The psychology of cognitive customer behavior with Guido Jansen

There is a new sheriff in town, leading the charge to Spryker. Guido Jansen tells us about his new role with Spryker. Most interesting is that we learn a little about customer behavior and his role as a community builder and Cognitive Psychologist. Guido is a community engagement specialist using strategic insight and empathy to understand, inform, and strategically engage both a worldwide ecosystem and the internal stakeholders who serve them. He has done hundreds of presentations, workshops, seminars, and conferences in over 25 countries about several topics around E-commerce and Psychology.


Brent: Welcome to this new year today, I have Guido Jansen and he is with Spriker and I’m very excited to talk to him, Guido. You are the global business and technology. Evangelists for Spriker and which in the blue room or the green room, we talked about that you’re the Ben marks of Spriker or the Ben marks of shop where, or the benchmarks of Magento or whatever.

Brent: However you want to say that. Why don’t you do a better introduction than I just did. And maybe tell us what you’re doing day to day and, one of your passions in life. 

Guido: Oh, I have many passions brands. One of wishes now a Spriker indeed. Yeah, my background’s in the. I guess to try to compromise a bit that I have a background in psychology and what a usability part of of psychology optimizing a web shop off the debts.

Guido: The study itself at university I’m done. I don’t feel that old, but at university that didn’t have a lot of online things going on. In terms of examples. So that was mainly about the usability. I could think of thing machine or a way, finding an airports how that works. But I always applied this to align to e-commerce and in, started out with things like mumbo and.

Guido: Wait maybe I am old mama Joomla and a, and I switched gears to to e-commerce and Magento in 2008. That time when we were all playing around with cameras and virtual mark, and those kinds of things that Magento came around, which was this magical thing that was way ahead of its time. And we all add a great fun, I think playing around with that and did that for, 13 years.

Guido: And I think that’s also like 20 10, 20 11 that I met you. I think we met at a. It was the Moscone center in San 

Brent: Francisco. Could be, yeah. Yeah. The fabric comm X dot commerce. 

Guido: This will all be beeped 

Brent: out with the knee, right? Yeah. In fact, I was just going through all my supplies. I was going through my old video just getting stuff, getting my mat cleaned up and I found of a video of the, in the intro or the, welcome from the.

Brent: PayPal slash Magento slash whatever eBay people. Yeah. And it was us coming out of the conference center and they all, there’s huge. Just all the employees lined up welcoming, everybody to the event. So it was definitely a well thought out event and it was fun how could you go wrong?

Brent: I don’t know if if the outcome was what they had expected, but it was fun. And then. A fun event, 2011, definitely. 

Guido: Yeah. Events were a fun ride. Remember those events were fun. Now we had a lot of fun with that with Magento organized, a lot of stuff. For Magento we had the Mimi, Japan and Netherlands kickstart this whole global movement of Magento events.

Guido: And I’ve been lucky enough to to attend many of those those firsts, which are the best I think, to go through like those first events in a country where. People have heard each other’s names online on slack or on the forums, but never met in person. So all those awkward first meetings, or those are great to to, attend to.

Guido: And yeah, I and it’s also a, the Magento ecosystem is also where I met Boris the founder of Spriker and currently co CEO of Spriker. I think we met sills. 20 11 20 12 had a Magento agency. And some six, seven years ago when you started with we kept in contact and yeah, I would have lost a year.

Guido: I was working at a Magento merchants actually. And he approached me and said, Hey, we’re growing like crazy at Spriker and we need someone like you doing community stuff. Spriker we need something like that. So to support that. I don’t think you actually build this, build a community.

Guido: I The community is there and does its own thing. That’s what we see, which has the rights. But we need someone from Spriker to facilitate what’s happening out. There are very similar indeed to what’s. What bandage. And before that, around though, we’re doing a Magento. So yeah, that’s the, 

Brent: yeah.

Brent: And I, I did I’ve interviewed my Miquel Turk for both Spriker and it’s an interesting and fun platform and one of the. I had made early on was about the who 15 and how we’re working on getting sub one second times. And he laughed at me and he said, yes, Spriker, we’re working on sub 400 millisecond times or something like that.

Brent: It is an interesting platform and I’d love to dive into it a little more, but first let’s I know that you have been involved with. In conversion rate optimization, I think from an e-commerce standpoint, that is one thing that is often overlooked, especially. A lot of clients will come to a technology partner and they’ll say, Hey, I want to build a fantastic website.

Brent: Then they leave those either the technology partner doesn’t focus on that or the client doesn’t see value in that. So can we maybe just have a brief conversation around, what does it mean for conversion rate and why is that? And so why is that even more important than the platform you’re on or the store build that you’re doing or any of those.

Guido: I think the conversion rate optimization traditionally it’s in the name. It’s, a bit limiting. It’s the oldest Christian in the Ciroc community. Let’s first define what it is. So Euro it’s about a practice of semi or semi-truck. Practice or figuring out what works for your online store which usually involves doing user research talking to users, doing surveys, translating those into a hypothesis on what could work and what’s, where you expect to be a better for, your store.

