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Giving an Inch(oo) in the Magento Community with Aron Stanic

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Aron Stanic

Commerce running, talking geek

We speak with long-time Magento Community member Aron Stanić from Inchoo. We discuss all the changes in the community over the years as well as the state of Magento and its brand. We finish off with a discussion on the importance of expectations in the client/agency relationship.

Transcript:

All right. Welcome to this episode today. I have Aron Stanić. Aron is a long time a Magento community member. I think at least 25 years. You’ve been in the Magento community. Aron why don’t you go ahead, do an introduction. Tell us what you do on a day to day on your day-to-day life and then maybe one of your past.

Thanks, Brian, it’s great to be here. As you mentioned, my name is Aron Stanić. Currently Exploring what the future calls I was for 12 years employeed Inchoo Croatian based e-commerce agency in true ease, their famous word of famous company in the Magento world, at least.

And so I’ve spent my, my, the most of my 12 years there as one of the co-owners as well. I was mostly working around sales, marketing activities. And I worked a lot with merchants right. Directly with merchants. So one of my passions is you put it so other than e-commerce and you ex in particularly around e-commerce, one of my passions is running.

 I can say him. As much of a passion as it is for you, because I cannot pull off those mileage is I think similar, especially in those temperatures that you do your rounds. But that has been a passion for my wife and myself. We started running actually in 2019 little did we know that habit will actually get us through COVID and pandemic with some degree of sanity.

Wow. Okay. That’s great. Yeah. And I think you’ve been to the big damn run I’m sure I’ve seen pictures of you at the big dam run. So was it the 2019 was your first big dam run or it must be since you started running in 2019. Yeah. Okay. I did run hearing nurse even before that. I used to play basketball actually back in high school and Rhodes college.

 Big run was the one and only for me in front of the 19th. Yeah, it was the first time I was running in the desert and it felt great. It was a great drapes thing. But even before that, I used to have these 5k or three K runs that were in that. Organized that’s various other Magento meetings, right?

So we organized the developers paradise back in 2016 in Croatia. And then we organized to meet Magento’s in Azek, in our hometown hearing in Croatia. So each of those events also had its own small major on as a part of the agenda. Great. Yeah. So let’s talk today about Magento and the Magento association and where the community’s going.

 What you’ve been involved in the association, or have you been involved at some level and what are you, what is your thought on what’s happening at that? Yeah. So I haven’t been formally involved with Magento association as such. I was involved in meat, Magento association, like back in the days, because we were organizing these events and we were constantly not just organizing, attending a lot of these events and we were also parts of some task forces back into the, but now since maybe since plenty, again, like 19.

Around the time. And before Adobe took over completely now, Magento association had its, I don’t think he ever had exact clarity right on, on what it should be after he took over from each Magento association because it was a very turbulent time and it still is around the ecosystem and especially in the community.

And now with the latest The fork side right there that you’ve heard with the Moscow, with the open source community Alliance being opened up. I think that this is very interesting times. I’ve noticed that with the initial Moscow initiative it opened up. And Magento association in a way to organize the task force that we live in big numbers is also then involved in but from the latest things with hero with, I believe on three there, I don’t think he’s that thrilled with how some of the conversations went around the whole magenta and keeping the brand or north keeping the brand within the Adobe ecosystem.

So we’ll see, I’m actually very curious and anxious to see what. Comes back with max, because I was just checking before the call there hasn’t been the official communication from the magenta open source community Alliance, since I believe in the vendor. Because then they were involved with Magento association as the members of task force that was supposed to.

Come up with a way of how to keep Magento community or Magento open source now, still alive, right? In one way or another. I for one would be very disappointed if it, if Adobe just simply don’t give up on on Magento community rights. And I can completely, I can totally relate to a lot of people, especially the contributors through the Magento open source who would feel in a way be betrayed.

Maybe it’s a harsh word, but they have to understand that point because when you’re contributing through an open source initiative, obviously there’s a notion then. Okay. If you’re contributing, if you’re putting your time and effort and it’s free, right. And you know that it’s free Should you expect anything in return?

And I think that anyone who was actually contributing did expect initially anything in return, but with the open source contributions, it’s inherent that there is not necessarily a quid pro quo, but th the sharing you’re sharing, not because he wants something. And not because you expect something back, but it’s understood that by this sharing, it will be better for everyone around you.

