Pippin Williamson on selling his plugins to Awesome Motive

Today’s a bittersweet moment in WordPress business land with the announcement of Awesome Motive acquiring Sandhills Development suite of plugins including Easy Digital Downloads, AffiliateWP, and more.

I’m honored to call Pippin my friend who has helped me “grow up” in the WordPress community. I’m happy for him, and sad that he’s retiring from the WordPress world…for now.

I had a chance to sit down with him earlier this morning to hash out all the feels around this news. I hope you enjoy the episode, please share it with others!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey,
[00:00:01] Matt: everybody. Welcome back to a special episode of the Matt report, breaking news almost. And not this one’s not erring on the WP minute, but we broke a lot of news on the WP men. They go to the WP minute.com. If you want your weekly dose of five minute WordPress news delivered in your inbox every week, uh, this episode is sponsored by easy support videos, easy support videos, support your WordPress users right inside the WordPress admin.
[00:00:23] Using videos. Check out easy support. Dot com why am I doing this in line with the episode? Because we have a special guest today, Pippin, Williamson, Pippin. Welcome to the program. Thank you, Matt.
[00:00:35] Pippin: It’s great to be back.
[00:00:37] Matt: I woke up writing my weekly script for the WP minute and I was getting all of the acquisition news in there.
[00:00:43] I was getting all of the liquid web and learn dash and what WooCommerce was up to and I was ready to send it to my executive producer and I looked on Twitter one last time. And there you were saying that Sandhills was acquired. My awesome
[00:00:59] Pippin: motive. Sorry to screw up your, uh, your scheduling plan.
[00:01:04] Matt: I had a donut in my mouth and I’m trying to type in like, oh my God, what’s happening.
[00:01:08] I was real newsroom, uh, breaking moments here. First of all. Congratulations. Thank you. Um, at the top of this episode, what I want people to do is an, a link this in the show notes is please. For the love of all that is holy. If there’s anything you do with what I say here at the med report, read the blog post on Sandhills dev.com that Pippin wrote about the breakdown, phenomenal piece, one of your best, the best that you have written, uh, you know, uh, to, to bookend this, this, this book, this chapter of your life.
[00:01:49] Uh, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s actually an emotional thing for me. I don’t have a question straight away. It’s an emotional thing for me. I feel like I’ve been part of this journey with you. Have you felt that same vibe from others in the WordPress?
[00:02:02] Pippin: You know this entire morning, um, when we publish the, the announcement that all of the WordPress products were joining automotive and that after a transition period that I’m retiring from WordPress, um, and moving onto some other things, uh, it has been pretty much a constant stream of messages from.
[00:02:25] Friends colleagues, people that we’ve met once or twice at word camps and, and so many friends. And, um, from over the years, just, you know, saying hi, saying congrats, mentioning, you know, something about, you know, what we did together. You know, there’s so much. People that we have worked with over the years and that I’ve had the amazing opportunity to get to know.
[00:02:51] Um, so yeah, it was it’s, it’s been a pretty wild ride and a journey and hearing how many different people, um, have been impacted by the work that we’ve done over the last 10 years is an amazing way to, um, you know, maybe conclude this part of it.
[00:03:14] Matt: They’re in my, in the WP minute, uh, script that I wrote today, I said that you are your Sandhills and you specifically are either one of the most respected.
[00:03:30] Product companies in the WordPress space, if not the most respected, uh, WordPress plugin company in the space. There’s yeah. There’s such a deep connection that I think a lot of people share this. It’s what makes WordPress special, I guess, is because we all get, so the reason why we’re all so emotional about it, or at least I know I am is because we all get so connected with one another.
[00:03:51] We want to see each other when we want to see the software do well. I’m retiring from work. I was, I just ran to grab a coffee before we hit record. And I was thinking about some of the questions that I was going to ask you. This is probably a pretty blunt question to ask, but there’s the side balconies of the world.