Guido: And then validating that through experiments. Usually that’s, an AB test. That’s, very short description of of, Shiro these days. And I think one of the things that was holding back Shiro, it depends a bit on the depends a lot on the area you’re in the business you’re in, but for many companies it’s, relatively easy to say what the ROI is for buying more ads, buying Edwards.

Guido: This is what I put in. This is what I put out. That’s, very straightforward and that’s something that then people try to apply to Shiro and that doesn’t really work zeroes more. Often long-term strategy, trying to figure out what worked for your customer. And it’s really hard to say at the end of the day, at the end of the year what came out of that?

Guido: Exactly. Which is also a bit counter-intuitive because we’re doing an AB test. So we can exactly say, this is what version a is doing. This is what version B is doing, but. The course of the year, like if you do three aunts or a thousand experiments what’s your contribution? I don’t know. And that’s that’s, sometimes hard for managers to get into and also it can also mean that you’re not even growing, but it can also mean that you’re not going down.

Guido: So your conversion rate stays the same. Your number stays the same if you’re in a declining business like a couple of last years with, if you’re in a, in a. Selling holiday houses, like It’s going to be really hard to increase refresher rates or to, or avenue. But you really need a team like this to understand.

Guido: Okay, what are people still buying? What are the, changing consumer behavior to last year’s? And companies that do CRO well those are the ones that can survive this. And if you just keep buying more assets, that’s going to be a very difficult thing to, 

Brent: to maintain that. Yeah. I think with the Google mistake or the Google ad mistake or the paid ad mistake has always been, Hey, let’s just throw money at it.

Brent: And money will also always get it there. And sure. It’s true. You can plow enough money into anything to make anything work, but there was a diminish diminishing return on that investment. And I think one thing we learned, I was part of the PayPal mobile optimization program for a year. And we did learn that number one, measuring and doing those tests matters.

Brent: Getting the merchant to get involved and see what’s happening. And then I think what you said is you are either not propping up, but finding what works best for you. And then even doubling down on that to make sure that you’re putting that investment where it’s really paying off, but learning things that are counter-intuitive.

Brent: And I think one of the things that we learned in the mobile optimization. Some of the things that you would think would perform better, perform worse when you think they should perform better. And I think from a from a psychological standpoint or any, type of human behavior standpoint, for me, that’s always very interesting to learn.

Brent: Why and why would something you would think performed better perform worse? And I think for the mobile one, I think was all about we’re going from this desktop. People have a perception of desktop and then people have a perception of mobile. And I’ll just say in the Western world, I’ll generalize.

Brent: Most of the time, we’re still on our desktop computer buying something it’s going more mobile it’s compared to the emerging markets where it’s, maybe they don’t even have a desktop and they’re buying everything online. Yeah. 

Guido: Yeah and that’s counter-intuitive parts saying, okay.

Guido: We think this is going to work with. But it didn’t, that’s also a big part of why CRO can sometimes be a difficult conversation. Because w with management often, Ciro’s also an initially used just to prove whatever management wants it to prove. And that doesn’t always work. For example with, booking that I just mentioned that it’s

Guido: It’s you can book hotel rooms there. It’s a big company worldwide. It’s based in the Netherlands originally. So that’s why I use it as an example. There are the example of running experiment. But they, publicly said it. Okay. One in 10 experiments is success. So that even for that company, that’s the pinnacle of AB testing and running experiments.

Guido: They’re really good at this. And even they well fail nine out of 10 times fill as in doesn’t go up doesn’t increase your conversion rates or revenue or whatever you’re optimizing. So you can imagine if, you don’t have your processes in place or you’re not as good as booking yet, that number is not as good as one in 10, but might be wanting 21 in 50 or whatever.

Guido: And that’s, also I think Bartel for whites white can be really hard to start For companies doing this because you really need to be dedicated. It’s not just running a three tests a year and then the hope for the best. That’s probably not going to work for you. So that’s makes it a bit harder than just buy more Google ads.

Guido: But yeah, you need to realize that. The traffic to your website, that’s part one, part two is getting the people on those websites to convert to whatever you want them to buy. And it’s still a very important blocking factor if that’s not, good. And if you’re double the amount of people converting on your websites, that’s probably going to stay there.

Guido: Even if you stop optimizing today, if you double that and you’re stopped today, it’s not going to be we worse tomorrow. Less like things with ads. If you still buy ads today, you’re not going to have any traffic any more tomorrow. So that’s going to be I think Sierra is going to be in the end.

Guido: There’s going to be a better investment, but yeah, 

Brent: I think that looking at at what people are doing there, the op the, alternative is not doing. And then you don’t even know, then you’re really just sailing into a black hole without any knowledge or, thought about what you’re doing. So measuring it.

