I recently started a massive online store project for a friend of mine. I usually don’t do that because SiteGround consumes 99% of my work hours, and I really don’t want to spend my limited free time working on a website other than this one. However, in this case I couldn’t refuse first because it was a really complex and big store, and people who wanted it built are really good friends of mine. Also it’s a great challеnge to put a project like that together in a way that ensures everything will work smoothly and as planned.
Meeting with the client
So we organized the first meeting to discuss what they really want, details, etc. What stunned me was that 90% percent of the time the questions started with:
“Can you make the store do …….. so we can then …….. ?”
Fill in the gaps with random business logic questions 🙂 People were actually so worried about whether the technology can support their ideas that their actual business model was still far away from being finished and clear of inconsitencies. To sum up this meeting was completely useless and I had to end it right away. That’s exactly what I did and they were quite amazed when I told them:
“Ok, I think you’re not ready for this yet. Imagine that I can turn all your business ideas into reality, imagine that there is no “NO” as an answer and try focusing on your business model. Let’s meet again in a week and I want you to have a clear idea how you want to manage your physical stores, how you plan to distribute orders, etc. I want you to have a clear idea about the business process from start to finish. Then we’ll discuss it and go on with the process”
Let’s get one thing straight, those are people managing hundreds of stores, with great experience and success in few countries. I knew they HAD the process in their heads. They just had to focus on their business strengths, instead of getting tangled with technological execution.
A week later they sent me a very clear business model that I am currently working on. I am making their plan a reality and it will be ready in a week or something.
So this got me thinking…
Have we dug our heads too much into the technology aspect of WordPress? The application has reached a level that you can make practically everything with it. Stores, forums, social networks, blogs, business & personal sites – you name it.
It’s strange that every day I see a plugin that does something better, a theme that has that many more features but I see less and less genuine, unique ideas brought to life with WordPress. It seems that we’re spending more time figuring out the “how” rather than the “why”.
All those years technology has been blocking ideas – people couldn’t do something because of a piece of code. I think we’ve reached a point where you can bring into reality every idea you come up with using WordPress, and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to start putting more effort towards generating awesome new ideas rather than bashing our heads about how to achieve a certain effect.