Corey Maass and Cory Miller have been working to build a WordPress product live. Their plugin, Crop.Express, has been submitted to the repo. They discuss the outcome of their submission and continue to develop features. In addition, they discuss building brand identity, cultivating awareness, and developing authority as a needed business.
Estimated reading time: 61 minutes
In this episode, Corey Maass and Cory Miller share the results of submitting their WordPress plugin, Crop.Express to the repo. As they continue to build their product live, they develop branding, messaging, and strategy to validate their business and cultivate an audience.
- Expanding Outwards. Repo offers inherent discoverability for WordPress products, but cultivating broader awareness is necessary for a product to succeed. Creating brand assets, a website, and a newsletter create conduits for growth.
- Feel Out Your Brand. Be cautious not to box yourself in with branding. Consider what feeling you want people to get when using your product. Go a little deeper and have a little fun exploring the solutions and feelings you hope to offer as you create your branding. Move from literal to conception to better understand what defines your business.
- Ring the Bell. Identify your customer’s problem and keep talking about it. Invite ideal users to talk about it. Leverage your personal platforms to highlight the pain point and how your product improves it. By telling that story and having others do the same, you start to build a case for your business.
Mentioned in the show:
- Bill O’Reilly
- Generate WP
- Stock Unlimited
- Content Journey
You can follow Post Status and our guests on Twitter:
The Post Status Draft podcast is geared toward WordPress professionals, with interviews, news, and deep analysis.
Session 3 Corey & Cory Launch a WordPress Product Live
Cory Miller: [00:00:00] Oh yeah, of course. He, he gets so pissed off and, oh man, we, we
watched that a hundred times. Um, yeah, we’re doing our live reference and stuff.
Cory Maass: Still reference it somewhat regularly. Yeah. , bill O’Reilly, I guess.
Cory Miller: Bill O’Reilly. That’s it. Oh man.
Cory Maass: I couldn’t have told you who it was, but,
yep. Classic, classic meme, classic quote, classic sample
Cory Miller: Okay. Tweak that out.
Yeah. Um, we were sound like 2009 when we started live streaming with you stream back in the
day and it was just sit on the green IKEA type couch. Put the laptop. And then one of the devs
were like, you ever seen the Billow rally clip? And I’m [00:01:00] like, no. Now, I mean, I need to
see it. And then I was like, , just do it live.
Cory Maass: Yeah. I, uh, for a long time, cared a lot and still would try to, like, for probably five
years ago I was still doing like live DJ streaming DJ sets, which I’m hoping to start doing again
soon. But like, was very meticulous about where I put the camera and the lighting and all that
stuff. And at some point it was like, you know what?
I need to just, I need to remove the friction from this and just make it easy. So it’s like I just hit
like we’re doing here, hit record, hit stream and go, and whatever happens, happens, you know,
but it’s, it removed all hesitation to be like, you know what, it’s four o’clock. I, I don’t wanna work
for the next hour.
Let me, you know, let me do something. So I’ll bang out a DJ set and if people watch, [00:02:00]
they watch and they’ll catch it later, you know? And it was just more fun that way.
Cory Miller: I, I love that you’re open to this because I, it’s weird, this weird thing. It’s like
whether I’m riding or trying to write something or do a start a new habit or whatever, it’s just, I
like one having a partner to collaborate with, but two is kinda like putting it out there, you know?
Mm-hmm. just putting your stuff out there as raw as it might be. And I’m really happy that you
were open and interested in doing this cause I, I think it’s fun, you know, not a lot of Lindsay and
I did a podcast several years ago and it was just a time remember? And Oh yeah, we had some
friends over a couple weeks ago and they’re like, yeah, we, we did that because, um, we, we
listened to a couple episodes and I thought, um, How maybe refreshing it is to hear other
people, you know, not that it’s [00:03:00] comparing, but you’re just like, oh, you and I doing this
Cory Maass: it’s not a big deal.
It’s not super polished. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve always been, I’ve always been a DIY person and
unfortunately it, it is a bit of a bad habit, um, at points. It, it takes the fun out of things for me, but
I, I’ve always been a doer and I’ve always seen things, and then I think it, I think it’s sort of the,
the way that I’m an extrovert is, or part of the way that I’m an extrovert is the, like I learn by
doing or I, I learned by replicating or whatever.
So it was like, but when I start, like I, I love, mostly what I listen to is electronic music, but a lot
of it is now ruined for me because I sit there and dissect it. Um, and, and try to figure out how I
would emulate it. And I’ve, I’ve managed to sort of untangle some of that, but a lot of it for a long
time was like, I can’t, I can’t just go to a party and enjoy, [00:04:00] like, I’m sitting there trying to
figure out how I would, you know, create, recreate it or, or, you know, do make something
And same with most Art on the wall sculpture, things like that. Like, I struggle with that, you
Cory Miller: Yeah. It, I love the music side, what we, and for everybody listening. We talked
yesterday, uh, Corey had a, came on to talk through something I was working on not related to
this product, and gave some incredible experience shares and some advice.
And when you were talking about music yesterday, I was like, I’ve never been that type. I’ve got
the most eclectic music fan, but recently I’ve been getting into. , um, sound bowls in
frequencies, you know? Mm-hmm. . And, uh, it’s been really fun. Um, and I just feel like, like I
want to ban, I want to do my sound bowl cause it’s kind of my sort of meditation [00:05:00] Nice.
Where my crazy monkey mind’s going on. And so when he talked about music, I was like, all
right, now we’re gonna jam about music at some point.
Cory Maass: So. Well, and this is where we start, uh, with make the obvious joke of like, oh,
what’s, what’s your favorite key? What, what’s your favorite note? You know? Yeah. Because all
I can picture is the sound bowl.
Like I’ve got an a minor, but I really, or a, an a, a sharp, but I really like the a, you know?
Cory Miller: Yes. So, okay, geeking out for just a second on this. So the, I don’t know the better
term right now to talk about, but the internal and the spiritual side to mm-hmm. frequencies and
vibrations. Um, I went to a, I had it over the summer, I got to do a sound bath.
Cory Maass: Nice .
Cory Miller: And I was like, oh my God, this is the best thing, best thing on earth. I want more of
it. So the, these samples, um, and stuff, it’s just like, so when you said and then mapping them,
because my music [00:06:00] education is like eighth grade, uh, you know, and so mapping
those to key notes and stuff, cause I’ve been trying to figure out, okay.
I, I will digress. I’m sorry, , I shouldn’t digress anymore, but
Cory Maass: No, it’s fine.
Cory Miller: Um, no, I’ll take the rest of the hour and we’re supposed to be talking about the
product, so , I’ll keep, I’ll help keep, meet myself in rain, in check here. Um, okay, session
Session number three is going. Um, okay, so here’s the update. We, yesterday you, we, you
submitted the plugin to the repo.
We’ve got that episode on, uh, YouTube and, um, so we’re kind of in the waiting. For what
comes back from the approval processes, maybe? Or are we or are we ho ho.
Cory Maass: Um, so I, I want to call you out a little bit cause I think that again, the, you know,
in, in the, at the 10,000 foot level [00:07:00] or the transparency level or whatever, like you had
set a deadline for yourself for the read me last week and I could tell you were struggling with
like, the perfectionism, perfectionism of it or the, you know, I don’t, I’m not sure what I should do
And so when you pinged me yesterday with, we were, we were going over some ideas, um, and
doing revisions and stuff, again, I could, I got a sense that you were not totally stuck because
you were working on it, but that we could be more productive by doing it together. And so we
jumped on a call and that was why.
You know, we’re, we’ve been trying to do this regularly, Wednesdays at noon, but we were
joking that that was, if this is session three, that was session 2.9 because it was, you know, not
our regularly scheduled program slot, but we got, it was another very productive hour. And,
[00:08:00] and another way that we helped each other through a process, because then it was,
you know, we did some really good brainstorming.