Brent: And I think I’ve heard is that it’s hypothesized, so you can come up with some experiments, you observe those, you measure them and then adjust after. So even, like you said, one in 10 or, one in 20. Those numbers mean that at least you’ve, found success in that little piece. And normally not normally, but let’s just say in the business world if you get a one and 10 on a stock pick and that stock picked does a thousand.

Brent: The increase in your business or your, return? That one in 10 usually pays for the nine. And I think if, as we dig in to CRO and we work in on those specific things with, clients and learn what is doing better, those that one in 10 is going to give a payback. And I’m guessing does it because it gives them a payback.

Brent: And of course they know their customer. 

Guido: Yeah. Yeah. And I think if you’re interested, you’re all, if you’re, like I said you’re in an agency you want to sell these things to clients. I think it helps to frame it in a totally different way. Don’t, sell it as optimization senators, risk managers.

Guido: And a way to prioritize your backlog. If you run the experiments and you say indeed nine out of 10 would not have works. That may, that means that you save money on implementing those nine things that wouldn’t would not have worked anyway. So you don’t have to implement them. Just implement the one that does work.

Guido: And, you can also say to the strands that’s maybe you think you’re not experimenting, but you’re changing a little things on your websites today and tomorrow under the author, you still, basically, you’re still experimenting. You just don’t have any idea what the outcome mess of the experiments.

Guido: The overall sum, you know what happens at the end of the month when you’re looking through your books okay, this is what we solve, but you have no ID which. Which of those experiments that you’re, I don’t know that your content team and what your design team, whatever they or development team, whatever they deployed, you have no idea what those individual experiments contributed to the whole.

Guido: So you’re not learning anything. Exactly. It’s something 

Brent: you can build upon. All right, so let’s tie this into Spriker. We, Came on to talk more about Spriker than CRO, but how how we 

Guido: can do multiple episodes of breath is found. Good. 

Brent: Good good So how well let’s, frame it around Spriker and, your role.

Brent: So some of your role is, going to be helping clients and some of your roles building a community. 

Guido: It’s a bit of a it might, feel like a bit of a career switch, so I’m not, I won’t be. So for the last 10 years I’ve been running those experiments, running hero programs and actually building teams that do this.

Guido: So I won’t be doing that. That Spriker at least not, initially. It’s, more about the community part. The thing I’ve also been doing with. With Magento on the side for, 13 years. That’s what I’m going to focus on doing doing for Spriker, but it still feels a bit it still feels a bit similar, so I’m not running AB tests anymore, but I’m still trying to.

Guido: To get the best possible feedback out of that community and use that to make Spriker better. And it can be Spriker the product can be Spriker the services that we offer. So in that sense, it’s not that far from what I’ve been doing is Bombi. It won’t result in an AB test, only commercial websites.

Guido: But I still plan on running some experiments with the community to see what’s working and what isn’t, and then collecting that feedback we are building or expanding, facilitating the community that we have. That’s a, that’s the main goal. Some of the things. That we have. So we have a couple of subgroups within that community.

Guido: We already have a partner advisory board for both the solution partners in the technology part. That’s already running. I’m not involved with that. I’m currently working on seating, a customer advisory boards. So that’s existing customers getting them to get our coupler, like 15 customers, getting them to get R and R on a regular basis.

Guido: And I get feedback from them on how they use system and help them communicate with Spriker in a better. So that’s one thing I’m doing. The second one is regular user groups. So we already had to use a group sets Spriker before the pandemic, those are now being continued on our remote basis.

Guido: So we had our first one last month, which was really fun. Doing that and that’s, more aimed necessarily at at the strategy level. There’s more day-to-day users that are doing that. The, like most user groups are and a third one is that’s working on I’m not sure about the name yet, but like a developer attraction and adoption group.

Guido: So there will be people from, clients, from solution partners and from Spriker itself to she. Okay. What can we do to get, to attract more developers basically to Spriker. We’ve seen that with, Magento that has, can be quite the bottleneck if you don’t have enough developers out in the world.

Guido: So we have a great academy team. That’s a surprise. We’ve got some great courses to onboard people, both for people working in the back ends for developers itself or for people selling selling Spriker those courses that it’s something we have. So also I think learning from I’m not the only one from magenta and the spikers and the LA people with Magento background.

Guido: So Carol making sure that Spriker has really good documentation. So that’s a, this has been thinking. But the academy, of course only works if people know about Spriker itself, you need to get those developers on board first. And so that’s going to be part of that’s that third group that I’m working on to figure out, okay, what can we do to onboard more people more developers and get them enthusiastic about the platform.

Brent: It reminds me of the tech stack on spreads. The, what is that? The platform’s on, tech beach BHP. Perfect. Yes. So a Magento developer could, he could transition a Spriker or fairly, easy. Yup. Yup. And 

Guido: multiple have 

Brent: gone sour yeah. It seems to be. I think we’ve always said this with Magento.

