WordPress Startup Challenge



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7 responses to “WordPress Startup Challenge”

  1. Oh man this is so cool! I love this idea!!

    This past summer I tried to persuade a startup I was working for to abandon his proprietary coding and move to a WordPress install/custom build on the online business / website he had built, launched and were trying to grow. Honestly we were ready for the v2.0 to release (the site was fully of bugs, sluggish, and clunky – it was a great v1.0 but we had paying customers and things needed to get fixed!) We also needed to find a way to streamline the CMS, come up with some sort of way for more than 1 person to monitor the back end of the site, deal with paid customers, refunds, etc, track visitors and create verticals for B2C and B2B lead generation for warming up a sales pipeline and building a community. I tried to explain the intrinsic value of utilizing WordPress, taking the site to a 100% GPL model, and getting ourselves really plugged into the WP Community. The 1.0 version of the website gave us a really strong foundation for moving over to WP for the 2.0 version.

    Bootstrapper scoffed in that “better than thou” programmer attitude and said that was the worst idea ever and completely wouldn’t work — he was a programmer, I was not, and I just didn’t understand. He was right – I didn’t understand that narrow point of view about something that seemed SO obvious to me. I had just attended my first WordCamp (WCATX13) and was really stoked about what I had seen/experienced. Everything I had been trying to figure out was answered for me at WCATX and I was excited to share it with the boss man. But he was SOOO completely offended that I would even suggest he NOT code the site… the problem wasn’t his coding (well some of it was the coding) — the problem was there was no way for the team to manage the site if it was his coding and we had no access to a lot of the areas that we SHOULD have been able to access/deal with. Oh man – so many issues could have been resolved through a well-curated WP custom built site.

    I have used WP since it was released as an end user and I will confess, I’ve never bothered doing an actual WP Install until this past summer. As a Mommy Blogger and Small Business Owner the freebie blogs/sites you could set up on wordpress.com (coupled with a domain name and mapping and google domain management) served just fine for what we utilized the sites for. However, I knew you could build just about anything on WP and was especially excited about what WP offered after learning SO MUCH at WCATX.

    Anyway, this bootstrapper had already built and sold one software company for $40+Mil and of course he thought he knew everything. I’ll never forget him scoffing at me and saying, “You cannot build this kind of site on WordPress.” Um. Yes you can. In fact, Chris Lema had already advised me of the TWO plugins and a few theme options that would actually do everything that this sole-engineer had done through long hours of programming that only yielded a buggy system that produced no real revenue. But what did I know, right? Instead of thinking through how to automate & maximize the time/money investment that had already been spent on the initial business…instead of taking a serious look at the systems in place that were failing and being open to actually changing gears and pushing himself into a whole new (and I’d say more robust) endeavor — he quit. He was short sighted and arrogant and closed-minded.

    He shut down the website and moved on to – yet another – startup project. I wish him well. But – I maintain that had he listened to me and actually leveraged the assets/connections available in the WP Community he would have saved a LOT of time, expense and frustration. So many things about that startup were just not well thought out. Well funded. But no real organization. I believe a lot of those issues could have been resolved if the team had been working in the WP Environment. The system is SO robust it actually allows for almost (if not) every function of a website/business to be managed in the program. When I heard Matt speak at WCSF this past year, and he explained the different uses of WP I thought, “YES! That’s exactly what I was trying to tell Jim!!” I just didn’t have the vocabulary (not that I think it would have mattered though – he was set against the idea.) I totally still can’t understand why anyone who is launching a website/online business wouldn’t fully utilize WordPress.

    I think – honestly – it’s a lack of education on what all the program truly CAN do.

    I’m excited to see how this all unfolds! Thanks for launching this – very exciting times in the WordPress Community/Economy!

    1. Epic post award goes to you Sarah!

      Glad you recognize the opportunity in the WordPress startup space and even if things didn’t work out with the $40mil man, I bet it was still an awesome learning experience.

      I’m a firm believer in Matt Mullenweg’s ability to change the perception of the platform so that one day someone will ask “Can you code this in WordPress?”

  2. […] have made a living using WordPress. On Monday, Matt will be launching a new segment called “The WordPress Startup Challenge“. The challenge will feature early stage startups who will be thrown to the shark tank, a […]

  3. Excited to see how this turns out. Looking forward to it 🙂

    1. You and me both 🙂

  4. Wonderful idea! thanks!

    When I started building my startup on wordpress people thought I was crazy.
    While building it I found another early stage startup using wordpress and finally I could sleep better…

  5. This is a great idea. Application sent.

    Thanks Matt!

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