I, all of which I think is on film, that’s, wow, I’m aging myself. All of that is on YouTube. Um, but
talking through, just sort of brainstorming general ideas, distilling it down to a, a few sentences
enough so that we could just get it out the door. And at which point we were like, okay, it’s,
we’re, we’re good enough.
Let’s just do this. Um, so. Yes. Um, I actually read, uh, you tweeted, you know, we submitted the
plugin and I said, and we heard back, you know, what did they say? I tried to build a little
suspense, so, you know, for the thousands of people watching and listening right now, um, you
know, on the edge of their seats.
So, uh, we heard back within the same day, uh oh, okay. Which is really impressive. Um, and,
uh, the [00:09:00] only thing they needed us to change was we used Generate WP to create
that readme. And in so doing generate, WP created, um, one of the plugin tags or, you know,
line items at the top, um, was. One called Update URI and they don’t want that included in
plugins that are included in the repo.
Cory Miller: Hmm.
Cory Maass: So the only, if I’m reading the email correctly, the only thing we needed to do was
remove that one header and then resubmit it. .
Cory Miller: Okay.
Cory Maass: Which is, which is, there are a couple of things that I wanna say about that. One
is, uh, you know, we did a good job, uh, of writing simple enough code or whatever, but more
importantly to me, We, I’ve never, so I’ve, I’ve submitted I think like three or four plugins, not a
[00:10:00] lot, but I’ve never had them come back and not say like, oh, you missed a place
where you need to sanitize or use anot or some, you know, usually, usually it’s some little bit of
security, um, type stuff that I, I miss cause I’m just kind of banging through.
I think in terms of MVP, like, I will, you know, clean this up later. Um, but we, by submitting
basically an MVP, a single more or less simple version, uh, I think is, you know, it, it limits the
likelihood that they’re gonna go, oh, well, you know, there’s, there are these big problems or
there’s a hundred problems.
So, um, so fingers crossed they do say, um, do, do, do we believe this to be the complete
review of all issues found in your plugin. So make the corrections, review the, in the code,
resubmit it. I threw it up on, um, [00:11:00] my P cloud for them to download. And then, cause I
know that they run the code through some automated stuff, but I do know that a human also
looks at it, so there’s a chance that they come back.
I might be, I’m jinxing myself that we did so well because maybe they, they discovered
something on the second review or something like that. But, um, but yeah, so within a day did a,
uh, one line revision and sent it back. And so maybe this week we’ll have this thing up in the
Cory Miller: That’s great. That’s great news.
Um, you know, I think yesterday you mentioned like first time I’ve, or first time in a long time
since I’ve submitted a plugin and I was like, I’ve never done that process. I don’t even think I
knew, you know, Never done a read me, never submitted it myself. Team did, of course. But um,
no. So all that, so that was really interesting seeing it behind the scenes.
And I gotta say over 15 years I’ve been doing WordPress is, uh, we’ve [00:12:00] come a long
way, you know? Yeah. Um, uh, a lot of things have, you know, there’s always things we got, you
know, people grab about and we got things that, you know, aren’t the great, the best, but I love
the spirit of like, we continue to move forward as a community.
And so, but it was interesting doing the Readme file because, um, I can’t imagine as a
developer, you spend all this time just trying to write code, get the functions, you know, to do
what she wanted to do. And then you have this read me stuff and I was like, okay, if I’m not a
developer and I’m having a block about this, I can’t imagine others. But you made the process
awesome, and I really appreciate that. That was one thing. I do like co-working sessions like
that. I really have found in the last couple years just coworking if somebody’s like, Hey, could
you do this? I get in my own head space and blocked mm-hmm. , and I’m like, sometimes I’m
like, could you just be there?
Right. Uh, but yesterday you [00:13:00] were given good directio n.
Cory Maass: Well, and, and I’ve, I’ve had a little bit of experience with it, but it’s also like, it was,
I found it easier than I often do because it was, I wasn’t context switching. Like what I often am
doing is I’m banging out code and then I’m like, okay, I’m ready to submit this.
And I’m like, crap, there’s a whole laundry list of other things that I need to do or, or want to do a
logo, uh, the support link that we set up, like all that kind of stuff. And, and it’s, that’s, that’s the
hardest part of being a solopreneur, which is usually my situation of like, okay. And I was even
doing this this morning for some, for a different product of like, I needed to do a little code
update, but then I needed to tweak the logo, but then I needed to, you know, update the email
that gets sent when somebody purchases.
But then I need to, and it’s like, man, you’re just, it’s tough being all over the place. And so you
and I sitting down and [00:14:00] going, we’re gonna do the Read Me, you know, and, and went
a little deep on like the beginning of, um, what is our wording? What is our message? What is
our pro, um, uh, our problem statement?
What is our, you know, I, I was actually able to do that, which I’m not always, isn’t always the
Cory Miller: It’s like we’re a two person mastermind.
Well, um, okay, so. We’re there, I mean, very close final stages of getting the plugin. Um, we
talked a little bit about this, but what’s our list of things we got next? Um, I, so we have the
website and that’s one part of it. Mm-hmm. , um, we, we talked about that. We need to have,
we’ll do some changes like there, there’s the SaaS side of it, you know, just being able to
[00:15:00] crop it online. Um, but now we’re gonna potentially get people coming to the website.
We got the email newsletter set up.
Actually, I should check that. I forget our list. But, um, what’s on, what’s on your mind for next
steps? I, I tend to think in the marketing is website and email list. So to me it’s
Cory Maass: yeah, well, expanding outwards, right? So starting with the plugin in the repo,
which we talked about a couple, like last week, I think of like, because of the inherent
discoverability, and obviously because we are talking about it, we’re gonna start to get a trickle
Um, and so we want to be able to, so, so in order to make the best impression inside the,
[00:16:00] the.org plugin repo or plugin directory, they want to, want us to call that, call it now.
Um, we need images, like banners, and so, uh, I can, I can create those pretty easily, easily in
Canva. Um, we don’t actually need a logo yet.
We, I, it’s more fun if we, you know, it’s kinda like buying a domain, like creating a logo to me is
really fun. Um, or, or having one made or ha whatever process we wanna do. But for the time
being like we just, you know, there’s a mast head essentially, and so we can just literally write
the words crop express in our, in.
Um, you know, whatever tagline we, we wanna start with. Um, but I feel like that, because the,
by default, if you don’t do that, then you get, um, the, the repo will do these sort of plaid, you
know, just sort of placeholder [00:17:00] images and um, you know, some of the best plugins out
there created 10 years ago still have those.
But where we’re starting and we we’re essentially starting to create a brand, now is the time to
already create something. And again, we can swap them out as often as we want. Yeah. Um,
but to have a little square icon or image or something, and then that masthead, I think is, we
wanna do sooner than later.
Cory Miller: Mm-hmm. ,
Cory Maass: um, which I think, you know, this is always the. You know, there’s no, what was it
back with Windows? Like you couldn’t delete, um, Minesweeper because it was somehow
connected to the Notes app or something, you know, this kind of thing. Like there’s this, all this
interconnectivity, but it’s like by create, also by creating the Masthead Indoor, starting to think
about a logo that’s gonna help us continue to refine some of the marketing language.
Um, [00:18:00] so to me that’s the, all that stuff is kind of on my mind. cause I think that some
people are going, going to, fewer people are gonna be going to crop.express the website right
now because we’re not selling anything. We’re not doing, we’re not pushing anybody towards it
kind of thing yet, you know?
Cory Miller: Mm-hmm.
the only thing I want to just emphasize from the marketing side is, uh, as soon as we can
having, um, conduits to get people to sign up for our newsletter. Yeah. Um, just so we have a
base, it’s what I. For sure is a center point strategy. Um, so when we talk about logo and
masthead and the brand, one of the things maybe for discussion for us is what do we think the
And it may just be those two, right? But minimum things we need for someone to be able to go,
I’m gonna try that out. And then we’ve talked [00:19:00] heavily about like, the intention for this
first is to get feedback. Mm-hmm. , um, in what they want next. Like give them enough of a
spark to go, I want more. Yeah. Um, and we’ve, we’ve got that in plugin.
