Over the past year, we have embarked on quite the journey within our company but to fully appreciate this, I need to go back a little further.
In 2013, we released X and have been on a break neck pace of growth since then. It has been an exciting time perhaps most accurately described as like drinking water from a fire hose!
Our small team of 5 has swelled to nearly 30, and we’ve had the privilege of meeting people from all over the world. I believe there is much to be excited about in Themeco’s future, but it is our recent past that I would like to talk with you about today.
About a year ago, we decided to release a second product, Pro, in what some would call an incomplete state. Before this decision, we went to the community with a simple poll. Should we release it in its current form or wait until our initial vision was complete?
At the time, we knew we would need several more months to complete all that we had planned, and we were sensitive to the customers who had been patiently waiting. By a wide margin, customers opted to release in it’s existing form, and we resolved that the ensuing months would serve as a live beta of sorts.
This decision had both positives and negatives.
On the positive end, customers had a chance to get their hands on something that charted new paths in WordPress. All the way from it’s architecture to what it would allow us to do in the future to exciting new builders that worked interchangeably, we were most excited about what this product could mean to the future of building websites in WordPress. Releasing it in an "almost finished" state would allow us some much needed customer feedback before finalizing certain features.
On the negative end, we released a product that some felt was incomplete. Certain features weren’t finished, others hadn’t even been started, and this created some division for a subset of our customers.
It’s a very strange position to be in to have two groups of people you trust tell you two completely different things about the same product. Some loved it. Some hated it. Some loved us. Some hated us.
Add to that the unforeseen challenges of developing this type of software, interpersonal conflicts, and just downright hurt feelings at times, and there were certainly moments when we felt behind the 8 ball.
While not perfect, I can honestly say that the March, 2018 release represents much of what we had hoped to bring you in Pro. From initial feedback, it seems to have connected the dots for a lot of people, and I can assure you there is more to come (for both X and Pro). More info can be found here about our next cycle.
Now in many ways I view Themeco and the people of it as a flock with a key responsibility of mine being their health and well being. As a Christ follower, I feel even stronger that a primary role of mine is that of steward over the people of Themeco as I believe I will give an account.
And while I love this business, the calling to lead this company and the people of it is deeper. Put another way, you’re worth more to me than just selling a theme. It is in the spirit of this, that I would like to share a few specific things.
First of all, I would like to apologize. For those whom the product decisions we made negatively affected your business or plans, I hear you, and I’m sorry.
Second, for everyone who has helped us beta test, strategize through features, make plugins, or contribute in any way big or small to support our community you have my most heartfelt appreciation. There is an army of people who give of themselves daily to make the Themeco community the special place that it is, and it will take all of us to keep it that way.
Third, in order for us to be able to serve you for the next 5 years (and beyond) we will need to continue to evolve. New technologies are emerging. Needs change. We want to be at the front of the line in solving those challenges for you, in WordPress and beyond. What will NOT change is our commitment to you. There is a certain spirit to Themeco that I will work tirelessly to maintain and that starts and ends with serving you with excellence at all times and in all ways. We’re not perfect, and I’m at the front of the line for the ongoing need for forgiveness, but we will be fervent in our commitment to coming back to the table - to ask the tough questions - and to do everything in our power to continue to earn your business (and hopefully friendship) both now and in the future.
Fourth, we are underway with a complete redesign to our main site and systematically reviewing our processes front to back. In the meantime, there are several ways to stay in the loop:
- The News section of your Themeco account (moving to our blog in the coming months).
- Our Facebook page.
- Our Twitter page.
- And of course our own contact page and support forums if you need to reach us directly.
Finally, I would like to encourage everyone here to consider something: try completely unplugging from technology at times. It’s healthy and will help you re-charge in ways you may not have expected. It’s easy for social media and technology in general to make us feel at the center of activity when more and more it’s proving just as potentially toxic as productive if not properly managed. What was meant to bring us together can and does tear people apart. So go take a walk. Play ball with your kids. Let a perceived offense die. Call a loved one on the phone (not text). Better yet, GO SEE THEM. Time is so precious, and every day is a gift.
If you’ve taken the time to read this far, thank-you. Thank-you for contributing to Themeco. Thank-you for being patient with us through this season, and thank-you for allowing us the privilege of working on these products for you. We will never take it for granted.
Until the task is done,