Interview With Product Lead Vova Feldman Of Freemius — Post Status Draft 139

Product People with Vova Feldman of Freemius  — Post Status Draft 140

In this episode, Vova Feldman of Freemius joins Cory Miller to discuss the need for developers to prioritize products over infrastructure, the state of WordPress, and goals for providing a better user experience for customers.

Estimated reading time: 60 minutes


Learn from the owner of Freemius, Vova Feldman, as he talks with  Cory Miller about the opportunities for indie developers, how to best bring products into the industry, the importance of community, and more.

Top Takeaways:

  • Living in an Open Source Ecosystem. Developers don’t need to reinvent the wheel. With such a large ecosystem of products, finding a secret niche spot to develop your product isn’t always the best or even attainable solution. Doing something better than the next company is sometimes all it takes for great success. 
  • The David and Goliath Struggle. It’s obvious that there has always been and will continue to be an unbalanced level of success between independent WordPress product owners and large companies. But that’s not to say there isn’t room for everyone; there is. An independent startup can move much faster into achieving short-term goals and growth than large-scale established companies can with a heavier workload and slower forward movement. 
  • Valuing Community Over All Else. The WordPress community is what drives the future of WordPress. It’s not so much all the great new things the system offers but the people behind the process. Taking that same thought into your business, making people the center of your solutions, is an undeniable way to create a business that is surrounded by community. 
  • Removing Language Barriers. Creating website language translation is becoming more of a priority. It ties in with the need for developing a better user experience for your customers. Your community needs a specialized way to interact with your products and site. That’s one main task Vova’s team is tackling for their customers this year

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Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. Welcome back to Post draft. I’ve got a unique interview today, but one that’s overdue with my friend, VO Vva Feldman, uh, premius. Um, I, I met, I’m trying to think VO when we met, but I think it was at a big word, camp, maybe Philadelphia, and this was years ago. And what I’ve admired about you along the way, Is this was your thing and how you’ve stuck with it.

You continue to hustle and grow this. Cuz to me, outside in, I go, this guy’s passionate about what he does called FIUs because you’re always doing something. Man, I wish I had some of your energy. Um, but anyway, VVA, would you mind sharing a little bit about what you do in

Vova Feldman: Word. Of course. So first of all, thanks for having me, Corey.

I think it’s the second time we’re doing this on post status. Yeah. Uh, so a bit about free use. Uh, we are, we are, uh, [00:01:00] payments, taxes, substructure, infrastructure, uh, with the focus on software and more specifically on the WordPress products ecosystem, which is plugins and themes. Uh, something that I’ve been passionate about for.

Uh, probably 10 years already. Uh, I’ve been running with free use for about 80 years. Um, we’re a good size team right now. Uh, have, uh, over a thousand, uh, products sold for free use. Uh, over 500, uh, selling partners that are selling through free use. We keep growing, uh, and getting, you know, uh, bigger and more successful.

Products joining the platform. Very exciting. Keep evolving all the time. Yeah. Things are going well. Yeah.

Cory Miller: Well, we’re gonna dive into all of that, um, for sure. But again, I could say to to you, bva, I wanna give this as a compliment to you, but anybody listening to is what [00:02:00] you’d love in entrepreneurs is it’s not just the money, it’s passion, it’s purpose, it’s people, and again, You’ve been doing this for a long time and I think that’s the people that win and do great in the world is just staying with it and growing.

This thing that you’ve got today that you just shared what all where, where all FIUs is today? Where did Free, when did Femia start?

Vova Feldman: So I think I, I opened the company, uh, in the beginning of 2015. Okay. Uh, but I actually started like processing and thinking about it, uh, in the end of 2014. Yeah. So, so

Cory Miller: what led you to FIUs and what you’re doing and have been doing for, for what, eight

Vova Feldman: years now?

Yeah. So, Before free use. Uh, I was a c o co-founder with startup company that was acquired in mid 2013, and I left the company slightly before it was [00:03:00] acquired. So I had the freedom to kind of choose what I want. Uh, and I had a side project like many other developers, something that, you know, I build in my spare time.