Um, the request a feature type thing. Mm-hmm. . So I’m thinking of what’s our next step?
Minimums. So we’ve got logo and masthead. We need, we need that. Um, We already got email
newsletter. We talked a little bit about website, the initial promotion I have down here. Anything
else on your mind about next steps that we missed?
Not yet. Nope.
Cory Maass: Okay. Again, I think it’s just, yeah, starting to fill out. It’s like we, we have the
engine now, you know, what is, what does the car look like? And we don’t have to build all the
other models of car and we don’t have to build the [00:20:00] dealership and we, you know, all
that’s down the road. But to get started, like, yeah, we need, you know, just, just sort of to start
Cory Miller: Okay. So from logo and mass head standpoint, um, I try to fancy myself as design
and it’s more like I can design taste. I’m not, if I fancy myself a designer at some point in my life
now I’m like, Nope, not a designer anymore. just one with hopefully good taste. Um, I do have
an outlet. Like you, you did mention Camba.
I do have an outlet to get something designed. Um, so what’s your preferences and everything
on design? From a brand standpoint? I like personally clean, modern. Yeah. You know, I, I think
about the iconic cropping, you know, right. Cropping.
Cory Maass: I did try to get away from, um, like, so, [00:21:00] so what I’ve been doing lately is,
um, like I, I started in the late nineties, you know, when you would literally design a website in
Photoshop and then cut it up.
Um, and so I still have, uh, the technical chops just like you. At one point considered myself a
designer. I still care a lot about it, but I, I know I do not begin to, it’s a muscle and I, that muscle
has atrophied. So, um, but what I, what I will often do now, because again, I, I can tweak
something pretty readily as like the, the scissors icon that I have on the website now was clip art
that I found.
Like I have a lifetime license to Stock Unlimited. So I went in there and I was like, you know,
what is cropping? Um, You know, scissors or something like that. I found a vector graphic that I
like, I tweaked it slightly so that it looked [00:22:00] more the way I wanted it. A little friendlier,
like I rounded the edges and stuff, and that was, you know, that was V1 of the logo.
Um, I, I got to have fun choosing some colors and, you know, playing in, um, illustrator or, I
guess at this point I use Affinity Designer, but you know, it’s not, um, not much more than that
because I honestly, I now consider pretty much everything an MVP including logos until they’re
not, you know, if, if once it’s very important that we have brand recognition, then, then we lock it
But until then, um, okay. I also frequently will use fiber. Like I’ll go on and, um, hire multiple
people. and then take all the, I usually think of it more as like a, a brainstorming session and I’ll
take all the concepts. I very rarely have had somebody come back with something that I’m like,
that’s it. Done.
Mm-hmm. . Um, [00:23:00] so I’m, you know, that gives you an idea of sort of my, my usual
method. The only other thing that, that I have cared about lately is, oh, well, two things. One, I
did try intentionally to get away from the iconic cropping icon. Um, just I think as much as an
exercise of like, can we go beyond that or, or can we allude lightly to that without it being the
obvious, um, you know, icon that everybody expects.
And then the other thing is, I’ve been trying very hard to use color palettes that are a little
outrageous, especially on the web. Um, and so like I’ve been, lately, I’ve been googling eighties
color palette, , eighties colors, and then using those, so it’s like hot pink, magenta or, you know,
um, neon colors or, yeah.
And, or, um, another app, I, I, same sort of thing. I googled seventies and it’s, so, it’s like the
[00:24:00] burnt orange, you know, but it’s just like, I don’t want the, the standard, like the
WordPress blue hurts me right at this point. Like, it, it is what it is and it, it is what it should be,
but how do we stand out, you know?
Yeah. So, um, and I think, you know, we’ll, we’ll pick and choose how much we, if we go totally
outrageous, how much we actually put that into the plugin, but at least for logo branding, stuff
like that. Like how do we. Stand out.
Cory Miller: So, yeah. Hey, I’m good with that. I mean, you go hot pink. I’m, I’m fine with that
too, you know?
Yeah. Um, it’s just fun. Do you want to take the, the lead then on, on the logo and masted
sounds like you got some energy and kind of vision for
Cory Maass: Yeah, I, I have fun. I have fun doing it. I think the, I could use help with, um, I
mean if we’re [00:25:00] content with the scissors and we just want to change the colors or
maybe we don’t even want to change the colors, like then we just run with what we’ve got.
It definitely could use some punching up and I’d love another pair of eyes. Um, if not that, then
I’d, you know, I think it would be great if we. 15 minutes together or some time apart just going,
what are conceptually, what do we wanna do or what, what would be fun and unique or what
would be weird and outrageous or, you know, more concepts.
Yeah. Because again, like, I just wanted something. Yeah,
Cory Miller: absolutely. Um, I, I mean, I like the eighties thing you’re talking about, and you
know, I was trying to think like, what are the modern kind of thoughts when you think about
cropping? Uh, and I, I think about, um, Instagram, like their version of cropping is not the, the
It’s more like a square with the rule of [00:26:00] thirds in there. Mm-hmm. . And so I tend to
think like, how do people today, what are they familiar with? And Instagram seems like, you
know, most I would. Think most people have used Instagram and know what that cropping tool
is. Um, how that’s like, it’s, isn’t it, let me like, real quick.
Cory Maass: It seems like I, I like what you’re saying because it’s, it’s also Instagram sort of set
the standard for we accept squares and now they accept other, other things rectangles. But um,
it’s, it is the modern version of, or the updated concept of like, you know, initially it was like, it is
a square, it is whatever it was initially, you know, it’s 800 pixels full stop.
Cory Miller: Yeah. And now I’m trying to like, yeah, it’s, it’s kind of the rule of thirds and you
[00:27:00] just pinch in out, I thought, how does Camba do it? Or does Camba do Camba does
cropping in there somewhere?
Cory Maass: They do. I mean, but it’s to me, It’s this, it’s very sim it’s the same concept as like
Photoshop or Illustrator or whatever, where you’ve got the four circles.
And so you can grab a corner and, and you can, you can move the mask or you can resize the
whole thing. But it’s, it’s very free. And, and I think I, you bringing up Instagram I think is a really
interesting, it’s not a metaphor, but a comparison in some ways because we are crop express
sort of. The point is that we don’t let you just free form crop.
We like lock you down to correct image size and aspect ratio. So
Cory Miller: yeah, we, we [00:28:00] guide you in the best, right? So you don’t have to make
mistakes. But we keep, I think we keep betting, our first feature request is gonna be a custom
Cory Maass: Which is fine, but because again, it’s like you plug in something and then lock it
So it’s, um, having fun running with the concepts of, you know, in the eighties, I think you and I
were both, uh, in elementary school, um, which brings to mind, um, uh, safety scissors, like the
little kid safety, scissors. Um, which is also a thing that was like, it locked you down, like you
couldn’t stab your friend.
Um, not that we didn’t try, um, no running with scissors. Um, I’m picturing like cutting out
cardboard, um, construction paper. Um, and so it’s like that leads me to the thinking of like, what
is the result we’re talking about of cropping, which is obviously an image, but it’s like, is there
something [00:29:00] with um, uh, shapes or, um, What’s that, that game where you have, you
know, it’s like telegram or something, a gram where you’ve, you know, you put the triangle and
the square together and make a house kind of thing.
Cory Miller: Um, oh yeah. It’s funny, I just googled this and I saw one of these up here and I
can’t find it, but I had like kind of a safety scissors, if you can see that right there. Oh,
Cory Maass: yep, yep. Right there. Yeah. See, I like that to me is already a little cuter than the
ones that I initially
Cory Miller: grabbed. This is, see how that, see how this little thing right here?