You know what I was thinking about it. But when you, obviously, you also have a you’re also our father and father of two kids. One is 10, one is seven. And for them the first things that we are learning, we are teaching them how to. We’re not talking to them about individual ownership and private property and its we’re teaching them.

Really good to hold on to something for the toy or to food or anything that you should share with someone else, not just because then they will share with you, but because it’s, these are the things to do. And I believe that open source is a great way of organizing efforts of individuals and agencies alike to, to add value to any ecosystem.

And over here we have. 12 13, 15 years, whatnot of people really heavily contributing. And now for it all to not necessarily fall apart, but for them to feel like it has not, again, been for nothing. Obviously a lot of people have made a very decent living and have brought their careers on a different path because of magenta and because of what Magento open-source was and still is.

But it’s he has got some other over a bit. They it leaves an author faced in your mouth. And the I’m very curious to see where this is going. I’m actually I can’t say that I’m ha I’m having a preference. Obviously it would be great if Adobe showed That there they understand the value and the strength of Magento can source and to not treat simply disregarded, but even if it happens now, if it’s business as such then I would.

Welcome an initiative that comes up with a fork because in the open-source world of e-commerce softwares, I don’t think that there’s anything still there that can meet that can match Magento’s community and Magento’s feature set. So there are contenders, definitely shopper is one of them, and there has been silliness and others, but no one has.

Really beer. Yes. And it would be a huge waste to just ditch it altogether. Yeah. It’s not only just the feature set. It’s also the ability to add all of your own features without having to have some external service as your feature. In a SAS platform, you’re going to have some external service that connects via APIs.

And the ability to do that inside of Magento is another uniqueness that it has. I have a theory on why Adobe does it, why it seems like Adobe is squashing, the Magento name, or doesn’t seem to care about open source. If you think about all the people now that have, that are making these decisions, nobody at Adobe that’s making these decisions is left from Magento.

All the senior management is Adobe, senior management and their goal is to create a suite around all the different Adobe enterprise products. And have a complete experience for the user. All their products are enterprise products. So it makes sense that Adobe commerce is a part of that suite. And why would they pay attention to anything that doesn’t, that isn’t part of it.

 So if their goal is to get clients that can work in this. In this enterprise suite of products, so experience manager and target and all the other products that make up the Adobe. Their priority and their goals are not anything around, Hey, let’s get people onto a free version of it.

I think that experienced manager is a patchy sling. There’s a free version out there to use. There’s no talk about that. And there’s no community around that and I’m sure that actually there’s probably a small community around it, but there’s nothing that. Resembles, what is the Magento community, which incorporates hundreds of thousands of people.

So I think the mistake that Adobe is making is that they are forgetting where the software came from. And they’re forgetting about the path that smaller and medium-sized businesses will take to get to the point in which they now. And they now will be, could be part of that Adobe suite that would incorporate experience manager and all the other parts of that puzzle that Adobe would like to assemble, to make a complete experience solution for users.

I agree. I agree with that. Definitely been another thing is you mentioned that small and medium businesses might that the open source might be. Path words, they send the price level, but then, and I’m not sure that would necessarily be the case, at least for the majority of small and medium sized businesses that were usually that were original using magenta one to begin with even Magento.

When there were still no thoughts of squashing open or anything while he was still alive and kicking Magento two was still maybe a third too complex and overly robust. That’s pretty much made for the needs of those really small and medium sized businesses. And they make up the vast majority of implementations of Magento globally even now For them, even if Magento stays as such as Magento opensource or some within some other name complexity.

 Losing its complexity is not yet getting it. The lecture of, in the field that Magento one used to have towards the, in the eyes of those small businesses, because they want something that’s fairly quickly set up that they can start selling tomorrow. And even in the pandemic during the pandemic, right there was when the lockdowns.

 I remembered that the BigCommerce had a huge in the UK big commerce had a huge marketing efforts saying you’ll get the line with us in 24 hours. I think you could not do that essentially with my gender, even with some other open source platforms you could, if you had a really good theme and they had all the time in the world just for you, but SaaS platforms suffer a service platform such as Shopify and BigCommerce.

