Did you see today’s announcement? (or, why I chose Crowd Favorite)



Did you see the news?

Today Crowd Favorite and iThemes announced a strategic partnership that would accelerate product development by collaborating with each other on products focused on the enterprise sector of the WordPress economy.

It's a big deal for several reasons:

  • Collaborations like these accelerate everything
  • It provides a model for win-win that isn't an acquisition
  • It introduces a joint-venture vehicle that most ignore
  • It fights the “not invented here” dynamic that sometimes exists

I'm happy to have been a part of the dialogue that resulted in today's announcement. And it's a big reason why I chose Crowd Favorite. Not because of this announcement but because of the underlying motives behind it.

Why I chose Crowd Favorite

As my time with Emphasys ends and my job at Crowd Favorite approaches, I've heard a lot of positive remarks like “congrats” and “great news,” along with some “it will be interesting to see what you do when this is your full time job.”

Beyond all that however, I've also had a few folks ask a deeper question of “Why them?” or “I wish we could have talked first.”

So let me dig into it and share a bit of my rationale.

Most offers were company-focused

Don't get me wrong – it totally makes sense. In the few conversations I've had over the last year, each conversation I've had with a company about the potential of joining them, has focused directly on how I would help them grow and succeed. This is especially normal for any strategic or executive level hire.

As you can imagine, questions of my blog were raised in two different discussions with two different companies. In both cases, the question revolved around how we could slow down or kill it, while focusing in a new place. Again, I get it.

But the offer at Crowd Favorite was explicit in their desire to see me continue to contribute to the community thru my blog. Further, because they're focused on the Enterprise sector, they had no issue and were excited for me to continue helping folks that were freelancers or young product companies.

In short, Crowd Favorite was community-focused more than just company-focused.

Most discussions revolved around a single role

One of the long-standing reasons I didn't step into the WordPress ecosystem full time was because in every conversation I had, the role specified had one main focus. One thing to do.

Again, this makes total sense.

Yet, those roles came up as people saw what I was doing in the community, not necessarily by looking at what I have been doing in my day job. And they were existing and open roles – meaning they'd been defined long before I was a candidate.

Karim Marucchi, a good friend and Crowd Favorite's CEO, was someone who had been watching and asking about my day job. Because of that, I think his offer was the most attractive in that it was multi-faceted and included product work, strategy work, partnership work and more.

In short, Crowd Favorite created a custom role around my experience.

Most offers focus on positions and salary

In the three conversations I had before the one with Karim, the focus was either on the role description or the salary.

It makes sense as that's how many people are motivated – by either a bigger title or a larger amount of money. But for me, all of the positions meant taking a personal hit of some sort in the finance department, and I was ok with that. And I've had enough titles for a lifetime.

Karim's focus, however, wasn't on title or salary. His question was very similar to the question my current CEO regularly asks – and the reason I stayed at Emphasys for over 8 years.

“How do we keep you here for the long haul?”

In short, Crowd Favorite focused less on how to close and more on how to last.

What does this have to do with today's announcement?

I'm sure you're starting to wonder what any of this has to do with today's announcement, so let me see if I can connect the dots quickly.

I took the role because:

  • It was community-focused
  • It was shaped for my skills and experience
  • It focused on the long term

And today was the first announcement of many, that were motivated by the very same things.

I was able to participate in bringing two friends and two companies together for the betterment of the community.

I was able to leverage the experience that Karim and I each had in joint ventures and partnerships.

It was a move that was focused on going farther together.

When you get to do work that doesn't feel like work – and trust me, I haven't started collecting a paycheck yet – then you know you're in the right place.

I can't wait for September 15th!

Photo Credit: Luis Cuellar