That’s what I was thinking Instagram was, but I couldn’t find it on my phone. But this is what I
was thinking. It’s like, this is pretty familiar, you know? Yep. However it needs to match. I think
probably something in there, but I almost, I don’t know. I, I don’t want to get too, uh, particular
about it because I think you, [00:30:00] you got the grass.
I will say, we know we have a bigger. Vision than just this, in this realm of photo manipulation,
editing, getting the right thing in the design. Um, so I, you know, I’m pretty open. It’s like, I feel
like the feeling we want, this is maybe what we could talk about, the feeling we want is I rely on
that. Oh, that made that easier.
You know, the relief, the being able to kind of get to the finished pr, their finished outcome, that
our thing is just one part of that. But you know what I mean, we talked a lot about this with our,
uh, e-commerce product back in the day, is what’s the feeling we want for people to get? And
we want a e-commerce to be fun and feel lighter than just like, oh my God, it’s like I’m filling out
a tax form, you know, , that’s what it kind of feels like.
Um, so any thoughts? Any thoughts there? [00:31:00] And, and we’re going a little deeper than
we probably normally would to, but kind of fun to me to, to talk about these things.
Cory Maass: Yeah, agreed. Like, I mean, conceptually, this is, this is definitely some of the fun
part. Um, I liked what you said about, so we were, we talked a lot yesterday about workflow, and
you said just now the, the feeling of making things simpler.
And I’m like, okay, so if you’ve got a laundry list of things you have to do, however that’s
represented, a list of things vertically or blocks side by side, and then like somehow
representing the, the removal of items in the middle so that it’s, you go from A to B or you know,
A to Z. In four steps instead of 20.
How, how many letters are there in the alphabet? 26, I think. But anyway, you get the idea, you
know, so I’m, um, and that [00:32:00] what you just showed with the, um, the grid, the cropping
grid, um, I’m picturing, you know, two squares with the cropping grid in the middle. That kind of
represents like we re we removed something from, you know, from this line of blocks, but you
also get the sense of like, oh, you’re cropping a thing in the middle.
Um, you know, so some of these visual concepts. The other thing that came to mind was on
that, with that grid, like the first masthead we do, I think should have the cropping grid on it. Just
because that way, like you said, it’s a visual visually, you immediately go, oh, that’s we’re
Cory Miller: This is a version of what we were doing yesterday with the read me files.
We’re trying to paint a picture. Right. And I think you just nailed it. Is that some signal, image-
wise on masthead of like, that’s, this is what that does. Like there’s not even words. It’s like
recognition. Mm-hmm. . And I think that’s pulling it in and you know, I [00:33:00] was thinking if
we step up a second, we go, it seems like a lot of the things we’re talking about with this product
in the future direction is um, big category banner is content production or content.
Content production. And then we step down and we drill down to that. And it’s like you talked
about expanding out. I got expand way out then to come back in is content, content production,
workflow, images, that seems like everything we’ve talked about is like in that image category.
So that. Some visual display to connect.
I’m in the visual, like I just Googled, uh, affinity Designer. Cause I was like, well if you, I wanna
see this. I’ve, I was a early Photoshop user. Yeah. But it’s like that feeling of, it’s a tool for
creation. Mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. or mani manipulation is not the right board, but, you
know, um, I think connects it down.[00:34:00]
So I, I dig that.
Cory Maass: Yeah. And I, I like what you’re saying about, I think the top conceptual, like where
you go from literal to conceptual is there’s a line above image, photo or image images. It’s like, I
don’t think we we’re going to apply the word crop to text or something else. And so it’s like
literally we are going to be.
Cropping images expand that we’re manipulating images, expand that dealing with images,
expand that you get conceptual of content creation or something. So yeah, I like the idea of
buying in now to something that, that draws a, draws that line that says we’re talking about
photo or image images and that get, that lets us, you [00:35:00] know, then we can do anything
we want down the road.
Because like we’ve also talked about, we don’t wanna lock ourselves into features. We want our
users to lock us into features or inversely let us expand other things. But it’s like, I don’t, if we
end up talking about. AI words, then to me that’s, we, we then go, okay, are we starting another
plugin? Um, you know, but we could do AI images and that would still be in the con maybe in
the concept context of Crop Express.
Cory Miller: Holy crap. Dude. Now you’re gonna get my mind like buzzing. But the AI images
thing, future roadmap mm-hmm. for discussion there. Because what just I, I like anchoring this
back on this, just like you’re doing different ways. Um, when we originally talked, we were like,
what could this be in flow as you’re going [00:36:00] down mm-hmm.
um, you know, and be like, okay, there it is. Um, I click an image in Gutenberg code editor and
then I get to upload media and the cropping tools are right there, and I think. Native. I think that
is a good experience. That’s how I do content production. People have bigger teams, of course
they’re gonna have other sophisticated tool Sure.
Tools, but we’re kind of in this almost everyday content producer, you know, which is a lot of
buckets. Yeah. But gosh, that’s compelling. The AI image side is like, that’s how we started this.
And we decided our big critical decision was to pull it out just to the featured image, to start
there, see where our demand went.
But if we go back to that original kind of thought was, put it in the flow. You know, I start with a
headline, then I start writing and I add my, you know, images as I go [00:37:00] thing. That AI
potential could really be cool. Oh yeah. Um, with all the open AI talk and the channel we have in
Slack, I’m, I’m really.
Curious, like I wanna run into this whole new field and see what’s there, . Um, so like this image
side of that is really compelling because I don’t know about you, this is about the product
experience, but finding an image is a terrible experience. That’s why I don’t do it. So
downstream, if we think about this image AI thing, it’s like how can we help someone get the
image effect, the visual placeholder guide, part of the story you’re writing in your post content? I
think that really fits to put on the future discussion side.
Absolutely. But, but this is my process and I’d like to hear yours cause I want to hear, I want to
hear more user stories about how they do it. cause if we can get in [00:38:00] line with enough
people and understand how they do it, then we got innovation ideas all day, then we can just
help them with their workflow. So, I don’t do this regularly, but I’m like, okay, I want an image.
I’ve, to me, I write and that’s an exploration. Oftentimes, I don’t have a formula or a framework. I
think a lot of PE other people do, specifically like Lindsay at Content Journey, they have a whole
workflow. But finding something in there. This would be interesting, Corey. Don’t let me
daydream too much.
Okay. This is conceptual. I have no idea how it would get done necessarily, but imagine you
write, you write your post and you’re like, you want the featured image crop express, click the
button, it looks at some keywords. Oh, for sure. And then develop something for that, you know,
featured image thing. That would be, I mean, I know we’re still early in all the M N J I stuff, but
like finding the right prompt for that, that [00:39:00] comes out with something interesting.
Oh yeah. Saves a ton of time, like, oh yeah, you mentioned your service. I, I’ve used Unsplash
in the part and I always get frustrated cause I’m like, nothing matches my style. Nothing. It just
feels hokey, you know? Yeah.
Cory Maass: And that’s, so, yeah, it’s, it’s definitely something I think would be fun to explore
down the road and, and certainly fits in the, the overall, the problems we’re trying to solve of
making content creation easy and filling out, you know, that last mile, the last mile is the hardest
mile kind of thing.
Writing the blog post, I won’t say is the easy part, but it’s the part that I think you’re absolutely
right, Most people don’t go and find a picture. They wanna, they wanna write about, you know, I
don’t know, house plants or something. They don’t go find a picture of a house plant and then
write the blog post.
They come to WordPress to write a blog post about house plants and then are like, okay, I
better put an [00:40:00] image in here of a house plant. And then, Just as you said, like there’s,
there’s endless scrolling and discovery of find, trying to find the fir the, the perfect image. Um,
that could go in a lot of different directions and, and could, could be huge, could be a really big
lift or a tiny lift depending on what we wanted to do.