 Took advantage of this type of, not just the pandemic, but also of where Magento 2 went and with all the issues that Magento 2 had in the previous versions and a lot of those small and medium size businesses rolled over. And you can see if you’re looking at BuiltWith or some other platforms, you can see where businesses who used to be on Magento, are now.

I know where did they go? So unless they stayed in that open source, and in that case, they might be still in Magento 2 even still on Magento 1, or maybe have considered Shopware or WooCommerce. If they are really simple businesses, then you have the other ones, the other huge batch that have actually moved away to towards the SaaS Platforms.

Yeah, and I think you’re exactly right. The messaging from Shopify for the longest time has been, their platform is easy and Magento is super complicated. I know that Derek Harlick and myself way back in to. 15 or 2016 did a presentation on getting Magento up and running in 90 minutes and selling something to the audience right there.

 And it can be done, but you’re exactly right. The complexities that are there and the way that the admin is presented gives you everything you need and more. And sometimes just on a SaaS platform, there’s guard rails around it. You can only do so much. You can’t do everything you can do in Magento.

And if you were to say, or even hide some of those things, maybe Magento would be more popular. I know that we had, for a long time, we had the client of universal music and they the problem was that they’re the people that were deciding what they would like in their store knew they could do anything they want.

And when you can do anything you want, and then you run up to the saying, okay, you can do anything you want, but you have to also spend that much time and money to get anything you want. So with a SaaS base, you suddenly say you can get almost anything you want. Here’s what you can have choose from this.

And that. A lot of times it helps people to determine what they need. On the other hand, they promise you other things. So maybe you are limited in terms of the feature set and features and the innovations that you may have, but they promise you your time and they promise you the stability of the platform and they tell you it’s for your own.

 And I can see that, but for example, I think there’s something also here involved.. If you take a look you’re graphically, right? Where SaaS has higher market share.. That’s US. That’s Canada. That’s Australia. That those are your, let’s say single markets countries, primarily while in Europe, where there are a lot of different small countries.

But if you disregard Germany and UK and all of this huge ones, then if you’re a business you’re usually operating regionally, not just now. And you have to take care of various facts you have to take care of multi languages. Multicurrency is, are local regulations. And this is where actually open source gives you the ability and the flexibility that you need even out of the box, Magento supports multilanguage multicurrency.

So in your. And if you think of that then, and connect it with who is leading the now Magento open-source community Alliance. If you take a look at the people, they’re mostly 90% European. Right there, not that many Americans actually, who are involved in that because again, they have either lean towards the view, Adobe commerce and the professional enterprise level side, or they’re in the SaaS business because SaaS makes sense, makes much more sense.

Then it’s much easier to adopt. In a single market, such as you know US. So in that sense, I believe that open source can meet the needs of European businesses still with much on a much higher level than. SaaS can, obviously you can, even the Shopify BigCommerce, you can add plugins that allow you to have, or go with Shopify plus then it opens up and you have the ability of multilanguage multicurrency and all of these things. But in its nature open source is much more flexible and it can respond to. Ever-changing regulations, of the European union in a much better way than then it is the case with SaaS it’s easier at the end of the day it’s much easier.

And it, a lot of Surveys have shown that in one or different researchers that, that ease of doing business in US as compared to you is much higher. So there, there are very little regulations, very little friction. You have an idea or a product you want to start selling online. Do it over here, you have to jump through several hoops and especially then you have to fire an accountant who can explain to you a lot of the details and intricacies about how much can you sell to a specific country and how much then you can you have the tax when you reach a certain threshold and these Northern states can not be done probably as easily as they can with opensource.

I just want to back up to some what you said about Mosca and and there’s two points like the con the most people they decided they’re going to do this fork. And then I do want to talk about the speed of change and the amount of people in those decision-making processes and how long it takes.

So I do disagree a little bit about the fact that the most was, I feel like the most good decision was made in a bubble in Europe. And I wasn’t exactly consulted or I wasn’t on the, I wasn’t in the inner circle in that I didn’t know what was happening until after it happened. And I also realized that there wasn’t an effort to bring it to a broader community because they would like to make this quick, they would like to make this a little bit quicker than if you have more people there’s going to be more disagreements.

 So I don’t disagree that the most initiative is. Is I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s a good thing to keep things rolling. I don’t a hundred percent agree with the fork. However, I do feel like if Adobe’s not going to listen, if Adobe is going to sit, continue to sit on the bench and not recognize that there’s a strong community, that the fork is a great option.

