This is one of those “insider baseball” posts so if you're not into WordPress ecosystem posts, skip this one and come back tomorrow.
Another Big & Success Company Just Sold
Just a few months ago Yoast sold to Bluehost. I know, you're going to tell me it sold to Newfold Digital. But we never heard of Newfold Digital until it bought Endurance and became Newfold. And the biggest hosting company in Endurance was Bluehost.
When Yoast sold, you heard the pitch from them about how it was going to be good for everyone. And most folks questioned it but watched closely. The biggest question I heard was, “Why?”
Earlier this evening, as I was walking out of the house to go to a cigar special event, I got the news Pagely sold to GoDaddy. Tonight and tomorrow you'll hear the pitch from them about how it is going to be good for everyone. And most folks will question it and watch closely. And the biggest question I imagine I'll hear is, “Why?”
The core of the question is why would a successful and growing business with solid and great brand equity sell to a much larger entity with a brand equity that may not exactly match?
It's All About the Bets You Can Make
None of this is about me. But I can't write a post without telling you a story, so here's a quick one. I'm about 3 weeks from my 5-year anniversary with Liquid Web (the parent company of LearnDash now).
Five years ago when I announced I was joining them, I got some of the same kind of questions. Why go there? Aren't you better off on your own? Why not start your own thing?
And my answer then, and my answer now, is the same: It's all about the bets you can make.
I could have tried to make the bets I wanted to make on my own, but that would have taken a lot longer, a lot more of my personal money, and would have had its own chance for success.
I believed the bets with Liquid Web would be better, be faster, and grant me access to a larger team to help me make them.
This is why the Pagely Purchase is Good News for Everyone
This is, ultimately, why I think the Pagely purchase is good news for everyone. Pagely has been making bets in the WordPress ecosystem for years. Many of them have paid off and demonstrated that they had a handle on key parts of the market.
But when you are self-funded, there are only so many kinds of bets you can make. You can't bet the whole company on a single idea – even if you think it's great. Because you have to take care of the company. So you can only take bets that if they fail, won't kill you.
I think the folks at Pagely & Yoast understood this well. And when you have ideas, lots of them, and lots of good ones, you want them to see the light of day.
So you join with a larger partner who gets you access to people, resources, and experience that can help those bets succeed.
And when they succeed, it's not just good for them. It's good for us.