Brent: It seemed like Magento had run the course with eBay and then mark Lavelle and the team came in and, really reinvigorated the community. It seems like red, another tipping point now did an amazing job at that. Absolutely. We’re at an another tipping point. So it sounds like some of your role is to listen to what the community is saying and maybe.

Brent: Not adjust commercial aspects of it, put at least adjust communication aspects. Would that be a good realization of, part of your role of how the community is reacting, not reacting, but forming strategy and forward-looking planning in to involve the community. 

Guido: Yeah. And of course that’s something I experienced in the last 15 years with Magento myself being an active community member, but multiple working on the I’d never worked on the Magento site itself.

Guido: So I’ve seen something that Magento did really well. I’ve seen some things I think Magento could have done better. And that’s, definitely the part. And one of the first things I said two boars, whatever I’m going to do I won’t have sales targets. That’s an important one. For this job to work people need to trust you, right?

Guido: That, they need to be able to come with you with open feedback, open open criticism about whatever they think is important for them to continue their journey with with the products and that shouldn’t result in a call from the sales department next day, saying. Yeah. 

talk-commerce-guido-2022-1-10__22-55-15: Why 

Brent: did you do that?

Brent: Why did you say that? I’ve definitely I’ve unfortunately, or fortunately had those calls. It does get you. And unfortunately those calls do change a little bit of your direction as a, maybe even as an agency head or as a, or a community organizer in order to get money from. The not from the community, but from that entity and Magento was very good at saying, we’re never going to give you money for anything.

Brent: So that was easier. But in in order to get people, let’s just say, get people involved. There was a aspect of, we, you need to tow the line. And I agree there has to be some kind of line that has to be towed in terms of don’t don’t bash us on stage and at a meet Magento event, which actually happened.

Brent: And it should happen when it’s something that’s egregious. But there are I think there always has to be a commercial aspect to things. And again, so just help educate me. Is there a community version of spark or is it completely commercial? 

Guido: It’s completely commercial. It’s the sources.

Guido: But it’s not an open source license. So it the full code is on the, is available and get up for everyone to see and to try and as a and if you’re like me too lazy to install it. So there’s there are demos available for the different markets that we serve. So we have B to B, to C we have we have marketplace solutions so that’s all there for people to see.

Guido: But if you want to use the product, then it becomes a commercial license and that’s fully based on either the items sold order. So it depends a bit on the business model and I guess on what’s our sales team agrees with 

Brent: the clients. Okay. So it’s negotiable somewhat. 

Guido: Now yeah so, they have it’s not necessarily negotiable, but there are levels that you can get to.

Guido: And then of course the better the price becomes lower. Yep. 

Brent: Got it. Yeah. Marketplaces is certainly a, big topic right now. Everybody’s trying to do a marketplace. I think Magento has made the way Magento is, engineered. Isn’t great for marketplace applications. So tell us a little bit about how the marketplace would help a merchant.

Guido: Yeah, and I think w what makes breaker great is that it’s, it really focuses on the non standards business models, protocols, the sophisticated business model. And usually with specifically, I think with, marketplace with B to C it’s, usually straightforward and there are a lot of platforms supporting that.

Guido: And then you go to B2B or to marketplace usually. And like you said, with Magento You often get into the area of a lot of customizations. And then you need a platform that supports that the business models get more and more diverse, more and more when you go to B2B and marketplace and you need a platform to support that.

Guido: So I think that’s one of the, strength of 

Brent: biker a Spriker started in Germany. And it’s branching out to the rest of the world. So what are. What are your plans now for the U S market? I’m assuming that’s the next big market to tackle. 

Guido: Yup. So we got our first clients in in the U S and this is definitely, yeah.

Guido: Western Europe and the U S or for many platforms to go to markets, especially if that’s one of those countries, your, if you use your own country, U S is a big focus. We have already started there this year. Or 2021 last year and this year 2022 will be a big focus here and we will have we already had an exciting events.

Guido: There are last year, I think we’ll have one or two excite events. There are next year for context excites is the spike of fruition of of Magento. Imagine if if that’s, if that helps you with with context So that’s another, we are definitely focusing on that, but for me personally like I said, the one aspect that I find important is to grow.

Guido: That’s a developer base. And specifically for that, I think it’s even more important to be a presence. What is feasible in countries that are not Western Europe and the U S because there are a lot of development communities in south America and Africa in Asia, Indonesia, India. And that those are typical markets where marketing or sales is not active or not active yet, or not as active in, in as in Western Europe and in the U S so that’s going to be a fun challenge for, me and my team to, see outcome are we are, we can visit get visibility specifically in those markets, but in terms of sales we’re growing really fast in in the U S right now, I think this Fastest growth rates.

Guido: Yeah. So it’s going to be definitely a big one for 2020 

Brent: type of merchant. That would be a good fit for Spriker. 