Like there are already services that will, that take advantage of like Unsplash and some of the
other open free ones that do basic keyword matching. Um, so I think we just kind of keep an eye
on that space or that functionality. Um, cause it, cause yeah, combine discoverability or um, uh,
finding images, but with the way that AI is manipulating images.
So you’re like, you know, go look at all the images of house plants on Unsplash and, and
whatever other public ones, but now generate something in the style of da Vinci boom. You
[00:41:00] know? And, and keep regenerating until you get one you like, and then, you know,
so, but that’s, you know, the, the lift of that is not something we can do for free.
I’ll say .
Cory Miller: Yeah, exactly. We need somebody to pay us. Okay.
Cory Maass: But yeah, but I do, I, you know, all of this exercise, it’s like, okay, yes, I won’t let
you daydream for the next two hours, but all of this, you know, us mentioning different random
things, I think helps dictate, like, at the beginning of this conversation, I was like, oh, scissors
are fine, let’s run with it.
But, you know, if our hope is down the road, we’re expanding way beyond literally making an
image from this size to this size, then a then scissors is probably not the, the metaphor, the
visual metaphor that we want. It’s not inclusive enough, so, you know, [00:42:00] What, what
other visuals, what other icons or objects represent the visual, you know, an eyeball or glasses
or, um, I don’t, you know, a camera.
Yeah, I mean, that’s Instagram.
Cory Miller: Yeah. So just segue in for a second to prep our conversations. We’re making
incremental progress and a lot of this stuff. So we got one Lego and mast head. You’re gonna
start with that. We’ll go, come back and forth. What things can I be working on? Um, two,
Cory Maass: I I would love you to start thinking about a first, a couple of things.
One, um, this is the stuff that I, I understand conceptually, but cannot. Ever wrap my head
around is like, how do we, is the, what is it? The, there are two [00:43:00] dimensions. There’s
three dimensions of, of space, but the fourth dimension is time, right? So I have a real hard time
with time with, uh, we get, we get to the point where we’ve got a logo that’s fine, a masthead.
That’s fine. A read me, we’ve, we’ve, you know, some people are trying out, you know, then, like
you said, um, promotion and what does that look like and what does that look like over time?
Um, if we’re gonna start emailing people as, as people join the mailing list, um, you know, what
is the monthly newsletter or whatever the cadence we decide on, what, what is, what does six
months of that content look like?
I mean, obviously like, I’m not expecting paragraphs, but just like conceptually, you know? Um,
and then, and then also I think, um, How do you envision the evolution of the website?
[00:44:00] Where again, right now it is a single purpose, you know, single page app, but that still
needs to be on the site somewhere. But obviously we wanna start migrating the website to be a
landing page to hold hands with the plugin.
Um, you know, and again, we’re not, I’m not talking huge major redesign tomorrow, but it’s the
like, cause it’s, it’s you saying, okay, if, if the goal is, you know, we’re ramping up content output
within the next couple of months, then, then you need a place to put that content. So within the
next couple of months, we need the website.
you know, roughly to have these five things, a blog so that I could put blog posts or a
documentation, um, section so that we can start writing documentation or whatever. Um, so that
kind of thing, because I think there’s, there’s going to be a point where we [00:45:00] need to
put, um, railroad cars in order mm-hmm. so that we’re not, we’re, you know, not getting in our
And you are empowered because there’s, you know, I think part of the, the arc of this kind of
situation that often happens is, you and I have fun brainstorming, but upfront I’m gonna do most
of the work of development and that kind of thing. But then at some point, the roles switch
where it’s like, okay, I’ve delivered, I’ve given you something to sell.
Now go sell it. Mm. And so I wanna make sure that I’m not just adding features. And then you’re
like, okay, great, I’ll now go sell this thing. I need to start writing blog posts. We need a blog. And
I’m like, oh crap. Like we are not set up for that at all.
Cory Miller: Um, okay, let me talk, talk that out. That’s, uh, that’s great framing for me.
Um, so promotion. So product is out. We need [00:46:00] some eyeballs, we need somebody
testing it. We need somebody using it. Um, so I think my first step to me is how do we talk about
it personally? Use our own platforms cause we don’t have a platform on crop express. So right
now we’re depending on, uh, repost. Um, our audience, which I think is great.
We have audience, we have people that do this stuff. Um, then we have a conduit to talk about
it. cause a lot of the agency, the builders, people are in Post Us, which is great. So we can be
like mm-hmm hit us up on Slack, um, to to, to talk and give us feedback and stuff. I think what
we’re trying to, trying to validate, I guess in the more scientific way is where’s the interest?
You know, have we hit something? Are we there? Have we hit gold yet? [00:47:00] Um, so to
me, how do we get enough eyeballs is the question on the plugin. Like, use it and get some
response. And I think we’ve got something here that either negative or positive, we’re gonna get
something to gauge. , what’s the next critical thing?
And as we’ve said before, like I think the feature request side of this is the key right now is
somebody using it, going, I want this, I like this, but I want this. And then we gotta, we start to
build that business case for, okay, well if we built that, you and I can make those, those
decisions. Mm-hmm. . So just talking this out loud, without really processing it, I go use our
personal platforms to get some burst.
I think it would be interesting, I, I go to some of these outlandish things only to calibrate a little
bit. So when I say this, I wanna get that disclaimer. [00:48:00] It’s like, you want a banner, you
wanna ring a bell and say, this sucks. We made it better. Like, doesn’t this suck? Mm-hmm. ,
you know, so I almost. Cropping images sucks.
You know, there’s this thought of like, I, I come back a lot to cause you know, cause is the
customer’s problem. And so I go, okay. I mean that was what I told you initially, like months ago.
I go, this, this process sucks, right? Like, I don’t like it and I’m not trying to throw shade on any
of the core contributors at all.
Just this is a part in the process that really sucks. Yep. We’ve made a step to make it better. But
big enough bell where it’s not just that cause we have, we have plans and potential for more. So
I almost think like there’s something in that. You were really good to come up with ideas and edit
It’s like content. Something to the effect of [00:49:00] image editing sucks. Content, you know,
something in the realm, but it’s just a little enough bigger than just the one thing we talked about
is like, finding images sucks. We know we wanna be careful with saying finding, so we don’t
want them to think they’re gonna find an image.
Right. Um, but I kind of think like some bell to ring, um, in that regard. And what’s interesting to
me, there’s con and, and so I just naturally go to content and what we do and what comes out of
us and what we’re passionate about. And I’m like, I’d never heard of, I probably maybe have
heard of Affinity Designer, but talking about all the tools and how it’s a pain in the butt on the
web to do images, like get what you want.
This whole conversation about fitting in to the post, like our process of going and finding an
image. So I go, core thing is this, but there’s a lot of space around this to talk about [00:50:00]
images. Sure. And they’re rolling that,
Cory Maass: Yeah, images are worth a thousand words. You’ve already written a thousand
word blog post.
You have to go find an image now. Now pairing it with your a thousand words should not be
difficult. Um, and so definitely like the tools that people are using, the sites that people are
using, I think that there’s, I, you know, I’m a, I have subscriptions to at least half a dozen
newsletters that just recommend little power tools, little utility apps, cause that’s, I love them.
They’re fun. They spark ideas like crop express. Um, and so I think talking to some of those, Or
getting, obviously getting a, getting listed everywhere we can. That’s, that’s a no-brainer, but
specifically not only us putting out content, but but starting to talk to the people who are talking
to the content [00:51:00] creators.
So it’s like, you know, there are blog po blog, excuse me, there are newsletters that are for
content creators and, you know, getting them to talk about here’s a way to, um, you know, a
better, you, you’ve written, you, you’ve used a AI to write the, the blog post, or you’ve written it
yourself or you’ve hired somebody to write it yourself.
Here’s a, here’s a, you know, speed up the rest of the workflow. Um, there was something else
that just popped into my head too, but anyway, you know, but something like that.
