Meeting Cory Miller
In the summer of 2010, I attended my first WordCamp. I was going to be in town for business and noticed the dates. I figured I would visit the hotel, listen to a few sessions and walk out. It would be a non-event.
Of course, that’s not what happened – as I sat in the back of the room quietly watching things and realizing this community was powerful and incredible. My journey into the community started that weekend.
At the end of the day, in the other room, someone was giving a talk. I can’t recall who was speaking in the room I was in, but as I watched the event’s Twitter feed, all the quotes and comments were coming from the other room.
So, midway into the talk, I left and went next door to see Cory Miller speak for the first time. This was just 15 minutes before 500 small balls with GoDaddy logos would be thrown by the entire audience at Cory – in a playful celebration that I didn’t understand but enjoyed.
In the 8 years since that weekend, Cory has continued to be the leader of iThemes, a speaker at WordCamps, an encourager to those coming behind him, and one of my closest friends.
Recommending iThemes to Liquid Web
A couple of years ago, as Liquid Web was creating their own Managed WordPress hosting product, I was invited – as a consultant – to evaluate the various products in the market that allowed developers to monitor and manage multiple sites at once. There are a lot of free and premium products in the space, but the one that stood out was Sync Pro by iThemes. It was the one I recommended and the one that we ended up going with.
That partnership has provided every Managed WordPress customer with a one-click approach to managing their 10, 25 and 50-site plans.
Aligning for Bigger Wins
Over the last year, Cory and I have spent a lot of time talking about WooCommerce – as I was driving us forward with our new Managed WooCommerce hosting product and he was leading the charge on iThemes Sales Accelerator.
Cory and the iThemes approach – as it was with Sync – was to build their new WooCommerce product as a SaaS offering. This has been my recommendation to many commercial products in the WordPress ecosystem and I’ve been delighted to watch the iThemes team go for it.
More importantly, the SaaS approach aligns well with what we’re doing here at Liquid Web. And the technical alignment wasn’t the only way we saw the stars line up.
Cory often quotes an African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” As we started talking about the long-term plans we both had for supporting store owners, it was clear we should think about a deeper integration and partnership.
Independent & Integrated
iThemes will continue to operate independently. The internal culture and approach to their customers will continue like it always has. More importantly, they’ll get further reach as they benefit from Liquid Web’s marketing and additional development resources.
It doesn’t always happen, but when you can bring friends, work, and a vision all together, the sum total is more than its parts. In short, we’ve regularly referenced it as our 1+1=3 strategy for the WordPress market.
Having worked on our product roadmaps across BackupBuddy, Security Pro, Sync Pro, Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce Hosting – I can’t wait for all that we’ll deliver to customers over the next several years!