Jason Cohen is the founder of WP Engine, and before that he founded Smart Bear and IT WatchDogs. He’s started 4 companies that grew to more than $1m in revenue, both bootstrapped and funded. He has 50,000 subscribers to his blog about early-stage startups: blog.asmartbear.com
Brad – Captain Morgan
Dre – Nice, Smooth H2O
Jason – Parkway Cocktail
Forecasting a Startup
Cohen suggested that you want to have a clear idea how a new hire will add x more value than their salary. He indicated that who you hire could be very creative. For example, you may hire a part time assistant: someone to deliver your groceries, pick up your car, or clean your house. An assistant could give you 1-2 more hours a day — that math might just add up.
Bootstrap vs. Funding
Cohen indicated that the default answer is no, you should not take funding. Though, you should take funding if all of your boxes are checked. For example, if you won’t be happy unless you build a huge company, then your answer is clear: yes, you should take funding. However, if you’re taking funding simply because you’re trying to grow your company, but have no clue of the direction of that growth, then that may not be the right decision for you after all.
Cohen went on to explain developer contracts through the analogy of a boutique. Premised around the notion of a one (or two) man freelancing team, who want to charge a lot for their service, the ‘shop’ is only open when the owners are there — just like a boutique. The prices are higher. It’s not open all the time. You won’t always get a quick response. So the questions is, how do contractors justify it? Cohen explained:
Easy, with super high-end expertise.
I know it’s a big agency, and I know you’re talking to a partner. . .that’s because it’s an agency, that partner isn’t going to do your work. He’s going to hand your work down to an associate level 2. . .
So you’re paying more than I would even charge you for an associate level 2 to go do the work. That’s not true at a boutique. At a boutique, it’s the owners who do it. And that’s what you’re paying for — you’re paying for the owners not the level 2 associate.
iThemes Suffered a Security Breach
On Tuesday, iThemes disclosed suspicious activity on their server, urging all customers to change their passwords immediately.
Brad – Flox: Made by John of BuddyPress, host your own private social network
Dre – asmartbear.com: Jason Cohen’s blog on startups and marketing
Jason – How to get 30 interviews from potential customers: Go to LinkedIn. Search for WordPress consultants. Send an email nicely explaining your business idea, and say “I am willing to pay for an hour of your time.” For me, each person replied back that they would be happy to meet, and refused payment.
WordCamp Europe – Sep 27-29
Prestige Conference – October 3-5
WordCamp San Francisco – October 23-25
PressNomics III – January 22-24