[00:04:13] And then there’s you and me, right? How do you frame yourself to be able to say, okay, I’m retiring with WordPress from WordPress. I don’t even think the word retire is. In vocabulary. What do you think makes the entrepreneur your yourself as an entrepreneur versus SIADH maybe so different and has that played a role into making this decision?
[00:04:40] In other words, we’re world domination,
[00:04:43] Pippin: really? So it absolutely played a role. You know, one of the, one of the most challenging parts of, of this type of transition is we have this, this huge history of, of, of customers, of our team, of our products that, you know, those don’t just turn off those don’t just suddenly go away because I’m moving on to other things.
[00:05:11] What we have to try really, really hard to do. I spent an enormous amount of time on over this last summer is finding the best avenue for those to carry on for the products to carry on for the customers to continue to be supported better than we were ever able to do. And, you know, finding the right fit that ensures that that will happen.
[00:05:34] Truthfully requires someone like CYA, you know, SIADH is extremely laser-focus. And driven for his mission of helping small businesses. And he, his, you know, the first thing when, when he, and I started talking about this in depth over the summer, one of the first things that I, I asked him is, you know, what are you, what are you going to do?
[00:05:58] And what is the time, um, you know, do you plan to continue working on these and building these for years to come quick answer was, yeah, for at least this next 60 years, uh,
[00:06:12] You know, that is something that is a huge amount of reassurance for someone in my position that is, you know, knows that it’s time to move on to something else, but also, you know, agonizes over the details of how do we ensure that the customers and the team and the products are taken care of and, you know, knowing that he is committed to the long-term future, um, is extremely important to me.
[00:06:36] Um, You know, I, I recognize a couple of years ago that while I have had an amazing time and I absolutely loved the last decade, I’m not ready to keep doing it for another decade, you know, I need to do something else. Um, so
[00:06:56] Matt: yeah. I mean, it takes a lot of courage to admit that you’ve always been one, that’s been transparent with your posts and, you know, income reports and all this stuff with, with the product and the services side of the product services side of things.
[00:07:08] Uh, but to sort of put your entrepreneurship. Scars, you know, in front of everyone. Right? Cause I know what it’s like to run a business at a very much smaller scale than obviously you, you and I had spent some time in a mastermind years ago where we were just banging heads with things that were just so uninteresting, probably to both of us, like talking about taxes and like when VAT came out and you’re like, good, I don’t want any of this.
[00:07:36] I didn’t choose to be the janitor and the tax guy doing this stuff. It’s not fun. I just want to code and. You stumbled onto the success that you had, and it is, it’s a totally different weight. And I think a lot of people are jaded in this space. Sometimes myself included saying he’s got everything he wants and needs right in front of him with this busy.
[00:08:00] But sometimes it’s not what you want. And, and what you wrote in this piece. Uh, again, please read this people about family, your father, your grandfather has a deep connection to me because I started a business with my father. He started a business with his father and it’s this lineage that has, you know, gone on.
[00:08:20] So, I mean, it really hits home with me. But I think a lot of people just want you to keep going. And sometimes it’s, it’s not what you, what you want. And, uh, again, no real question here just like applauding you to,
[00:08:32] Pippin: you know, the thing that I think so often people don’t realize or think about enough until they find themselves in that position.
[00:08:40] Is any, anybody who is, is heading a team or a company. When they no longer have the passion for it or the drive, or maybe not that their passion for it has gone away, but maybe passion for something else has eclipsed. It is the longer that they stay in that seat, the more disservice they are going to do to their customers and their team and all of the people that they work with in some capacity or other, you know, anybody who leads a ship needs to be the best of themselves.
[00:09:16] As much of a time as they possibly can. Um, because that’s the only way that you can do your absolute best to take care of, of your team, of your customers and of your business. And when you are no longer your best in that seat, the best thing you can probably do, if you can, if you know that that is a permanent thing and not just a transitory.
[00:09:40] It’s put someone else in that seat. Uh, it’s hard to do, and it’s really, probably even harder to admit to yourself when you reach that point. But if you don’t, you know, that that’s what causes amazing things to decline over time. That’s what causes businesses to slowly fail and, and start to suffer is when, you know, obviously there’s other factors too, then, you know, there’s other things that can cause somebody to go downhill.
