In this episode, Kalen sits down with Isaiah Bollinger to review (and roast!) some of the interesting and absurd bits about the Magic Quadrant. Isaiah is the CEO of Trellis Commerce – a leading ecommerce digital agency and the host of The Hard Truth About B2B eCommerce podcast.

[00:00:00] isaiah: So I looked at 2019 and this is, I think a really interesting point. Oracle was listed as a leader, Oracle, remember Oracle commerce and whatever it was ATG, they bought ATG and then Oracle commerce.

They’re notice they’re off the list. They literally shut down their eCommerce platform. So like in three years you went from being a leader to off the list, which I, I think that just is like the perfect summary of how that making these decisions is not like going with a leader is actually very risky in my opinion.

[00:00:50] kalen: I’ve been looking forward to this since we scheduled it, whatever it was a week or two ago, we’re we’re gonna dive into the magic quadrant. Right. And, uh, the [00:01:00] Gartner, the Gartner.

[00:01:01] isaiah: image, like

[00:01:02] kalen: Yeah. Let’s pull it

[00:01:03] isaiah: graphic?

[00:01:04] kalen: Yeah, let’s pull

[00:01:05] isaiah: I have it on my computer, but uh,

[00:01:07] kalen: Okay. Um, could I let’s see, maybe you could just DM it to me or something just so I’m looking at the same one or,

[00:01:17] isaiah: hold on. If I share my screen, can you see my screen?

[00:01:22] kalen: uh, oh, you wanna do screen share? We could do screen share. Yeah.

[00:01:24] isaiah: I tried to screen share, but I’m not sure what’s actually happening.

[00:01:29] kalen: I haven’t done that in a while. Let me see how that works. Share,

[00:01:35] isaiah: I hit share. It’s not doing anything.

[00:01:37] kalen: So I think I can share, let me see how I can give you, uh, how can I give you access to share? Is it like, um, does it want a permissions thing or,

[00:01:52] isaiah: It’s letting me share, uh, like I can click share, but then it’s not doing anything, which I don’t know why. Hold on. [00:02:00] Um, let me just try this up. Did that work?

[00:02:05] kalen: I think that worked. I’m seeing, there we go. All

[00:02:08] isaiah: Yeah. Yeah. Perfect. So yeah, I pulled this up. Um, I love, it’s actually so interesting to read the details, right? Like, so platform revenue grew by 22%, 2021, which kind of makes sense. Um, in terms of like growth and like, you know, people moving to the platforms and, and whatnot. Um, I think we’ll see that come down.

I mean, I, we all know 20, 22 is kind of. shitty recession year at this point. I don’t know, but it seems like that’s the case, right? So it’s probably gonna come down. I’m

[00:02:41] kalen: by the way, I can’t read it too. Well, if you want to zoom in, um, or if you don’t want me to really read it, then I don’t, I don’t have to, but it’s

[00:02:49] isaiah: No, no, hold on. Let me see if I can let’s is that working?

[00:02:55] kalen: yeah, it’s a little better. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a little better. Cool. Um,[00:03:00]

[00:03:00] isaiah: Yeah. And we don’t have, I don’t wanna read this verbatim, but like we

[00:03:03] kalen: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:03:04] isaiah: I think it’s kinda interesting to kind of like, I feel like no one actually like dives into the details and then so

[00:03:11] kalen: high level. It’s

[00:03:13] isaiah: Yeah. So they’re saying by 20 20%, which kinda makes sense. I’m gonna guess next year it’ll be more like 10 or 15%, um, just cuz of the economy and whatnot.

So here’s what I think is interesting. Some of the assumptions they make, um, 20, 23 B2C platforms will be 30%. See, what doesn’t make sense to me on that is like, I don’t think any of the platforms are getting cheaper. like, I don’t think like Adobe shop buy, they’re not lowering their prices from what I can tell.

So I don’t understand, are they saying the platform fees are gonna get less or the implementations are gonna be less? Uh, cuz I

[00:03:57] kalen: They’re saying,

[00:03:58] isaiah: are just not true. [00:04:00] like,

[00:04:00] kalen: right. So they’re, they’re saying aggregate fees are gonna decrease or in

[00:04:04] isaiah: I don’t know. It doesn’t really make sense. I don’t either one of those I disagree with cause like cost of goods are going like, dude, everyone, everything’s going up. like, how are they all sudden getting get cheaper? Like I just think that’s just so I’m gonna go ahead

[00:04:19] kalen: no sense.

[00:04:20] isaiah: a massive false

[00:04:22] kalen: This is, this is the roast of the Gartner report that has

[00:04:26] isaiah: I’m just like, explain to me when, like, how has that ever happened? Like our co I know we charge more like trellis charges more. I know my competitors charge more like, yeah, maybe you can try and like, get, get, get prices down with like Indian offshore, but then you’re basically just gonna end up making that money back, or you’re gonna end up spreading that money on communication, bad development, you know how it goes, right.

It’s like you save money on lower hours of rate, but like you end up paying for it one way or the other. So I just, I just don’t see how that

[00:04:56] kalen: at all. It says due to headless, like, what [00:05:00] is that?

[00:05:00] isaiah: Headless

[00:05:01] kalen: if

[00:05:01] isaiah: much more expensive.

[00:05:02] kalen: People are gonna be paying more for, so that, that makes

[00:05:06] isaiah: I do think certain things will get easier, right? Like certain features will be out of the box. You don’t have to like custom build certain things, but in general, I don’t think the platform fees will go down. I do think that there’ll be. More people will be able to live on Shopify and BigCommerce. And those will be like less expensive because of like maintenance costs will be down.

But like that doesn’t mean

[00:05:28] kalen: Maybe that’s what they mean. Right? Maybe they just mean people will spend less because they’re gonna migrate from the more expensive platforms to the less expensive platforms that, that I would agree with.

[00:05:42] isaiah: the way they word this makes no sense.

[00:05:44] kalen: Totally,

[00:05:45] isaiah: And they’re not saying which of those platforms are true, cuz by that logic, then everyone’s gonna move our move to Shopify eCommerce, which means they should be leaders in their reports. So we’ll get into that.

[00:05:55] kalen: I love it, dude. I love how dialed in you are to this stuff.

[00:05:59] isaiah: [00:06:00] 15% of be.

[00:06:00] kalen: just. I was talking to Ben actually about, uh, Ben marks, who who’s at shopper now about, um, obviously from magenta to shopper. And he mentioned the magic quadrant. He mentioned that shop has had some, some movement in whatever in the right direction there.

So we should, that’d be, that’d be interesting to, to talk about a little bit too. You’re probably

[00:06:20] isaiah: Yeah. Well, yeah, I wanna go through, I mean, if you think about this is actually gonna, like, we’re like, oh, even hour and a half, we have so much time. It’s actually gonna be hard to go through all

[00:06:28] kalen: gonna be hard. There’s so much. Yeah. There’s so much to roast. It’s gonna be

[00:06:32] isaiah: What’s interesting. As they’re saying only 15%, I’m not supposed, if that’s supposed to be like a higher number, if it’s like 5% now, as opposed to what, um, they’re saying we’ll use

[00:06:43] kalen: what is it? That’s gonna be 15%.

[00:06:46] isaiah: we’ll use digital commerce platforms to support both customers buying through B2B commerce and then sales reps in all sales activities.

I mean, that still seems like a really small number to me. So like, is that higher than what it [00:07:00] is now? Or, I mean, to me, B2B is still like so wide open. There’s so much room for growth there, but anyways, let’s, let’s keep going. Cause I

[00:07:08] kalen: that I, I apologize. I’ll get on the same wave wavelength as you quick quickly, but they’re saying that B2B e-com platform revenue is gonna go up by 15%

[00:07:20] isaiah: no, no, no. They’re just saying that they will use the platform. 15% of B2B organizations will use the platforms to support both like buying online and the sales reps in all sales activities, but 15% of organiz

[00:07:35] kalen: that’s not a lot. This is, this is a prediction for

[00:07:39] isaiah: 2020.

