We Discuss Startup Opportunities of Combining AI With WordPress in 2023
Step into the future with us as we uncover the immense potential of merging AI with WordPress in 2023. In this video, we try to unravel a tapestry of startup opportunities waiting to be explored by ambitious entrepreneurs like you. From chatbots enhancing customer support to intelligent algorithms optimizing content creation, discover how combining these cutting-edge technologies can propel your business toward success in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Ready to seize these game-changing prospects?
Jannis Thümmig, a seasoned Tech Entrepreneur, has dedicated over a decade to breaking new ground in the WordPress space. His innovative products like WP Webhooks and Pluginplate have already made waves, but his latest venture, Integraticus, truly stands apart.
Integraticus is not your standard agency. Jannis and his team employ a unique, fully tailored approach to transform websites into powerful lead generators. Their strategies are meticulously crafted for each client, whether a mid-size business, a startup, or an established enterprise, ensuring an exclusive experience not found elsewhere.
Jannis is a visionary in the WordPress arena, constantly pushing boundaries. He’s not just following the game but actively changing it, bringing a fresh approach to website optimization. With Integraticus, Jannis Thümmig is genuinely reshaping the future of the WordPress space.
#1 – Jannis, what is WP-Webhooks, and what problem does it solve?
#2 – What significant challenges have you faced in developing and marketing, and how did you overcome them that you can share with the audience?
#3 – So, what are some of the most significant opportunities connected to combining AI with WordPress?
#4 – Where would you like to see WP-Webhooks in 18 months
#5 – What have been some of the biggest online influences or personal mentors connected to your business career development?
#6 – If you return to a time machine at the beginning of your career, what essential advice would you give yourself?
This Week Show’s Sponsors
Sensei LMS: Sensei LMS
Full Episode Transcript
[00:00:00.000] – Jonathan Denwood
Welcome back, folks, to the WP-Tonic This Week in WordPress and SaaS. It’s episode 775. We’ve got a great guest here. I haven’t got my co-host, Kurt. He’s swan off to WordPress USA, but he will be back next week. We’ve got a great guest with us. We’ve got Janice. I already have forgotten how to pronounce his third name. I’m not going to let him do it. But he’s the Founder of W. P. Webhawks. Janice, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
[00:00:55.980] – Jannis Thuemmig
Yeah, totally. My name is Janice. I am from Germany and started my career around 10 years ago as a web developer creating websites for small businesses and went on that path to find possibilities for automating things. For me, it was always a big thing about how I can actually save time, and how I can make the most out of my day. That’s how I became super interested in things like automation, especially for the web. I started creating a product which is called W. P. Webbooks, which basically allows you to create automation directly within WordPress. You can connect different services together, let them talk with each other, and just make your life more free and free of the resources for things that actually matter for your business.
[00:01:42.390] – Jonathan Denwood
That’s great. In this episode, like I said, we’re going to be talking about W. Webhooks. We’re going to discuss some of the challenges and getting the business started and moving forward. I get the impression that Iannis is a bit of a digital nomad. Yes. We’re probably going to cover that as well a little bit. It should be a great show. But before we go into the meat and potatoes of this interview, we got a couple of messages from our major sponsors. We will be back in a few moments, folks. Are you looking for ways to make your content more engaging? Sensei LMS by Automatic is the.
[00:02:23.970] – Jannis Thuemmig
Original WordPress solution.
[00:02:25.510] – Jonathan Denwood
For creating and selling online courses.
[00:02:28.210] – Jannis Thuemmig
[00:02:28.810] – Jonathan Denwood
Interactive blocks can be added.
[00:02:30.330] – Jannis Thuemmig
To any WordPress page or post. For example, interactive.
[00:02:33.810] – Jonathan Denwood
Videos let you pause videos.
[00:02:35.200] – Jannis Thuemmig
[00:02:36.000] – Jonathan Denwood
[00:02:36.630] – Jannis Thuemmig
[00:02:36.930] – Jonathan Denwood
Generation forms, surveys, and more.
[00:02:39.100] – Jannis Thuemmig
For a 20% discount for The Tribe.
[00:02:41.600] – Jonathan Denwood
Just use the code WPtonic, all one word.
[00:02:44.500] – Jannis Thuemmig
When checking out give Sensei.