Cory Miller: Yeah. So I was thinking like hyper users, cause the hyper users that like, do you
pay for affinity designer? Uh,
Cory Maass: I did once and that’s why it’s okay.
Cory Miller: So it was enough of a tool for you to pay for cause you use it in your everyday life,
you know? So I wonder, like, I’m thinking hyper users, who are those? And this is the business
case too. So I think about Lindsey at Content Journey. They’re, they’re writing and posting and
publishing content for, [00:52:00] um, cut their clients all day, every day.
And I go, I should talk to Emily over there, um, about her process and get her be one of it. Um,
when it’s in the repo, ask her to use it on one site and give us some feedback. Who, who else in
the hyper user that we know of that we could potentially get in their hands?
Cory Maass: Describe like what, how are you using the phrase hyper user? Okay.
Cory Miller: Well, somebody that does professional content production. Okay. Um, so that
could also, I mean, there’s a ton of blog, you know Sure. What we formally call bloggers, but
using content, doing content every day, particularly in WordPress. Mm-hmm. . So there is that
pro blogger type content machine, you know?
Yep. Yeah. Um, we’ll be using it at Post Status of course.
Cory Maass: [00:53:00] I mean, my clients will definitely use it cause they already, like I I said
early on, like I’ve already, I have them going to the website to do cropping and so to remove that
step where they can just do it in WordPress, they’re gonna do back flips, which will be fun to
Cory Miller: Yeah, I’m, but I was also thinking for me, but that raw feedback you get Oh yeah.
When somebody’s using it is so gold. So, oh yeah. I will love to hear what your clients say and
then I’ll, I’ll, I’ll do a demo or something, or I’ll do a screen share with Emily and ask her to look
at it. And first I’ll te I’ll first of all ask her for, I’ll say, tell me how you, show me how you do a
And then I’ll be like, okay, install this plugin here and tell me what you’re thinking.
Cory Maass: Yep. Um, and this might be a little further down the road. Um, but the other thing
that jumps into my mind is like plugins, like Yost, where you have to upload a, an image. Um, so
this [00:54:00] isn’t necessarily a featured image, but it’s the, the image that that ends up being
the open graph image associated with each post.
Also, I’m, I’m, I’m sure is supposed to be of specific dimensions. Um, and so I picture. Um,
they’d be happy to write about like once, once we are even loosely integrated. But if it’s useful to
their users, um, then they’re gonna love our tool, right? So, um, getting, getting content or other
tools that interact with that, make their, that whose users interact with images, we’re gonna also
make their customers happier.
Um, even if we are not immediately inter, you know, um, integrated, like will we, will we sell a
Yost add-on? I have no idea. But even upfront, well, if we, the minute we expand beyond
[00:55:00] featured images, we’re like, here’s how you, you know, in your media library, upload
an image, crop it for Yost, and then you go over to Yost and say, select this image to be your
open graph image for socials.
You know, basically connecting that, um, closing that circle, I’m sure they’d be happy to talk
about it. And that’s an example, right? So it’s like what other, um, big plugins or big systems
services that interact with WordPress that primarily or even curly, interact with images that we
can help make their customers’ lives easier than they’re gonna want to talk about us.
Cory Miller: Okay, so right there, two things. Stand out. Besides Yoast, Yoast Is one of those, of
course. Um, but membership sites and e-commerce and I draw to that category because they’re
making money with it. So they’re the ability to spend money on it. So, question with
WooCommerce, [00:56:00] man, it’s been forever, but when they upload a product image, are
they using default WordPress?
Cory Maass: And I’ll tell you tomorrow,
Cory Miller: right there, there’s an inroads. Oh yeah. Um, oh yeah. I think about the
membership sites, an LMS from Learn Dash to Lifter to Paid Membership Pro and everything.
And starting to talk about them, about that stuff. So there’s code promotion stuff we could do. So
that, that would be like Kim Coleman.
We can reach out probably Bob Dunn to start with WooCommerce, but we’ve got a whole
channel in, in, uh, Post Status. We could talk there. And then just WooCommerce is the big,
huge , you know, thing. Yeah. But, and I just went there directly cause you’re like a little free
utility tool that helps them do one [00:57:00] thing.
There’s a great. Oh yeah. To, uh, to scratch. Okay. So I’ve got a couple of those, um, to think
about that I could be pinging people and asking. Um, okay. On email, I’ll be think I tried to stay, I
started with promotion and go down and go, okay, what do we need from the website and the
email? I think, um, I, I love that the website itself is, is, is the tool.
Is a tool and it’s a great tool and there’s opportunities there. Um, it’s not in the WordPress flow,
but I love it from a, let’s, if we just called it a lead magnet
Cory Maass: mm-hmm. , which is, you know, how would what we’re talking about. Yep. Yeah.
Cory Miller: Um, and like have the link to want better image, whatever our phrase is in
WordPress over there.
Then we’ll have the pro version, um, So I’m [00:58:00] hesitant to say to do anything right now
with the website other than those things because I still love, we’re gonna get some trickle in and
they go and they got used and they can bookmark those and go back like I do with it. So we’re
in their workflow too.
Cory Maass: So here’s one other thing that I really want you to do.
Um, yeah, because, and this goes back to one of our first conversations is, um, you know, I, uh,
I showed you yesterday, I made some updates to the ui. Um, do a quick review of the new
version, the newest version. Um, look for any e easy wins. Oh, don’t have this box on the left or
this button on the left. Have it on the right.
That’s more intuitive, whatever easy wins like that. Um, because I think. So the, the code for the
plugin, because it’s built into [00:59:00] Gutenberg, is not a one-to-one to get it working on the
website, but obvi, but we want the website to look the same as the product. And so I wanna
start looking at how to marry those two.
Um, even if they’re, they might be separate code bases, you know, but, or they might be the, I
might be able to use the same one, but it’s like, I don’t want to, I don’t wanna do more work than
I have to. So if you do a quick review and say, Nope, everything’s fine, or make this button
bigger, or whatever, then I can also, like, I, I liked what you just said of like, the website doesn’t
have to change altogether, but I do think we want to change the crop on the website to be the
same as our product.
So that it’s the best kind of lead magnet. Like the tool you are using is literally do this with
Cory Miller: WordPress. Insert into WordPress. Yeah, exactly. Do this in WordPress. There you
go. Yeah. .
Cory Maass: Okay. So, oh, so product feedback would be the other thing. [01:00:00] And I’m
not talking, you know, like, let’s, let’s grab a, a color scheme and we can, you know, inject a little
bit of that into the plugin just so that we start to build brand recognition that way.
Hot pink everywhere or whatever. Um, not really, but, you know, something. Um, but beyond
that, you know, we’ll keep it simple, but we can start to sort of massage the website to look more
like the, the plugin we’re building.
Cory Miller: Okay. Okay. So I have start kind of doing next steps for promotion, thinking about
the website and, uh, monthly, whatever the cadence is for the email.
Uh, and then to review the latest version of the plugin. Okay. Can. I’m out the next couple of
days, uh, on a trip with some buddies of mine, but, uh, I’ll be back in the settle and, um, that’s,
that’s a pretty easy lift for me. [01:01:00] I, I want to think about like, we’re gonna put it out there.
We want to chase, we want to get it in some hands, like your clients.
I think our ideal and then, uh, content journey, getting feedback from them are ideal. Um, but I
want to think about some sort of, some topical thing, and maybe it’s something we just talk
about live. Like just hearing your workflow is different from mine. I always love talking to
developers and go, how do you get these things done?
And they’re like, this is, and I go, can you slow down and show me again? Because I want to do
that for myself. So there’s like, like that workflow conversation about mm-hmm. content
production. And we could kind of have a little, you know, I mean, maybe. I don’t know what your,
your relationship is with your clients, but like, just talking about this thing that sucks how we do
Like you give your tip, I give my tip, they give their tip, you know, content journey, whoever else,
professional blogger out there, um, [01:02:00] group or whatever that I, so I just wanna spin
those ideas a little bit about something that we can get to like ring the, ring the bell of like, this,
this, this is an issue and this is how people do it better and we’ve got one too.