[00:07:41] kalen: for 2024. Okay. Okay. 15%.

[00:07:46] isaiah: Seems very low.

[00:07:47] kalen: is so, and, and you know, B you know, B2B possibly better. Anybody. I know in the econ ecosystem, we’re in, like, it’s such a weird, you think it’s low, but there’s so [00:08:00] many of these weird companies, right. That are like selling whatever they’re selling and like it’s gonna take them.

The whole digital transformation process is gonna take them forever. So like, um,

[00:08:12] isaiah: I mean, if they mean by like all sales will go through eCommerce and the like platform, then I could see that being a small percent, cuz like obviously some stuff’s still gonna be on the phone and offline and whatever UDI.

[00:08:25] kalen: yeah,

[00:08:26] isaiah: I, I’m not really sure what they mean by that, but uh, anyways, let’s

[00:08:31] kalen: Okay.

[00:08:31] isaiah: again,

[00:08:36] kalen: wrote this thing. Can you imagine how much money went into writing this thing in terms of the research in terms of,

[00:08:45] isaiah: just hire me for like I’ll I’ll.

[00:08:49] kalen: Hundred an hour hundred an hour.

[00:08:53] isaiah: I’ll I’ll uh, after five o’clock I’m a hundred an hour, you know, for like one hour a week. I only one hour a week though. [00:09:00] Um, 10% of digital, um, packaged business capabilities. That’s okay. Once again, I’m not really sure what this means. I think this means

[00:09:13] kalen: so weirdly written the thing is no, literally nobody reads. They look at the quadrant, they see which direction their platform moved and then they take that, they put it into their presentation deck and they call it a day. Like literally

[00:09:32] isaiah: They’re not like, well, based on this assumption in 2024 and yeah, uh, I think it just means they’ll do more out of the box stuff. Um, I think this is somewhat true. It cost will be less with SA. This kind of goes back to your point of prices will be less because of the sass operat.

[00:09:51] kalen: mm-hmm

[00:09:52] isaiah: That basically is saying that SAS is the way to go from a cost perspective. Um, [00:10:00] you know, organizations offering a unified commerce, moving customers, see at least a 20% up uplifting total revenue. Yeah. I mean, okay. So basically just having e-commerce is gonna make you grow faster, I guess.

[00:10:14] kalen: yeah.

[00:10:18] isaiah: so I’m trying to, like, I think these are just qualifications, so there are certain qualifications, like I think you have to be a certain size, um, and whatnot. Um, so that, you know, like you can’t just be like, you can’t have like two clients, like I think you have to be like a certain scale to even like qualify for this, which is why most of these are fairly large companies, right?

Like it’s not, not tiny companies on this list, so yeah. Um, I’d say, why don’t we like pick apart leaders challenge. Let’s go like quadrant by quadrant.

[00:10:53] kalen: Let’s do it. Let’s do it. Yeah. I love it. I love it. I’m

[00:10:56] isaiah: I feel like the leaders are just like the safe bet. Large [00:11:00] companies, right? Like three of those are like Salesforce, Adobe SAP tools is probably like the newest, like not, I don’t know, not like a traditional company in that mix of the four.

Um, I mean, think about it,

[00:11:16] kalen: the way,

[00:11:17] isaiah: Yeah.

[00:11:18] kalen: yeah, I was just say, um, um, do we have like, do we have the, the Delta from whatever it was last year? Like, is there a, is there a version of this where it shows where they are now and what they moved from or whatever in

[00:11:33] isaiah: Uh, I could find that. Yeah, we could definitely. Do you want, I mean, I could, uh, try and pull up. Uh, do you wanna do that while you well, on your screen go. So I did do that. What was funny is I did do that.

[00:11:44] kalen: find

[00:11:46] isaiah: So I looked at 2019 and this is, I think a really interesting point. Oracle was listed as a leader, Oracle, remember Oracle commerce and whatever it was ATG, they bought ATG and then Oracle commerce.

They’re [00:12:00] notice they’re off the list. They literally shut down their eCommerce platform. So like in three years you went from being a leader to off the list, which I, I think that just is like the perfect summary of how that making these decisions is not like going with a leader is actually very risky in my opinion.

Um, specifically I think SAP is a big risk to go with, like,

[00:12:28] kalen: Like,

[00:12:28] isaiah: honestly, like who does SAP, like a couple massive providers and that’s it like,

[00:12:33] kalen: yeah.

[00:12:34] isaiah: it’s like, you’re in such a small window of provider. Just like Oracle, was that like, to me, that’s actually a huge risk that you’re taking versus like some of these other platforms that actually have like a widespread community.

I really think community my voice is up community is like the most important

[00:12:53] kalen: Don’t get nervous. Don’t get Yeah, I’m kidding. No,

[00:12:58] isaiah: My voice.

[00:12:59] kalen: kidding. [00:13:00] Um, yeah, I think that, um, it’s funny because there’s this massive disconnect between, you know, if I talk to a developer that works with Magento and, and, and, and shop wear, or talk to somebody who’s into Shopify or, or a business owner, whatever, like they see this report and they go, this is all nonsense, you know, but to some, uh, people in C-suites of certain size companies, like they pay a lot of attention to this and they want to go.

A safe option that they’re not gonna get fired for that their board isn’t going to complain about. So they, they go

[00:13:39] isaiah: in 19

[00:13:41] kalen: a hundred percent, a hundred percent. But like for, but like, I think what you’re saying, the community, like the combination of what does the partner ecosystem look like? What does the developer community look like?

Like those are the things that I pay attention to. Um, and so like, yeah, if you see a strong community, you go, [00:14:00] yeah. There’s something like, this is the type of thing you should actually be wanting to build on. Um, but there’s this disconnect between those people that are high up in certain organizations, they just wanna go for the safe choice.

They could care less about the developer

[00:14:15] isaiah: I only, they actually understand what the safe choice is because the safe choice is what my, what I’m saying is not actually just because they have a bunch of legacy, large customers, right. I think the safe choices where the platform is going in the next three years. And, um, and that’s, that’s the thing that you need to be really thinking about is like, where is the traject.

I think Shopline BigCommerce were both like that niche play, uh, niche players. Not that long ago on this, on this chart right now, they’re high up on the challenger list. I, I mean, in my opinion,

[00:14:49] kalen: Yeah, I gotta, I gotta pull up the current version of this on my phone so I can see it a little E

[00:14:56] isaiah: maybe look at the old versions.

[00:14:57] kalen: you send me oh yeah. Did you [00:15:00] send me the link to this or is it just, I’m just

[00:15:02] isaiah: Uh, so you had to, like, I had to like go through the form. Like you have to like all the people, like put it online. You have to like put in your

[00:15:08] kalen: Oh, you know what? I’ll just take a, yeah, I’ll just take a picture of it. Okay, cool. Got it. Um, yeah, I mean the big commerce Shopify thing is interesting. Like for me, when I think about, um, when I think about big commerce, I see them as. Killing it. I see their growth. I see the way the, I see the partners moving over there.

I see super smart people. I know, moving in house with them. I see agencies moving to them. Right. So to me they’re becoming like the standard for a certain type of a mid-market like merchant or agency,

[00:15:40] isaiah: Yeah. Like a B2B mid-market yeah,

[00:15:43] kalen: Yeah. Like, but that’s not gonna really be reflected, you know?

[00:15:47] isaiah: no, no. Cause you’re like, oh, well I should go with like SAP or Adobe or yeah. Yeah, definitely. And then it also, like, this is misleading cause you’re like, oh, well like maybe big commerce is similar to HCL. Like who the who’s on [00:16:00] HTL dude. Do you know anyone on HTL? It’s like,

[00:16:05] kalen: like, like E like literally like, like nobody know I’m gonna start asking people, I’m gonna start asking them what it is. And I promise you nobody’s gonna have any clue what, what that even

[00:16:18] isaiah: bought IBM’s platform. IBM WebSphere. And it’s like a merger of IBM and like they have their own eCommerce and it’s like, but it’s, once again, it’s like, it’s just very, like, I think the reason this is somewhat misleading is just because if you’re a 10 person business, like you probably are just gonna go to Shopify, right.