[00:10:03] But when, when the captain of the ship is, is no longer. Wanting to be there, no matter what their level of dedication, you know, it hasn’t been.
[00:10:12] Matt: Yeah. How does that unfold internally at, or how did it unfold internally at Sandhills? Like when you got the gut feeling, did you gut check and, uh, you know, talk to the, the, the top brass at, I dunno, what, what you, what you title them, but do you talk to the top brass and say, I got this feeling.
[00:10:31] What do you all think before. Dispersed
[00:10:33] Pippin: everywhere for this one. It, um, it unfolded in a couple of ways. So first, uh, you know, a much longer string of events is I’ll say that it first started to happen years ago for me, which was basically the day that I, you know, one day I recognized I had hired myself out of it.
[00:10:54] ’cause I had, you know, we had, we had grown the team. We had hired, we had grown the dev development team, the support team, the marketing team, even the leadership team. And I re realized that like, I don’t, everything that I did, everything that I used to do that I was passionate about is now somebody else’s responsibility.
[00:11:13] So that happened years ago. Uh, and that was probably one of the first periods where I started to like really recognize that, you know, I don’t know that being a CEO is. What I desire to be in the long-term future. I just want to write code again. I spent the next few years trying to get back into code and it, it never happened for one reason or another.
[00:11:36] There’s lots of reasons. Um, you know, here, here and there, I would, I would dive back in and have a little bit of, of success building something for fun. Um, but like on a day-to-day basis, I never returned to being in the. And it, and that was where my, my true passion was. I loved writing code. I loved the, you know, just cranking something out and, you know, more or less building something from nothing.
[00:11:58] It was so fun and magical. So that when realizing that that had happened, that, that transition where I was no longer doing that. Is the first step to what got us to today. And that was years ago, much more recently. Um, basically, uh, when my, my dad’s health issues that I mentioned in the blog post popped up, that was when I, I think I really got serious with myself to admit that it was probably time.
[00:12:31] Um, at that time I wrote out a message to my partners, um, and. Basically told them. I wrote, I wrote up this very, actually a very short message and it was just titled the exit is near and FYI. Here’s basically the way that I’m feeling now. And I think I’m going to start having conversations. And, and that was, it was very, it was very brief, but then we, you know, we followed up and had a lot of in depth conversations as, as a partners group for the next several months.
[00:13:05] And then, you know, I kept wavering. I kept going back and forth and, you know, deciding to, to sell something you’ve spent 10 years building isn’t some, like, at least I don’t maybe, maybe some people, it happens this way, but for me it was not like a light bulb moment. It was not this, you know, one day I just know, you know, okay, that’s fine.
[00:13:27] Let’s do it. No, it wasn’t that at all. It was, you know, it’s this, this inkling, this feeling, this, this like weight in your stomach that says. I think it’s time, but I’m a F I’m truthfully terrified of that commitment of that, you know, actually making that choice. So over, over a couple of months, you know, trying to figure out if that was the right move or not, I finally decided, you know what, I’m going to take a sabbatical.
[00:13:54] I’m going to take three months off the entire store. I’m going to close slack, I’m going to close base camp. I’m going to close emails, disabled, all notifications. I’m going blackout mode for the next three months and see what happens that the, you know, our, our team was set up and so effective that, you know, I was able to do that.
[00:14:17] Um, I was not necessary for the day-to-day operations. And so I knew one of two things was going to happen. Through that sabbatical either. I’m going to go out, get refreshed and decide, you know what? I love this. I want to keep going. Um, I’m back, I’m 100% committed and let’s put the pedal to the let’s hit the gas, or I’m going to know for sure that this is the right move.
[00:14:44] Um, and obviously with today’s new news that we announced, um, we know how that ended. I knew that it was the right move after I’d spent several months away from it. And you know, it just helped me realize that I’m ready for this.