[00:02:45.870] – Jonathan Denwood
A try today. Hi there, folks. It’s Jonathan, Thenwood here, and I want to tell you about one of our great sponsors, and that’s zolo. Com. If you got a WordPress website, a membership website, and you’re looking to link it with a great financial management package, Zolo can provide this solution. So all your bookkeeping needs are done through Zolo. If you need new inbox email functionality and you don’t want to pay the high charges that Google will charge you, Zillow offers a great email inbox platform. They’ve got over 50 apps and services that all integrate fantastic with WordPress at great value levels and they almost always offer a fully functioning free product as well. It’s just amazing value. Also, if you’re a WordPress developer or agency owner, Zolo is looking for great partnerships in the WordPress space. To get all this information, all you have to do, folks, is just to go over to Zolo. com and they have the products that you’re looking for. Thank you so much, Zolo, for supporting WPtonic and the Machine Membership Shows. It’s much appreciated. We’re coming back, folks. I just want to point out we got some great special offers from the sponsors, plus we got a curated list of the best WordPress plug-ins with some special offers linked to those as well.
[00:04:34.150] – Jonathan Denwood
To get all these great goodies, all you have to do is go over to wp-tonic. Com/deals, and you find all the goodies there. What more can you ask for? I don’t know, but you’re not going to get it. I think you touched it with your quick intro, but what was the synopsis around the early days of W eb books? What problem did you think you solved? Was you looking at other solutions or did this come on your radar and you were looking to build a plug-in business? Basically, what’s the origin story that led you down this path a little bit?
[00:05:34.740] – Jannis Thuemmig
Yeah, got it. Initially, it was more of an internal project of something that I needed for one of my clients. It was more about giving some push notification from the website whenever someone was sending a form back then, as well as when a new user updated a post because they need to control those things. I didn’t see any solution on the market that could do that out of the box. While developing this feature, I thought to myself like, Hey, why not just make a plugin out of that and give myself the possibility to use it and others the possibility as well and have the benefit of them extending it as well. We all benefit from it. This is also where the name comes from, WP Webhooks. Right now it’s way more than that. The Webhooks went a little bit more into the shadows. They’re still a core part of our product. For the people who don’t know what a Webhook is in the first place, it’s basically the possibility of sending a request to a specific website whenever some event happens. Let’s say a user logs in, you can send a notification, an email was sent, a short code was called, a website was visited, whatever.
[00:06:42.660] – Jannis Thuemmig
With that time, we felt the need for actually connecting those web books to some workflow. It’s not just that we wanted to send data, but we also wanted to receive data. Let’s say we wanted to create a user from somewhere else on our website. Those came over time to our product. We basically integrated Actions and then allowed these triggers and Actions to be connected in a sense of workflow, which allows you to do cool things like when a WUKOM as order was created, you can send them a notification as an email. You can add that order to your accounting system. You can send the data to make or Zapier, and do a lot of other things that happen basically in the same row. You can get rid of the whole manual process for something that usually a human had to do before.
[00:07:31.360] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, that’s fantastic. I explained to people used to Lysin and hosting and they asked about this. I say that what you’rewere in a zappie of WordPress, because they enable different… I know it’s a lot more, but I have to give a quick answer to somebody that doesn’t have the time to really delve into this. Because people don’t realize that a lot of plug-ins, they have to spend energy and time providing their own add-ons that will communicate with other leading plug-ins in the WordPress community. Your type of solution helps if there’s no pre-built integration. Am I on the right track there?
[00:08:28.040] – Jannis Thuemmig
Yes and no. Definitely, it helps if there’s no pre-defined one and either we have one available or one can be created. But also in a lot of cases when existing plug-ins have already a web book integration, a lot of people still prefer to come to us just for the fact because we are specialized in Webbooks. Our structure is way more advanced and they can do way more with it. It comes a lot to, for example, data formatting. If a specific WebPerk sends the data out in the format, it’s usually something static if it’s not manually adjusted. With our plugin, we have predefined features to allow formatting, to allow mathematical formulas and those things. In the end, still a lot of people come to us if they’re looking for some more freedom in adjusting the data that actually comes through.
[00:09:15.040] – Jonathan Denwood
All right. What have been some of the significant challenges you faced in developing the plugin and the marketing that have come on the radar that you didn’t initially anticipate on your journey?
[00:09:33.330] – Jannis Thuemmig
The biggest part is probably that WordPress is so decentralized. There’s not one global marketplace where you can list your stuff. Of course, there’s CodeCanyon and those things, but they also support mostly everything. If you look for a specific target group, there are not many options than literally reaching out to people with cold emails or making ads or making SEO. That is what I went for. Our plugin basically completely grew organically through SEO, which is something we specialize on. We took some more complex approaches like programmatic SEO to just get our name out. That is how we have been marketing since the beginning.
[00:10:14.500] – Jonathan Denwood
What do you mean by-.
[00:10:17.180] – Jannis Thuemmig
Programmatic SEO? Programmatic SEO. It’s basically a way of creating landing pages on demand whenever we release, for example, some new integrations. Whenever we have new objectives, we try to combine these objectives and create meaningful content dynamically that is again being listed on our website so Google can find it and can list it for specific keywords.
