February 8, 2023

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Home » The Human Connection in Commerce with Maier Bianchi

The Human Connection in Commerce with Maier Bianchi

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.

Welcome to 2023 and the start of a new Talk Commerce year. What’s new? You will see new and updated show notes, I have a new library of music from AppSumo and I plan on exploring OPEN A I this year. Lots of great things to come in 2023. Today we interview Maier Bianchi, whose primary goal is to help businesses join the modern digital economy. The world is constantly evolving around us like an ever-flowing river of time. To adapt and survive in this increasingly difficult landscape requires us as people to work together, with the mission of succeeding mutually, not exclusively. Maier enlightens us with his business wisdom and tenacity to overcome complex problems and circumstances.

Some takeaways from this episode

  • Maier has been involved with technology and computers since childhood
  • He began working in the IT side of a Halloween store in 2002
  • He began teaching himself coding in 2009
  • He got recruited to work for a luxury kitchen bath lighting retailer in 2010
  • He has since gone on to form his own company and become involved in the Magento community, forming relationships and networking with other members to stay informed and provide better client services.
  • Maier entered the e-commerce world without any formal development background.
  • He took a job in 2015 that exposed him to advanced technology and software development culture.
  • His company was renamed Bemair, meaning “one who enlightens”.
  • He is currently focusing on Magento, Adobe Commerce, Shopify, and headless platforms.
  • He sees e-commerce continuing to form the fabric of our shopping society, but with the human connection remaining an integral part.
  • He is a partner for Shopware and is looking to make headways into the Americas.
  • He is urging people to support 4hcm.org, an organization dedicated to helping those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
  • He believes luck and hard work are essential for success in e-commerce.
  • He sees the venture capital ecosystem drying up and encourages businesses to focus on brand voices and engaging with customers.
  • He encourages people to think of others during the holidays.

RIFF Happens – Read more of what Maier has to say on Linkedin

Transcript

Brent: Welcome to this fantastic episode of Talk Commerce. Today I have Maier Bianchi, and I have for the first time, I’ve known Maier for about 10 years now. I’ve said his name correctly. Maier, why don’t you go ahead, do an introduction, tell us your day-to-day role and maybe one of your passions in life.

Brent: You are the founder of Bemeir, and again, I’ve been saying be Meyer wrong this whole time as well. And have you attended. . I think I just, I would always just say, I don’t know. Bier, bier. I would just say it wrong, but I say everybody’s name wrong but why don’t you go ahead.

Brent: You’re gonna do a better job than me, and I like the way that you spelled it out. I was super confused when I saw Bianchi or Bianchi because I would’ve said that correctly and I, nevermind. You just go ahead. 

Maier: Yeah. My name’s Maier Bianchi. Thanks for the intro. I’m from Brooklyn, New York, currently by way of New Jersey, and I’m founder of Bemeir.

Maier: We’re an e-commerce solutions agency outta Brooklyn and web development and web applications and other things just like technology and helping people. That’s what we’re about. 

Brent: Cool. And your passion in life is just having kids. Yeah. Crazy because you have 17 kids now, right? Or something 

Maier: like crazy amount.

Maier: Crazy. Yeah, procreation is my passion. No, I have five. I’m definitely probably gonna keep it five, but you never know the fact still. Yeah. One more. Yeah. But yeah, so that, that yeah, that, that is part of my origin story. It’s probably why I’m motivated cuz it started having kids like age 22. That’s, yeah.

Maier: That, that defines me. 

Brent: I am going to you have a, you have so nicely agreed to participate in the free joke project, and now I should have, I realize I should have had a joke about having tons of kids, but I don’t, I have a, I think it’s a good joke, but you’re all you have to do is tell me if you feel like this joke should remain free.

Brent: Or if we could charge for it. And today’s joke is a quick joke, but I may stumble through it. So if we have to do editing and people see jumps in the videos because I’ve said it wrong and Maier and myself have done this, take four times, . All right. You ready?

Brent: Yeah. , a man walks into a bar with a small salamander on his shoulder. The bartender says, what an interesting pet, what’s his name? Tiny. The man Repli. The bartender says, that’s an odd name. Why did you call him tiny? The man replies because he’s my newt.