[00:14:59] Matt: Yeah. I mean, and again, I’ve known you for awhile. A lot of people have known you for awhile, but if you haven’t known PIP in, um, You know, just all like the moments at word camps, replaying in my head with like sitting with you and you sitting with your team and just like whatever diving into code features, new product announcements.
[00:15:18] How are you going to market this? How are you going to grow the team the whole, how do I get a great team chemistry? Like your. Like the painting that I have of you over your time in this space has never been like, how do I build this thing to sell it? Right. And over the years I’ve seen which I guess, like, I don’t fault anybody anymore.
[00:15:35] I used to have like really strong opinions on it, but now people want to build a business and sell it, whatever, Hey, that’s just another way of going about it. Like you’re building it to sell it, to acquire it. And it’s all strategically done. Thumbs up, Hey, that’s your way of doing it. Um, you know, and, and just seeing the way that you’ve done over the years, you know, knowing that this was, this wasn’t the intention, although as you highlight, it was
[00:15:57] Pippin: a reality that was known to have a strong likelihood of happening,
[00:16:01] Matt: right?
[00:16:01] Yeah. There’s a, there’s a point in the, um, in the blog post where you say every business owner knows or will eventually learn that there are three possible fates for their. One one day it’ll be passed on to someone else perhaps whose family inheritance, uh, to it’s solely or rapidly decline at some point, uh, be shut down entirely three.
[00:16:22] It’ll be sold to a new owner, uh, for one reason or another. I want to just shift gears a little bit in the conversation. Get a little bit more like strategic businessy, uh, on number two, uh, it’ll slowly or rapidly decline at some point be shut down entirely. Um, before we got on, I was talking to somebody else.
[00:16:39] Who’s going to be writing up a piece on the business of WordPress space. They asked me a couple of questions about what I think about this and why acquisition is so hot right now. Um, I think that there are a lot of mature businesses like yourself, or like Sandhills, where you get to a certain point where, Hey, it’s successful.
[00:16:57] It’s good, but you hit this plateau. And in order to get to the next step, the next stage. You have to almost build a whole other business model or hold a product whole or business. It’s not just, Hey, two X, my effort now it’s like 50 X my effort to get to that next point strategically that did that have a, a role in this.
[00:17:20] And then we’ll talk about awesome motive and how I feel like you slot into that, that suite of services. But was that a thing for you?
[00:17:26] Pippin: Oh, absolutely. Um, you know, like any, any business that has been going for. Uh, while, you know, and, and at this point we were, uh, almost 10 years old. Um, the sandals development as a, as a company, as a brand is eight years old.
[00:17:41] But the products, you know, it’s been, I think, 10 years since we launched EDD, um, or close to it, um, you know, what, what used to work, what works when you’re really, really small and you’re new and you’re growing. It’s not the same thing that works today. You know, when, once you reset maturity point, um, it’s a totally different set of challenges.
[00:18:05] Um, and the consequences for getting your approaches wrong are a lot more significant. Um, you know, w at our peak, we were a team of 28 people, you know, if we, if we screw up and we do. Aim for the future properly. And we don’t manage our growth and we don’t recognize where our pain points are. You know, the consequences of that are a lot more significant than when, you know, it’s just two or three people that are, you know, mostly just late night keyboard hacking and having a good time doing it and, you know, have a little bit of success with it.
[00:18:41] Yeah. So, you know, when I said that when I, when I went on a sabbatical, I knew one of two things was going to happen. And one of those possibilities was that we were going, I was going to come back refreshed and ready to just hit the gas. We have definitely been at that stage for the last couple of years where we were trying to figure out how do we hit the gas?
[00:19:02] You know, we’re, we’re still doing good. We’re still comfortable, but the signs are there, that what we’re doing. Is not going to sustain us for the next 10 years or even the next five years. There are, there are changes that we’re going to have to make. Um, you know, we didn’t, we ended up going through this process with automotive before we really had to dive into what those changes were going to be.
