I’ve battled with this post for almost a week. Ever since Dave Fleet DM’d me to let me know Michael had died (link is to his donation site, donate now, I did). I couldn’t find a point to it, given I had nothing to add to the conversation.
But still, part of me wants to wax poetic on how pathetically I deal with death, the other part wants to go on and on about Michael as a person. The first option is completely selfish. The second seems disingenious given how watered down the word “Friend” has become in social media. Especially since Michael and I rarely hung out, I didn’t know his family, and we never worked together.
But still, I do consider Michael a friend, in a world in which there are so precious few true friends Michael stood out. Based on the outpouring of caring, missing and emotion at his departure, it seems many others felt the same way. He was, as so many have said, “one of the few good ones”. I’m lucky to count so many of “the few good ones” as friends.
This post may not make any sense to anyone else, and that’s okay. Michael always encouraged the value of the word, even if the only value was the fact that they were spoken or written.
So I sit here at work, having come in early, to tell Michael I miss him. Not as much as his family misses him, who’s pain I can’t even begin to imagine. Not as much as his closest friends miss him, who will always feel a hole in their lives. Not even as much as his colleagues at work will miss him, who now have to find someone to wear entirely new shoes amongst their team (because nobody could fill Michael’s the way he did).
But, Michael, I still miss you. I don’t really care if it’s selfish or stupid, but I miss you. I don’t care if it’s too vulnerable to say in public, but I miss you. I don’t care if people think it’s disingenious, but I miss you.
You were and are an incredible person, and thank you for allowing me to call you Friend.
Goodbye, for now.
I’m a big believer that the most fun happens when you ignore the rules and boundaries and ask “what would happen if…?”
- What would happen if… we could fly?
- What would happen if… we could tap to pay instead of using cash/credit cards?
- What would happen if… I could figure out how the female brain worked? ;-)
In fact, that was how 23press got started: “what would happen if… we could move blogs?” The best “WWHI” statements start simple, and expand as, through failure/success you figure out where you want to go. For 23press, that first WWHI statement turned into “what would happen if… blog management was dead simple?” and a whole host of other things. Cool things.
This weekend, my latest “WWHI” was:
What would happen if… people had a fail-friendly venue.
Maybe I’m off my rocker.
But. I’m a big proponent of failing. Fail faster. If we aren’t failing daily we aren’t trying hard enough. Let’s fail and see what works, then fail again and see what works and then fail again until we beat the competition. All things my teams have heard me say in past startups.
Too often these days, we talk about failure. But we shy away from it. We go to events to learn, but not to fail. Even StartupWeekend, amazing as it is, is ultimately geared to learning to succeed via overcoming failure. Success is championed.
What would happen if… people had a venue where if you weren’t failing, you were failing?
What would happen if… we held an event where failure was the goal?
What would happen if… it wasn’t the “strong” teaching the “weak”, but the “weak” enjoying the flipping journey instead of pushing to succeed.
What would happen if… we championed the failures, the hilarity of it, and the fun of just doing it (not-TM Nike).
Me, I’m attempting to fail by asking the questions. Yes, I want to see this happen. Yes, I have thoughts. But this only works if there are a communty of #FailTards. I’d like to see a #FailWeekend this summer in Toronto.
Are you in?
Think I’m stupid (outside of the norm)?
Open to failing in public, for no other reason than to break our personal need to always flipping win and succeed and do well?
It’s the people who are willing to let go of the boundaries and try shit knowing we might just curb stomp ourselves that win.
Want to be one of them? Used to be one and want to be again?
Comment below. Blog. Tweet. Bitch me out.
If you don’t join me, I’ll keep failing anyway. Trust me.
Note: No, this isn’t startup specific. Though I’m pretty sure learning to fail again will be good for all startups.
For the last 6 months, the team at 23press has been hard at work on a crap tonne of stuff. Most of that hasn’t been public, like rebuilding Move That Blog (twice) from the ground up, building out our second bit of IP, fundraising, partnerships, building out our affiliate network, etc.
But today I get to announce a very cool new public item!
Today, 23press is officially making it’s new backup product available for sale at www.getbackuppress.com.
Now, there were other backup products on the market (yay for competitor comparisons!). The reason I’m excited? Because the team has worked fracking hard to make this the simplest product out there. To wit, you purchase, install, click start and… that’s it.
What else do I love about what the crew has done?
- Okay, easy usage is great, but…
- “Actions”: By backing up everything happening IN WordPress, the team is able to do things like do a rollback if you accidentally approve all your spam comments. For idiots like me, this “water wings” approach to backups is hawt.
- Pricing: Beyond proud that the team has managed to have the retail version come in with simple pricing. $5 for basic backups (5GB). And just $5/month more for another 15GB. For 99% of bloggers this will be more than enough. Just the way it should be. Simple solutions for regular humans.
- Tech: Okay, gotta admit, as an old school backup guy, the “instant” backup thing is just hawt. Love it. Sure, files still need to be backed up nightly, but even that is only backing up files that change – which is cool.
- Hosts: We’ve heard from all our host partners that many backup solutions suck too many resources. We figure “faster hosts, faster blog”!
And if you’re a journalist? We’re giving away free accounts for your readers, just email me!