I realized that I had many users. It was totally a free, uh, product. Uh, but I said, you know, let’s see if we can turn that into something bigger. Joined with another partner online from Slovenia. Uh, and he was the ui ux guy, and we’ve been working for a year. We actually joined with another developer and it was part-time and turned that, you know, side thing into a business.

Uh, but what was really interesting to discover after this year of where two of us worked on this full-time is that the product didn’t change at all. And everything that we’ve been working was, you know, the infrastructure that’s re related to the commercial stuff. So we realized, you know, that was the aha moment, that something [00:04:00] doesn’t make sense here, right?

Like anyone who wanna sell their products online, their software, their SaaS, whatever, regardless of their product, need this type of infrastructure out. And it doesn’t make sense that you would need to spend 10 x more time on the infrastructure rather than the product itself. Where actually what makers, you know, and creators wanna focus at is their product and their customers and not the infrastructure.

So we basically identified a gap in the market. I started to talk with, you know, many people in the industry get their feed. Uh, you know, it was before I involved in a WordPress ecosystem and everything. Uh, now many of them are my friends and this is how you know it all started. We realize it, it’s a good opportunity, something that we’re passionate about, and that’s how we kind of embarked into free.

Cory Miller: I think if you [00:05:00] had started, uh, a couple years earlier, uh, the. The need. Like I, I know the need of what you’re doing is like how much time and effort you’re spending with all these things when you just wanna focus on your product and how many product companies could have benefited. Um, but it’s obvious that the, the need is there, you know, or doing all this stuff.

And I love the, when you’re able to take something that’s not in their full wheelhouse, but they’re capable of doing. Yeah, I’m capable of spinning these things up, but like let them concentrate on product. I think that’s pretty cool. Well, VVA, you Vva, you spent a lot of time, you’ve got a lot of experience and expertise even beyond WordPress, and what I’m curious to hear is today being the product guy that have seen so much data in all the, the customers that you have and their customers, where do you think we are today?

[00:06:00] In WordPress products, like overall, what are your perspectives and opinions about where we are in the state of WordPress products, commercial WordPress products, I

Vova Feldman: should say? Yeah, so I think the market, you know, if we’re comparing it to what was like five, six series ago, it is much more mature these days.

Uh, like we also, you know, everyone, uh, so the amount of acquisitions that happen in the past few years, And I think that unlike when previously everyone could just get into the market and build a lifestyle business very easily today, it’s harder because there is much more competition. And also I’m seeing more players with money that getting into a mar, into the.

Much more strategically. If previously the workers products ecosystem was driven mostly by developers and [00:07:00] agencies. Today you have people that are looking at it from an investment perspective that, you know, I have money. Where can I make more money? Right? So there is the whole SaaS business. I can go and acquire a SaaS, but that’s much in terms of operation.

It’s much more complex run SaaS business than a plug-in business. But on the other hand, there are plenty of plug-ins. Many of them are non monetized. You know, I can buy it as a real estate investment. Uh, usually the people that are in that space, they’re more marketing business driven, so they actually have an advantage from a commercial perspective because they’re not, you know, their excitement is, uh, product making more money and less about adding features and coding.

They also have better understanding in ui ux, so they’re like more mature [00:08:00] people are getting into a more mature ecosystem. So all of that makes it, you know, harder for new players to get in, uh, because you know, all these dynamics that have changed. Uh, but I wanna say that the market is still growing in terms of size, in terms of inventory, in terms of everything we are seeing.

Some verticals growing more than others. You know, before we start this convers conversation, you mentioned, uh, you know, ai. Uh, so we definitely in the past few months, like we’ve seen a bunch of new products added to free use that are integrating with ai, AI tools, whether it’s, you know, generative text or whether it’s generative visuals.

Uh, but we’re seeing growth in that vertical for. So there are [00:09:00] things happening all the time.