Guido: Yeah. That, that will be the, customer like I said, that has a sophisticated business model and that is a tricky term, I think, because I’ve met a lot of, I’ve also worked agency side and every customer thinks they have a sufficient.

Guido: Business model. So that’s, always a up for discussion but a typical I think the best suit it’s like we just said with B2B and market. Those are definitely the customers that would be a better fit force. Private, I think B2C, although we do have some beets see clients that have more sophisticated mall.

Guido: Sorry if there’s, if it requires more customization then then your standard shop, that’s definitely a good one. Maybe, a good dimension for context that’s Spriker is a password. Oh man. It was on-prem before that we had on-prem we still have some on-prem customers but we only sell the past solution right now.

Guido: So platform as a service and which means we also everything, but there’s still a lot of customization that you can still do that you can either have an agency for, we have a lightness partner now. Our orders. You can do in-house if you have a development team in that. 

Brent: Oh as I think that past solution and just to educate our audience, the past means that it is a single installation, but it is all, it was hosted by the vendor.

Brent: So you’re hosting the platform, you’re supporting the base code. But it’s the single issue, but it’s not shared, it’s not an instance that shared like a SAS solution. It’s not shared with thousands of people. How do you, then 

Guido: you anchor customize it. You can build on top of that compared to with a SAS solution where you can customize some things through settings, but if it’s not in the setting, Then you’re done.

Guido: Yeah. 

Brent: And it’s a big difference there. It’s the only way to customize that is to build an application that’s sitting outside of the application that would con connect via an API. You can’t build it directly into the software. 

Guido: And a nice addition to that is that’s we’re going to release. I think there’s going to be a Q2.

Guido: I think that was announced. I hope I think Q2, we will release our SDK and AOP. That’s the. The application that the platform basically that we will have so then we’re going to have our own marketplace, our own app store for things to connect with. Spriker. So then we can have a shared database of whatever you want to connect.

Guido: If you want to connect your your email, your CRM, your ERP to Spriker. You can do that. And I think that’s especially interesting because a lot of things in Spriker are interchangeable. So w what the gardener calls package business capability. BBC’s which basically means that everything in Spriker it’s a collection of those package business capabilities.

Guido: And that’s, talk to each other through an API. So if you want to, for example remove that or use your own. You can remove practice checkouts and use a third-party checkout or your own checkouts. And that’s different elements in Spriker have. We have I don’t know the accounts, but we have several PVCs that consists of several undoes of modules.

Guido: You can just swap them out and especially with the AOP, that will be really interesting because then you can Israel can be relatively well, even more easy to do. 

Brent: So coming back to the past model one of the complaints with the Magento version of pass is that it, doesn’t necessarily save the client any money on, maintenance because you basically, you’re hosting it on Magento, but they’ll help support your core, but they won’t do anything else then.

Brent: Answer support tickets. So is Spriker taking any different approach to that? Do they, are they doing some of the core updates on the code itself? 

Guido: That’s a good question. And I don’t really, I haven’t worked with a Magental spouse version, so I don’t really know how to compare it to to that. But yeah, the this Riker core is maintained and it’s a it’s the same for everyone.

Guido: And you can then choose to update it for you. Yes or no. For all the different models. There are hundreds, I think we’re currently over a thousand modules of Spriker itself. They’re all versions. You can choose to update. Those were never Whatever works for you. You can you can, of course, ideally update them all when they come out.

Guido: And then that’s all on a rolling basis. I think on average, I heard someone say that on average, we have 10 releases a day. That’s something I’m definitely that’s, being maintained and that you can benefit 

Brent: from. So the I, know that speaking to Mike McKell earlier in the year, he talked a lot about the BDB version and then the scalability and the robustness of the platform.

Brent: Maybe tell it, talk to us a little bit about the type of client that would look at B2B and skew counts and things like that. 

Guido: Oh, yeah. In terms of we have those extreme examples, and last year at at the, excite conference we had one they have over 550 million sq use in their Spriker store, which I find mind boggling.

Guido: That’s that’s, very impressive. And yes, people order dare on a regular basis. It’s not just sitting there but they they sell electronic parts it’s and the case study is actually on my website. If you’re interested, it’s a sociability and this is the name of the. That’s the platform.

Guido: And yeah, I think In terms of, and that’s, why I think Spriker is very interesting to me personally. I was funded and that there’s already, there’s something I found with, Magento. I funded the B2B sites, that those those clients always way more interesting PTC sites because of those those tricky business models and the tricky Details that you need to get right in, B2B.

Guido: B2C can be hard with a lot of customers. Just the sheer volume of, customers. If you have a lot of shopping that those customers of customer behavior change can change fast, but with B2B also have this and the detail that you need to get, right? All those specific things for your business.

Guido: I was Working with a company that did prince and they printed basically on that. And that means that if you print on everything, it’s really hard to get templates for, printing. I know, yeah. Umbrella umbrellas, that’s a different cars. You can mugs pens, everything, all the merchant you can think of that they would print it.

