PressNomics Conference Recap

PressNomics was the best conference I’ve ever attended.

Held last week in Phoenix, it was the inaugural conference for those in the business of WordPress (WP). Previous to this, Web Directions North had been my favourite conference. So why did PressNomics take the top spot?

I’m passionate about building web-based product businesses. Most conferences I’ve attended have focused on web development, talking mostly about the technology and a bit about client services business. Few attendees were interested in talking about products. They were either self-employed, happy doing client services, or employed at an agency. PressNomics was largely about products.

Every night, I had dinner with designers and developers who were building products for WP. I heard stories about scaling customer support, costs involved, and setting prices. I heard fascinating plans about upcoming projects. I was given feedback on my work, suggestions for what to work on next and strategies. I asked questions and was blown away by the feedback.

Due to the nor’easter storm, I had to reschedule flights and missed the day one sessions. I would really have liked to catch Cory Miller and Alex King‘s talks in particular, but upon landing in Phoenix, I felt lucky I had made it at all. I managed to arrive just in time for the happy hour drinks and was super pumped to meet a ton of awesome people I’ve been emailing with for the past year, especially Adii, who’s been advising me on WP App Store. I really enjoyed the day two sessions. I was particularly floored by the stories of humble beginnings from Envato‘s CEO Collis Ta’eed and the gutsy decisions made by Chris Drake to get FireHost where it is today.

And then there was the on-stage interview with Matt Mullenweg which went exactly as I expected it would. I had had a couple of back and forth emails with Matt about WP App Store months ago and felt I had a pretty good understanding of his position. I also had an in-depth email exchange with Otto about .org and why the WP App Store plugin isn’t allowed. I have a good understanding of the philosophy there as well. So when Matt was asked about his disapproval of WP App Store, I wasn’t surprised by the response and I didn’t see the point of challenging. As Tony Perez from Securi says in his post:

It is one of those things that is engrained in how an individual thinks and in their own beliefs. It’s not really one of those subjects that you can engage in, in the hopes that you will sway opinion.

I also wasn’t surprised that Matt’s beliefs conflicted with the majority of people in the room. I started writing out my beliefs and philosophy concerning selling plugins in this post, but it was running too long. I’ll put together a separate post in the next few days. Spoiler alert, my philosophy and beliefs aren’t in line with Matt’s. In the meantime, there’s an excellent discussion going on in the comments of Tony’s post about this stuff. Check it out.

I can hardly imagine how much work Sally, Josh, and the crew put into this event. It was so awesome, that any issues don’t even register. Fuck the Wifi. Who cares who got VIP and who didn’t. As far as I’m concerned, it was flawless. Kudos to you folks. You should be very proud.