Cory Maass: Yeah. Well, and I like the old trick of, you know, how often the best marketing
phrases, word, sentences come from clients talking about their problem. Totally. Um, and so I
also, and am of course envisioning like, I don’t know if a poll would capture what we want.
Creating. If, if we can figure out the, the right questions to ask, we can put questions up in
MegaMaker in Post Status.
The couple of other, um, slack communities that I’m in, we can both put them on our Twitter and
it’s like, I don’t expect thousands of responses, but even a handful. And there’s people that I
know you can pull on this tug on the [01:03:00] sleeve of, and there’s people I can tug on the
sleeve of and be like, do me a favor and go answer these three questions.
You know, take five minutes, do you know, and I owe you a beer the next time I see you at a
WordCamp kind of thing. Um, yeah know, but just to start capturing the words that people are
using, um, the workflow that people are, you know, in three steps, how would you des or in, in
10 steps or less, how would you describe how you finish off a blog?
You’ve written all the words. What are the next, you know, what are the steps between that and
hitting publish, or. Whatever, to just again, start to capture that, that thinking, the workflows that
you’re talking about. So, ,
Cory Miller: I went to YouTube and we got some good comments actually in there. I need to
have this up every single time.
By the way, they, they were making comments as we were talking about, like, we’re riffing. I was
like, oh, we got collaborators out there. Um, but ve said, I think, yeah, I will, I will buy [01:04:00]
that. So like, Hey , I’ll try to say we’re our first customer, first perspective customer. Um,
Cory Maass: quick get a credit card number.
Cory Miller: Yeah, yeah. Here’s our, here’s our PayPal address. Um, Zach said something, I
wanna come back real quick. Art direction with resized and crop thumbnails sucks. With the
core feature set. Keeping the focal point in the image matters, that would be a killer feature. So,
, you know, resonance. How do we keep attention?
I think we got some good next steps. And for all this, sorry, I just happened to go over here and
look real quick. And it was like, we’ve got, we’ve got some comments coming in, so add to our
Cory Maass: Yeah, that’s cool. Oh, and well, and, and how fun is this? So I just went over to
YouTube as well, um, which I had not been watching the comment.
I’ve been watching comments in four comments in Zoom, but not YouTube. So yeah, from now
[01:05:00] on I’ll open this, but they have a, um, clip a crop icon under our video of a pair of
Cory Miller: Oh yeah. Oh, that’s interesting. Okay.
Cory Maass: So anyway, I just, you know, and, but more and more, yeah, I’m thinking we want
to get away from that or the obviousness of that or something.
Cory Miller: I do think up, I do think on that note opinions and even strong for the right, strong
opinions for the right things really matter in a product. Um, where, you know, WordPress is a
great example of this, of like opinions about certain things that I didn’t always like, but they were
good for the overall thing.
And I think we’re developing some opinions and then we’ll get some validation from customers
and really strengthen that opinion going Yeah. But like the first opinion is we say image cropping
[01:06:00] sucks. Yeah. So we can start with that base. Oh, sorry.
Cory Maass: No, but I, I, I really like. I, I hope this is, I hope you take this as the compliment.
I mean it, so there’s, there’s some, to me as a northeastern American, there is a Midwestern
charm in that, in the phrase, in that phrase, like sucks is very brash, you know, and I think it’s
fine to use these days, but it, but the is a chore. Because it, it works as a phrase like, this sucks,
but it’s also literally, it’s a chore.
It’s a thing you have to do and don’t wanna do, but it’s part of the workflow. So I re I still, I, I want
to keep coming. I, I want to keep coming back to that phrase.
Cory Miller: Well, let’s take that for a second. I love that, that kind of refocus on, it’s a chore
because you think about [01:07:00] you’re trying to do this creative act.
You’re trying to makes… when you push publish, you get something out into the world and you,
it’s not all art and design, but you want it to be a nice product that’s received well, that people do
something with. You know? And when you said chore made me think about the workflow, like,
you know, okay, I paint the beautiful painting on the canvas.
Now I gotta find a frame. Hmm. Like the read me file. And I think that chore coming to like, this
should not be a chore. That’s our opinion. You should be. Focusing and using all your resources
on the creative act, not on the chores. We’re gonna take the chores out for you. Love it. That’s a
strong opinion that we could say like, yeah.
That there’s something there. But I like your refocus. I tend to go there, calibrate in a little bit.
Okay. And, you know, if we’re just doing this privately, you’d be like, yeah. It’s, it’s probably a
little strong. Okay. Tour’s better.
Cory Maass: Yeah. [01:08:00] This is, I like, this is, you know, this is the battle we’re fighting is
Against the awfulness. That is the process of Yes. Dealing with images. Like, that’s our, that’s
our, you know, 6 million annual company. What we’re starting with today is the cropping of an
image. Cropping of a featured image.
Cory Miller: Yeah. Reduce creative chores like the, the bell we ring is, Yeah, we’re getting onto
the cause the bigger thing and we’re just a part of it, and I use this all the time cause I’m like,
when you find that core thing enough, people are irritated about you just ring it.
But then we get into, cause when we’re like, stay in the creative lane, reduce this chore, friction.
Our job is to reduce your, your, your creative [01:09:00] chore. Yep. Your, I don’t know, I’m
rehearsing this out loud, but like reduce your creative chores and then like, it should be about
the magic of beautiful images and fits with your story and syncs. Or if it’s an e-commerce store,
like, Hey, I want you spending more time trying to make sure the lighting is perfect and your
product, like exudes what it does in the world and we’re gonna, then when you get into show it
off to everybody, you don’t have, we don’t want you to go through a slog of mud to get there.
That slog of mud. Is there our opportunity right there? So
Cory Maass: we are, we are the bridge over the troubled water
You’re speechless. My terrible joke. Shut him down. No,
Cory Miller: you can’t do things like this because then my weird mind starts go. So we can go to
fiber and get a little like montage, , um, video . I think the [01:10:00] quirky stuff, I think things
like that. It’s all on the table. It’s just like authenticity. Hey, we’re two dudes that like, don’t like
We solve this. We’re, we’re solved this little problem, but we think it might go on and if you want
to continue to support us to do it, we’re gonna do it. Um, but the quirky , yeah, we did some
outlandish, quirky stuff, by the way, the themes. And I just found one the other day and I was
like, Ooh, you know, that’s still out there.
Um, had years ago. Oh, go ahead. It’s, it’s, it’s this outlandish, okay. So builder, I think Builder
was turning one year old and we wanted to celebrate it. So we had a birthday cake, birthday
cake, birthday party for it. And we had the image of the, the hat that we had made into it.
Lindsay had it made into a 3D cake.
And I’m like, you know what? It’s just those quirky things of like, it’s a chore. We’ll try to make it
funner, you know? Yeah. Kind of thing. So, oh, for sure. By the way, this is part of my process.
It’s just like, you know, us talking through this and we get clarity of like, [01:11:00] oh, cause I
wrote chore and cause I wrote chore and I put a box around it, little crop box around it, and I’m
like, yeah, let’s destroy chores, destroy, create.
Oh, this is where I, uh, initially started that whole thing, Corey, I think in business in particular
with products and stuff, it’s really good to have a villain. And I don’t like to make people, I never
like to make people the villain. Sure. But the creative chores are the villain. So we are the
crusaders that fight against the creative chores.
So I’m just, you know, but I, I just go like an enemy always helps a villain, always helps, kind of,
you know, push us, help our clients go, you’re fighting for us and if we make chores, the
creative, the content chores, the, the villain, we’re not fighting a person. We don’t wanna do that.
Sorry. We wanna fight this concept that gets in the way of you doing magic on the web.