Like Shopify is the obvious choice for like a tiny little business. And then it’s like your midmarket, like you’re probably ruling out half these options just on price alone. You know what I mean? Like, so

[00:16:50] kalen: Cuz the price is too

[00:16:51] isaiah: yeah, the price too high. Yeah. So it’s like, it really kind of depends on where you are in the market.

And then I think if you’re enterprise, like I’m a [00:17:00] big believer that like headless is the way to go. And if headless is the way to go, like I also don’t. I think headless kind of derails the whole concept of a platform to begin with. Like we’re doing projects that are completely custom headless where it’s, um, in some cases we’re using an open source framework called reaction commerce, just like a no JS kind of library and stuff like that, because it’s like art, if you’re gonna go custom headless, you might as well have complete flexibility, right?

Like that’s the whole value. And if you’re gonna spend millions of dollars,

[00:17:30] kalen: right,

[00:17:31] isaiah: why would you want a hundred percent flexibility and not be like, oh, this platform can’t do that. And X, Y, Z.

[00:17:37] kalen: right,

[00:17:37] isaiah: I think this whole market is like you a weird spot because youre either going with kind of the lower options or like, I really think you might want to consider custom headless

[00:17:47] kalen: right. And it’s, there’s a lot of like, there’s a lot of apples to oranges stuff going on. Like you’re saying with, even thinking about these. So on, on the headless one, you’re talking about using the reaction thing on the front end [00:18:00] for like a front end and on the back end. Oh, that’s on the back end.

[00:18:04] isaiah: We’re using react, react front end is kind of our standard. So like, and that’s gonna be the case for most of like head list builds. I mean, yeah, you could do like view or view storefront, but whatever viewer reacts, you have that whole like standardized layer, which is kind of the beauty, right?

Like your front end is standardized and then the back end can be whatever you want. So like, our website is actually pulling trellis website is pulling from not, we’re mostly pulling from WordPress, but we’re, uh, also pulling from, uh, an events platform for our events. We’re pulling from a careers ATS, we’re pulling from a partnership platform. Um, so our partners page is now powered by, uh, a different tech. So we’re we’re and then we’re, we’re actually gonna be adding

[00:18:48] kalen: that’s cool.

[00:18:49] isaiah: stuff. So we’re gonna be pulling from like five or 10 different things at any one given by the time it’s like more mature.

[00:18:55] kalen: I have so many questions popping up about all this stuff. So you guys are gonna add [00:19:00] eCommerce to your trellis website. You’re gonna sell some

[00:19:03] isaiah: have it. Cause we sell AWS managed services and it’s just such a pain to get people to pay for like a small recurring item. So we actually manage that on like a standalone Magento site, but we wanna make it a more like kind of unified, kinda better experience in that like all part of trellis, you know?

So we’re migrating.

[00:19:22] kalen: And so then with reaction, uh, commerce, uh, how does that stack up against commerce tools? Cause commerce tools is kind of the main

[00:19:29] isaiah: Well it’s free.

[00:19:30] kalen: I think about a really, truly API. Oh, okay. gotcha.

[00:19:36] isaiah: free. That’s a pretty big plus. Uh, yeah, I mean, I’m guessing some of these people are hundreds of thousands of dollars on licensing fees. Uh, it’s completely open source. We have a hundred percent flexibility it’s built in no JS, which we like, because you’re kind of like getting the full JavaScript stack from front to.

um, which means like your developers be like a full stack JavaScript guide and you don’t have to have like, [00:20:00] someone that knows like this other backend, that’s like maybe not intuitive to like a JavaScript developer. Um, and, uh, you know, it’s just, it’s just very different, right? It’s like how kind of like comparing a do magenta to like Shopify, you know?


[00:20:16] kalen: sometimes it’s just like, you have a developer on your team or somebody that goes, Hey, this looks cool. I like it. Let’s go with it. You’re not even necessarily doing a whole competitive analysis against every other product out there. You just go, Hey, this looks good. We like X, Y, and

[00:20:31] isaiah: no, we’ve actually looked at like about 30 deep dive into about 30 headless options.

[00:20:37] kalen: oh, okay. Okay. So you have looked deeply at commerce tools.

[00:20:40] isaiah: looked at everything pretty deeply.

[00:20:42] kalen: Okay.

[00:20:43] isaiah: Yeah. I mean, when we’re still like every once in a while, I’ll be like, can we revisit this guys? Like I try and almost do like an audit once a year to make sure like things change. And it has changed. Like sometimes we’re like, oh, this guy has improved. So we’re gonna like take them more seriously

[00:20:57] kalen: Right. Cause like, for me, I [00:21:00] don’t like, I’m pretty far from the implementation details, but I just, I see in terms of which platforms and ecosystems and developer communities seem like they’re popping and thriving. And to me, if you’re talking headless API, first commerce tools seems really strong. I, I don’t really know the

[00:21:17] isaiah: get me wrong. They’re they’re crushing it. Yeah. So let’s, let’s get into the leaders, right. They’re certainly probably the most like forward thinking in the right place. I think as a leader, in that sense, the reason we just haven’t done much with them is frankly, it’s like the chicken of the egg problem.

Like one, we don’t have anyone using it. And two, you know, I have to freaking, I think people don’t realize like how hard it is for an agency to get into a new platform. Cuz like if I’m gonna move into a new platform, I need to be able to do it. Not just once I need to be able to repeat. Doing it once is probably a loss for me.

Like I’m, if I’m going to, I need to be able to continue to do it. Meaning I need to sell it over again. Are they gonna bring me business? I don’t, I’m gonna [00:22:00] be at the bottom of the tier of the partner

[00:22:01] kalen: yep. Yep. Like,

[00:22:03] isaiah: to me. They have massive partners. Right. And so like, they haven’t

[00:22:08] kalen: into a partner program, like the amount of times I’ve heard somebody say that about the Magento partner program or whatever, it’s like, you know, get at a certain maturity level for a given partner program. Like you’re gonna pay money to get in it and you’re not gonna get anything out of it

[00:22:23] isaiah: gonna be the bottom. You’re the bottom of the, unless you have some really. Yeah.

[00:22:27] kalen: And then you have to basically figure out how to turn that into a lead generation channel by whatever you do, communicating with your channel partner, carving out a really clear niche, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, building your own audience, building your platform. It’s a whole thing.

So yeah, like now if you’re at the, at the early stage of a partner program, like whatever big commerce was at a couple years ago where they were just wanting to snatch up Magento partners left and right. And that was extremely valuable to them and they didn’t have a lot of partners, [00:23:00] but they, they were very, uh, probably,

[00:23:03] isaiah: We sort that bet. Right. Because we felt like we had a chance to become their top partner. And I think we’re, we’re moving in that direction. Right. Um, but, uh, it’s a, it’s a very difficult bet because one, you have to get like projects going. You have to train people, you have to sell like clients on it.

When you don’t have like a large portfolio in the platform, which some people can call your bluff. Like how many big commerce sites have you done? Like, or like, let’s say we got a commerce tools project and they’re like, can you show me your commerce tools portfolio? It’s like, we, we, we almost just have to, like, let’s say we did our first commerce tools project.

We’d probably just be like, yeah, we had had less experience, but. We, we wouldn’t like, we wouldn’t be able to show them like a commerce tools portfolio. Right? Like, it’s the same thing with Salesforce. Like, I would love to do Salesforce, but like I’m competing against all the biggest e-commerce agencies in the world.