Cory Miller: That’s good to hear. Um, because, you know, I, I started iThemes in 2008 and seeing it go from baby infancy to more mature, I think , I kinda, uh, and then now like you said, it’s just this round of, uh, investors coming in, big companies.

Um, coming in with a lot of money to roll ups and we were obviously a part of that. Um, with now what’s known as, I guess as stellar wp. Um, what, what I wonder before we talk about future and stuff is, I guess this is part of the future is my question is vva. Like you got these big companies can come in and they’ve got a lot of money and they’ve got a lot of fire power and can really take parts of the industry to another level.

Um, even. I would say professional, uh, even though I think we’re pros, um, more professional and I start to go like, is there [00:10:00] still a day for the independent product owner in WordPress? What are your thoughts?

Vova Feldman: I think, uh, I think it will always remain this way. It, it’s always, you know, David Goliath, uh, I’m seeing it, you know, on FIUs, like the more we are growing, the slower we can, you know, we’re moving.

Period. There’s just more things to deal with, uh, and the fact that, you know, when you are starting something new, you are so much more agile. Then not only by the size of the team, but also you don’t have customers that you need to respond to. So you can move so much quicker and you don’t even need to deal with a lot of like edge cases and you know, things that once you grow, you have to facilitate because you do wanna keep your existing customers.

Yeah. Uh, so I think, you know, there’s, there will always be a room for that indie [00:11:00] developer, uh, to build their business. How big of a business. That’s another question, you know? Yeah. It depends also on your aspirations and the market size and, you know, many of those things. Uh, but I definitely still think there is a room for, you know, niches, micro niches.

And there are so many things and so many use cases and, you know, to build like a business that will, again, depends on where you live geographically, but building a business that will just sustain your salary as an individual. I think it’s definitely doable. You don’t need so many customers. Mm-hmm. ,

Cory Miller: so you mentioned verticals and what I, what I have seen in just my perspective is, um, like you go seo, you got Yost out there now Sidey has, uh, WP.

All in one seo and, and there’s others that I’m not thinking of off the [00:12:00] top of my head, but like that’s a competitive market. So if you’re trying to do something in seo, I go, wow. Not, not saying there’s somebody that can’t innovate and disrupt, but you mentioned verticals and what are the, what are the things you’re seeing from a vertical side, like I go SEO page builder.

Uh, backup security, all these main, like big categories are pretty dang competitive. Um, not to say they can’t be disrupted or innovated in at all, but what are the verticals and what are the opportunities you’re seeing that product owners are starting to, to lean

Vova Feldman: into? In my opinion, I actually think that it’s the easiest and quickest to build a lifestyle business in a very competitive.

Vertical, like seo, like backups, because every website need them, right? Yeah. So even if you capture half percent of the market, you don’t need to be a litter, you know, a half percent of, of 40 per 43% of the web. It’s [00:13:00] huge, right? Yeah. So I know that people like thinking product people. You want to innovate and come up with something you, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

You can build a wheel that looks little, like more shiny from the angle of the Micronesia you’re targeting. And that’s enough because the decision, I mean, that’s enough. It requires marketing and you know, all, all the stuff behind the scenes to make it work. Uh, but I do think that there is actually a better, uh, chance to succeed in a very competitive market, very competitive mass market kind of product, rather than the choosing like a very narrow niche.

Cory Miller: Uh, that totally resets my thinking and I love that perspective because I, it you don’t have to build the next yo. Or what, whatever those cool products are out there, you have to find something that sustains and does the life that you want it to, to do for [00:14:00] you. And I think that was probably what I needed to hear today, but I totally agree with you.

Um, you think about that and you’re like, there’s probably a problem in there that yos or what, whatever product we’re talking about solves on the general level, but there’s a specific thing in there you could do better for people and carve out a really good living doing.

Vova Feldman: And I will add more to that, that we’re living in an open source ecosystem so we can piggyback on top of existing products.