[00:10:40.730] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, I fully know what you mean. That’s been the main driver, traffic from Google basically using…
[00:10:50.520] – Jannis Thuemmig
Yes, Google, Bing, mostly any search engines, or as well as Resource Hub for forums. That’s everything that can have through organically, through SEO or social networks.
[00:11:04.470] – Jonathan Denwood
Would you say that your plugin is really aimed at the WordPress professional implementer, designer, developer? Is that or what have you found there? Yeah, it’s the audience?
[00:11:16.080] – Jannis Thuemmig
I’d say it’s more for the power user. If you have never heard of Webhugs or about JSON or just in general about connecting different services together, it might be a bit difficult, especially because we just have a very advanced setup. You are very flexible and we don’t limit anyone to do only a specific thing. If you are aware of how WordPress works in the basics to know that a post is part of a custom post type and that you have a basic understanding of when a website is called, this happens, then it’s definitely not an issue to use our product. We also have a fully-fledged documentation that mostly covers everything we offer within our product. It’s a very straightforward process, I would say.
[00:12:04.280] – Jonathan Denwood
Obviously, you said about the competition because you have got 2-3 main competitors in this sector. I don’t know if you agree that you got Uncanny. There’s another one, and I think Adam Pazia has their own. There’s probably even more than that. Obviously, you’ve always got to make a decision. If there is no competitions, that suggests that this probably isn’t a market for your solution. But how have you tried to make your solution a little bit different or have you not bothered? Do you think there’s things that they don’t provide that your solution does?
[00:12:58.900] – Jannis Thuemmig
I’d say… It’s definitely a market where multiple products are in, so you’re completely right for that. I would say everyone serves a different purpose. We are not, I’d say, for the very simple for those, but more for people that really look to automate as much as they can out of a specific workflow or something that they couldn’t achieve before. We are working, for example, as a difference with the full payload of the data that comes through. That means if you send, for example, a whole user information through from a different website that comes to your WordPress website and you want to use that data within our product, you can use every single bit of the data and format in any way possible. This is, for example, a thing that is not possible with most of those plugins. And it just comes more to the, I would say, more advanced features that we are taking care of. Our product is basically all developed to be a super stable, super fast, and performance-oriented solution that can be leveraged by power users to make the most out of the WordPress website.
[00:14:03.000] – Jonathan Denwood
Are there any particular industries, typical… Have you observed any data that you’re getting people from a certain industry or a certain type of individual that seems to be attractive? Or is it so diverse that you’re not being able to make any coherence to where the customers are coming from?
[00:14:27.360] – Jannis Thuemmig
I’d say it’s very diverse. There is everything from nonprofits to bigger agencies and corporations that use automation. I’d say it is mostly everything that happens digitally. Stuff like real estate for listings, for example, of course e-commerce, those stores usually use those solutions from us to integrate the stuff into the website. To give a specific niche, it’s very hard, but I would say everything that happens digitally, so probably more in the e-commerce branch or whatever is visible on a website like with real estate agents?
[00:15:06.490] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah. It seems like you say it’s the power user, it’s the developer, that type individual that’s got complicated optimization needs and maybe looked at some of the other competitors and it hasn’t satisfied them and they’re finding a home with your plug-in. I think that’s the synopsis. I think you’re writing out here. Would I be correct?
[00:15:40.030] – Jannis Thuemmig
It happens sometimes that customers migrate from a different solution to us, for sure, if it comes to more complex scenarios. We have also a lot of people natively coming to us just because they find our landing pages and they see a fit in what we offer. Usually, it’s also a very simple thing to set up for them. We also have features like exporting and importing different workflows. You can just spread them through your network. If you’re an agency, for example, you can create them once and you can distribute them to all of your clients within a few clicks.
[00:16:10.560] – Jonathan Denwood
That’s really interesting. How did you develop that functionality? Was it something you envisioned at the beginning or is it because you got feedback.
[00:16:20.460] – Jannis Thuemmig
From your users? It came fully out of users’ needs. We usually get support tickets with feature requests, with integration requests. We have a dedicated page for that as well on our website. What we deem mostly necessary or important or just lucrative for the customer to have, that is something we focus on and we implement. I’d say most of the features that we added afterwards, they actually came from our users and from their needs.
[00:16:46.770] – Jonathan Denwood
How do you balance what you’ve just outlined? You got input, a feature request and you looked at it. How do you, in your own mind, and I’d imagine everybody struggles with this, how do you judge what new features you build into the platform that are linked to the core philosophy? But don’t mean that you build out, you lose focus. You just add functionality and you end up moving into different areas and then you lose focus from the core need, the functionality that you originally built the plug in the solution for, if that’s making sense.