Guido: And which, meant that it was basically almost all manual. For, the depends that some, automation but basically everything else was done manually, which is mind blowing, but then you need to keep in mind when, someone orders it they had their, our local supply was in the.

Guido: But if, you didn’t need a speed delivery, so if you needed a speed delivery, they would do that in a, in the Netherlands. And then you’d have an extra fee for that. But if If you would want to deliver, like in one and a half, two weeks, they would actually ship all the stock that was in the Netherlands.

Guido: Put it on a on a truck, drove it to Poland, and then there are people would unpack everything print it, put it back in a truck, drive it back to the Netherlands and. Because it was so labor intensive, that was actually cheaper to do that than just to print it in the Netherlands, which again is mind blowing, but then you need a system, a backend that supports crazy shit like that.

Guido: And, that’s what I find interesting. Those, clients of debt, those are the things that are holding. Or, things your system is holding you back on? I think that’s those are great cases for Spriker. 

Brent: Yeah, same example that we worked with the eyeglass company that had the same idea where they, want part of the eyeglasses would get done in a factory, in one part of the city.

Brent: And then it would get shipped across town to put the lenses in the frames or whatever. Then they get shipped to the retail store, get shipped back, and then. Then get shipped to the client directly. If that’s that’s the if that’s the model that they had. And that was I know that for Magento, that turned out to be very complicated.

Brent: But, yeah. So I can see how that would from a standpoint of complexity and from a platform where you that’s, where you, the necessity of having a platform that you can modify and make your own. Essentially, 

Guido: if you want to do a. What we call unified commerce. So your terminals in your stores, your physical stores, where people can can order stuff or clients can order stuff locally.

Guido: And that’s connected into your system complexity rises quickly. And also things like in the beginning with, Magento Magento was fixed right now, but in Magento in the beginning it was all already really hard to have multiple warehouses. There’s also, it was also another thing.

Guido: And luckily Spriker fixed that from beginning. That’s, something. We have a lot of clients that’s a doer multiple millions of revenue. That’s the things they want to fix and expect from from a platform to. Yeah, it’s F as a default. 

Brent: There’s a whole bunch of buzzwords floating around in the community on monoliths and microservices and micro blah-blah-blah PWA.

Brent: Where is Spriker sitting in on that. And I guess from a technology standpoint, is it easier for a customer to get into it and not worry so much about the technology? Or are they going to have to. Not worry there’s going to be a certain amount of development needed to get things running.

Guido: It’s a past platform so, there will always be some some development needed to get at the Oregon. Although we do have a. We do have for there’s a front end that you can use if that’s what you want, but you can also add your own phone tents. It will need to be connected to, the data that you have or data that you have needs to be important.

Guido: So those are always things that, that needs. And yeah, there are a lot of buzzwords and it can be complex can get complex really fast. I’m still struggling with it myself. And honestly, the first time I heard the term monolith was with the open letter the Magento Ruthie last summer, they started complaining about how things were going and partially rightfully and that’s where I I formed encountered the term monolith before, but just disregarded it and then, but that, wasn’t the first point. I thought I need to look into this and then, oh, this is what they mean, but yeah for, a Spriker I think Spriker is more something that’s often listed in the.

Guido: Corner of things, a mock standing for a microservices, API, firsts cloud something and a cloud native and and, the headless. So those are also for. Yeah. 

Brent: Excellent. 

Guido: But that’s, like a, term that people use often. We, were not fully onboard with the microservices part of that that equation Spriker believes more.

Guido: And that’s what I just mentioned with, the package business capabilities. Microservices first will mean that everything is a microservice. That that leads to a lot of overheads very quickly. And that’s, not needed for most companies. And there are always exceptions. But it’s not something that you’d benefit from.

Guido: And then on the other end of the spectrum is the, monolith like a magenta was at the. Mainly and then Spriker sits, in the middle, which we find very comfortable and most lines seem to be for most lines. It seemed to be a nice balance between the flexibility that you would get with a, with API first and microservices.

Guido: But to have those package in things that make sense for the business package business capabilities. It’s not a developer term. It’s, business. It’s a business term. Alexa, you’re you to have a package business capability for you can have a CRM or an ERP or your checkouts or your phone tense.

Guido: Those can be different, capabilities of your system. And for, clients that just makes more sense. That language makes more sense and the way at least Spriker has built a, it also prevents the overhead that, you would get with only using microservice. 

Brent: Yeah. I like that term, a package business capabilities.

Brent: Yeah, it gives the I think it, the idea of behind that is. You don’t there. There’s going to be a lot of solutions that would apply, but you don’t necessarily have to do the customization, but if you need to, you still can. So clients or merchants can feel better about. Making their solution work at a lower cost or at least a lower initial investment to get them up and running.

Brent: Yeah. 

