So, I feel really bad and the past few weeks that should have been great (since things have been great for business in general) were kind of a train-wreck, both mentally and in terms of work.
My original expectation is that the increased support/pre-sale questions load would return to normal as time went by, but the load has been growing and growing (despite some apparent dips). Not sure if Google has understood that we are the only option available now, but even with the reduced amount of direct WPMU DEV refers, our organic reach increased by a lot.
This is great for business because we are selling more licenses, Annual Recurring Revenue is growing and we are solidifying the company as a whole. However, the effects on my state of mind have not been so great, and a huge part of it is that I have this constant feeling of frustration and of “letting you guys down” on 2.0 progress.
I had to spend most of the past weeks either working long hours on the Migrator or working long hours helping Ruel on support. Even Marcelo (our other dev) and Juliana (which should mostly be writing documentation stuff) are now spending most of the time helping with support as well.
The past few weeks taught me a lot though, and I would like to share that with you all:
- I’m the bottleneck of the company. I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that I was a ‘solopreneur’ for so long, but I’m really bad at delegating and at creating processes that allow things to move without my direct oversight/interference. Basic things like refunding a license on the 30-day money back guarantee period have to go through me at the moment. One of my main goals is to make the entire operation “me-independent” as soon as possible.
- This is kind of a consequence of the first point, but I’m hugely underutilizing Ruel, our support manager. He will be taking a more active place in managing the forums, Trello, refunds, and other stuff a support manager should be doing.
- The increase in revenue gives me the leeway to confidently grow the team: we’ll be soon adding another support agent, another full-time developer and an intern will be joining us soon as well, bringing our total headcount to 7 people.
- Working on the Migrator made us realize what Pro Sites did right, especially in terms of performance and database modeling for multi-currency support and other features like that. I still think that a lot of the decisions we made on WP Ultimo are the right ones, but having to read almost every line of code of Pro Sites gave us great insight that we can now use to improve WP Ultimo even more.
- Choosing to work on a monolithic 2.0 release with all those new features was probably a bad decision given the position we were in and now it is probably too late to fix it. We will resume intermediate releases (1.9.X) with smaller, but important stuff, while we continue to work on the bigger stuff for 2.0. Some of the things that are ready to ship but are inside 2.0 might be released earlier in a 1.9.X release (examples include support to Cloudways SSL support, mass coupon generation, etc).
I’ll have to give you an update on a timeline later this month, but it is possible we won’t have an Ultimo 2.0 release until the end of July. We don’t want to push out something that is rushed or buggy. There are networks with 5-7k sites running our software and we can’t afford to do that.
I feel like I ask this every other week now, but I hope you guys understand.
Founder of NextPress