[00:17:42.920] – Jannis Thuemmig
Yeah, I get that part. If it comes to core features, so something that any integration we have available can use, then it’s something we usually integrate directly. If it’s more specific requests, let’s for example say someone wants to send a specific data in a different format, it is usually something that we don’t implement from our side, but we give them a manual on how they can do it by themselves with either just some small little code snippets. Or if it’s a more complex project, let’s say they want to completely customize it and display the data as well somewhere or store it in the database, then we also have partners that we can refer them to so that they can extend that stuff. We have a full integration available that our developers can use, for example, to create their very own integration. Let’s say they have their own SaaS or a SaaS business, they can also create their own integration and launch it for themselves that is directly working and harmonizing with our plugin.
[00:18:43.510] – Jonathan Denwood
That’s interesting. Obviously, I didn’t ask you this question because it’s in the public interest. It’s out there at the present moment. I’m sure you’ve been thinking about it as well. What do you see as some of the opportunities around AI for your own? I don’t know if you specifically see any opportunities for what you’re offering and your own tag in and service. Also, what do you think what do you envision that AI will affect WordPress in the medium term? Can you have thoughts around that?
[00:19:24.870] – Jannis Thuemmig
Totally. We actually dove into the AI space quite some time ago. I’d say in February when we started creating our first integration for our plugin with OpenAI. You could back then already ask for completion from OpenAI and integrate WordPress directly with it. We had an example manual or a blog post back then that allowed you to automatically create a post meta description using Yost SEO within your WordPress website whenever you update a post. It’s those small things that developed further. I have a team in an agency that is currently building AI chatbots for a certain set of customers that is not just WordPress based, but also integrates very well with our product. We had some cases of that before. How that usually works is we have, for example, some support or AI persona of someone that has a WordPress website and sells, let’s say, online courses or they are influencer. Their customers or their, I’d say, whole community can talk with a virtual version of themselves, like of the influencer, and then interact directly with the WordPress website in the sense of that they can share their email to get some extra information and it’s added to a newsletter using Mailster plugin, for example, and those things.
[00:20:47.760] – Jannis Thuemmig
We see the trend a lot for people to move towards chatbots on WordPress because they integrate very well with AI and just allow a completely new world of interacting with the website as well as with the actual person that’s behind it.
[00:21:02.630] – Jonathan Denwood
All right. How do you think AI will affect WordPress? Obviously, there’s been some products around helping you write copy, but then recently there’s been a couple of products that will build a whole website depending on what information you give. I haven’t made my own mind up about those. Are there any opportunities that you think that are coming up on the radar that you think people haven’t thought about?
[00:21:39.320] – Jannis Thuemmig
Hundred %. Every day there’s something new coming out. It’s becoming more complex. I think something we are all fighting with at the moment is something called the token limits. When you talk with API or with AI request, let’s for example say you want to ask the AI something about a specific document, but the document has 100 pages, you are basically incapable of sending that data specifically to the AI and get an answer that is trained based on that specific document that you give it. That is mostly because the AI just doesn’t have the resources yet to get all of the data. There are some intermediary stuff happening where you can presave data in something called the vector database. It’s a bit more technical, but you can retrieve data from there and then pretend like you actually get the data back. I just mentioned that for the fact that it’s basically a workaround, which means there’s no completely final solution there to actually get the AI as far to understand very long and complex topics, which is also part of this dynamic website creating process that is happening at the moment. I saw a lot of websites implementing those solutions.
[00:22:52.160] – Jannis Thuemmig
Like you mentioned that you can copy a website or you enter a prompt and it creates a website dynamically for you. But it’s still very limiting because AI just doesn’t have the capacity in the sense of tokens to actually build something meaningful on a larger scale. It is possible, but there are still a lot of workarounds involved. I guess the more we advance, the more complex and better solutions we will see. This is definitely something that becomes a thing. It’s also something that a lot of people will start leveraging in one way or the other, either for advertisements that are dynamically created specifically for their target group or for lead generations or for internal tools. There are millions of possibilities right now and it’s definitely a good time to look into it.
[00:23:38.400] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. I’m struggling here a little bit because I’ve got these two sides of the coin here and I’ve been oscillate back and forth. Because these are language models based on advanced mathematics, but the system doesn’t understand because we don’t… I was going to say it doesn’t really understand. Is it not… It doesn’t understand the meaning of things. It’s utilizing speed and advanced mathematics to recognize patterns and one word after the next word in context of an ever more advanced pattern. Is that how… Hopefully, I’ve explained how I see it. Am I on the right track there or am I missing something very easy to understand? I’m not the bluntest at all, but I’m not the sharpest either.
