makes the decision between WooCommerce and Shopify based on the requirements of the client. Shopify will be used for many eCommerce sites just selling products. (1:45)
  • WooCommerce can be difficult to maintain with its add-ons and plugins. (2:26)
  • Sometimes plugins for WooCommerce will quit working and you need to research why. (2:34)
  • For most eCommerce, there is value for simplicity and Shopify fits the bill. (4:28)
  • When a subscription or membership site is needed WordPress, WooCommerce seems to be the better fit for the customer. (4:38)
  • You need to careful that you aren’t giving away the “secret sauce” of your business when you are offering products. (27:20)
  • Peter believes the “secret sauce” is in the execution of the project when working with clients so you do not need to be too worried about providing too much information. (28:58)

Advantages and Challenges of having an agency in a large Metro area:

  • Finding office space and negotiating something that is affordable is a real challenge. (6:39)
  • It makes it easy to schedule face to face meetings with different clients when you have an established office space. (7:06)
  • When you run an agency in a large metro area you can easily meet people and attend Meetups in diverse areas. (7:12)
  • You can expand your network easily over time in a metro area. (7:43)
  • It is easy to schedule kickoffs and meetings with clients when you are located in a city. (8:00)
  • Remote work can be established with employees and contractors but it is not the standard for the Barrel agency. (9:43)
  • There is an advantage to interacting with your team face to face. (10:14)

Launching Products:

  • Agency Docs was a solution created as last resort.  It is a product that can produce recurring revenue. (11:27)
  • New product ideas must have some restrictions and operate on their own. You cannot compete with agency clients. (13:42)
  • Do not be afraid to launch new products and give them enough time to be successful or to fail. (17:20)
  • Product development can be very profitable especially if you launch after having the work experience for many years. (18:31)
  • When info products are done correctly, they can be very valuable. (20:55)
  • Start by offering free things and the client will come back because they can see the value. (22:58)
  • Agency Docs is extracurricular to the Barrel Agency. It is there to offer the value of streamlining processes for an agency or freelancer.  (24:05)
  • Services are a still a strong market when executed correctly. (32:00)

Gary Vaynerchuk sneakers
Agency Docs
Launch Effect
Project Flow
Jason Fried BaseCamp
Blue Collar Digital Worker
Pat Flynn
Derek Halpern
Jose Caballer

Follow Peter:
Twitter for Agency Docs
Peter Kang
Barrel on Facebook

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