Guido: And the Spriker is also not. It’s targeting the local bakery rights. That’d be fair. It’s we’re, targeting a larger enterprise businesses mainly and those usually. Either an agency or their own development team that, can handle this. And that’s also where I think Spriker shines.

Guido: A lot of developers love working with Spriker because it’s so maintainable for them, they only need to focus on those extra things that are the, exceptions basically for their business and not necessarily maintaining the system behind us. That’s also not something I’m not a developer, but a.

Guido: Recurring daily tasks, not something necessarily that you’re looking forward to for doing for most people, at least I’m generalizing here, but most people the new things, that those are the challenging things. That’s what you want to do with most developers want to do. And that’s, what we enable.

Guido: And, along those package, business capabilities, one thing I I think you need to mention that’s not something that’s probably grant funded or something it’s a term developed by by Gardner Spriker was also they recognized Spriker as a, as efficient, airy in their magic quadrants last year.

Guido: And it’s only the second year that we, that the sparkle was even listed. And the magic quadrants. And we’re already we were spoken was the platform. We moved the most distance in a positive direction within that. Within the quite uncertain, there was really nice, but also if you look at this quadrant the market changed so much compared to when we started with Magento.

Guido: Like I said, with Magento, we had commerce where we had virtual mark and there was Magento And we had a couple of like Intershop or those kinds of more commercial packages. But right now the magic quadrants, the market is so different than Demetric wardens already contains like 16, 16, 17 systems.

Guido: And that’s like the creme de LA creme from, what gardeners selectors are the F right now are the hundreds of solutions that you as a company can pick. That’s a huge challenge, I think for both developers, both an agencies and clients to say, what on earth do I need to a, big year? A lot of we saw all of you included agencies that’s select a platform, right?

Guido: And you need to stick to dads and that’s what you invest in. And that’s what you then hope sticks when for, long enough. But also in, in debt, I think. And of course I am definitely biased in this in-depth. Spriker is positioned really well because it’s so open with the API, with those package B business capabilities there’s relatively easy to adopt for you as an agency or develop our work lines that fits really well with with whatever you have, right.

Guido: With the adjacent tools for e-commerce that you need to connect with debts because it’s focuses only on the, on you bringing development through the table for, everything that’s specific to your business and enabling that. I think that positions us 

Brent: really well.

Brent: Five 10 minutes left here. What are you excited now for 2022? What do you see coming on the e-commerce horizon on the technology horizon? Do you think? I think one thing you mentioned is that there’s so many more technology players in that magic quadrant and it’s, you would think that we’d be seeing some more consolidation, but it’s almost as though we’re splitting it between SAS pass and on-prem, and then everybody.

Brent: There’s more of them. So what, do you see happening in 2022? What’s exciting. More and more. Yeah, 

Guido: this is very exciting. I, do think and, actually I had the same thing with magenta. I never looked at other platforms and look the oldest competition that we need to fight. Those other platforms.

Guido: Apparently. The e-commerce market is huge and we all get to play a part in that. And there’s this place for almost all of us or these, a lot of us there is place for, Magento and there’s place for, a shop where there are a lot of business cases, that’s fifth with those, and we don’t necessarily need.

Guido: Bethel each other. And in a ring and the bolt flying everywhere that this was really needed. I think we can all focus on that’s the thing that we really good at. And looking at how fast Spriker is going in terms of clients and employees I’m not worried about that.

Guido: That’s a very exciting thing to be at. I’m actually for the past forever, every ever since I’ve. The works basically. I had this dream once working for like a SAS company, like Dropbox or Evernote that those were the companies I thought 15 years ago, that will be really cool to work at. So I have a, single piece of software and you can optimize debts and both from a usability perspective, but also you have this endless nearly endless world markets and form of your, that you got, that you can conquer that there will be really exciting.

Guido: And that’s, this is what I am excited about. This is my first time working on the platform sites and, doing this and Applying my, my experience with, community building for the first time in actually a professional way. I They actually paying me for this now, especially my dream job that had been doing on the side for, 13 years now.

Guido: So I’m very, excited about that. And it’s a great spot to be in with, Spriker it’s it’s very they’re, remote first. I’ve been working remote first for, but at least pre Corona, but four or five years. But it’s, so natural to the company. It’s everyone is remote first have with limited holidays.

Guido: That’s always nice to have I’m working work from Netherlands. I don’t have to complain and we already. Twenty-five holidays by default. So nothing to complain there, but it’s still nice to have, especially we have to, to kids like I do sometimes you need, you just need some extra because they’re the home again.

Guido: And And, building that community. And like I said, w what I really enjoyed with the Magento community, bringing people together, especially for the first time, I does have a lot of community first next year. And the awkward moments, the recognition. That’s exciting starting point at five that you see where people first meet the immediate charter and then build businesses based on that.

Guido: I clearly remember the first meeting magenta are organized in the Netherlands. To developers came to get our metadata for the first time. And now they have this huge Magento business that they sold a couple of years ago. And, that’s happened multiple times and that’s really exciting to me to see that’s happening and then to be at the start of that.