But I do feel like because Willem and the team there recognize that if they don’t do something. And if they try to incorporate too many people that’s speed in which it takes to get agreement on what they would like to do is going to, it’s going to stall and you’re never going to agree on anything, you’re going to be stagnated. So I going back to that, I do want to talk about, I know that Karen Baker has continually talked about the fact that we need to be an inclusive community and she has a lot of very strong opinions. There are also going to be very strong opinions in the opposite.

 And that then turns into stagnation. So how do we make, how do we keep this moving forward without this just being a European centric organization? What’s wrong with it being centered in Europe and just getting a. I do agree with that. We, the notion that the speed is here also very important.

I had a feeling that Adobe is letting the time clock play off, just letting it play out, then we’ll see what happens if it comes to that then we might need three act or not. And I think that you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that some of those decisions and everything.

From the fact that there are no more regional Magento people left at Magento. So starting with Roy and Yoav and moving towards through generations and generations of these people. Yeah. You are completely correct. So then you have a feeling that The care for this product and for the community is in the hands of the community itself.

You don’t have strong organization or old, either sheep. That’s that has been throughout these years, running this product. And that’s definitely a challenge, but if you don’t know who is exactly calling the shots and how are these people decided, or who decides that they’re calling the shots.

Then you may get into a point where there’s just too much noise and too many distractions for them to be able to create anything. So inevitably in the way I see it, there’s going to be, have to be if the fork is. Really going forward, there’s going to have to be some type of an entity behind it. Leading it, calling the shots and it’s not getting, you can’t have 100% democracy and these things because we didn’t have it. Even when it was still open source within Adobe, within Magento, you still had contributions and pull requests and everything. And someone had to prioritize.

 Yeah, I think what we’re thinking. Yeah. People were thinking the Magento association was going to take over the charge or a. The care for the product, for the open source product. But that was not even the initial idea. I don’t think that was why Magento association at the beginning started.

It was organized through to, again, they grow from Meet Magento association, but to be more a facilitator of networking and then knowledge exchange and those kinds of things. So we are not. Somewhere on defense or in the, in between. And whether someone will step up and say, okay, we’re doing it this way.

I know if they get their livid and then we’ll take it or we’ll give it, if not, I think if this gets dragged on for too long, then the other thing that, that, that works for him. Yeah. And take it or leave it as a good way to put it and sometimes take it or leave it as decided on 51%. So there’s going to be a, there’s going to be a very small minority that doesn’t agree with what you’re doing, but again, these decisions have to be made.

 And I guess the only way to do it is just to wait in the court of public opinion in terms of how the Magento community is viewing it. I do want to circle back again to the European centric because the reality is the reality is that, that there’s a lot of people in America that.

That don’t have any stake in this. They don’t really care. I can probably count on my two hands, the amount of people in the U S maybe it’s more than that, but the people that are that have some, still have some passion about it the passion for Magento is definitely still rooted in Europe.

 The bulk work of Magento is being done in India. Let’s face it There’s a ton of people. There’s tens of thousands of Magento developers in India, but they don’t they’re, their voices is heard in a different way. If anything, maybe there has to be a strong voice coming out of south Asia as well to help push this.

But I think from a commercial standpoint and we always have to go back to Adobe, has a commercial vision for their product and. This open source product fit into their commercial vision. If it doesn’t, we have to help them understand how it can if it and if they’re not going to listen then the fork is an inevitable, but I will say that as soon as that letter came out, I think the next.

Adobe had a post that said, no we’re committed to this product and here’s why, blah, blah, blah. Now the ironic part of that is that, that I can’t remember the person’s name at the moment. But he’s gone. He’s not part of the, he’s not even part of this effort anymore. So again, there’s been turnover and there’s new people that have no vision or they have no history of what Magento has been.

And so they, they have no idea why this should be at all important. And yeah, one more point about the board that the other part of a Magento association is a lot of the people that were involved in that these first two years of. Board level membership are gone. I think Ben marks was on the original board as an adviser.