[00:19:27] And so, you know, I honestly, I can’t tell you what they are cause I, cause I don’t. Um, but we knew that we were going to have to adapt our approaches and adapt our strategies and adjust, um, and do things in a different, in at least some form of different ways. Um, because it wasn’t going to be enough to get us through the next five years.
[00:19:46] Matt: I think a lot of successful. And this is, and again, these are just my opinion and obviously happy to hear yours, which just, you just hinted that really. But, you know, you get to a certain point where it’s like, Like, if you looked at EDD or your suite of prod products, let’s say affiliate EDD. So you have like the affiliate side of e-commerce you have e-commerce, but then it’s like, okay, what does everybody want?
[00:20:10] You know, with e-commerce is, I don’t know, maybe like the hot thing of, uh, customizing checkouts or lead gen or all of this stuff. And it’s like, man, That’s like another 10 years, right. To like, think about how to build that, like the thought process on how to succeed with that. Yeah, man, it takes so much time and money, um, to really get to that.
[00:20:34] So, and I
[00:20:35] Pippin: thought a very careful planning. Yeah. I had
[00:20:37] Matt: a lot of planning. It’s. It’s not like the concept of cowboy coding in the early days where it’s just like, yeah, just throw another feature and see what happens when you say throw another feature. It impacts 28 employees that you’re responsible for tens of thousands.
[00:20:52] I’d imagine customers that you have, and it’s not just as flip, flip of a switch. That is, is that easy to just change? Oh, that feature wasn’t good. Let’s pull it back out. Like no, maybe nobody will notice. Oh no, it doesn’t work that way. Uh, it’s very hard. Uh, I want to talk about finding a suitor for the company.
[00:21:11] Now I know how SIADH found you because quite literally, I was at a word camp where I think SIADH was walking around, asking if anyone was for sale. This was like five, six years ago. And I think he would literally walk around, Hey, you want to sell? Hey, you want to sell? Hey, you want to sell? So I know he’s got into your ear years ago.
[00:21:31] I wrote a blog post back in February, 2020, where I predicted they would buy e-commerce. And I had a discussion with somebody privately that they would probably look to EDD to sell, to, to acquire. Did you look at anybody else? Did you have those conversations and what was
[00:21:45] Pippin: that like? So when I first announced, uh, to my partners team, that I felt it was time for me to, to find an exit, uh, immediately after that.
[00:21:58] I started reaching out and having conversations with people. Um, and I talked to quite a few. Um, I had. Uh, and I, I mentioned this a little bit in the, in the blog posts, but there were a couple, there are some requirements that I really needed to have met. Um, and so as I, as I started to reach out to, you know, people that I thought might, might be interested, I had a, I had a list of, you know, maybe 10, 10 companies or individuals that I felt.
[00:22:29] Would fulfill the requirements that I needed. So number one, that, you know, obviously they had to be capable of doing it. Um, and, and both, you know, both from a finances perspective, but also from, you know, their ability to carry on what we had built. You know, I had no interest in. You know, selling, selling this to a private equity group that, or venture funded group that their goal is just to, you know, cash cow and kill and shut it down.
[00:22:56] No interest whatsoever. So I had, I had a few requirements. The, I had to trust and know that their ability. Was there to carry on what we built to. They had to take all of the products. Um, I was not interested in piecemealing, the suite of products that we’ve built. We have a lot of overlap between our products, between the team that works on the products, um, and our customer base.
[00:23:25] I did not want to, you know, send one, one, place one to another one to another, and then try to figure out, okay, what goes there? What goes there? What goes there? That just sounded like a disastrous nightmare that wasn’t going to end well for anyone except maybe myself, maybe. So they had to take the whole suite of products.
[00:23:43] They had to take the whole team, you know, no acquisition is perfect. No transition is perfect, but I needed them to commit, to taking the whole team, be willing to take everybody, you know, if somebody didn’t want to go over, that was, that was okay. That was understandable. But they needed to have that commitment from day one.