Okay, maybe not the MOST exciting news in the world, but if one of the reasons you read this (very rarely updated blog) is because you want to stay up to date on 23press happenings, we’ve now got our blog up!
If you’d been reading in the last few weeks, you would have known:
- We joined an incubator, INcubes.
- We hired our first non-founder dev.
- We just finished a Hackathon.
And if you read this/next week, you’ll see:
- Security issues with current WordPress backup plugins.
- Product launch.
- Deal on product launch, until Feb 28th.
- Product announcement.
- Investor info.
So head on over to stay up to date! I’ll still feature big news here, but if you want to see how 23press continues to grow and evolve, head on over and subscribe, or follow us on Facebook!
Wow! It can be easy to forget how hectic the first few months of a startup can be!
Roughly 6 weeks ago, we announced the launch of 23press. The support from the community, friends and family, and our growing partner network was phenomenal. Since then Terry, Jason and I have been pushing hard on marketing prep, conference schedules, building out our full product roadmap and getting Move That Blog 2.0 out (more on that further down!).
But before we get into that, we want to talk about some top line changes over the last few weeks!
Save Some Money! Make Some Money!
We’ve done a few things recently to help you save money. First up, we’ve introduced a Tweet for Discount upgrade. Simply put, when you’re buying a 23press product just authenticate to Twitter, customize your tweet (or use our default) and get 20% off your purchase!
Second, we are currently in the process of beta testing our affiliate program. Sign up, and whenever one of your readers or clients (or yourself, hah) buys, you’ll get 20% of the proceeds from their purchase. Of course, you could combine these if you wanted to ;-)
Move That Blog Upgrades
For those of you who aren’t aware, Move That Blog was the product that kicked 23press off. It solved a “simple” problem: moving a blog from one host (like GoDaddy) to another (say, WPEngine) can be challenging. More challenging than you think it will be if you haven’t done it before! WordPress’s built-in Import/Export really just moves core data (posts, categories, tags, authors, etc). It doesn’t move themes, theme options, plugins, plugin options, widgets, widget options, etc. In short, it moves the “backend” of your blog, but not many of the items users interact with on a daily basis. Boo!
Move That Blog turns a 5 hour task into a 5 minute task. Not bad for $10, right? ;-)
Version 1 of Move That Blog was functional: solve the problem. Version 2, available now, makes several significant changes (obviously if you bought Version 1, the upgrade to Version 2 is free so feel free to download now!):
- Login: Instead of supplying two keys to authenticate to your account, we’ll allow you to simply login with your 23press ID. This should be easier, but will also allow us to give you discounts in the future as we launch more products.
- Progress info: Version 1 gave you a simple progress bar, while version 2 gives you much deeper information on where your move is at. Included in this is detailed logging, that way if something goes wrong with the move we can help you figure out what more easily.
- Resume move: We’ve retooled the entire moving engine, including allowing you to resume a move that stopped or failed for some reason. Simple is good.
- Support for more hosts: Several of our customers experienced issues with file transfers, and we’ve overhauled our entire file transfer process to make our plug-in work with as many hosts as possible.
Move That Blog: Host Edition
This is a big deal for us, and I talked about this high level in our last post, but we’ve now released our first custom version of Move That Blog to our first hosting partner. It allows them to either move a blog FOR a customer, or give them some quick instructions on how to do it directly themselves! Now that this is out, we’ll be reaching out to more hosts to allow them to offer their customers one-click moves to their platform. This will allow users to sign up, install the plugin on their side and have the host move and configure their entire blog for them.
Easy! (just the way we like it)
We’ll be continuing to release host tools as we release more products, to allow for simplified management of WordPress installs, greater security and speed for all users, etc.
If you’re a host interested in our Host Suite, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Product Heads Up: BackupPress
Now that we have released Move That Blog 2.0, we are setting our sights on the next overly complex problem in the WordPress space: backups. We’ll be releasing our alpha to our internal testing team in the next week, at which point we’ll get everyone more updates on this. But suffice to say we believe this will be simpler (our motto!), faster, better and more cost effective than other solutions out there. And, as a bonus, all BackupPress customers get Move That Blog for free!
We’ll be launching this product publicly at BlogWorld LA, so come by our booth to see more if you’re around!
Since our last post, we’ve had several inquiries around our funding plans. As we mentioned last time, the founders put in the first round of money for technology, so Terry could work on 23press full time, and for us to amp up partnerships and marketing efforts (expect announcements on some of these in the next few weeks).
Our original plan was to raise an angel round in early 2012, however significant interest has meant we’re currently putting together a small convertible debt round with one or two investors with the angel round moving out to March/April. Given the number of folk who’ve asked to be involved, if you’re interested just drop me a line and I can fill you in quickly on our top line plans. Since we don’t need the money, we want to make sure we don’t distract ourselves!
Phew! Not a bad 6 weeks, eh? We’re looking forward to more announcements later this week and next week, so keep an eye out here and on the upcoming 23press blog!
Thanks again everyone for your support! We’re looking forward to continuing to grow the WordPress ecosystem and, hopefully soon, to move beyond the walls of the WordPress community to begin working with folk in the MovableType, Tumblr, Posterous and other communities!
If you’re interested in any of the above, or other discussions, say email@example.com!