If I start doing it, like, why would they go to trellis? Like, it’s just a very difficult thing to get, you[00:24:00]

[00:24:00] kalen: Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting how platform selection, both as a merchant and as an agency, deciding where to specialize is like super complicated and, and everybody has their biases cuz once, you know, once you’re in a platform you’re bought in, you’re connected, you you’ve put in the work to, you know, build out your portfolio.

It’s not easy to

[00:24:23] isaiah: it’s a product

[00:24:24] kalen: your whole

[00:24:24] isaiah: right? Like if, if you’re a shop by agency and shop by dies, like you’re, you’re, you’re you’re screwed. Are we allowed to swear on this?

[00:24:33] kalen: Oh yeah. Oh hell. Oh, yeah, go nuts, man. We can get wild. We can get wild. You’re fucked.

[00:24:39] isaiah: is a lot of people saw that with the Magento ecosystem changing, which is why a lot of the smaller Magento shop sold. And I think they were right to sell. The only reason we didn’t sell is cause we diversified into Shopify and BigCommerce and headless

[00:24:52] kalen: cuz you’re ballers. That’s why

[00:24:53] isaiah: We’re, we’re, we’re very, uh, we have the vision, we had the vision to expand and, uh, yeah, [00:25:00] exactly. But a lot of those other companies just, they were like, you know, it, they, it probably made sense for them to sell because the, the transition diversification was too hard, you know?

[00:25:08] kalen: And, you know yeah. And selling is fine. Like, Hey man, uh, you know, getting a nice little exit. That’s great. That’s, that’s cool. But there’s something cool about like in a day when everybody is selling, right. It’s cool. The companies that don’t for whatever reason, because it takes a level of conviction. Like I was talking to Ben marks about, um, the shop wear, uh, guy.

So I’m not trying to pitch shop wear so hard. It’s

[00:25:33] isaiah: Yeah, we’ll get to it. We’ll get to it for sure. They’re on the list. Definitely.

[00:25:37] kalen: But, but he was, but he was talking about how the founders really are not looking for an exit at all. They believe in open source. They, you know, and whether it’s that, or like your scenario where it’s cool. Like, I think it’s cool when people have conviction and in what they’re doing.

And so, um, you know, if it forces you to think longer term, which is [00:26:00] generally, always better, um, you know, and a lot of people they’re stuck in an ecosystem, so they have to sell that thing. They need the license fee, they gotta sell X amount of licenses stay in the program. So now they’re,

[00:26:11] isaiah: the, yeah.

[00:26:13] kalen: and now they’re selling you something as the merchant that you don’t necessarily need, but it’s what they need sell

So it’s like, it’s a, it’s a weird.

[00:26:21] isaiah: go straight to the platform and that’s a big risk because when you go straight to the platform, then the platform’s gonna connect you with the partner that partner’s gonna have to sell you the platform, cuz they don’t wanna mess up the relationship with the platform.

And then, um, you know, if you go straight to the agency, the agency might not have, you know, unbiased feedback about the options, because like you said, you know, we try when some of ’em straight to us, we try and be pretty unbias. But, you know, we’re not experts in every platform in the world. Um, I’m a very up to speed as much as I can be about the options.

So I, I talk about them in the sense, like, Hey, go, you know, go get a quote, you can go [00:27:00] get a quote from Salesforce, commerce, quote, it’s probably gonna be pretty expensive. And the agency’s probably gonna be pretty expensive. Right. But, um, you know, so yeah. It’s

[00:27:09] kalen: very few like very few agencies, even agencies who are in theory, supposed to be the broad experts on the whole ecosystem. Very few know a lot of platforms, very deeply. Cuz you kind of pick 1, 2, 3, you go deep there, you

[00:27:26] isaiah: I mean, I believe can I throw this out there?

[00:27:30] kalen: Oh yeah.

[00:27:31] isaiah: Ready? I believe trellis and something I’m very proud of. We might be the most competent agency that can do complex Magento projects, Shopify projects, big commerce projects and headless project. So, like we could do a million dollar project on big commerce, Magento, Shopify, and headless, well, like actually execute well on those, when I say million dollar project, I’m talking like [00:28:00] international rollout, E R P integration, custom, you know, crazy shit.

Right. Like as well as

[00:28:07] kalen: and I,

[00:28:07] isaiah: S we

[00:28:08] kalen: and like,

[00:28:09] isaiah: we don’t get a lot of million dollar projects. I’m just saying I’m using that as an example.

[00:28:13] kalen: no, and I, I mean, I like, like, I, I believe that like, without knowing obviously any of the details, like seeing your growth trajectory, I mean, I know you told me how many team members you have. I don’t know if that you you’re comfortable sharing

[00:28:27] isaiah: Yeah. It’s about

[00:28:28] kalen: you got, dude, you’ve got 90 people, like a lot of like a lot of agencies, you get 10, 20, you hit that 30 mark, and then, you know, things it’s, it’s, it’s very hard to hit that level of scale.

Now, again, in this industry, if you’re doing SAP or Salesforce, you might have an agency that has 5,000 people and that’s a totally different beast,

[00:28:49] isaiah: Well, they’re getting those. The average deal is like, I think I talked to one of the Salesforce guys. He sold the agency. He said their average deal before he sold the business was like 800 grand or like 900 [00:29:00] grand . So his average, like project was like 900 grand. Like

[00:29:05] kalen: Yeah. It’s like

[00:29:06] isaiah: that was us, but we wouldn’t get many sales, but that was our

[00:29:11] kalen: yeah. It’s like this totally different world where very different variables drive, purchasing decisions. There’s a lot of weirdness in BS, but like in our world that has sprung from the Magento community. And I keep thinking of this phrase, this scattered tribes of the Magento community that, you know, you’re doing big co you’re in different.

I think I might actually, I might have coined that, but like in our world, like in our world, like you, like trellis is like, I, I like you are having a level of success without having gotten acquired. You know, I think about like friends that I like, they were on a track and they had a really strong culture and then they got acquired and that’s cool.

Like that’s, you know, that’s great. Um, but.

[00:29:57] isaiah: culture just gets kind of sad after that. [00:30:00] it’s like

[00:30:02] kalen: Physicians are complicated. I, I will say that for sure. But, um, but yeah, so like when you say that there’s something about it that rings true to me. And, you know, you were honest about the fact that you don’t necessarily know everything there is to know about commerce tools, but at the same time, even just the fact that you can be honest about that and you go, Hey,

[00:30:21] isaiah: We look into CTO, do an audit. I had my director of head list do an audit, but like an audit is not like doing a project. Like it’s still not the same as there’s probably shit. That’s amazing about that because,

[00:30:34] kalen: And like, and like, if you would’ve, if you would’ve said trellis is the best agency at any eCommerce site in the planet, I would’ve said that’s, that’s an overstep, but you specifically said, right. Magento big commerce shop by head list. That’s that’s like your realm,

[00:30:51] isaiah: here’s how we can do that. Is we cross train, right? So we are building a tailwind CSS theme for Shopline big commerce. And we [00:31:00] use tailwind on react. So it’s like

[00:31:01] kalen: I love

[00:31:02] isaiah: some of the stuff that we do on one platform applies to all of them. Like a lot of the apps carry over, like a lot of the eCommerce exper, like it’s not like these platforms, you know, are completely night and day different.

Right. So, and some of our headless projects are on BigCommerce or on magenta or on Shopify. So like there’s a lot of intermingling between the four kind of tech stacks. Um, and so there’s a lot that kind of goes into, but I don’t want to Ellis. Let’s get back to.

[00:31:32] kalen: no, no, no. And, and I, and, and I didn’t, I didn’t think it was and listen, man. Like I, like, I think you should, you know, if you’re have, if you’re, nobody can build a business without believing what they’re doing, and I think it’s cool that you have that level of pride in what you’ve built. And I, you know, I think it’s, I think it’s, I I’m totally down for it.