He’s gone. Guido was on the board and I believe he’s gone as well now. So some of those people that have a strong opinion about where it should go are gone. Yeah. You are completely right there. So what’s the funny thing is that you mentioned India as one of the very important, the areas or regions where a lot of bulk of Magental work and implementations, and even globally is being done, not just in, but from and I noticed on the Magento association page that the next event.

The only one in between a little, two or three events that are left in the Meet Magento ecosystem is the one in India. It should be true to happen in early February. And then it’s followed up by, by Mexico land and I’m not sure what it’s called. We have a Baltics events scheduled for me, so we’ll see what happens there.

 There, there’s still some of those efforts and organizations being, you did mention a really good point. About us agencies, not really getting, not necessarily invested, but involved in all these areas, they don’t see their own benefit. So you with what gentle and. A handful of other agency that I’ve known from these 12 years like Shiro and Creatuity who are based in the US are still there.

But a lot of others were either acquired maybe by some other agents, but Accentures and whatnot, by those larger agencies, or they have also switched right towards other solutions. So yeah that that’s why you see that European centerism and around around so interesting times definatly they have had some, we’ll be we’ll see where this all goes..

Yeah, I think gone are the days of the single Magento agency who only does Magento. Unless you are a a Viamo of the world that has that clout and enough business to sustain that at that high level, it is difficult to operate in there. Just, I think one last point on this, on the American side as these agencies solidify and get bigger..

The management also has a commercial vision of the product and the people who remembered what Magento was and where it came from are also gone. And so from a leadership standpoint, that agencies. If those agencies have no have no recollection of why should happen and their team, isn’t part of that community.

Then there’s also going to be a disparity in how that agency reacts to events. And. Things like that. And I think we’ve seen it. Mainly at the sponsorship level it’s been difficult to organize events in the U S there are assuming it’s a hundred percent going to be a developer event, which it traditionally has been, but like Mage Titans was a good example of how it worked well in Europe, but did not work well in the U S.

Yeah, I know. Yeah, because it was always, let’s put it this way, business oriented rather than community oriented. So one thing that I saw with Adobe’s acquisition, obviously Adobe’s and other companies similar to Adobe, they’re acquiring a lot of different businesses and it’s usual, it’s normal for them to then absorb that product that they have acquired or an agency or.

Within their own system renamed it, rebranded, whatever. I think that Magento is maybe the first one that, that, where Adobe in their own acquisitions felt the pushback, such a pushback from the community. And when you’re talking about in the scale and the real business numbers, five client numbers, This is small.

This is a small piece of apply, but it creates much greater noise. Then it’s probably the worst thing in their mind. I get just think of that someone at the top level saying, okay, what are these guys even talking about? What kind of community open source?

What are we talking about? It’s like, how can we get. Yeah. And why should we care about us as a brand? So I think that the ensemble handle some of these conversations that are also taking place. Yeah. I’m just writing that down. You said, how should we get rid of. And unfortunately it’s partially true.

 They would like it to all go away and their vision of where it should be, I think. Okay. So let’s, we’ll, let’s just close out this topic on the Magento stuff, but I think that if we’ve identified the main problem with the Magento association, Adobe has been communication and Mosca really highlighted the fact that, Hey, if we make a lot of noise and somebody’s going to answer, so Magento association has answered and Adobe has answered. But I think the vision of where Adobe would like to see. The magenta opensource is so muddled that if they were to just come out with a clear statement that would be such a a boost for the community. And honestly it wouldn’t hurt their enterprise side of things.

There’s no downside to committing to something on the open source, even saying even having a public or having some public statements about open source. And saying how important it is to the community. There’s absolutely no. Cause they could change their mind in a year and again, we would be back in the same spot and they would, there would be nothing lost to them because the reality too, is that the enterprise level clients out there who aren’t using community, they don’t care about community either or right.

 It’s it’s developers and at the merchants who are using it and have. Who believe in it that those are the ones that really have something in it. Yeah. He needs. And those third party providers, service providers who lean on to merchants wherever they are. And if they see that there are hundreds of thousands of businesses on a particular platform, that they will create an integration for that particular platform.

 We’re talking about the ERPs or search engines or. Yeah. You mentioned it wouldn’t hurt, but I think that anything that they would come now from Adobe without it feeling. That, that it’s really honest and that they’re substantial. Let’s just follow the process, but that there’s real substance behind me with just know backfire.