Maier: That’s a good one. I’m not laughing, but I’m laughing internally. I’m definitely gonna go tell my friend that one. But I, you could charge for it as part of a scholastic book athon. Joke book, it could be part of a compendium, maybe not a standalone joke.

Brent: That’s fair. I think to be fair, a lot of my jokes are thinking jokes and like you think about it and then maybe a week later you’re like, okay, that I get it now. It wasn’t even funny, but now I get it. So that might be like something where maybe next week somebody and maybe what I should do is have, as part of the free joke project, I could have the following week, I do joke explained.

Brent: A newt is just as a small lizard. Okay, good. 

Maier: The joke revealed, no, I wanna tell that one to my dad. I don’t think I can get the intro. But I like the actual payoff. 

Brent: Yeah. And I’ll, I will admit too that I did not practice that. Like I found I was like I was getting ready for our at, just to get everybody in the green room.

Brent: Our green room conversation consisted of me waiting for you to come back from the bathroom. That’s true. I had some time and I’m like, oh wait, we gotta do the joke. So I looked one up really quick. And by the way, there is a dad joke API that you can access. And one of my, when I have some downtime, I do like to do a little bit of coding, right?

Brent: So my downtime consists of me doing bash scripts. If you go on, I do have a bunch of old Magento bash scripts on Amazon, on on GitHub, but I’m very interested in how can I make, how can I get to this api? So I haven’t gotten that far. All I’ve got, it’s still in my head and I’d love to just, Hey, how can I want to just send off a request and come back with a dad joke of the day.

Brent: I think filter ’em because some of them aren’t are. I’d get in trouble from Susan for saying ’em, but anyways. . Let’s would you like to talk about e-commerce today? Or what what would you like to talk about? 

Maier: Yeah I’m open to anything that’s my problem’s. Not always prepared, but so no.

Maier: Yeah,  you can lead the witness. You could go ahead and talk about anything, bring up any topic. 

Brent: Sure. I wanna start off with if, when you get outside, like you said you came via New Jersey today or something, or did, were you moved, did you move from New Jersey to Brooklyn? 

Maier: No, I moved from Brooklyn to New Jersey a couple years ago.

Maier: Oh, so you’re not in Brooklyn anymore? My company’s based in Brooklyn. I still have Brooklyn in my blood. I can’t, you can’t, you can take the kid outta Brooklyn, but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the kid, but, got it. I. Currently reside in New Jersey and intend to keep it that way for a while.

Brent: Is that because whenever you drove outside of New Jersey and you came back, I mean outside of Brooklyn came back, you couldn’t get any sleep until you actually got there? 

Maier: No. , no. I would just say it’s because Brooklyn is not the most affordable place to live versus the quality of life ratio and space for your family.

Maier: So New Jersey held those answers a couple years ago, back when prices were lower and yeah, things worked out in that regard. 

Brent: I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately and I binge watch, I’ve been binge watching The Sopranos on HBO O Max on my iPad, so that’s a good, again, now just learning everything there is to know about New Jersey and about the people, the wonderful people of New Jersey.

Maier: keep wondering, yeah, that’s like a little north of here, but it’s real. There’s real places. But I did watch it sometime in the last year. Yeah, last year. Yeah. You’re gonna 

Brent: Have to revisit it. And there is some, I think there, there was some tours, some Sopranos tours in the past just to watch that.

Brent: . Let’s talk a little bit about what motivated you to get into e-commerce and again, you’re relatively young, so you started in this Magento community when you were super young, like 12, right? 

Maier: Yeah, . What motivated me to get into e-commerce is I always was into technology since I was a little kid.

Maier: Loved anything with computers and video games and Nintendo and just anything computers, since I was really. And then got my first computer when I was like, whatever. Let’s just say se pick a number seven, apple, two McIntosh. Lc, think like 16 megabytes of Ram 40 megabyte hard drive. My dad was into like Adobe Illustrator.

Maier: I play in like civilization, HyperCard, so you know, always was like into multimedia and art and like computers. And then flash forward to high school. Majored in media and communications, which was once again interactive stuff like photography, video making websites. And like my aunt got me like an HTML book when I was a teenager.

Maier: Never opened it. Had opportunities to learn like visual basic programming for robotics. Never followed through. So there was something about the book way, which didn’t appeal to me. And then flash forward, my parents had a Halloween. I was working at Halloween store in the back office, so doing more office and data entry stuff.