And if I didn’t agree with it, if somebody said something that I was like, eh, I would I’d push back on it. But, um, [00:32:00] but, but yeah, so yeah, so, um, there’s a bunch of, there’s a bunch of, but let me ask you this because I, I don’t quite like I was looking at Shopify big commerce in the challengers quadrant. What exactly does it mean that big commerce is a little further to the right on the horizontal axis and Shopify is further to the

[00:32:23] isaiah: yeah, I think what they mean is ability to execute is like more sites live kind of like it’s more a volume play, right? So like Shopify has the most sites. So if you notice they’re actually the highest on the chart, even though they’re not a leader.

[00:32:38] kalen: Right.

[00:32:39] isaiah: So I think it’s more about like a number of like, you know, if you have a lot of successful implementations, it’s kind of like, all right, we know you can do this.

Right. Whereas completeness of vision, I think is more about forward thinking, which is why commerce tools are so far to the right, because they’re a little bit further on the head list side. um, and I think big Congress is a little bit farther [00:33:00] ahead in terms of like head lists and some of the more kind of forward thinking stuff than, than shop flyers.

Although, you know, I’m sure that’ll change, but that’s what I think that that’s, I think the very high level, uh, from my understanding, but more to it, but let’s, so let’s go into like Salesforce, right? That they’re they’re technically, I would say. And I think that’s somewhat justified as the number one player, like in terms of overall, because they have so many massive clients and they do have like a decent customer base.

And I feel like their community is still like relatively strong, although it’s, it’s not as big of a community as like Magento or Shopify, big commerce, but like the agencies that do it, I feel like are thriving pretty well from what I’ve seen. Uh, would you agree with that or.

[00:33:49] kalen: I remember talking to a buddy of mine whose agency, you know, did a lot of mento, started getting into Salesforce stuff. And I was surprised when he, I don’t know a lot of people that do Salesforce stuff, [00:34:00] but I a few. And I remember I was surprised that he said, I thought his developers were gonna hate it.

Like, remember we talk a bit about like, where, where the developers going. Where’s that ecosystem? And I didn’t know anything about Salesforce. I thought he was gonna say, oh, you know, maybe it pays well, but developers hate it. He goes the front end, whatever the front end stack is that they, that they, that they had, he goes, they love it.

He goes, they, they, they, yeah. And I, and I don’t know anything about the details. I just remember being surprised that he was like, yeah, they love it. It’s great. Blah, blah, blah. I think the documentation was good. He said it was lacking in like a community in the way that Magento has this

[00:34:37] isaiah: they need to make it easier to get into. I think that’s their mistake, right? Like they should be like, Hey, trellis, come be a Salesforce partner. We’ll give you some smaller deals. Like a small deal for them is probably like a big deal for us. But like, they don’t really, they don’t do that. Right. Like they, they, um, they’re happy with their massive

[00:34:56] kalen: Their partner program is probably so.

[00:34:58] isaiah: like

[00:34:59] kalen: [00:35:00] Yeah,

[00:35:01] isaiah: huge guys, huge guys. I mean, like, we would be like one of their smallest partners if we did it. Right. You’re like, you’re 90 people. Like, that’s amazing. It’s like in the Salesforce ecosystem, we’re like tiny, we’re like a little drop in the bucket, you know? So

[00:35:17] kalen: yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:35:18] isaiah: and like I saw, I mean, I’ve talked, we, we, we know, uh, a lot of folks at blue acorn very well.

Like, do you remember blue acorn? They diversified into Salesforce. So they kind of did the opposite of were like, we went Shopify, big commerce and head list and they were like, okay, gen so is here, but we’re gonna go Salesforce, which is even like more upmarket. And I think it worked in some sense, but I think it was really expensive. In that process, because like, once again, it’s like hiring people for that. Like, it’s so hard to hire anyone that knows it. And anyone that knows it is probably ridiculously expensive. Cuz there’s, you know, like, like you said, I mean, how many, like people do you know that are like worst commerce cloud [00:36:00] developers, you know,

[00:36:01] kalen: Yeah. It’s a, it’s a, it’s like what? I don’t, it’s one of those things, it seems like the ecosystem is kind of opaque. Like, I don’t even know if you can use it unless you have a license. I don’t really totally understand it. I just,

[00:36:15] isaiah: yeah. I think you have to be a partner and a license. You can’t just like get a free trial. I don’t think maybe I could be wrong.

[00:36:22] kalen: I thi I wanna say that’s the case and even just the fact that neither of us actually knows.

Is telling of the fact that it’s like, it’s not a, it’s not like an op, like, you know, it’s interesting because a lot of people have moved away from open source, but then even outside of strictly being open source, there’s the concept of like, are you an open community? Um, I think like, I think big commerce might have come up with the term open SAS or something

[00:36:51] isaiah: Yeah, they did. I don’t think anything. Got it though. I think they, I think they moved away from it, cuz it was just confusing and no one knows what it means.

[00:36:58] kalen: oh, okay. Yeah. But [00:37:00] I think like, and I don’t even know exactly what it means, but I, but there’s like a, there’s a sense in which like, is this any, can I get into this? Can I try the product? Can I tell my developers to play with it? Or do we have to do some whole dance with a salesperson and a partner program before we can even get in the front door?

Um, that you know, is, is

[00:37:22] isaiah: Well, I think a while back, I looked at the partner program and they were like, how many Salesforce, commerce sites have you done? It’s like, okay. So I have to like do sites to become a partner, but how do I do sites? I not a partner. Right. You know, like

[00:37:33] kalen: yeah. yeah, yeah,

[00:37:35] isaiah: platforms understand that, like they’re kind of shooting themselves in the foot because they’re making their own ecosystem really expensive when it doesn’t have to be, you know what I

[00:37:44] kalen: Yeah. I think, yeah. I think long term they’re shooting themselves in the foot. It’s one of these things they’re making so much money, short term. They have all these deals and all this lead flow and all these huge businesses. They’re making a ton of money, but long term, the Shopifys the big [00:38:00] commerces. You look at their growth trajectories.

They’re gonna, they’re gonna eventually they’ll eat into it. It, it might take 10, 20, 30 years, but all these like sort of dinosaur platforms with, you know, with their closed ecosystems are gonna eventually die out. It’s just a matter of,

[00:38:18] isaiah: Well, I think either you’re gonna go more custom headless, right? Cause if your budget’s that big, you can hire a CTO. You can build an in-house team and hire trellis. Like a lot of our headless clients, they have their own development team plus us, and they can afford that because let’s say they have a $3 million budget, you know, a million goes to their inhouse team, you know, half million goes to tr I I’m just kinda making up these numbers.

Right. And now you can build like a world class headless infrastructure and wouldn’t, you rather have that than some, you know, cookie cutter platform that anyone else can buy. Right. Like now you have a competitive advantage in this headless. Plus you can get rid of a lot of unnecessary license costs in doing that and then go best to breed on the back [00:39:00] end.

So just go straight into the, the back office systems that you need instead of having kind of this middle layer of eCommerce, that a lot of these. So I think that you’re gonna see like, kind of like you either go that route in the upper market or you go, like you said, the shop five big commerce down market, cuz you wanna save money.

You know what I mean? It’s like, if you’re trying

[00:39:19] kalen: yeah. Yeah. That makes,

[00:39:22] isaiah: you either you might as well go the obvious money saving route, which is pretty much shop five big commerce or you might as well go like the best to breed headless route and just have like a badass website. You know what I mean?

Like I, to me that that is the, the decision you have.

[00:39:39] kalen: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. The thing that I, the, the thing that I don’t understand very well, and I know you’re huge, uh, proponent of headless is how, like, to what extent are you re having to reinvent the wheel on this whole and, and building out a whole entire front end. And now you got a custom build wishlist

[00:39:58] isaiah: mean, you can go in our GitHub [00:40:00] and look at our react library. There’s next JS commerce over, I’d say in the next three years, you’re gonna have like a lot of react based component libraries of all the front end. So the front end’s gonna get really easy. Right. Because you’ll have all the components

[00:40:13] kalen: you just have a bunch of component libraries that are, that are really easy to use.