So if I wanna start. Another SEO product, I can take existing one for Kit. You probably don’t want to do that because there’s so much code that you will need to suddenly maintain, but theoretically you don’t need to start from zero. You can leverage all the lessons, improvements, that being there for decades.

Right, so, so I think that’s actually a big advantage because I am seeing, you know, developers that are choosing [00:15:00] very, very narrow niche without really thinking about the potential market size and. Like the, the chance that they will be able to build a business that is big enough. That’s a very common mistake that people don’t, you know, calculate the potential.

They’re kind of, you know, I’m excited about this problem. I have a client that you know needs it and I’m going all in. But you know how many clients like this out there? This is a hundred thousand, 10,000. Like, will you be able to get to all the 10,000? ? No. How do you price it then? Like you, you have to run the numbers to choose, you know, where are you aiming to grow?

Take the potential like market and run the numbers that you can really get there, because many times the calculation is simply not working. Yeah.

Cory Miller: Yeah, I, I see that for sure. Um, you know, if you, [00:16:00] I, I see a lot of products to come from, own your own experience or client experience too, and go, they’re not served as well.

And I, I think too, There’s, you gotta add some care and passion to it to be able to do it as a lifestyle too. You know, think about Sean Hesketh, the WP 1 0 1 saw a problem with his clients that was causing him problems, decided to roll out what now is WP 1 0 1? And you’re like, that formula still still works.

There’s enough out. It seems like vva though. It’s like, okay, so the question would be how do you pick that product? How do you deter, how do you find that balance? Um, what are your thoughts on that? And find like, okay, I’m gonna do this. It’s maybe total billable market is a hundred thousand people. Maybe, you know, how, how do you even think through, if you’re giving advice to, uh, developer product, a budding product donor to, to start to [00:17:00] find what that is?

Vova Feldman: Yeah, so it, it, it’s exactly as you, you know, try to assess the, the potential size, how much do you believe, and in how much time will you be able to get to that market share. Whether you’re running a paid only product or freemium, because if it’s freemium, then there are benchmarks for conversions. So you’re immediately, let’s say just for the sake of the, you know, example, your total addressable market in terms of number of websites is 10,000, right?

And it’s a freemium product, then most likely you are not going to get more than 5%. Okay. Which is great. Yeah. So it’s, we we’re talking about in 10005%, I think it’s 500, uh, right. 10%. It’s 1000. Yeah. 500. So if, if you are pricing your product for a hundred dollars per year, and at most you’re gonna [00:18:00] get 500 customers.

Run the meth, that’s your cap and you will need to work hard for it. Is that enough for you? Are you aiming for something bigger? So it’s actually like when you think about it, it’s not so hard to do the meth. You just need to do that and think about it. And many times it could be a slight shift or reframing of the product to a different market, maybe a different niche, and suddenly it can open up and you know, change your potential a lot.

Mm-hmm. .

Cory Miller: Yep. And I, I’m a firm believer too, of trying stuff. . I’ve got way more failures than successes, but you try stuff, you know, try to refine the model and find that magical area that’s your thing. And, uh, it turns out pretty, pretty cool. And,

Vova Feldman: and you always hear about opportunities and ideas like once you have something, because people love to share feedback or you can [00:19:00] ask them or ask for features and you know, the more conversation, even if you start with a, you know, niche that is not necessarily like big enough, you can find your way if you are opening your eyes and ears into something more lucrative, more interesting by having conversations with your audience, you know?

A product can also be kind of a penetration strategy to start discussions with a certain, you know, uh, vertical or persona that you are interested to tackle for whatever reason. Uh, and then from there you can learn about their challenges, about their pains in the business and see, You know, maybe you can make some tweaks that will actually be applicable to much bigger audience, or people would be willing to pay much more for it, or it’ll be, you know, will require much less support.