Maier: And then somewhere along the way I got into the IT side where they had started an e-commerce store, let’s just say in 2002. They were early adopters. I wasn’t so much involved in that. But then let’s just say more around oh 6, 0 7, got more involved in that. Cause I was working in the IT of the store.

Maier: And and eventually working in it like, POS infrastructure and MA making sure the registers were ringing during the busy times and like that type of high demand environment and customer satisfaction environment. Probably formulated how I think or think from the business owner perspective.

Maier: And then around 2009 I was working. And was managing the website or dealing with the website. And I started like teaching myself to code like html, css started doing some side projects like WordPress or static HTML stuff and I really wasn’t going anywhere there. And then in 2010 got recruited to work for like a luxury kitchen bath lighting retailer.

Maier: Shout out to Alex Teller, give credit where credit is due. And he got me into that company and they were on a SaaS platform called Venda. Back in 2010, SAS was not where you wanted to be cuz usually it was very closed source. Just adding a pixel to your checkout could cost thousand, cost thousands of dollars.

Maier: So they wanted to move to a more DIY model cause they were successful, but wanted to be able to iterate faster. So what was really great about that experience was I got with AdWords, front end development, you name it, all the aspects of the business. And then in the end of that year, they decided to look at a platform called Magen.

Maier: They were big, so they were going for Magento enterprise. This was the 1.9 version of enterprise, which was equivalent to 1.4 or one point, like right after the major architecture shift, thank God. But this was back then, so I was lucky enough to be put in charge of that project. , helping implement it, bring it to life, working with all the extension providers, working with a Magento at the time.

Maier: I was about to say Adobe, I’ve been training myself, but Adobe was not a concern back then for the Magento community except for making graphics and and so that’s really how I got into this, was working there and getting my feet. We Magento, went to the first Imagine met people like Karen Baker. Met people like yourself somewhere in there, asked, hitting you on Skype for help.

Maier: I don’t know how it hap how, and. and people, all kinds of, like back then. That’s what, how this started. And then flash forward to four years, said, Hey, I really e-commerce, I like making websites. And decided to go on my own and formed my company freelancing. And then for four years, or not in four years, like three years, two years, then I got burnt out on that.

Maier: I was like, Hey, I never wanna work for anyone ever again. No more jobs. Let’s go agency mode. And that was my. So that’s my superhero or super villain origin story in how we got here. 

Brent: That’s awesome. And Alex has been on the show and and did, how did you stay away from comic books? . 

Maier: So I’m not as good with him as the comics, but I’ve always had some comics, but I would say other.

Maier: Have been my hobby, like making babies or video games, , so yeah. That’s awesome. That’s an expensive hobby too. 

Brent: Yeah, that’s a great story. Just so our listeners give some context The Magento community has been around for about 13, 14 years. The very first imagine happened back in, was it 2011 at the Yes, at the lax at Los Angeles L Ax.

Brent: And and then that’s solidified our the actual community of people. And it is really a community driver to make this happen. So it’s a, I think a unique time in space that we’ve had this and we were, we just saw each other at at Meet Magento, New York. It continues going, and not only do we get professionally, get ourselves Make ourselves better professionally, but we also get making great relationships.

Brent: And I had the pleasure of meeting you quite a long time ago and and just doing so many things across our space. 

Maier: Yeah. And no, and I would just second that by saying there’s relationships I’ve made back then that still carry forward to this day. I was fortunate enough to meet like the founder of Uner.

Maier: Or people that like, like people who worked for Magento and Sapora and then introduced them to other people and they became formative members of their company. And it’s just been like this great, like a family reunion every time you get together with people from the community. Like when I saw you in Boston at a not Magento event at El East, and then just happened to sit down next to you at the table, it’s oh, there’s a friendly face.

Maier: So it’s just really comforting because as things change, it’s been a great constant factor out. And like that I think a lot of people don’t know about or they don’t have in their space. Yeah. 

Brent: I think that’s for me, and I started to attend non-agent events in 2019 with the, for starting with the Adobe Summit.