[00:40:18] isaiah: exactly.

And then it’s just having the APIs. Right. And then, so big Congress already has like a starter SDK kit for headless. Uh, obviously Shopify is already gonna move forward with their. , you know, what is it called? Oxygen hydrogen thing. Um, you have like reaction commerce type stuff, plus just anything with APIs, you just plug into the front end.

Right. So, you know, we were able to like throw up the partner, like we moved to this partner system and we were able to just like put it on our website in like a matter of like a day,

[00:40:49] kalen: Right. Totally

[00:40:51] isaiah: and moved away from our custom. It was all in WordPress. And we just like, now it’s just powered by this like partner hub thing that manages all of our partnerships.

So we have like a central [00:41:00] place, our partner data.

[00:41:02] kalen: It’s so nice when you can just get, like, I like, this is not anywhere near the same scale, but like I I’ve been working on a new site and I use like a. it’s like a no code site builder and it, it, it, it integrates with air table and stuff, but like in the like com just comparing to back when I’d write every, everything from, I’d write a bunch of code from scratch to do something.

And now I can click a few buttons. I can throw up a login system. I can throw up a list of records, a search, whatever. It’s just so nice, dude. Like what you’re describing with the partner program. Like you, you just, boom, you plug it in you’re, you know, it works well enough. It integrates well enough. And like that would’ve been a whole entire project, but now it’s just like done and you can get on to actually thinking about your partner program itself.

How can I make the program? Who do I want to actually partner with? What are the right Nu like you can just,

[00:41:54] isaiah: Air table headless. I feel like that’s, that’s like a play there, right? Like[00:42:00]

[00:42:00] kalen: dude I’m so into it.

[00:42:02] isaiah: on the back, you

[00:42:04] kalen: Oh, it’s yeah, it’s, it’s dope. There’s this, there’s this tool called softer. That builds you a website off of air table as your backend. And I, I just, I love it.

[00:42:13] isaiah: So let’s, let’s, uh, let’s run through this. Uh, so I think what is important is like, the cautions, right? Like every PLA platform is gonna have its strengths. Right. I mean, I say Salesforce obviously great at enterprise sounds like the front end’s great to work with. They have a lot of huge merchants.

They can clearly handle like massive scale and large, like, you know, Adidas type clients. But yeah, it’s the, it’s the, it looks like they’re, they’re making some transitions to lightning. So it’s kind of like the magenta two thing where you’re probably gonna have to do a bunch of upgrades. Uh it’s the Salesforce, uh, like development kind of like platform.

So I think they’re trying to standardize around lightning, which is smart, to be honest, cuz like what, what they’ll probably do [00:43:00] is that if you’re like a lightning developer, you could work on any of the Salesforce products, including commerce, which will help their ecosystem.

[00:43:07] kalen: When you say, when you say lightning, I’m not actually familiar. Is that, is that like some kind of a

[00:43:14] isaiah: it’s uh, It’s like a framework. Um, it’s kind of like their no code tool. Um, I’m not like an expert on it by any means.

[00:43:26] kalen: lightning web components. Oh, I see. It’s it’s like web. Okay. It’s like UI components. Okay. Got it. Got

[00:43:31] isaiah: Yeah, exactly. So I’m sure there’s like a development layer below it, but I think the goal

[00:43:37] kalen: yeah,

[00:43:37] isaiah: like once you know it, in theory, you could like, if they have it for commerce, then you can do it for like the, all the other stuff that they have. You know what I mean? So it’s pretty enterprise, but it’s definitely smart that I think they’re doing that, but that upgrade process I’m sure is gonna be painful.

[00:43:51] kalen: Right. It’s basically like their version of what you were describing with the different react component libraries for, um, [00:44:00] uh, you know, little UI components for website stuff in general, but also commerce specific, um, uh, component libraries, which go, which is like the smart move. I think for a company like that, right.

Is to, is to use whatever the best component for UI components are out there. Even if they’re open source. Right. And tie those in, instead of creating a whole proprietary thing, you know, this whole, this whole,

[00:44:30] isaiah: Yeah. The problem is like, what do you choose? Right. Like you gotta, you gotta make sure you pick the right horse. And I think that’s like, we saw what happened with Adobe. They picked some weird shit that like no one uses, you know what I mean? so we make those bets, we make those bets. So like we’re very heavily invested in tail NCS.

Like they seem to be taking over. They’re kind of like a new age version. Yeah.

[00:44:53] kalen: is massive tailwind I’ve I used it myself. It’s one of those things. People see it, they love it. Um, [00:45:00] Adam, what’s his name? Wa wain is a genius. I mean, it’s, it’s um, it’s incredible. And it’s a, it’s another one of these, again, grassroots things that like maybe the big companies don’t get, but eventually they will because eventually it’ll, you know, it’ll,

[00:45:17] isaiah: I think the companies that get it are the companies that actually have in-house developers. So, and I think we’re gonna move more in that direction as develop, like this stuff becomes so important. It’s like, you can’t just like outsource everything. You know what I mean?

[00:45:30] kalen: it’s, I think it’s companies that have in-house developers, but also who listen to their in-house developers, cuz there’s lots of companies that have a thousand developers on their it team

[00:45:41] isaiah: They have no, like say they just like drones.

[00:45:44] kalen: Yeah, they’re working on, they’re working on co bases. They absolutely hate, you know, you know, they work with fun, cool technology and they’re nice and weekends on side projects and they, and they dream that one day, their day job would

[00:45:57] isaiah: I’ll get to work on like react and yeah. [00:46:00] React and tailwind. And it’s like, no, that could just be reality. Like that doesn’t have to be a dream, you know?

[00:46:05] kalen: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:46:07] isaiah: God. Yeah. I mean, it seems like where there, where there it’s just expensive and if you have to add some custom stuff, I could see that soon as it’s not open source, I could see that being a problem.

And that’s some of the same issues you might run into with shop fire BigCommerce, where if they can’t do it outta the box or an app, doesn’t do it. It can get pretty expensive to like build, you know, that’s where the Adobe, um, shop wear, or like the custom head list comes into play where like, that’s where we do a lot of upfront requirements capturing.

Cause we wanna avoid like, oh shit, we gotta like build this like custom app for this SAS platform that wasn’t intended to like handle this kind of.

[00:46:44] kalen: Yeah. Like I’ve, I’ve heard like as hard as it is to find like a good Magento developer, like I’ve heard, you know, if you want to build something, some custom Shopify plus integration over the APIs and, and it’s not a trivial thing that’s handled by an app it’s [00:47:00] an E R P integration or whatever it is like to find somebody that can do that well knows the API as well is, is not, is not trivial.


[00:47:10] isaiah: Well, when you build a custom private app, you’re like basically building custom software. So what happens is I see this, I see I’ve seen some companies really struggle with this is they bought shop by or whatever. And then now they have to like have a custom app and it’s like, well, you have Shopify, but now you’re actually relying on custom software.

And you’re kind of like moving in the direction of like, okay, well, okay, who’s maintaining that. Is that a third party as an

[00:47:33] kalen: Yep.

[00:47:34] isaiah: You’ve seen some where they have no documentation. They want us to take it over. Someone else wrote it. It’s like mess. And then we do blame. So we’ve gotten a lot smarter about dealing with that.

but, uh, you can see that happening on the Salesforce side.

[00:47:46] kalen: Yeah. It’s like it’s.

[00:47:48] isaiah: price could get, I bet you could end up spending like insane money on the licensing. You know,

[00:47:52] kalen: Yeah, I could see that. I mean, it, it’s interesting. You put it that way basically whether you’re SAS or not, if you’re a certain [00:48:00] size company, you are going to be dealing with custom software, you know, maybe it’s a

[00:48:05] isaiah: how companies don’t understand is they just think that they can buy everything, but at a certain point you have to embrace the fact that you’re probably gonna need custom something, you know, otherwise, like if you throw then you’re just so basic that what’s your value prop. You know what I mean?