 So from my point, you mentioned that the vision is muddled. I haven’t seen that there’s any vision at all. To be very frank,, I assume that the vision exists for them for the open source. And it’s very difficult for someone probably to just come out and say that. Yeah, I think the same thing from the Magento association, I think what we’ve seen is a announcement in, in, around Magento Connect, which I think happened in September, October.

 And and they said that that there’s a commit there. There’s going to be things happening from their side. And that there’s a podcast coming out. That’s gonna help support the Magento community. Actually, they didn’t say what the podcast is a commercial podcast and it’s just advertising Magento as a platform.

 And I don’t know if you’ve listened to it my, my complaint and I’m on the membership community. For the Magento association. Our goal on the membership community is to grow membership, right? And I would think the best thing to do in a podcast is to make a short commercial for the Magento association to join.

And right now it’s completely free. So here’s my commercial right now is go to Magento association.org forward slash join and join it’s free. And eventually it’s going to be, there’s going to be a paid membership, but right now it’s free. And there’ll probably be some incentives if you’re already a member.

That you’ll be a founding member. Blah-blah-blah so that’s my little, that’s my little pitch on why you should join the I think that there, there is a lack of cohesive vision from the Magento association. There is a vision, but I don’t think. It’s communicated. That’s my thought on that.

Yeah. It’s all comes down to communication and it’s probably something that we’ll talk about in the next part of the conversation as well. How important communication you think. Not just between the members of the ecosystem, but in between the relationships between the agencies and merchants.

So yeah, definitely. We know the task force that was established right around the gentle can source. I think that the community likes some, again, some clarity and communication on where the task force is, what they’re talking about. The only thing I believe that we heard that. Those couple of speeds from Wheeler a week ago or something like that.

So yeah, that never seemed. Yeah. So let’s move to agency discussions and communications. A great is a great thing to talk about. What’s your approach from the agency side to make sure your clients are. You know what we did throughout these years, we’ll be okay. We created, we made a lot of mistakes.

We did some good things as well, but th the one thing that I. Strike it as the most important thing in any agency, client relationship any business relationship whatsoever is actually managing expectations now, because if a client comes, if a merchant comes to an agency or looks for an agency, they have.

Be very clear first and foremost in front of themselves, what did these, did they expect from an agency? Do they expect them to be a partner through partner and then they will rely on their advice and then maybe hire them, not just for the technical and for the development part, but also for some of the e-commerce marketing activities or are they just looking for someone to.

The solution. And that’s one of the most important things to have as, as initial conversations. Then you, as an agency could also decide whether you want to establish this kind of relationship. If there’s someone who’s just looking for you to create the technically sound solution, then they will then take over and manage and run them their own.

Okay. Perfectly fine. If we can meet halfway, if the expectations are. Ben’s a great place to start. On the other hand, if you, as an agency are looking for partners or for merchants who we can partner with, who you can grow with and help them grow, then you probably would not be that willing to take such clients.

We, you see early on. They don’t see you again as equals or someone who can contribute to the growth, the bottom line, but just expect you to deliver the code that is floats. So those are the initial conversations. So what are the expectations? What do you expect from this relationship? And then. Even beyond that, obviously you have to talk about the budget expectations and the overall total cost of ownership and within the e-commerce and within, especially with the open source, there’s a lot of education that has to happen from both ends.

 You have to understand the client’s business, but you have to also. The client or the merchant understand options and weighing these options. And then teach them that it’s not a good idea to, to. To overall to over the blow the the installation with 1500 extensions, hoping that because each of them is doing their own part, everything will magically happen.

We’re not in the microservices yet. So if you know that there’s, there has been a lot of a ton of conversations around these kinds of things because they’re that. It’s it comes down to communication. Sometimes someone from the Magento side has communicated that it’s open source, it’s free.

Then you have thousands of extensions on the marketplace that you can simply plug and play. And help your business, help your installation be more complex. And then you have to manage again, the expectations not tell them that it was completely wrong, but explain why it’s not exactly like that.

 And then when you were in that position and did, this is what has happened to me a lot of times, a lot of the times is when you are, have a good understanding of the product, which you should have, if you’re talking to a potential customer or the potential line, You are not avoiding some of the difficult conversations.