[00:24:00] If we’re taking this as a complete package, um, and. You know that as we, as we had those requirements, um, it, it, we, it, it narrowed down our candidates list, if you will, um, pretty quickly, um, because for one, you know, we’d go in, we’d have a conversation and then somebody would be like, this is great. I really love this stuff.
[00:24:24] But honestly, I only want to feel like it’d be cool. Thanks for your time. Maybe I’ll circle back to you if you know, if something else doesn’t work out and we repeated that quite a few times, uh, CYA. And I have known each other for a long time, uh, actually fun stories at site. And I have had conversations in the past, um, specifically around EDD.
[00:24:45] Um, and I turned them down early on and that was several years ago. Um, so it’s kinda fun to come full circle now, but with when, when I approached SIADH, um, and I, I told him very bluntly said, are you interested having a conference? If the answer is yes, here’s my four main requirements. And if the answer to any one of those is no thanks.
[00:25:09] Um, let’s not waste each other’s time and it was immediately. Yes. Um, so he, he was very, very interested and was immediately happy and will in knew that he wanted to meet all of those requirements.
[00:25:22] Matt: Yeah. I mean, I could see, I could, I could definitely see like the negotiation room where like you’re both in the room and then SIADH leaves and his lawyers come and you’re like, Hey, we say, Hey, where are you going?
[00:25:32] Like you leaving, are you staying up, stay around for this conversation. How long did that process take? Was it months Fido two months. But
[00:25:39] Pippin: so, um, it, it’s, it’s funny the way that you characterize it, because while like, I think that’s probably how a lot of people expected negotiations with sign to go.
[00:25:48] Honestly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Um, it’s when, when you negotiate with SIADH, when you sit down and have a conversation with him, it’s a very one-on-one candid conversation. We hopped on a lot of zoom calls and we chatted face to face, and I never once negotiated with the attorneys or anything.
[00:26:06] You know, it’s always cited is extremely personable actually. Um, and he and I have always had a really good relationship. And so we were able to be very candid with each other and, you know, share what we, what we need. What we wanted, what our, what our desired outcomes were and what our challenges were. Um, and then, you know, when an issue was raised, um, you know, whatever it was, we addressed it and we worked through it.
[00:26:30] Um, it was, uh, it was a wonderful experience. Honestly, I would, I would repeat the process with SIADH again in a heartbeat. Yeah.
[00:26:40] Matt: Uh, we, uh, you know, Matt report listener, you can look forward to a, uh, interview with Saya next week. He’s a little. This week. I don’t know why he does things on his plate, but we are going to S we are scheduled for an interview next week.
[00:26:53] So look forward to that PIP and wrapping up, wrapping up here. Um, yeah. So the hinting at the size of the deal, I won’t directly ask you the questions. I mean, you are retiring. Life is probably pretty good for at least the next couple of years. Yes, no, we’ll be, we’ll
[00:27:12] Pippin: be. Okay.
[00:27:14] Matt: Uh,
[00:27:14] Pippin: we are plenty to put our focus on you.
[00:27:17] Matt: I like in the blog post, uh, you sort of say, uh, in the section, what’s next for Pippin, uh, after finishing the transition period with automotive, I’ll retire from WordPress, then put my focus into spending time with family nature conservation efforts, which I know you’ve been big on even years ago. I remember you talking about some of the stuff you were doing in Kansas, uh, in Sandhills brewing.
[00:27:40] Listen, you, I like how you just threw that in there, kind of the Sandhills, really. But if anybody who does, like, I follow you on Instagram, right. For Sandhills brewing. And I remember it’s this like, Hey guys, like on our mastermind calls, check out these bottles I made. Right. And it’s just like, you know, You got like a six pack and like I made these bottles and then like our next call, you were in like your tub in the bathroom.
[00:28:01] Like, look at my tub full of beer. And then it was, Hey guys. Uh, I got so many crates in my basement. Like I have to get like a rental store. And then now, like Instagram, you have people working for you. I see the, you know, the Instagram models holding the beer there’s food. There’s build-outs, that’s like a whole, like you’re not retiring from businessman.