[00:48:23] kalen: right.

[00:48:23] isaiah: then someone just copy what you do, like super easily, right? If you can just like buy a software and just do it, you know,

[00:48:29] kalen: right, right. And then that’s. And then that’s where, you know, to the extent that the software is commoditized commoditized, then if you’re really strong at brand, you’re really strong at marketing, um, selling the product and the product itself. Cool. Like if that’s your differentiation.

Cool. But if, um, you know, if it’s not that you’re not Kanye west, you could

[00:48:54] isaiah: But it’s easier and easier. I feel like to commoditize a brand, right? Like you spend, you know, 23 [00:49:00] grand on a cool, like brand package and storytelling. And I, uh, going back to that documentary stuff that we’re talking about, there’s a cool one on, and one, do you remember, and one, you do, I don’t know if you play basketball or anything like that, or

[00:49:13] kalen: Uh, it sounds, oh, and one, it, it sounds familiar. I, I

[00:49:16] isaiah: tape. It’s like the street ball.

[00:49:19] kalen: yeah. Yeah.

[00:49:21] isaiah: So they were crushing it. And the Nike came in and just like fucking destroyed them. And they just like turned out and sold the company and now it like barely exists. so like, the point is like brand I think is also not enough, right? Like you need, I think a combination of brand and some sort of, kind of unique operations and custom software.

Maybe that’s hard to replicate. Right? Because a bigger brand can just say, oh, these guys are doing this. Nike’s like, oh, street ball is important. Let’s just get all the best basketball players and make a cool street ball commercial. And that’s what they did. You know, like bigger brands, just like destroy your [00:50:00] brand by just putting more money into the concept of brand the same concept.

You know what I mean?

[00:50:05] kalen: Yeah, that kind of makes sense. I mean, basketball and stuff and is such a, and, um, sport, you know, Nike is such a, such a unique case, but like, for example, you know, let’s say you’re selling O milk or something like that. Right. and like, like, I’ll see these oat

[00:50:22] isaiah: monetize, right? They’re on Shopify actually, you know,

[00:50:26] kalen: Yep. Yep. I remember thinking about them and it’s like, okay. Like, like to what extent, like, I don’t know if they have custom software or not, but like, okay. Some people are into alternative milks, you know, like we’re like, my wife is huge on almond milk. She got me into

[00:50:42] isaiah: right? Like you need to be really,

[00:50:44] kalen: product itself. Yeah. The product itself.


[00:50:48] isaiah: Yeah. Cause like, what’s the, what’s the milk company? What, what are they called? Uh, the big one feel like there’s like the big, uh, hood hood, right?

[00:50:57] kalen: is that the milk? Are they

[00:50:59] isaiah: be like awkward [00:51:00] building an milk factory.

Now we make Oak milk. You know what I mean? Like, and we’re gonna hire trellis looking brand. It’s called hood Lee instead of Oley

[00:51:09] kalen: Right, right, right. Yeah. And then the question is.

[00:51:14] isaiah: so easy to replicate and I think, uh, well, in my mind, it’s easy. I think that corporate politics make it hard. Right. But it’s actually not that hard, you

[00:51:24] kalen: Yeah. And like, yeah. It’s like sometimes the smaller company can come up with something and then the bigger company in theory they could have, but they just don’t or

[00:51:34] isaiah: Well, they have to sit in like 20 board rooms and convince like 50 people to do like one small thing. That’s pretty much what I’ve learned about being the Evangel DRO. Small company is you just don’t have the bullshit of bureaucracy. And as soon as you start creating that, even we struggle with that at 90 people, you’re like, oh shit.

We’re like losing our competitive advantage. You know what I mean?

[00:51:53] kalen: Totally, totally. Yeah.

[00:51:55] isaiah: 10 people to make a decision that should really only be one person, you know,

[00:51:59] kalen: yeah. Like when [00:52:00] I think about what’s happening, when I think about the Magento. Ecosystem Magento open source, Hiva Hova, Adobe commerce, and all the stuff that they’re doing. Um, and it’s funny because now that I’m gonna go to meet magenta New York and I, I, I feel I’m gonna be hanging out with people from Adobe.

I don’t want to be a jerk about it, but I feel like when I’m, when I’m just being completely raw and honest, I feel like they’re, you know, they just don’t get it. Like, there’s so many things that they just don’t and then you see a small team, like, like, uh, Hova, it’s like four people. And they’re just, they’re absolutely like reinventing the front front end in the way that it should actu

[00:52:51] isaiah: right? Like now the front end of Adobe is HOA and

[00:52:54] kalen: a hundred percent. But, and yet at the same time, I hope that they don’t sell because [00:53:00] even though in theory, it would be good for them to buy it and make it the front end if they did. I’m sure it would all become a nightmare at that point cuz that, you know yeah. Yeah. Like I think about what happened with blue foot, like blue foot, like Dave McCauley built this super cool.

[00:53:18] isaiah: It’s age builder now. Right? I think they repurposed it in the page.

[00:53:21] kalen: And it was on this really cool trajectory. It was this community project. It was like this small team that built it and then it was really useful. Everybody loved it. They acquired it, which it should have. It should have been amazing in theory. And then in practice, it just kind of like, and I’ve heard page is actually still

[00:53:38] isaiah: about Adobe. I think Adobe’s in a weird spot where they’re gonna diverge, right? Like the community is gonna diverge from

[00:53:45] kalen: a hundred percent, a hundred percent.

[00:53:48] isaiah: What I think the problem they’re gonna face, uh, just the overall Magento community is that a lot of those people on the open source version are gonna realize that it’s just going to get too expensive to maintain [00:54:00] and deal with open source and blah, blah, blah.

And they’re gonna just migrate to Shopify big commerce. Even if that means having one custom app is still, probably cheaper than all the other headaches that come with.

[00:54:11] kalen: A lot of people definitely will. I mean, I talked to Willam about this and, and he said that they have a thousand stores and he, and he wants to hundred X that he, and he thinks he can hundred X that now that’s not, it’s still, it’s still a, it’s still a pretty small market. It might be mostly in Europe, but you know, that could be a decent little and you know, like it doesn’t have to be a trillion dollar market cap.

It could be whate like the Magento open source direction, whatever, wherever it goes, you know, it might not make sense for a lot of people and that’s fine, but they could have their.

[00:54:45] isaiah: product. It’s gonna become a little bit more

[00:54:47] kalen: a hundred percent. It’s gonna become very, very much more of a niche thing, but it could have its own cool little, little community and whatever, and then they could do their thing and it’ll be a lot smaller than we might have wanted

[00:54:59] isaiah: So there you have [00:55:00] it, our analysis product. I’m just kidding. You hear what I said? I said our analysis, Adobe’s actually a niche product. niche player.

[00:55:12] kalen: by the way, I I’m one of these, I’m one of these weird, I’m one of these weird guys that I refuse to call it. Adobe Congress, even though that’s kind of the brand and everybody else. Do you, do you always like, do you not say Magento anymore? You say Adobe

[00:55:28] isaiah: dunno. I go back and forth. I say Magento, and then I say Adobe, and I dunno,

[00:55:34] kalen: I’ve like

[00:55:35] isaiah: like,

[00:55:36] kalen: you just, who cares? Yeah, I just, I some.

[00:55:42] isaiah: just like who cares?

[00:55:45] kalen: It probably was.

[00:55:47] isaiah: we’re when we say we know we’re talking gen, everyone knows that,

[00:55:51] kalen: yeah, yeah,

[00:55:52] isaiah: I do think that Adobe commerce will actually become Adobe commerce and it’s all gonna be microservices in like five years.