Brent: It was a Magento event, but yeah, I mean it was 99% Adobe and 1% Adobe commerce. Did you find it a little bit different that maybe you don’t know so many people? Shop Talk or eTail event where , it was mm-hmm. ,, it was a way to, you, you kinda had to reintroduce yourself to the crowd.

Brent: And then the other thing that I find at those events is there’s people that absolutely don’t know about it. And believe it or not, they don’t care about Magento. 

Maier: No, exactly. And so I would say I was there for multiple purposes mainly business development and meeting people. Like I went with my colleague.

Maier: who’s on strategic partnerships and business development. And so it’s different when you’re with a friend and you’re with someone, you have a different, like move and stride to you versus when you’re alone. I’m like pretty outgoing but also more timid when I’m like by myself. I feel like more in my own head, but when you have a certain wingman factor you are able to just get into different conversations or work the room as a team.

Maier: And then also that was a conference focus on e-commerce and I had a great time at eTail East. Back when it was in Philly some years ago. And so I had fond memories of that conference, like from 2014 or whatever that was. And and so it was like, just going there to be about it.

Maier: Meet with Shopify, meet with big commerce, meet with Adobe representatives, meet with partners like Air Call and Webs and so on. So it’s once again, it shows kind of the growth because there were so many familiar faces yet meeting new people at these events. And I would just. It’s cool to see the spirit in general of commerce catch up, cuz it wasn’t always like this, right?

Maier: It was a very different type of crowd. It was definitely a different type of vibe and I think it just has to do with the soup of the day flavor and how this became the big industry and more, more different folks who weren’t in industry flocked to it. So now it’s like one of the it places to be.

Maier: So it’s attracted more diversity in certain ways or more investment, which has led to more involve. . And so I would just say what’s the dark side of it right now is that we’re hearing about so many layoffs and so many people who are like at these companies who are, there’s a lot of things changing hands.

Maier: And so once again, it’s, there’s ups and downs and it’s a whole ecosystem. And so for me, the community is really like a, there’s just so many different facets to it. 

Brent: Do you find that being part of the community makes you a better agency owner? And maybe just from a, maybe from an educational and networking standpoint that 

Maier: Yes, 180 

Brent: client percent client.

Brent: Yeah. A client’s gonna ask you a question and my ear is oh yeah, I’m gonna go ask Philip Jackson that, or something like that. 

Maier: Yeah, no. I’m gonna put a plug. Like for example, in Magento World, there’s this thing called Mage talk that ca you know, not the podcast.

Maier: Sorry. Not Mage talk. Mage chat. Forget about Mage Talk mage. Is, it’s like this slack paid Slack membership where there’s a lot of really smart people all in one place, sharing ideas helping each other out. So it’s like not just these, there’s there’s a lot of free communities, like the Magento, open source Slack with thousands of people in it where you could post a question to get an answer, but imagine a more curated place where you can go learn things and people are happy to share their playbook or say, Hey I really rely upon this integration or this extension, or Here’s how we do it.

Maier: And yes, I would. Two things. Like I’ve struggled a lot in the last two years as an entrepreneur focusing too much on what other people are doing and from a social media and watching, you and getting all that in your head and oh man, I’m not doing good. And hey, the truth hurts. But then at the same time, there’s such a benefit to being connected to people because you learn so much and so yes, a hundred percent as an agency.

Maier: And I’m always on the hunt for information for my clients. That’s why we have so many partnerships. That’s why we do the networking, is because these relationships really help provide a a great way to just get support for people or answer questions. And I would say that’s definitely a big part of my the way I operate a secret sauce as.

Brent: and I will also put a plug in for Mage Chat. Kalen often asks me and I realize now that Kalen asked me in advance for ideas that he’s already gonna do, and he’s already proved successful. Soundboarding . Yeah. And I said I don’t know. I don’t know if I would do that. And then, within a day he’s Boom.

Brent: He I’m get all these text messages. I already got 50 people. I guess it really did work. . I wish I can move fast. He’s good at pointing out the fact that I often give him poor advice. So that’s how, yeah. He also 

Maier: probably didn’t have that answer the day before. Cause that’s how fast Caitlyn moves.