Uh, whatever you wanna [00:20:00] optimize there. Now, the question you asked me about verticals, so , I’m jumping back a little. Yeah, yeah. So the two, the two biggest verticals that we are seeing, Based on our data is, like you said, page builders and specifically Elementor. Uh, like there are so many extensions of top Elementor.

And also for WooCommerce like WooCommerce extensions. These are the two biggest verticals that we’re seeing in frame use. And it makes sense because those are platforms. So, uh, you know, they, they have their own ecosystem of plugins pretty much. Mm-hmm. and different solutions that you can build. Uh, and WooCommerce is, you know, like more lucrative because people are making money by using your products.

So they should have money to pay for plugins too. Um, ,

Cory Miller: that’s, uh, that’s really interesting. [00:21:00] Um, I, I wouldn’t have thought those would be the one you would’ve said, uh, but it makes sense. Um, platforms on a platform, you know. Yeah. On the WordPress platform and WooCommerce is def two great names, woo Commerce and Elementor.

I see so much growth, particularly with Elementor and what they’re doing over there. Um, and getting to know that team, uh, a little bit. And it’s. It’s a, it’s a great product. So, but that’s interesting. Add-ons for Elementor. Yep. And Will Commerce, I would’ve thought, man, that’s gotta be saturated. But, but you’re saying there’s still an opportunity over there and I mean, it makes sense.

I hear from Katie Keith at Barn Two and different people like will Commerce, specific businesses doing pretty well.

Vova Feldman: Yep. Absolutely.

Cory Miller: All right. Well, um, So next, so just what the future holds, um, where you see WordPress tech, [00:22:00] um, we find ourself in, um, so much of the tech outside of our, our bubble and WordPress has really accelerated.

Um, and we have, I’m even having another conversation today about open AI and AI in general. It seems like there’s a, it’s, it’s a different day in WordPress and on the web, and so I’m curious what your thoughts are out into the future. Where’s all this going? What things are you seeing out there? I know you’re not a prophet, but you have really good perspectives and I’d love to hear ’em where, where WordPress is going, where the web is going, what’s changing, what things are you seeing?

Challenges out there? Opportunities overall.

Vova Feldman: Yeah. Um, I mean, I, I do. Think like what is hot out there right now? It’s like generative AI in whatever it is, whether it’s text, audio, vi like video, uh, images. And I do think that [00:23:00] like WordPress, uh, is getting there. Through integration, through plugin developers or building, you know, the bridges.

Uh, and it’s not new. You know, I will mention like Veto with and Andrew with Berta ai. Like they’ve been running this for over a year for sure. Before, you know, C G P T became a big thing. Uh, yeah. And I’m sure there are other products out there like, uh, like I said, in the past month we probably saw like 10 new products that are to free use around generative ai and Interesting.

I do feel that WordPress will be a big part in that play because like text and visuals. Is kind of, you know, one of the main things that WordPress is made for . You know, we generat text and images. Yeah. So I think it will be, you know, through plugins in the beginning, maybe in three years, you know, like something [00:24:00] more native in terms of integration.

Uh, but I definitely think that it will be, you know, very tightly integrated together. Um, So, yeah, that, that’s my perspective on that whole thing. In terms of, you know, growth of WordPress in general, uh, like the market share, I don’t know if WordPress will keep growing. It’s a hard question. Uh, I don’t think it will, you know, disappear.

There are many solutions out there for building websites these days, and they’re great for the virus niche. But this is also, you know, not something new there. Like Wix was there for many years, square space and all the others. Uh, so you have like different types of solutions. But in the end of the day, you know, the flexibility and the things that you can do with WordPress, plus adding the [00:25:00] community component to that.

This is the winner and we’re seeing that, you know, uh, so I, I, I don’t, as long as the, the community part is strong and there’s no, some sort of, you know, uh, deviation separation, the community or something, you know, crazy happening. I think the worker’s ecosystem will be good for the next two, three years. I don’t know what’s gonna happen after.