So, yeah. [01:12:00] Okay. I love that , because you know me, I’m gonna try to find. Or if you
don’t know , uh, any reason to do swag is a good hundred reason. And if business can help pay
for it. I’m like,
Cory Maass: oh God, you and I are best in trouble then because we’re in trouble. I am nonstop.
Like I, for everything I’ve ever made, I at least had one, uh, sticker made or one t-shirt made or,
uh, cause swag is, is everything.
It’s starting from, we keep coming back to me as a musician, but like in, when I first started, like
before I even had music, Out released. I had t-shirts, I had designed t-shirts and I, now I’m mad
at myself cause I’ve, I spent hours and hours and hours designing album artwork, designing
swag that nobody ever bought because the music wasn’t good enough,
And so I wish I had spent the hours making the music good enough, uh, to [01:13:00] actually
like, warrant the swag. But it made me better as a designer. And, and it’s, and it’s fun. I don’t
really regret it as far as, you know, like the fun I had in my life. But, um, yeah, so I’m excited to
see what ridiculous things we come up with.
Cory Miller: So Corey, here’s something that would be a low lift for us, but would be fun and hit
in this ring The bell we’re fighting this villain, you know, um, is have a printful shop and all these
little stupid, you know, quirky ideas. We have. Shirt sticker. We’re not trying to make money off
it, but it it, that’s content that’s like these pe you know, it’s back to the Seth Good and Tribes
It’s like, these people get me, they get what I’m doing. And like this, we could turn that swag
concept. Cause Printful you can do everything from stickers. We could create, like imagine the
random shit we could do, but like, it’s ringing the bell, chores suck.
Cory Maass: We need to, [01:14:00] we, we we’re gonna make crop, um, crop t-shirts.
They’re gonna cut off just below the nipples . And you and I are gonna get on this call week after
week with our bellies hanging out because our t-shirts have been cropped or, you know, or, or a
square cutout, uh, here, you know, Terrible, terrible. We’re gonna, we’re gonna have to shave
patches into our heads because we’ve cropped, uh, you know, cropped our hair like dumb stuff.
Like we will take the dad joke too far. Yeah.
Cory Miller: So we talk about out the truly outlandish stuff. Nobody wants to see me in a crop
top, but like truly out lunch stuff and we kind of calibrate it in. But an example of this is, um, oh
get tushy. It’s the kinda like $79, uh, bk. So I bought, we have one and we bought others and my
friend Jason Scher told me about it.
But their marketing is so on brand. They [01:15:00] take this concept that isn’t talked about in
polite company potentially, or we call it a bday, you know? Okay. Yeah. But their marketing, they
make poop jokes, you know, all the time. Like they infuse that. And I’m not saying we can, you
know, but the spirit of it is, yeah, make it fun.
You know, and so I think like we’re in the outlandish phase and we’ll figure out these others that
are just kind of fun and quirky. We’re not gonna get anybody buying them, but it’s like, that’s our
content marketing potentially. Yeah. You know?
Cory Maass: Well, and it’s because it’s, it’s what keep it. If nothing else, it would, it’s what, it’s,
you and I are gonna have fun and it’s gonna keep us excited to, to do this kind of stuff.
And like, um, the example I wanted to share earlier was, my first moderate success of a product
was I built a, um, personal finance tracker 20 years ago now. No, 15 years ago [01:16:00] now.
Um, And, and some people didn’t. If there was a day where you didn’t spend something, I was
like, this, this needs a celebration. And so I built a little Easter egg.
So if on a day when you were tracking your finances, if you, if you took the time to enter zero,
you got a, um, an email that was like, you know, congratulations. We got, we we got a video for
you. And I had gone on Fiver, and this is back when Fiver was, you know, truly anything for $5.
And I got a video made of a guy, um, beatboxing.
And he is like, what? You didn’t spend anything? That’s awesome. And then he starts
beatboxing money, money, money, money. And it like, but really good. And it was like just this
quirky weird thing that people lost their minds over. Yeah. And it took me, it was five bucks and
20 minutes to find somebody to do something outrageous.
But that’s like, [01:17:00] You know, I live for that kind of stuff, you know, it doesn’t necessarily
have to be Easter eggs, but like, you know, fun little weird things that, cause it’s, you can also
defeat villains with joy, right? Like, we’re we’re, oh yeah. The, but like, you know, the goal is to
make it fun. Forget, you know, the, the chore wheel is what makes it fun or you make a game
out of it or whatever.
You know, that kind of thinking.
Cory Miller: You just read my notes. Okay, make creative chores fun. Like, okay, so you, you,
you were talking about music and I was like, oh, you have a soundtrack. When you create
posts, when you do that, like you were talking earlier, you use, uh, electronic music, it’s like
there’s a question.
So like, our email content could be like, you know what? Our email banner could be, make
creative chores fun. And it’s like, what’s your [01:18:00] favorite soundtrack? We made a shirt
over. Um, the spinning, I don’t know. You know? Right. That could be some of that content that
we’re like, elicit people’s creative chore.
How they make creative chores fun cause they’re necessity. I like your angle. Not everybody
has to be defeated. We could like hug the villain.
uh, Santa Claus put makeup on the villain.
Cory Maass: Santa Claus three where you know they, eventually the bad guy. Um, the spoiler
alert everybody, if you haven’t seen Santa Claus three, plug your ears. But, you know, at the
end, the villain who is Jack Frost is vanquished because a little girl hugs him and thaws him out.
Finally. So this is the goal is, uh, you know, warm hugs that will make chores not as evil.
Cory Miller: There you go. Yeah. I love it. Grinch. You know, like there’s [01:19:00] the Yeah,
we’re gonna be the playful. I like that. Um, I think we should keep this on top of our mind. Yeah.
Like, I just try to find the bell. You keep ringing, you know?
Mm-hmm. . Um, and it’s make to me from our time as like, make creative chores fun. Yep. And
then the question is how do you do it? You know, making creative chores fun by carpet
Cory Maass: Yep. Things, yeah. Just broadly speaking, what, yeah, these are all things we can
talk about, things we can promote, things we can encourage in other, in others.
So again, like how do we get other people to talk about us as well? And it’s like, here is this con,
this concept that we are owning and, you know, so we’re, we’re. Yes, we solve it very specifically
with, with the product we’re building, but broadly speaking, you know, where in the world are
their creative chores and what are other clever ways that they [01:20:00] are being vanquished
or being hugged to death or being, uh, you know, uh, how, how can we, uh, spoonful of sugar
kind of concepts.
Cory Miller: how do you make your creative chores fun? Yeah. You know, well, whatever they
may be. Yeah. Whatever. Not even, like, it doesn’t even necessarily have to be WordPress, you
know? Right. It could be just, you’re doing art and this is the chore part. So how do you make it
fun? Well, I dress up at Santa Claus when I go pick out my frames or I, I don’t know.
You know what I mean? But that, but the questions you’re, you’re sharing is like, that’s just
ongoing cool content. Okay. All right, dude. Okay. I got my stuff. Continue on these. Review the,
uh, on the promotional side. Next steps for that. Um, review the, the updates you’ve done to the
product. You’ve got logo and masthead.
I’m sure we’ll be talking betwe between now and next week.
Cory Maass: Yeah. Masthead is easy. Logo. [01:21:00] We, we need to keep going back and
forth because it’s, I, I, I’m happy to own it, but we need to do some, do lots of thinking around it.
Cory Miller: Okay. You wanna show some logos next week and get our, uh, audience’s
opinion? I gotta tell you though, when you said the eighties pink and black, I go, I mean, why
does it have to be boring?
Why does it have to be serious and monotonous? Pink kind of screams that corporate. Yeah.
Cory Maass: No, no more internet, corporate blue.
Cory Miller: So I’ll, I’ll leave it to your, uh, uh, inspiration and we’ll, we’ll, we can, we’ll, we’ll talk
about that next week in between. Nice. Thanks dude.
Cory Maass: Yeah, man. I’ll talk soon. Okay.
This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.