Maier: Yeah, he’s saying one thing this week and then the next week he’s doing something different. And that’s part of his genius is the way he iterates and can just say, Hey, because like I compare that to the way I sometimes do things is where I’ll procrastinate on something or I’ll think about how I’m gonna say something or do something for so long, not put anything on paper, but then when the time comes, that visual or how I envisioned it, Goes to plan.

Maier: So there’s some thought to it, but no, he’s on another level with that. , I can’t disagree there. You can tell him one thing and he’s probably already figured it out. 

Brent: Yeah, he’s a he’s probably a really good chess player. I don’t think I want to play him in chess cuz I’m a terrible chess player.

Maier: Yeah, I used to play chess when I was a kid, but those days are 

Brent: long over. Tell us a little bit about some of your journey as an entrepreneur. You, you worked for Alex Teller. Then you went off and started your own, you did contracting and that’s where I started as well.

Brent: In the Magento space. Yes. I did contract and then I did a agency. Yeah, what was some of the frustrations around the contracting part? 

Maier: Contracting wasn’t so bad. It was the trying to do both, like contracting and having clients or whatever. Contracting for multiple, cuz remember like my whole, I guess I’ll put it to you like this, right?

Maier: So I left and I didn’t have any formal background in development. I had some certifications, I kept leveling up, but I had no computer science background, no PHP background, no JavaScript background. So I don’t think I was the best equipped to get recruited for development. , but I was really specialized with the product.

Maier: I really have a good work ethic. Good focus on e-commerce. And so that’s useful, but that’s not a job, right? That’s not necessarily a ba that’s not necessarily an architect. That’s not necessarily this. So where I fit in well was in certain situations. So for example when I left the, that company working for Alex and then went to, it’s called Home Perfect.

Maier: I went to. , I just was like working with some other people on the side, setting up sites, trying to get involved in certain businesses. But then I got hooked into a company called Weedmaps. And Weedmaps is now a billion dollar, publicly traded company at the time. They were more of a startup going to Enterprise.

Maier: They’re based in Irvine California. And I had the pleasure to work for a brilliant cto. His name was Bill Antreosi and he was leading this project that involved Magento. It was like a marketplace. And it was some really forward looking architecture and headless and elastic search and all this stuff back in like 2015.

Maier: So I really had my eyes open to some advanced technology and also real like software development culture and that sort of stuff. So that was really, I would say one of the most formative experiences I had was I went from a DIY uploaded via FTP culture to. GIT and doing things the right way.

Maier: Culture and learning about, like the software developer handbook. And I worked with some pretty hardcore people who were really sticklers about certain things and that didn’t necessarily mesh well with my style. And so at that time, I grew as a backend developer. I actually learned object oriented programming eventually got my Magento developer certification, which to me, I never could have imagined when I started out.

Maier: The. back end one. So I was like, man, you’re doing something right. But at the time, Magento two was coming, this was like 2015. Everyone was like, okay, the writing’s on the wall. It’s gonna get a lot more hardcore from here. If you could program Magento one, it doesn’t mean you’re good at Magento two.

Maier: So I started to get squirrely. There was some, cultural issues in the company in terms. How the Magento team was functioning. And I was a little bit frustrated and so I was like, Hey, I wanna move over to the business side. I feel hey, if I know the guy that created Magento and I know these people and I work well with all the top software people and I can help speak these languages, hey, let me be a part of this side of things.

Maier: And then that was okay. And eventually, like there was this other company that was trying to recruit me to be a job and I was, I had just had my fourth kid at the time, or like once. I converted to be an employee for healthcare reasons and allowed me to get married and all this good stuff.

Maier: And we had our fourth kid. And so it was more just like I went as the situation developed and I was less focused on building like an agency. I didn’t think like that. I might have had different situations like, hey, I had the job but also had a couple other clients or, projects on the side.

Maier: But then really what happened was I was recruited by this company. . And you know how once you’re a Magento developer, you’re getting hit up by recruiters like, oh, we need a senior Magento developer. And you could be like, Hey, I just know this. And they’re like, no, we want you to solve all our problems.

Maier: And you’re the guy. And they think automatically you’re like a PHP lord. And that wasn’t me. And so I took this job that had been recruiting me for a while. I took a pay cut, I bought a car, was commuting 80 miles a day. That was already the red flags. Took a job where I was working from home and quit because I felt like I was gonna get, cut eventually.