Cory Miller: Yeah. Yeah. I, I mean, WordPress has, uh, evolved so much and I think this is our time to take a big, deep breath, look around and go, we got this, you know, see these opportunities, but make sure we’re still watching these opportunities in certain integration. And I. Into WordPress and like you were saying, and I think, and I believe the business ecosystem of WordPress can do that, can meet that challenge and opportunity.

I mean, it’s really an [00:26:00] opportunity. Um, I think about the fed averse, I started having a little bit more about that, just some alternative to closed walled garden, um, that WordPress has always flown the flag of freedom. The ability to go out and build whatever you want, how ugly or awesome it is, you know, and I, I want that for, for my kids.

And w WordPress turning 20 year, I’m 20 this year. I’ve been really reflective of those things. So, uh, I, I like it. I think this is an opportunity for us to ride like you, you nailed it. Community. That’s what drives this thing. It’s not just the code, code needs to change and evolve, but the people are the heart of it.

So I, I love that emphasis vo. All right. Tell me what cool things you got going on at FIUs Man. Um, I, I know you’re always iterating on things, but you know, maybe the first question is what are the, what are the things about the platform you really cherish that we might gloss over? Cuz you’ve been doing it so long [00:27:00] and then new stuff you’re working on, um, for your, your

Vova Feldman: customers.

Yeah. I’ll probably, there’s no like one feature that will be, you know, exciting for everyone. Everyone have their own flavors. Uh, I, I think the, our main kind of selling point is that with free use, you can make more money with less headache. Uh, that’s, you know, the, the things and you get a true partner that cares about your growth.

And, uh, you know, we are very, uh, proactive and here to help. Uh, we’ve been working on, you know, many things all the time. Uh, I will share some stuff that, you know, we plan to, to do this year. Uh, we wanna, uh, like one of the things that we are lacking and been postponing for a while is, uh, localizing the checkout, uh, to allow it, you know, to be loaded in the native language [00:28:00] depending on the geolocation of the customer.

Uh, it is something. That is like, there are micro ecosystems, uh, even though the world is global, but not everything is English. Uh, you know countries like Germany Yes. France, uh, places in South Africa where they do like mostly in native languages, and there are many products that. Also in our space that the companies are specifically targeting their country and that’s it.

It’s big enough that they don’t need to expand to the US market and other places. Uh, so this is a big one that we’re really excited about. Uh, and that’s it. This year is, it is happening , we’re also. Doing some modernization of our dashboards, uh, you know, it’s time to kind of refresh the UI and give it a, uh, a new, uh, slick scheme.

Uh, so that’s [00:29:00] also, you know, things that are important for us doing some optimization. So the checkout, uh, also in terms of conversion, making it even better. Um, we did add last year a bunch of special, we call them special coupons, uh, that are aimed to, uh, maximize conversion rates and minimizing, uh, churn rates, uh, that are really unique and developers don’t really need to do anything in order to, to make it happen.

So, for example, when someone goes. and, you know, starts a cancellation process of their subscription. Developers can define a coupon that will say, Hey, you know, before you go, like, take 15% just to say on the subscription. Uh, so the, we seeing that really helpful, uh, and exit intent discount that, you know, if you are trying to leave the checkout in the middle, give you an extra incentive, [00:30:00] uh, to, to continue with the checkout and, and a bunch of.

So this is just, you know, some of the things, uh, there are many more. Let me see if I have something. Yeah. Another one that we wanna, uh, prioritize this year is we, we do offer an affiliate platform for FIA’s developers. But currently the, the payouts, uh, handling is up to the developers. So this is a need that we, a pain that we’re hearing from our community that they would love us to take care of the payouts for them.

It will add some, you know, operational, uh, hassle for us. But it’s okay. You know, we are, Solve it for everyone. Uh, so that’s also something that we’re really, really excited about and, uh, going to ship this year and it will, you know, streamline and save that whole operational hassle for developers to deal with affiliates to pay them out.[00:31:00]

Cory Miller: That’s awesome. I, I wanna go back to, I love that iteration on everything you’re doing for your community. Uh, I want to go back to the localization part because something I totally glossed over or didn’t even think of until you said that, but, um, word for Texas Global, and you mentioned three regions, countries, um, Seem to have potential for high growth, uh, with unique needs that aren’t served just from English, you know, uh, I, you know, from a market size, I go, gosh, Europe and that whole.