[00:25:00.150] – Jannis Thuemmig
If it comes to language models, it’s usually something that mostly only very big corporations do because they have the funding for it. What happens behind the scenes, and I think that is what you’re referring to, is that contextual, the meaning of a specific sentence. The AI, like a language model itself, basically understands things already pretty well and can make reasons, I would say pretty much accurately, especially what we see from OpenAI. Where the issue comes, it’s also again related to this token length. If we are storing big data, for example, in something like I mentioned, the vector database, it works in a way using mathematics, cosine functions usually to find the nearest patterns to some vector that you give it as an input. Let’s say you have the word dog and you want to find it, you run this to something called embeddings within OpenAI and you get this vector numbers back. With those numbers, you can then search the closest other vectors in that space in the side of that vector database. Depending on how you configure it, you can get the first, the third, the fifth, or the 10 first or closest vectors to that and return them in a response, which means this AI doesn’t have the full knowledge about the whole document, but it just has access to the X amount of closest vectors that you give it to it.
[00:26:28.400] – Jonathan Denwood
Thanks for that. I was following you explain that because obviously it’s very technical and you’ve got a much deeper knowledge than I have. But you explained that so I could follow it. But the only thing I wanted to point, I did interrupt you slightly and I apologize. No worries. I get back to what the problem, not a problem, but it doesn’t understand the document in a human way, but I don’tWith the limited research I’ve done, we don’t really understand how people learn things. Well, we have indication of best practice and what works with different types of individual, depending on their own… Are they visual? Are they all tutorial? There’s different styles people have. But I don’t think we fundamentally understand why one person can learn something where another person really struggles. We have vague ideas around IQ. But even when I did research about the foundations of IQ, I was surprised how much of the foundations were based on what I consider to be pseudoscience, which surprised me. I have even, I won’t say concerns, but IQ test, because I did some research about its historic foundations. Like I said, I was shocked by how much, in my opinion, it was based on pseudoscience.
[00:28:13.720] – Jonathan Denwood
Can you see where I’m coming? Or do you think I’m just going off on the bend here?
[00:28:19.580] – Jannis Thuemmig
Yeah, I fully understand where you come from. I cannot tell you exactly if it’s different, mostly because we just don’t have that much research about it, or at least I’m not fully aware of that. But I can see that things become pretty reasonable from the AI standpoint, at least from the knowledge. The way it learns it, it probably depends on how it’s trained. I think the process where it gets interesting is to see the way howhow the language model actually trains or is trained, through what methods. I can tell you there are two different types that I’m aware of, which is supervised and unsupervised. It’s basically like you… When a kid drops a cake on the floor, the way how you tell the kid it did something wrong or did something right, it’s something in that sense. I think in a lot of cases, we basically train the AI to tell it based on predefined inputs, if something is correct or not, and it learns out of that. That’s one of the ways. The other ways is it has just trial and error and it just tries something until it works out, which is also something the humans do.
[00:29:26.150] – Jannis Thuemmig
I think this is commonalities within the language models.
[00:29:29.900] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. Thanks for that. I can see where you’re coming from because in some ways it doesn’t really matter if it doesn’t think like a human, it doesn’t… Because what you’re saying is really what really matters is the end result, doesn’t it?
[00:29:43.690] – Jannis Thuemmig
Exactly, yeah. It’s like the same with mostly every product. The end results matters way more than the actual journey.
[00:29:50.310] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, all right. Thanks for that. Well, we went on a bend to their, listeners of views, but you know what you’re getting in when you listen to this podcast. I like to go on to a slightly untrunded path. It’s been a fascinating first half. We’ve got some more questions for you, Ennis. We’re going for our mid-break, folks. We will be back in a few moments, folks. Hey, it’s Benz from launchflows. Com. If you’ve been looking for a fast and easy way to create powerful sales funnels on WordPress, then look no further than launch flows. In just minutes, you can easily create instant registration, upsells, downsells, order bumps, one-click checkouts, one-time offers, custom thank you pages, and best of all, no coding is required. For as little as $50 per year, you can own and control your entire sales funnel machine with launch flows. Get your copy today.
[00:30:46.550] – Jannis Thuemmig
This podcast episode is brought to you by Lifter LMS, the leading learning management system solution for WordPress. If you or your client are creating any online course, training-based, membership website, or any type of e-learning project, Lifter LMS is the most secure, stable, well-supported solution on the market. Go to LifterLMS. Com and save 20% at checkout with coupon code podcast 20. That’s podcast two zero. Enjoy the rest of your show.
[00:31:24.410] – Jonathan Denwood
We’re coming back, folks. I just want to point out, if you’re a WordPress freelancer professional and you’re looking for a great hosting partner, but a lot more, why don’t you look at WPtonic? Not only do we offer some great partnership incentives, we also are a great support partner. If you’re building membership or community websites or any other complicated website, especially if you’re a freelancer designer. To find more about what we offer, all you have to do is go over to wp-tonic. Com/partners. You can find out more there and you can book a chat with me and we can see if we are a good fit to become a partner. Please do that. On to the next. What are the plans? What are the schemes? What is the outline for world domination when it comes to marketing automation in WordPress for WP, Webhooks in the next 18 months? It’s a difficult question because obviously there are stuff that you’ve got to keep to yourself. But is there any possibility you can peel the curtain slightly to tell me maybe some of your medium or some aspirations that you would like WP Tonic to do in the medium term?