Maier: Anyway, got hired and fired in 60 days. I was working at this company called Nobel Biocare. It’s part of the Danaher Group. Publicly traded. They’re a multi-billion dollar corporation, no lie. Logged into the Magento dashboard and had a billion in transactions, and I was like, you’ve made it when you went and you’ve worked on small Magento’s, then you see one that was a billion and you’re like, okay, this is big.

Maier: But the point is, I wasn’t a good fit for the role they hired me for. It didn’t work out. But I went from having an income to having no income overnight and I was shattered as a person. I was very upset. You can imagine when you’re a sole provider for a household, what that does to a person in your mindset.

Maier: I didn’t take it very. . And so 2017 was definitely a rebuilding year and I’m not gonna act like there wasn’t some kind of help or I like, I wrote an article about this actually recently on LinkedIn called Riff Happens just in solidarity with people who have been laid off. I wasn’t laid off, but I just meant my experiences of, like it definitely has caused me to grow as a person or different aspects of this.

Maier: And just to wrap that up, I guess that is how I went from that employee mindset and the security of that to, Hey, I don’t want to work for any anymore. The social contract is broken. Nobody actually has your back. We’re all a commodity out here. Every man for himself, not so severe. But that’s what changed my mindset.

Maier: And then I basically also, my company was called MageNYC, right? So that was, this is how forward thinking I was. I was like, Magento, New York City. I want to be the guy. Guess what? eBay had a problem. That was a trademark violation. Cause I tried to make a logo, which had the diamond in it, thanks to the glory of Ben Marks was able to work that out.

Maier: And I was gonna get a licensing agreement, but the licensing agreement was terrible. So I said, you know what, I’m gonna change the name. This was late 2016, right as that other stuff was happening with the job and like that whole transitionary period. And so that’s how the name Bemair was. Bemair, because Eric Heman from MageMojo at the time was like, oh, hey, why don’t you just name it after self?

Maier: Why don’t you do this. And I was like, okay. Like my name means giving light, or one who enlightens. It’s a hebrew name, my first name. And so I was like, cool, let the company be one who enlightens. Hey, we like helping business owners. Let’s enlighten people. Let’s empower people. So that went from a Magento focused ideology to a global ideology.

Maier: And that was like a blessing in disguise. The industry changes and being so narrow focused doesn’t always benefit you. And so it was a really just big time of transition. So that’s how I went to being agency focused. I know that was a long-winded tale, but that’s how it happened. 

Brent: No, I think the stories of how we get there are much more interesting as than when you get there.

Brent: The, it’s the journey that, that is the interesting part of it. So you talked a little bit about being super focused on Magento. What does it look like today? You’re branching out, right? 

Maier: Yeah. And I just want to add one parable to what you said. 

Maier: A person is as big as the problems they have.

Maier: And so if you look at your life and you feel like you’ve grown. You don’t think you’ve grown well look at what your concerns were five years ago and look at what your concerns are now and you’ll be shocked to see how much that’s changed. And so that’s how I’ve known, I’ve grown even since then.

Maier: And the problems. So anyway, back to your question is right now we’re focused on Magento, still also wrote an article. Why? I’m still focused on Magento, cuz I believe in it and businesses are still using it and need. We became an Adobe commerce partner this year, so that’s a big milestone because no one’s gonna have an event in Brooklyn in our hometown.

Maier: And we’re the most legit Magento agency from Brooklyn, and you can’t invite us. So I had to step up and become a bronze partner so I could get invited to the Adobe Reconnections, so that was great. We’re also a Shopify partner. We work with plus brands and nonplus brands on Shopify. We’ve been working with Shopify, I’ve been working with it since 2014.

Maier: I wish. Had the foresight to make that my bread and butter could probably be rich by now and acting like I invented e-commerce. Like a lot of these people, like everything you touched turns gold because you had it on easy mode. But but no, so we really got focused on Shopify, let’s just say more 2019 is when we’ve picked up some advanced Shopify knowledge and just been really accelerating.

Maier: And now I consider us up one of the best. I look up to big companies like Half Felix and we make websites and some of the bigger. More boutique or deluxe Shopify agencies, and I don’t consider us like that, but that plus we’re a big commerce partner. I found it hard to grow in big commerce.