[00:28:19] You get a whole.
[00:28:20] Pippin: Other big things. It’s a pretty, pretty hefty operation at this point.
[00:28:24] Matt: I mean, that’s going to probably still take up a lot of your time, I’d imagine. And you run that with your brother.
[00:28:29] Pippin: I do. Yes. Uh, my, my twin brother and one other business partner. Um, so we, we built two different locations.
[00:28:36] Uh, my brother and I live about three hours apart and, uh, we, we really wanted to build this brewery together. Uh, and then we realized like, well, I’m not going to move and you’re not. So obviously the next best thing is we build, do locations. Let’s do it.
[00:28:53] Oh, COVID tool is a interesting monkey wrench. You know, all of them. Everything about COVID aside. I will tell like the, the health and the, the stupid politics around it and all of the worries and the concerns and the financial sides I was telling you that that is one of the most interesting business challenges I have ever gone through is trying to run a hospitality business during a global pandemic.
[00:29:16] I have no interest in repeating it. But it is something that I think has been a very, very valuable experience because of how many different things it taught us. You know, if you want to see a great like years from now, we’re going to go back and look. At businesses that, that survived businesses, that failed businesses, that thrived and businesses that you know, everything in between.
[00:29:43] And we’re going to have so much valuable learning about building resiliency and flexibility, and like the ability to pivot in businesses, because that was what, you know, March, 2020 was like, that’s when, when that happened. Your businesses that succeeded and made it through were those that had some level of financial resilience because do the hit the hits to the hospitality industry was brutal to had the flexibility and the willingness to change.
[00:30:20] And then, and three, just the, the wherewithal to. Chug on and no pun intended, but like seriously, like that was a drag. That was probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever done in business was surviving COVID as a hospitality business. Um, and, uh, yeah, there’s, there’s gonna be so much to learn from it in the years to come, uh, as we, you know, are able to take steps further back and reflect on it.
[00:30:50] Matt: Yeah, man. Uh, yeah, even, I mean, congrats on that. You know, as somebody who. Again, has been in a S has seen a small, uh, portion of your experience growing a business. When I see these things, when I see like the success of like, where you’re going with that brewery, like as fast as it happened, I felt pretty fast to me.
[00:31:11] I’m sure it felt, I dunno, maybe fast to you, but yeah, it depends on the day I looked at that. I was like, man. Yeah. This, dude’s not long for WordPress, because like I know like, man, if I could just give up everything, I would just go cut people’s grass and just be like, there’s no worries about the colors I’m picking for you.
[00:31:28] There’s no worries about like sound audio quality. I just go cut your grass. You just tell me where to cut the grass. And like, that’s what I would do for the rest of my life. If it could sustain, uh,
[00:31:37] Pippin: you know, three kids you’re years ago when, when my brother and I. Well, we’re getting ready to commit to building this brewery.
[00:31:45] Um, he, he said something to me. I think we were just sitting down late at night. One time. He was like, you know what? I realized why I liked beer and he wasn’t talking about the why he likes drinking it or making it, it was why it likes the business of beer, you know, in the software world, we get this opportunity to work with and keep my, my brother runs a software company, 3d animation, right?
[00:32:05] Yeah. Uh, so, you know, we get this opportunity to work with. Amazing customers and amazing people. But do you know what the truth is? Like the only time that we actually get to talk to customers, unless we, except the outreach that we do do with them is when there’s a problem at the end of the day, all I am is a problem solver.
[00:32:27] People bring me problems. Good, bad, enormous, small. It doesn’t matter, but I just, I solve problems. You know, like if you’ve ever heard somebody describe themselves as, you know, like a code janitor or something like that. Like I was not for the longest time that my, my role as, uh, as the CEO of this company was basically to be a janitor, you know, because at the end of the day, everything that comes to me is typically a problem.