Time zone band all the way down to what you said. South Africa, I’m not as aware, I don’t have any many, as many relationships in South Africa, but I go Europe, gosh. Um,

Vova Feldman: money to spend. I meant South America by the way. Sorry if I said South Africa. Oh, oh, okay. South. Well that’s,[00:32:00]

Cory Miller: that’s even more interesting um, cuz like I see Europe for sure. Talk to me about South.

Vova Feldman: Yeah, I, I, I mean, you know, uh, when I say South America, I meant, uh, uh, not, uh, the usa right? I meant like Brazil, Argentina, all these places. So, so they’re like, e everything there is kind of native, that’s expectation.

It’s not an English. Yeah. And it’s Portuguese. Yeah, exactly. Portuguese, uh, Spanish. Spanish, you know, et cetera. And. . Um, they, they have a local economy that is like big enough in terms of audience that you can build a business, a local business purely for a plugins, whatever digital business, just target your local country.

But it will, you know, it’s kind of awkward if you, everything is. Portuguese, but then the checkout is in English. Yeah, yeah. You know, and things like that.

Cory Miller: Well, so Portuguese, you know, I spent some time in [00:33:00] Portugal, but I know Brazil for, for instance, enormous country. And you know, you look at most, um, global type sites and communities, let’s say Facebook, you’re gonna see a Portuguese in, in the top, you know, three to five of like translations and stuff.

But I’m curious what you’re seeing in. Uh, port Brazil, Portuguese speaking obviously is dominant there. Um, but like, how are they using, or WordPress, how, how big is the market? Is it, you know, is it growing? I, I get kind of, my perspective gets Europe, you know, have money doing cool commerce over there using WordPress just aren’t tap, you know, WordPress itself because it is like, You know, it started here in, I guess in the US and Gro grew to the us but there’s so much good stuff going on there that they just don’t decide to go to a Word camp, for instance.

But I’m curious what your perspectives are in like Brazil and South America. Like how are they [00:34:00] using WordPress? The, the actual your customer’s?

Vova Feldman: Customers? So, honestly, I don’t have these answers, so I don’t wanna say, you know, come up with with things. I, I just, you know, I. Like familiar on this angle from the commercial perspective.

Gotcha. And those like Microeconomists. And it’s not only Yeah, you know, south America or places in Europe, it’s also in Asia, like, you know, Japan, Asia, uh, China. Yeah. Uh, like all, all these places, like they are focused on their country. They have like over a hundred million, you know? Yeah. Uh, uh, citizens there.

Uh, so it’s, it’s big enough of a market just to win debt. Uh, so just by, and I think this is something that many are maybe overlooking, but that’s another opportunity. The fact that you have Yost, s e. You can start a yo competitor that it’s like, you know, Japanese [00:35:00] focused. Yeah. And most likely build something that in Japan will be a winner.

And OTOs as an example. Yeah. Okay. Well,

Cory Miller: yeah, I think you’re drilling it down for me and seeing the perspectives, but I, I go, my, one of my friends from Portugal, Marco Almeda, has a payment. Processing solution that’s just for Portugal, because that’s how they do commerce for WooCommerce and does pretty well with it.

And I’m like, I get that, you know, that nuance and, and I guess I was asking it from the product, you know, when you think about the world, I go, okay. I think big categories of. Of, you know, products, but now it’s drilling it down to like, there might be a need that just like his product solution isn’t gonna probably be used outside of Portugal, but it’s in there.