Maier: Shout out to the people that do like yourself with that sign in the background, your big commerce elite status, because that’s a really cool industry as well. And . We’re focused on these kind of platforms and I have interest in your Salesforce commerce Clouds. Shopware is one that I’m trying to grow with and having the foresight.

Maier: Again, shout outs to Shopware. We’re a Shopware partner at the moment trying to help them make Headways into the Americas. And also shout out to Ben Marks since everyone jumped on the board when you were on. But I was trying before that, but he really was the catalyst for everyone. And then . And so really like my focus is to utilize our skillset in ways that make sense.

Maier: Cuz now I’m currently trying to focus. And headless is another thing where we do, but unless you’re exclusively doing that or you have your own headless framework that you work on and constantly are using on projects, it’s hard to, it’s like any muscle, it’s hard to develop your muscles if you’re not stretching ’em every day.

Maier: And so I would say the areas I specifically want to grow are Magento, adobe commerce, Shopify, and headless. That’s. Would be my sweet spot right now, but always interested in evolution and going further.

Brent: That’s awesome. Like we’re recording this right before Black Friday. Oh, yes. This is gonna, it’s gonna be a couple of weeks before this gets out.

Brent: It’ll be past Cyber Monday and all those fun 

Maier: things

Maier: in the aftermath. See you all in the, a aftermath. 

Brent: This will be an aftermath. In fact, I have I have a whole bevy of episodes that are being released over the Black Friday weekend. Nice. Now you’re listening to this. Now go back to November 24th and listen to listen to the people that I have on and Megan Bliss from Signified.

Maier: I got you. Just read my mind. That was the one. Yeah. Keep going. 

Brent: She’s on Friday, she’s on our Black Friday cuz they have a holiday guide and we’ve talked about it. I’m like, there’s no way I’m gonna get this done be so we could have this before, but hey, I could do it on Black Friday. So they 

Maier: definitely should have included us in that guide.

Maier: I’m shocked we weren’t included, but it’s okay. I have a big chip on my shoulder in case you don’t know that 

Brent: tomorrow I have Gina Ter from site and that’s another fantastic vision. Oh, we had to call with 

Maier: her today or yesterday. We had 

Brent: to call her. All right, Paul. There you go. It’s a small world

Maier: Yeah. We’re all playing in the same sand. 

Brent: Yeah, absolutely. 

Maier: And by the way, shout out to Megan, greatest partner upline ever. She’s like in the partner pyramid scheme. She’s at the top of all partners. 

Brent: Yeah. There was only other one, other partner manager that I could remember that was, I thought was better than Megan, but she went and left WATO and went to another agency anyways, anymore . Yeah. She’s still a very good partner manager but just not in our exact space. So what do you think what, how do you see now let’s look at, let’s look at the end of quarter four in the beginning, quarter one for e-commerce. Do you think it’s still we still driving towards a good next year in 2023?

Maier: I’m looking for my crystal ball. Hold on. I gotta find it. Let me see what it says. I think there’s one thing you can bend on. E-commerce is going to continue, right? That’s a safe pick is that people are going to use ecommerce people are gonna need e-commerce. It’s still going to form the fabric of our shopping society.

Maier: I think brick and mortar is here to stay too. I think the pandemic tried to put a dent on that. You can bleep out that word in case it just messes up the algorithm. But I think things that happened in the last two years tried to put a dent on brick and mortar, but people really want the human connection.

Maier: And so I think if we bridge the human connection with e-commerce, and that’s in the form of. And strengthening brands and brand voices and how you talk to your customer and how you engage with your customer really shows that e-commerce can be the vehicle or the vessel for, this neoclassical shopping, right?

Maier: It’s not a binary thing. It, that’s what I always enjoyed about when I worked back in the Halloween store was, Hey, I was the guy who was answering the phone. If you call, if you had placed an order, Hey, I saw your order in the digital space, but then we called you if there was an issue or you needed to do a store, in-store pickup, we were prepared for you.

Maier: So it wasn’t like it was this amorphic, faceless animal. There’s real people, there’s real stories. There’s real people impacted by e-commerce. And so I think if we keep the human connection in mind, it’s not going anywhere. I just think the problem is the commoditize. The ads, the ad driven feed the beast venture, capital fed ecosystem might be drying up and that’s okay.