Brent: Yeah, I agree. So I like the idea of having an MMA. MMA cage match, but you’d call it Magento, meet Magento association, cage match, and we’d get Spriker and shop wire in there. And we’d just get some we just have a Throwdown and see who wins. That’s that’s one way to look at it. 

Guido: That’s one way to look at it.

Guido: Like I said, I don’t necessarily need a cage measure. I think we’re, I think we can all we’re all in e-commerce. So that’s, a really good choice to begin with. And I think if we play at rise, we will all win big. What would be 

Brent: a buydown instead of a Throwdown? I think. So we as, we close out, I always give people an opportunity to do a shameless plug.

Brent: What w shameless plug is just, you can promote anything you’d even a local school or charity or whatever it is that you’re, thinking about the. 

Guido: I feel like I’ve been shamelessly plugging Spriker for us lost at least 20 minutes already. Yeah, but if you want me to continue with that, we have we have for looking for a lot of people.

Guido: As, everyone in the in the e-commerce sphere is, so if you’re interested in in dance and now working for a great European employer have a look at the Sprocket. Hiring people work white likes. That’s where we are remote first and work from anywhere. So a take your pick if you’re interested, definitely take a look there.

Guido: And on a personal note, we started out with a CRO. I have my podcast on the, on CRO still. It’s a weekly podcast interviewing experts in the field and that’s the last hero. So I have looked there and you probably already into podcasts anyway, since you’re listening to this, so might as well subscribe.

Brent: Absolutely. Yeah. We all need to share our subscribers and get people to listen more and learn more. I think that the, at first first this should be education. This should be learning about other platforms is not about Magento or whatever. The place where we can learn about what other platforms are doing.

Brent: And from my personal for 2022, I’m super interested in CRO and I have seen sodas seen the light and, why that’s so important for clients. So I applaud you for what you’ve done over the years. And just as a plug. You did organize the first meat Magento, right way back in 2009, 

Guido: January 27th, 2009. 

Brent: Wow.

Brent: Yeah, that’s amazing. And it’s, been such a fantastic journey for both the community building, which has been the most important part for me. Because that’s when I got introduced to right about that same time, that’s when I got introduced to Magento. And I think that community is what has driven the Magento to where it is.

Brent: And you have to give a lot of a lot of kudos, so to speak to the community for helping move that along. And right now there’s a lot of A lot of communication that isn’t and is happening in the Magento community. 

Guido: Yeah. Yeah, I do think community a, is a huge asset for, you as a company, whatever you’re doing as a as a company community is one of those things that is the hardest to copy.

Guido: It’s all of us can copy your product. They can copy your servers, your pricing model, your business model. But it’s really hard to copy a, community. And I think that’s also the, one of the big reasons magenta was still so big, even with all those comp the competition that’s out there in, in that 14, 15 year that Magento was existing.

Guido: Something better probably has come along. And, maybe it has For that specific business model. But transitioning all those agencies away from, you or the developers to learn something new or clients to switch platforms. Clients don’t switch platforms every year. There’s, a time delay in that and, it gives them that gives you the opportunity to, improve your product again, because you have that community commitment from people through you in the company.

Guido: And that’s Yeah, I think I mean with Adobe taking over Magento right now, they’re well, they’re not investing in the name Magento anymore. That’s I think that’s abundantly clear with removing the name from the website. The logo was and now redirecting to to the Adobe website.

Guido: But, even for, the product It’s. Yeah, it’s hard to see a little of investment from, Adobe. What we hoped would happen when they took over. But still everyone’s using Magento. And it’s really hard. You, as a business owner, you or the Magento agency, it’s really hard to have everyone trained on a different, platform.

Guido: That’s not necessarily something you’re looking 

Brent: forward to. Yeah. That’s so true. 

Guido: Yeah. And so communities is a huge assets for four years of community. And then for user, as a business and that’s community, then in a broad sense, a sense of the word can be individuals, developers, the companies that, are attached to you and committed to 

Brent: I think I get your name right there, ghetto Yonson.

Brent: Thank you so much for being here today. Ghetto is the global business and technology evangelist for Spriker. I look forward to seeing you in 2022 in person, somewhere in the world. Hopefully in the U S or in Europe maybe even at a race, we can do a race together. We did, we got through this whole episode without talking about running.

Brent: Next time we’ll do more of that. I appreciate you being here today. Thank you. 

Guido: Thanks for having me. 

Brent: Thank you.


  • Brent W. Peterson

    Who is Brent Peterson? Brent is a serial entrepreneur and marketing professional with a passion for running. He co-founded Wagento and has a new adventure called ContentBasis. Brent is the host of the podcast Talk Commerce. He has run 25 marathons and one Ironman race. Brent has been married for 29 years. He was born in Montana, and attended the University of Minnesota and Birmingham University without ever getting his degree.

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