There’s, I think there’s 35 million people there, you know? So what percentage of that, like you said, can make a living and do good work? Um, there’s, there’s just trying to [00:36:00] demonstrate for those listening too, like, You’re saying there’s more opportunities than we’re we always think of

Vova Feldman: instantly. Yeah, and, and I will say it’s even easier even if the product is not specifically relevant to that geolocation, but if all your marketing efforts, your branding, the people behind the product are native and local.

You can win that market in some markets because that’s what people are looking, you know? Mm-hmm. , like I, I, I’m pretty sure that, you know, many of the market leaders, whatever it is, SEO or other places, they’re not optimizing for Japanese. Maybe they localize and have some automatic plugin that does something, but that’s.

Is not really optimizing for Japan, right? Like if you really wanna build a business there, you need to go to the local events. Have people that understand the culture, know the, you know, whatever, how the websites are supposed to look there. [00:37:00] So it’s like a whole different ecosystem. So you don’t even need to invent anything.

You just need to localize your brand company product to the local market in some economies to succeed and get involved there with the local influencers and, you know, Target, and I think you can win that. I, I’ve seen some products of doing that. Yeah. Yeah.

Cory Miller: Okay. Thank you for letting me to to digress on that because I just keep going like, what are the opportunities?

Cuz we need more and more people innovating out there and being able to see there’s. There’s really incredible opportunities in WordPress that they don’t come but a part of the localization. So I totally understand that’s one of the things you’re excited about to do. The ui ux work you’re doing will be great, I’m sure.

And the affiliates that’s, uh, helping people make money. So I love it. You’ve be, you’re a platform and, and you’re really taking care of your community with this forward thinking

Vova Feldman: things. And I, I also want to add one more [00:38:00] thing. Uh, in the past two years, we did recognize. That, you know, previously we’ve been very focused on developers.

It’s not like we ignored users. Okay. But we didn’t always pay attention or. Kind of look on the perspective of the user. Mm-hmm. , and we did get a little pushback in the past two years, I would say. Uh, and we’re working very hard to first of all address the feedback that we are receiving, uh, as well as changing kind of the way we work.

Uh, whatever we do in a company, we think about developers and we also put ourselves in the minds. Of users, you know, to make sure, because sometimes, you know, it, it’s, uh, can be a, uh, a thin, uh, thin line, I would say, you know? Yeah. Sometimes there is a [00:39:00] balance that you need to keep, you know, because something that the, a developer will benefit directly doesn’t necessarily that the user will benefit from.

So there is some sort of a balance and, you know, Michan going forward is to make sure that FIUs is a great solution for users as it is for developers. Yep. And yeah.

Cory Miller: That’s awesome. Well, um, Veva, thank you for your time today and talking about sharing really openly about what you’re seeing in the product market with WordPress.

Uh, I think it’s something that’s always like, I love products, so I love talking about product, and geek can geek out on that. Where can they find more about

Vova Feldman: FIUs? Sure. Uh, so, uh, i is our homepage. Uh, we write a lot of, uh, content around the business, marketing, pricing, customer support, everything related to the business, to the commercial side, uh, of [00:40:00] software Pluggin theme, develop development, uh,

Uh, you can find me on Twitter. It’s Vva Feldman. Uh, I would also like to mention that a big chunk of our team is going to be in World Camp Asia next month, so if you’re coming, I have the t-shirt here. So

Cory Miller: nice . I love it. . Yeah, .

Vova Feldman: Cool. Uh, so if you’re coming, you know, please come say hi. We’re also going to, uh, have, uh, our famous makers meet up, where we bring together, uh, you know, product makers, uh, plugging and thin developers, uh, SaaS owners, uh, just for a little, you know, side event of networking, drinks, food, uh, and you know, having good time together.

It’s an invite only event. So if you are, you know, a product person and interested to come, uh, email [00:41:00] and we’ll happily send you an invite.

Cory Miller: That’s awesome. And also you’re in post outta Slack, so. Absolutely. Well, thanks Fava, uh, love what you’re doing. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your perspectives with today at Post Status draft.

Vova Feldman: Thanks for having me.

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