[00:33:07.960] – Jannis Thuemmig
If it comes regarding to our product timeline, I’d say we just do what we do best, which is creating new integrations and making the product better. I’d say as easy as it gets.
[00:33:21.270] – Jonathan Denwood
But is there any medium-term vision where you would like to move the product for bigger vision that you would like to move it? Or are you just concentrating on just getting more and more functionality that works for your user base at the present moment?
[00:33:39.640] – Jannis Thuemmig
Yeah, exactly. We care mostly about our users. Our end goal is not to have a bigger vision at some point to turn it into a SaaS. It’s already a pretty successful plugin and we just want to make sure to get the most out of it. The more we can optimize, the better and the stronger we can make it, the more we can just take over from the market and bring our customers something that they can actually enjoy and use for their product or their business.
[00:34:06.320] – Jonathan Denwood
Obviously, when you agreed to come on the show, I did a little bit research about you because I can’t even remember where you came on my radar, but I think I was actually looking at your product, actually, and you see me intriguing guy. I did some research. Why have you decided to try and build a product in the WordPress space? Because I would imagine you could have gone the SaaS route. What interested you about the WordPress and building a plug-in product in that space rather than going the SaaS route?
[00:34:50.730] – Jannis Thuemmig
I think it was mostly because I was already working with WordPress and the plugin basically came out of a customer’s need. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel and start from scratch again, so I already had something that we built up on and we saw some really good responses back then. I just decided to pursue that and continue. In the beginning, it was just like a little side hustle until we saw there’s really a lot of people needing something like that in their business. That’s just when we started focusing more into that. That’s basically it.
[00:35:21.470] – Jonathan Denwood
Like I say, when we were chatting before we went live, you’re based in Dubai and I think you’re a bit of a digital nomad. I think when we were having our initial chat before we went live, you agreed to that. First of all, what’s it like living in Dubai? How long have you been there? What’s the tech, WordPress culture in Dubai like?
[00:35:48.420] – Jannis Thuemmig
I’m mostly traveling. I have been for the last two years, I would say, since COVID, more often here because it’s very convenient and the internet connection is just great. It’s a very simple and amazing place to work from. You have a really cool and motivated community that is especially as well younger and they’re very tax-heavy, so there’s a lot for me to learn from them. I can give the same back for the automation needs. I would not say there’s much happening at WordPress, but it’s a really good spot for me to switch to things like Worldcamp Asia and Worldcamp Europe, which is surprisingly the exact same amount of time away. It makes things just very convenient. It’s a really nice hub spot, a really nice spot to travel all around the world.
[00:36:35.410] – Jonathan Denwood
How do you cope? Well, you’re probably not there in the summer, but how do you cope with the heat? I’m English. I’m just used to gloom and rain and more rain and more gloom. That’s what I’m used to. I’m living in somewhere like Dubai. I can’t live in Las Vegas. I live in the Alpine area. There’s a lot of sun, but the heat, I just cannot cope with heat. How do you cope with it? Well, don’t you just go somewhere else when you get to do what?
[00:37:09.920] – Jannis Thuemmig
I’d say it’s something you really get used to. I’m originally from Germany, so we also didn’t have the hottest summers back then. When I came the first time, I can tell you it was really hot. It was really, really hot and that was during the summertime. Oh my God! Back then it was very intense. Now I’m even here sometimes with 40 degrees, 45 degrees and I’m perfectly fine. It all switched a little bit. You get used to it. At the moment, I actually appreciate it in some way. It’s very interesting because here you still have the convenience. It’s not like you’re forced to be outside because you walk a couple of meters, you can go into a mall and it’s all under AC, so it’s really fresh. It’s just a convenience here that makes the heat very standable, so it’s not a big issue. I’d feel way worse off to be, for example, in Europe in some older historic city and knowing I go to a coffee shop and there’s no AC inside and I know I have to sweat, nevertheless. Here you at least have the choice.
[00:38:08.020] – Jonathan Denwood
How long have you been a Quasar, a digital nomad then?
[00:38:12.920] – Jannis Thuemmig
I’d say around eight years. Oh, right. I’ve been traveling quite a lot.
[00:38:19.340] – Jonathan Denwood
What are some of your… Obviously, people ask me consistently, What do you like about England? What do you like about America? Did you not like England? The truth is both countries that I’ve spent a fair bit of time in, there’s different aspects of both cultures and countries that I like or don’t like. Some of the places that you’ve been, are there 2-3 that are on your favorite list that you can maybe you can tell us why you liked them?