Maier: It wasn’t really healthy to begin with, but I think if we separate the two, and we don’t just look at it as a chart or a line graph, but we look at actual, hey, a guy from X County, Louisiana started X business and it was either a lifelong family business or it’s a new business.

Maier: Someone who’s really small time getting into it themselves on Shopify and starting their own drop shipping business. Whatever it is it’s how people connect to those businesses and the actual utility of what you’re selling that is gonna determine your fate, in my opinion, and also luck and also hard work.

Maier: But yeah. . Yeah, that’s, was that an evasive answer? 

Brent: No, that’s a fantastic answer. And yeah, I know. It was a long it was a very open-ended question. My ear, we’re running out of time. We targeted 20 minutes and now we’re pushing up against 35, but darn. As we close out Yeah.

Brent: There’s so much more to talk about. We, I wanna ask you about your your camera, but anyways we’ll have we’ll do a follow up episode, maybe a special. Technology episode. 

Maier: Yeah. We’ll do a po Let’s do a 2023 technology episode. I’m down. There you go. 

Brent: As we close out the podcast, I give everybody an opportunity to do a shameless plug and you can plug anything you’d like today.

Brent: What would you like to plug? 

Maier: Okay. I’m going to plug 4hcm.org. It’s the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association. One in every 250 Americans has hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy . It’s a real heart disease. It’s genetic. You may have it, not even know it. If you get an echocardiogram, you can get your heart measured, and if your septal wall is more than 12 centimeters, you probably have it, or you’re on the verge of having it, you should get it checked.

Maier: Everyone should support this charity, the 4hcm.org, any kind of donation. I think that would be a big help to saving a lot of lives in this country and helping people get treatment for their conditions. So because it’s Thanksgiving, And we need to think about other people than ourselves. That’s my shameless plug of the day because this whole episode was a shameless plug anyway, where I talked about myself and my business a lot.

Maier: But we need to focus on 4hcm.org and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. heart condition. That’s what I want to shamelessly plug today. That’s awesome. 

Brent: Thank you so much. I very much enjoy when people do a shameless plug not about their business. So I really appreciate that. And I agree there’s so many, there’s so many causes 4hcm.org I’ll make sure I get all these links 

Maier: in.

Maier: Yeah. Lemme make sure I notes. Imagine I gave you the wrong spelling. Let me just, yeah, no, it is 4hcm.org. I’m bugging. 

Brent: Yeah, we’ll, and I’ll make sure these get into the show notes as well as thank you. Anything else that you want, any of your articles that you’ve rec recently written and your past articles, we’ll make sure we get those onto Yeah.

Brent: Onto the show notes 

Maier: about the layoffs. 

Brent: Yeah. And We will we will regroup in 2023 and have another conversation of what we’ll do with the technology conversation. Or maybe we’ll do it in person. I would love that. We’ve got a bunch of events coming up for next year. Will you 

Maier: break down this virtual wall separating us right now?

Maier: Absolutely. Find a way to link up in the physical space and can you give me a closing joke? Give me an outro joke. All 

Brent: So I was thinking about this. The, and this is coming outta. Okay. 

Brent: The first time Yoda saw himself on 4K tv, what did he say?

HD am I.

Maier: Oh my God. Is that do, if you not, there is no try.

Brent: Yeah. I guess I could have phrased it better. Hd. Am I? Yeah, that would’ve, you kinda have to go right through it, you gotta think about it for a little bit. You 

Maier: got a known That’s a good one though. It is a delivery though, isn’t it? It’s how you, I think you gotta make it something more about the connections.

Maier: There is, something or something hd I, you got, I don’t know. Anyway, thanks for the, thanks for bringing that up, . 

Brent: All right, we’ll do one more, right? Alright. You last, 

Brent: every morning after I get out of the house, a bike comes outta nowhere and ru and runs over. . It’s a vicious cycle.

Maier: Oh, that’s a good one. That’s a good one. The vicious cycle. I like that one. You’re welcome. Cheers, man. All right. 

Brent: Happy Thanksgiving. Have a great Thanksgiving and I look forward to I look forward to seeing you in person next 

Brent: year. 

Maier: Same. See you at some events and be well. Take care.

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Episode 35