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Almost Saint Patrick’s Day!
And that means we’ve got the perfect tea for you to try. It’s Simpson & Vail’s Irish Blend – a combination of Indian teas with a dash of Earl Grey and a hint of floral notes. It’s the perfect accompaniment to… well, anything, really. It’s delicious, so visit svtea.com and treat yourself to a tin.
It’s Time For Social Warfare
Our guests today include Dustin Stout, Nicholas Cardot and the Jason Wiser-bot who are the fabulous trio behind Social Warfare Plugins.
Wait… did you ask, “What’s the Social Warfare plugin?” If you did, then you should know that it’s THE social sharing plugin to dominate all social sharing plugins. In fact, for us (and our clients) it’s the ONLY social sharing plugin. It’s beautiful. It works on mobile. It lets you perfectly customize your text and images for different social networks. And it comes with a “frame buster” option, which if you heard our episode on Snip.ly is a thing unto itself.
This isn’t actually a commercial or a pitch. We just love the plugin and have been dying to talk to the guys behind it. We’ve known them online for a while and are glad to finally have them on the show to talk about their entrepreneurial journey.
In The Beginning…
We want to know: how do three guys decide to build a social sharing plugin?
Interestingly enough, they met on Google Plus (win for social media) and hit it off. Dustin shared his frustrations with Nick about how terrible the available social sharing plugins were at the time then mocked up a drawing of what he wanted a social sharing plugin to look like on his site. He brought that drawing to Nick and asked if it could be developed.
At the same time this was happening, Jason asked Nick about a similar problem he was having with social sharing plugins on his own site. Jason shared a few ideas for a better plugin with Nick, who took both Dustin’s and Jason’s ideas and combined them into one – dare we say it – perfect plugin.
Business Roles And Responsibilities
So far this sounds fun. A couple of guys. A social network. A bunch of great ideas and a need in the marketplace. Time to start developing!
Except the thing about starting a business is that sometimes it’s just about the business. You know, that boring sort of business-y stuff that few people like (and those who do are beloved by the rest of us) like shareholder agreements, equity distribution and responsibilities.
Nick says that the shareholder agreement has always been a work in progress and is constantly being revised to fit their needs. For that, you need things like attorneys. And capital. At some point everyone has to contribute to the expense fund, whether it’s for attorneys fees, developers (in their case, Nick was the developer so they didn’t have to hire another), accountants and other costs. There has to be a bank account. There has to be bookkeeping.
Then there’s the matter of “who’s going to do what?”
Unless that’s clearly defined, you could get yourself into some sticky business situations. These boys were smart and made it clear who was responsible for what, right in their shareholder agreement.
Their First Fight
After a while, listening to these guys talk about their great ideas and smart business decisions makes us want to poke the hornet’s nest a little (because you know that’s how we roll.)
So we ask: when did they have their first big fight?
Dustin gives us a nice answer about how they avoid fights by making sure that whenever there is a disagreement or “tie vote” on something, they always defer to the person who has the authority and responsibility in the area they’re discussing.
Still sounds pretty smart to us, and not like much of a fight. So we rephrase the question: what was your most challenging moment?
Dustin comes up with something they disagreed about early on and it turns out to be both relatable and hilariously minor.
As they were building their website and coming up with the benefit points, Dustin wanted to list them as “beautifully responsive” and “lightning fast”… etc.
But Jason and Nick wanted to list them as “lightning fast” and “beautifully responsive.”
The debate over which of the two was more important and should be listed first on the website turned into a heated discussion, followed by market research, followed by a poll on Google Plus, followed by more heated discussion. All over the order of two bullet points.
And yes, we can relate. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make you dig your heels in on a point.
You Are Not Your Product
One of the challenges we all face is dealing with people who don’t like us, don’t like our product, or experience a problem with our product or service and take it out on us in loud, raging fashion.
The guys have gotten support requests that come across as angry or insulting and they remind themselves that people are not insulting them personally even though it may feel like it. They also take an empathetic approach and understand that the person submitting the support request is, in fact, a person. So they make sure to treat people well – even the angry and insulting ones.
We add that “being a person” goes both ways. Whether you’re submitting a support request or answering one, you’re still talking to a human being on the other end. The internet can make us feel detached but it pays to remind ourselves that the internet is still people.
The Domain Name Challenge
In our last episode we talked about some of the challenges of naming our podcast product, including the fact that even when we came up with a good name, the domain was already taken. So we ask the guys if they had a similar experience because their domain is warfareplugins.com but their plugin is called Social Warfare.
The answer is yes – domains they wanted were taken – but they had an ingenious solution. They named the site and overall company Warfare Plugins (hence, the domain) and plan to use that as the umbrella for the Social Warfare plugin and other, future plugins they have planned. This way they can use one site as their content and marketing hub.
Brilliant! And we can’t wait to see what they’ve got coming next.
A Side Note: We Hate Popups
But they work. Yes, you’ve heard it before but we ask Dustin about the one he uses on his site and what results he’s had. Turns out he hates popups. And don’t we all say that? But apparently we love to hate them because Dustin says his signup rate went up and there was no negative impact on the open rate of his emails. We found similar results when we tried a popup years ago, but we got rid of it because generally speaking people always say they hate them.
Time to rethink that?
Your Action Item
From Nick: learn something new every day. Something REAL that adds to your skillset. Keep improving yourself so you can get better at what you do.
From Dustin: engage your audience with visuals. Don’t worry about not being “creative.” Just go out and create something. Even if it sucks. You’ll get better at it!