[00:38:58.260] – Jannis Thuemmig
Oh, yeah, 100%. I’d say my favorite country is Montenegro.
[00:39:01.720] – Jonathan Denwood
[00:39:02.920] – Jannis Thuemmig
It’s very versatile. It’s super close to Europe and you can go from the Mediterranean Coast with ocean and olive and fresh fish to the real mountain site, up to 2,000 meters in the mountainous area. Everything’s green, you can ski. It’s just such a big switch that you can get within a two-hour drive, which makes it, for me, very attractive to just get different inputs whenever I want to. The people are insanely friendly there. It’s just one of the best places to be. I’d say as a second country, probably Afghanistan, as weird as it sounds, but their nature is just crazily incredible. It’s very much untouched. The history is very interesting. It’s not just sand like you expect, but they actually have mountains to ski as well all around the year. It’s a very versatile place as well that I can definitely recommend to check out.
[00:40:00.010] – Jonathan Denwood
I lost, what was that last country? Sorry.
[00:40:03.510] – Jannis Thuemmig
[00:40:04.730] – Jonathan Denwood
[00:40:06.100] – Jannis Thuemmig
[00:40:06.940] – Jonathan Denwood
When was you there? I’d be asking. When did you visit that?
[00:40:12.080] – Jannis Thuemmig
It was shortly before they removed the US troops, so it must have been in 2021.
[00:40:18.770] – Jonathan Denwood
Did you not feel at all… Did you not feel at all slightly worried about your personal security while going there? Kept behind basically? Yeah, it’s.
[00:40:32.590] – Jannis Thuemmig
A thing that you hear often, but to be honest, I’m not more scared than I am when I walk through London or some other big city in Europe or anywhere else. It’s usually the people that you choose to be there. If you have a guide or someone that knows the local people, you’re in pretty good hands. I’d say it’s very rare that something is happening there. We even did road trips.
[00:40:55.610] – Jonathan Denwood
[00:40:56.510] – Jannis Thuemmig
Really not that bad as the media always presents it.
[00:41:00.920] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, I can see where you’re coming from. I can understand it. How long did you… How long were you in Afghanistan then?
[00:41:09.800] – Jannis Thuemmig
We haven’t been too long, I would say more than a week.
[00:41:14.110] – Jonathan Denwood
All right. But I do understand that I have some people that I know that served in the American Armed Forces that spent a number of years there. They pointed out that it’s extremely diverse, the different tribes. One factor they pointed out to me is, because Alessandro the Great and the Greeks, actually, they are certain tribes in Afghanistan that are lightish and complexion. You can actually see that and blue eyes and they said it’s very diverse to different tribes and different populations. Is that something you found as well?
[00:41:59.320] – Jannis Thuemmig
About the people? Not really, but the history, definitely. You can find the old abandoned cities from that empire time back then of Alexander the Great. You have tons of ruins that you can visit crazy paintings as well. You also have cities, I would say, cut into stone. You basically live on a cliff and inside of the cliff they have the houses and everything. It’s really crazy place. But it’s certainly beautiful and really has a lot of history, especially about the silcrow parts.
[00:42:32.910] – Jonathan Denwood
I didn’t expect you to say that one. There we go. You made my day sound really fantastic as well. What are some of your biggest influences? People, books, people you listen. We all have a few people that if they post something or they’ve got a latest blog post or they’ve got the latest podcast that we will listen to if it comes on our radar. Are there any one or two people with what I’ve just outlined that you follow that you’d like to tell us about?
[00:43:15.910] – Jannis Thuemmig
There’s quite a lot of things happening. I would say generally everything in the tech space in the AI world, I’m usually following either on Twitter or whatever.
[00:43:24.510] – Jonathan Denwood
Where do you find the time, though?
[00:43:28.110] – Jannis Thuemmig
It’s all about automation. It’s all about how you actually structure your day. I try to work as less as possible to get the most outcome.
[00:43:37.840] – Jonathan Denwood
Is there any particular influences.
[00:43:42.080] – Jannis Thuemmig
That you- There is not in the automation space, but I’ll say business-wise and personality-wise. That’s Alex Hormozi. Pretty famous name. I don’t think there are many people don’t knowing about him, at least at this point.
[00:43:57.410] – Jonathan Denwood
What do you like about his content? What have you learned from his specific materials?
[00:44:04.430] – Jannis Thuemmig
That, like he always says, he gives the value out for free and sells the implementation. I think that’s one of his big concepts. Everything that you need to know about business is something that he teaches for free in a way that just makes more sense from anyone else I ever heard it from. It just opened for me the doors to understand things better than I did wrong in the past and what I can do now to make things better, faster, and more efficient. He’s just a genius behind telling you how to execute a business in a way that you can actually scale it properly.