Sometimes you are even opening them. If you know that they are crucial to managing expectations properly. And then that puts you in a, why was he positioned? Because someone else is just pitching the solution, right? Someone else is just pitching the product, just the bank. Again, it depends who you have on the other side, if you have personal on the other side, who recognizes that and for understands, and who’s not looking for yes.

People on the other hand, on the other side of the table, then you opened up the doors to do some proper relationships down the road. But for me over the years speeds being a hassle sometimes managing no. Let’s say, and I’m not not saying anything against Magento, but understanding why their marketing and where they buy their sales theme does not know the product really well.

It’s because the knowledge of the product and potential issues and the downsides and the comparisons between others will inevitably Put them in the in the worst position it will not help themselves. If you’re talking primarily about benefits and what the product gives you, and then hand it off to an agency who needs to implement everything that you have promised, and that it’s easier.

The hard work comes down, comes back to you. So the experiences have been you have to prepare, you’re very open, very honest, because at the end of the day, if you over. Someone will end up hurting it will be either your product your project development team, or are you going to approach your manager for them will be in a pickle or inevitably there is going to be issues on the client side as well, because the new solution that you put out will not be what they thought it would be or where they, what they hoped it would be.

 This is where I doing open source in general has to have these conversations with SaaS platforms. Let’s say that the conversations are faster. It’s you have that? It works in that way. Can I tweak it? No. K right then. Yeah, I can. So that means I have to adopt my business model to the platform. Thank you.

They’re leaving again. It’s faster. It’s clear. We don’t know source. You can do everything, but that doesn’t mean you should, right? Because he then jeopardizes the stability of the system. It jeopardizes the business. Model as a whole, if you start doing all too many customization, so managing these kinds of expectations has been in my book crucial for establishing good, solid, honest long-term clients relationships.

 I gave a talk at Magento, imagine 2015, and the title of my talk was what to expect when you’re not expecting. And it was the, you hit on many of the same topics. So education uncom uncomfortable conversations has been one of the main parts of my talks at these events. My original talk was in meat, Magento or Magento live journal.

And my, my thought was I want to educate merchants on what to expect from an agency and how to maybe navigate some of those communication points. And the funny part about that was all the people that raised their hands were developers. You have developers, agencies and murders.

And the ones that are struggling the most are the developers who are on their own, who don’t, who, oh, maybe you’re not, they’re not communication savvy. And I think the makeup of a developer, isn’t exactly how well they communicate with people. Their makeup, a really good developer is a good developer because.

They’re engrossed in their technology. They’re not necessarily engrossed in how well they communicate with the client. So I think you’ve hit them all exactly right on the point. I think that the best thing Adobe could do is have an engineer on a call with a client to help the client understand what they can and can’t do.

But the thing is that happens, especially on magenta. The client will find out they can do it and then they’ll find out that’s going to be 500 hours and they’re like no, it shouldn’t be that much. I want to do it in 200 hours. And then there’s somebody at the agency, a sales person, normally, who would.

Yeah, we’ll figure it out. Let’s get this signed and that’s starting from the sales cycle and you hit it on the head as well from the how Magento used to sell a Magento enterprise for the salespeople start that. And it ends up having to be cleaned up by the project management team.

Yeah. And there’s even that’s, all of these things are coming from us being immersed in Magento as a product for these 10 or 12 years. So you cannot even blame. Some of these people who are actually, they’re also doing their own job, because a lot of those people, especially in the sales and marketing.

Thought or in a different way, or haven’t been directed, is there a job description and then understand completely from that standpoint, that we touched on previous from the business standpoint, it’s about the numbers, right? It’s about the new logos. How did they put it right then your sales, and then someone else has to clean up the mess. And then when you have invested several thousand hours, maybe in. That it’s not that easy to take on that Suncoast motion, and forget about it. Let’s move away and start something in you. Then you’re stuck and. Again, from the magentas standpoint, from the open source perspective of e-commerce softwares, there’s nothing yet there that’s matching Magento.

 So anyone who has a fairly complex website especially if they want to create a lot of these things, even if they’re on, even with the notion that they’re on e-commerce or sorry, on open source, they sometimes feel stuck. I you because they might want to move away from agenda, but they understand that it’s very difficult to them.

Replicate that. Yeah. And sometimes impossible. Yeah. So I just we only have five minutes left, so let’s we have to close out. Unfortunately we have to close out this conversation just to recap what you said earlier the expectations of the client should be should be, you should learn those that the agency needs to learn the expectations of the client at the start of the project.