[00:32:52] I’m kind of tired of solving problems. So the beautiful thing about. Do you know what happens? People come to celebrate. People are happy to see you. You know, when you work customer support, most of the time, people aren’t happy to talk to you. People are doing so begrudgingly because there is a problem and they want, and you have the ability to fix their problem.
[00:33:14] But with, with beer, people come to celebrate, they’re happy to see you. They’re thrilled to be in your space, you know? Yes. There’s the, there’s some darker sides to it. They come to more and they come when they’re sad or upset. But in general, you, you are a bearer of good news and they’re there because they want to be there.
[00:33:33] Um, and that is a very interesting, like psychological difference in the industries. Uh, And it was so refreshing. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:33:42] Matt: I can imagine. And look, if I had beer in front of me right now, I would raise a toast to you and everything early in the morning. Well, you know, it’s never too early when you’re selling beer.
[00:33:53] Um, I’d raise a toast. To you and everything that you’ve done over the years, uh, you know, we hopped on this call last minute. I feel like I was rambling with some of these questions as a seasoned podcaster, but I feel like I’m just trying to hold onto the final threads of my Pippin in the WordPress world.
[00:34:10] Um, like, like the Sopranos ending and just watching that last episode, like, I can’t believe it’s over. Uh, w will you show up at other WordPress events and do you have any final statements for the WordPress community?
[00:34:22] Pippin: It’s been an amazing journey. Um, you know, my, my current intentions at this point are, you know, truthfully to see what happens.
[00:34:33] I don’t have any short-term plans to continue working in WordPress, but I don’t know what the future is going to hold. Uh, My, my goal and my hope is that sometime in the future, be it in six months in nine months, in 10 years, the itch to code again will strike and I’ll build something completely for fun.
[00:34:55] Uh, and it might be a WordPress. It might be something totally unrelated. Um, but if it does then, you know, I’m, I’m looking forward to that. Um, so truthfully, I, I don’t know, uh, it’s been work. WordPress has. Been a wonderfully weird world. And, uh, some of my best memories, the best people I’ve ever met are from WordPress.
[00:35:20] Um, it’s given me the opportunity to travel around the world and visit so many amazing places and see, and meet people from all of them. Uh, I, I realized something a few years ago. That was really pretty cool. Is that because of WordPress and because of what this. Community has made possible. I think I know somebody in probably every major city of this world, you know, I may not realize they’re there, but I think it’s pretty darn close because of just the connections over the last 10 years that have been made.
[00:35:58] And that’s amazing. And so fricking cool. Um, so you know, this might be the, you know, the end of my WordPress experience, uh, And I will miss it. I will, but I’m happy to end it on a high note where I know my team, the customers and the products are an exceptionally good hands. You know, the truthfully the future for them has, has never been brighter.
[00:36:32] And, uh, I’m really looking forward to watching what they do.
[00:36:36] Matt: Yeah, absolutely. Bravo to you, sir. Thanks again for everything. Uh, Twitter, I guess now is probably the best place or do you know anyone? You don’t really want to talk to people anymore? Stay away from me. I’m come
[00:36:46] Pippin: buy some beer, email me, uh, you know, my Twitter account is still active.
[00:36:51] But, uh, I, I’m not very active on Twitter. I was very active today for the first time in months and months and months. Uh, but so contact me via email. Um, it’s [email protected]. Uh, you can find [email protected]. That is that’s still my place. Um, and, or you can find me at my personal website.
[00:37:09] Matt: Fantastic everyone else.
[00:37:10] matterport.com airport.com/subscribe. Don’t forget to miss. Don’t forget to miss. No, don’t forget to not miss your, your weekly dose of WordPress news. [email protected]. Support the show by buying me a coffee. Buy me a coffee.com/matt report. Thanks everyone for listening. Thank you again, Pippin. And for the last time, please read the blog post, which will be, uh, linked up in the show notes.
[00:37:33] Fantastic PR. To the saga that is Pippin Williamson in the WordPress world. Thanks everybody for listening. And we’ll see you in the next day,
[00:37:42] Pippin: everyone. And thank you. Ma’am.


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