[00:44:41.510] – Jonathan Denwood
All right, thanks for that. My last question, I’m English, so obviously my childhood, I watch a lot of Doctor Who in the TARDIS. I don’t know if you understand what I meant there, if you ever watched any Doctor Who. If you had a time machine, a TARDIS, and you could go back at the beginning of this journey with WP, Webhooks, is there one or two things you wish you could tell yourself that you wish you knew now?
[00:45:20.280] – Jannis Thuemmig
Don’t work for perfection, but work for the results. I think it’s one of the biggest ones. That’s a good one. We are so thrown towards perfectionizing everything, which is something that I did as well. I can tell you that our plugin structure is one of the most solid things ever. But in the beginning, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter much because you first need to get your name out and you actually need to get people. Turning that around, we could have probably been already at a way higher point than we are now, which is something that I learned now. Everything is going well, but it could have been better. That is something that I learned and I can just emphasize for everyone to not lose yourself in the details and move on with something that works and optimize it and perfectionise it along the way?
[00:46:06.030] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, I think there’s an excellent point you’ve made there, actually, but I think it also comes from the startup community, a minimum viable product. I think getting something that actually does something. But it’s really like what you say, getting it out there and getting the message and building those relationships. If you spend too much time… Obviously, the thing’s got to do something for the target people to the community that you’re trying to build influence in. But you can overdo it, and a lot of people do overdo it, don’t they? Just to follow up for a few questions before we finish. What’s your sense about the WordPress community in general? Obviously, at the present moment, you’re based in Devon. You say it hasn’t got a big community, but you’re probably online with all your automizations. Where do you think WordPress is in the larger sense? In 2023? What’s your sense about where it is and what’s happening to it?
[00:47:13.700] – Jannis Thuemmig
Do you mean from a point of the coverage of WordPress or the community?
[00:47:21.770] – Jonathan Denwood
I was trying to be very vague because I didn’t want to influence you with my own take on that. Whatever you want to take it. But I was trying not to give you any guidance there. I didn’t influence you.
[00:47:36.240] – Jannis Thuemmig
That’s okay. I’d say I start with the community because I think that was the biggest pain point over the past years because, like I mentioned earlier, it’s very decentralized. There are not many platforms where people from a specific WordPress space come together. But from my experience, the first one I actually ever came in contact with was CodaBow. It’s basically a developer platform where you can hire 1% of developers. I joined them back then, which was a really good step forward because we finally had a little community of developers with whom we can talk to each other, we can exchange knowledge. After that, for a while, there was nothing happening until I actually discovered POS status, which is apparently a membership where they bring WordPress techie and power users and agency owners, business owners, whoever, together to just talk and exchange and try to make WordPress a better place, develop better products and just help people to grow. This is something that for anyone out there who is actually involved in WordPress, should check out Poststatus. It’s a great place to just connect with people from the industry.
[00:48:45.210] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, it’s a great platform. I think they got a little bit upset because I made a very English, sarcastic thing that I wouldn’t join it myself. But I’m not a developer. Well, I was a while ago, but I’m not now. A lot of the conference. Well, I don’t know, maybe I should try it. But they do great things, and I wish them well, and I am supportive. What’s the best way for… Thank you for coming to the show. We’ve gone through… We’ve gone some different directions, haven’t we? But what’s the best way for people to find out more about WP Webhooks? Also, maybe people want to find out a bit more about you and your thoughts.
[00:49:31.270] – Jannis Thuemmig
Yes, for WP Webhooks, they can just visit us on our website, either wp-webbooks. Com. If you Google the same name, you will mostly also land on our page. If it’s about our automation agency, where we help customers automate their processes within the business, it would be integrations. Com. It’s the exact same writing. You will find it as well under WP Webbooks anyway. For me, I’m mostly active on Twitter. If you just drop in my name on Twitter, you will also find me and just the things that I’m doing.
[00:50:03.910] – Jonathan Denwood
That’s fantastic. I’ve really enjoyed the chat.
[00:50:08.570] – Jannis Thuemmig
[00:50:09.440] – Jonathan Denwood
Thanks for that. We will be back next week. We have our roundtable show next week; it should be a great discussion. Then we’ve got some great guests in September. I can’t believe that we’re at the end of August here, folks. It’s just flown by. The summer has just disappeared, too. But I’m just thankful that I’m not in Dubai because I don’t…Jannis tried to paint a good picture, but I think I would literally melt. We will be back next week with another great show. We’ll see you soon, folks. Bye. Bye-bye. Hey, thanks for listening. We really do appreciate it. Why not visit the Mastermind Facebook group? Also to keep up with the latest news, click wp-tonic. com/newsletter. We’ll see you next time.
Sign up For The WP-Tonic’s Weekly Newsletter
Sign up For WP-Tonic’s Weekly Newsletter, Where You Read The Latest WordPress News and the Best Deals! Join The Tribe?