I’m an advocate of bringing the sales person in, because oftentimes to this, the client will say I was promised this and what the client hears sometimes is different than what the sales person says. That’s all just meeting expectations and then education, I think is what you said next. So listening to the client, helping them understand the way things are going to go.

And then also helping them to understand. So the client has to do some education and we have to do some education as an agency. And then I think that just to key in on that, what you said about having those difficult conversations and making sure you talk about that. As soon as you can, because the longer you wait, the longer there is for that time to pass.

And the client say you should’ve told me this a month ago. We could have dealt with it. Then none of the waiting around is going to help anybody. Is it did I summarize what you said earlier? Pretty well. Perfectly. All right. So Aron, what is, so you just briefly, what what is your future look like?

 What are you planning on? I got, as I mentioned, I’m on my way out I’ve been having some conversations over these past several weeks with again, with some of the members of the community I’m taking some time off even though with restrictions now in Croatia, both colleagues, some online classes with the kids.

It’s not a sabbatical, it’s not really a relaxing time. But still it gives me some times to Re-evaluate what I have done over these 12 years see some of the things that I love doing see some of the things that I might not want to do again. And then I know the easiest way for me east of stay around e-commerce ecosystem, because I know like that in terms of weather, whether it’s going to be.

Similarly agency experience or something completely different fairly open to new experiences in that regard. Great. And as I close out I was give everybody an opportunity to do a shameless plug to promote anything you’d like, what would you like to promote today? Okay. I haven’t actually through things.

For one 12 years is 12 years. Hey, so each crew.net, I N C H O o.net for anyone who is looking for a solid or grave Magento. That’s you don’t have to look elsewhere. They’re still a great team who can handle any kind of Magento project. Other than that I’m based in Croatia, leading creation.

So great shot, especially is no fraud, especially in the U S for Fritzy and for the nice beaches. But one thing that, that has really been a good thing or. Past year or so throughout the pandemic is that the Croatia has opened up for these are the non digital nomads, right? So you have you, right?

So that’s the freedom of movements or anyone can work, travel anywhere, bar the COVID restrictions. Other than that Gratiot has starting in 2021 and starting to get digital nomads. It’s a perfect for any Nani resident, primarily for us people to stay, to live in Croatia for up to 12. No, no questions asked.

So it’s a permit for a long-term state. And this is being done. And this is being taken advantage of by a lot of us actually residents who are traveling, who have found, and it’s fairly affordable to live in Croatia. And there are a lot of different homes who are offering that type of long-term state options.

So if. In Kingsville for remote work and you’re looking for a country where you can actually live on a in a much more affordable way with your celery and learning from the states, from anywhere else in the world, and still have a great view. They take a, I dunno, take a swim in March if you want to.

So there they’re really great options for Nani residents or anyone who’s listening. You should visit DNA Croatia dot. So DNA, crayfish.com. That’s these are the no men’s association of, for creation over there. You can learn a lot about what it takes to travel, to come live in Croatia and work for your current employer or for yourself, if you are a freelancer.

So this is a great place to be. And if you do decide to come no, feel free to give me a call. Maybe we can meet for a coffee or. All right. That’s fantastic. And we cannot swim here in our lakes and March. In fact, yesterday I was out around the lakes and there was a whole group of people doing kite surfing which was really cool.

And it’s not surfing as you would think. It’s on a big frozen lake and they’re going across this lake probably 60 miles an hour with there’s both a wind surfing on the ice and there’s kite surfing. For if there’s no snow, if it’s just straight up ice, you can go more than 160 kilometers an hour on the ice.

It’s crazy fast and no more than a hundred miles an hour. Anyway, You don’t care if it’s fluid or solid, you just pull up. Yeah. Right now it’s all solid. It’s going to be solid until March our lake. We can run, we can walk on our lakes from December, until March anyways. Not a plug for Minnesota. If you like that winter outdoor lifestyle, that is a great place to be.

So anyways, Aron, I really appreciate you being here. It sounds like we’ll have to do a co we should do a follow up conversation with the, with your next chapter in life. And we can continue to talk about how we can improve Magento association and the communications around it so much for being here.

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Episode 27