[00:55:58] kalen: oh yeah. It’s gonna be a completely [00:56:00] different thing. It’s

[00:56:00] isaiah: I think it’s all gonna be microservices. And it’s gonna roll up to the headless front.

[00:56:05] kalen: Yep, yep.

[00:56:07] isaiah: buy like Adobe commerce, Adobe, a like Adobe, whatever stack, just like sales for stack.

And you’re just, it’s kind of like commerce tools. Like it’ll essentially be a variation of commerce tools. That’s what I think is gonna happen in

[00:56:20] kalen: yep. That actually makes a lot of sense to me. And, and even though in a sense, that’s completely at odds with Magento open source product and the Magento open source, like ethos and community. I think that direction makes sense for Adobe commerce to go that direction. And then I think Magento open source can do its thing and it’s, it’s cool that it’s an independent open source code base and whatever will happen.

There will be a smaller and more niche thing. But yeah, I think that that actually makes

[00:56:51] isaiah: like shop wear and will be like, kind of like the two, like yeah. So you know what I mean?

[00:56:56] kalen: yep, yep.

[00:56:57] isaiah: no. Yeah. I think that’s where it’s gonna. [00:57:00] Um, it’ll take a long time though. Like think about Magento two. Like we just launched a site that was on Magento one, right? Like we just launched them like two weeks ago.

[00:57:09] kalen: yeah. Oh really?

[00:57:12] isaiah: one, right? Yeah. So it’s like, there’s still people on Magen one, a lot of them.

[00:57:15] kalen: Oh, yeah, dude. Oh yeah, dude. I was, yeah, dude. I like, and that’s fascinating to me too. The people that are gonna stay on Magento one, which I think is cool for a whole, whole other side of me, feels

[00:57:28] isaiah: stay on cobalt. Right? Like let’s, you know, let’s just never

[00:57:32] kalen: yeah. Why not? Yeah. Um, dude, let’s talk about striker. Like striker is like I

[00:57:42] isaiah: round out the leaders. Can we just one minute round out the leaders and then we’ll go to,

[00:57:46] kalen: yeah. Okay. My bad, my bad, my

[00:57:48] isaiah: I think is just like, I think Adobe is gonna be a leader for a while. Right? Like they’re gonna sell the big guys. they have a good place in certain big B2B complex stuff, similar to [00:58:00] Salesforce.

I, I just don’t get SAP. I don’t get why you would ever go with that route. I feel like you’re just doing it because you’re already on SAP and you wanna waste money. like, that’s

[00:58:10] kalen: I know, so yeah,

[00:58:13] isaiah: I’ll build you something better. Like gimme your like 5 million budget and I’ll figure it out. But like, they just would never do that.

Cuz I’m not, you know, one of the big like service

[00:58:22] kalen: yeah, yeah. Dude. I know. So I know so little about SAP, that product ecosystem, anything

[00:58:31] isaiah: Well, it’s you remember? Hi,

[00:58:34] kalen: yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember hearing about hybrids. I mean, I’ve never looked at, you know, the code or anything like that or the,

[00:58:40] isaiah: and then, um, yeah, so it kind of reminds me of what you’re saying, where it’s just like a matter of time. Like it could be five, 10 years before people are just like, well, there’s no community here. Why am

[00:58:51] kalen: Yeah. It’s one of these weird closed enterprisey type jobbies. And, um, by the way, I know we touched on Oracle. [00:59:00] Um, and, but that’s a whole topic, like what the hell happened? Like they just closed shop.

[00:59:06] isaiah: think it might happen with SAP that’s my, my bet is that Oracle is making a shift to, with NetSuite and whatever their other products are. And they’re like, well, if you have this little tiny, like Oracle

[00:59:15] kalen: Do they advertise NetSuite all over the place? I hear it on every single podcast.

[00:59:23] isaiah: Yeah. Uh, NetSuite is crushing, right? Like they have areas that are growing like NetSuite and they’re probably losing business on Oracle commerce. They’re like, alright, like let’s just cut the cord on this thing and put that money into like things that are working, you know?

[00:59:36] kalen: Maybe that’s it. Because

[00:59:37] isaiah: Yeah,

[00:59:38] kalen: so many eCommerce companies, U uh, need NetSuite or some type of E R P. So maybe they’re seeing traction there and they go, like you said, they just go, let’s just double down here. Which actually seems pretty smart to me. I mean, um,

[00:59:55] isaiah: like there’s more back office. They can expand into other apps and things that, you know, it’s like there’s a million [01:00:00] ways to grow that and like PI, right? Like they’re, I think that these companies are better off invest in a PIM than an econ platform, which just as a such a different ball game where a PI is like pretty close to E R P you know what I mean?

It’s likes just like E R P plus product data, um, commerce tools we kinda talked about. I mean, they’re, I think they’re leading the way in headless, but I think my concern with commerce tools is like, they’re like riding the headless wave, but what happens when all the other people catch up in headless and they have a bigger ecosystem, like big commerce and Shopify, you know what I

[01:00:30] kalen: Yeah, I think, yeah. I mean, who, I mean, the, you know, now that I’m thinking about it, the wild thing to me about the fact that commerce tools is in the lead here is that I didn’t even realize commerce tools was that big. Like I always thought they were a cool company. I, I see Kelly from commerce tools on LinkedIn a lot.

Um, I think of them as having a cool, like developer community, but I didn’t realize they were competing at this scale with all the big boys. Like that’s actually. [01:01:00] Kind of impressive, uh, cuz I didn’t even know about commerce tools until maybe a couple years ago. And so

[01:01:08] isaiah: are doing well. For sure. They’ve definitely made a big push. Um, but yes, striker. I don’t know much about striker. Like I’ve seen them pop up, I guess. I just don’t know why you would choose them to be honest. Like why would you choose striker over BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, custom head list, Salesforce con like, I just, I don’t really.

[01:01:30] kalen: yeah, it’s funny. I know it’s like there’s so many, how can you possibly have a deep knowledge of all of these? I just saw, I just realized Optimizly how is Optimizly.

[01:01:43] isaiah: I, I, I actually know that one pretty well. Um, sorer, like, do you, so can you answer that? Like, why would you go wither? I, I know

[01:01:50] kalen: So, but here’s the, the only thing I know about Sprecher is that I remember seeing some people mangenta go there. I know Guido Jansen, uh, moved there. [01:02:00] And then Elena, who was obviously with Magento forever, she moved to big commerce. She lives here in, in, uh, she’s here in Austin. She’d been at big commerce for a couple years.

And I just noticed the other day she’s at striker. Uh, which I thought was super

[01:02:15] isaiah: do you know anyone using, like, do you know any, do you know any developers that work like anyone.

[01:02:21] kalen: I, I know just like the three people I know who are like to me are like really smart people that done significant stuff in Magento, and now they’re at sparker. So I’m like, they gotta be doing something.

Right. But I don’t know anything beyond that. Like, I don’t, I’ve never heard of a website on Spriker. like.

[01:02:39] isaiah: consolidation. We’re going into a market downturn. Investment’s gonna be harder to come by. I think half these guys are gonna go away on this list.

[01:02:47] kalen: Oh yeah. I mean,

[01:02:49] isaiah: go away. I think

[01:02:51] kalen: the whole, yep. I mean the whole world economy is fall gonna fall off a cliff at some point. And I think that’s, I think you’re [01:03:00] probably right dude. Like half of these are just gonna disappear.

[01:03:05] isaiah: that’s what I think. Right. So yeah. I mean, I, I’m not a, I think the visionary, like all those, like I, the only people I know on these are people I’m migrating off of them. that’s all I know. Like. Uh, I know some people I’m not gonna name them, but we’re migrating, ’em off some of these, these names in the, in the visionary quadrant,

[01:03:26] kalen: Right, right, right, right, right.

[01:03:28] isaiah: American company. So they have like a south American presence, but I think the bigger values are just gonna expand, like Shopline to that market and take over.

So I don’t know. I mean, you see a elastic path going down. I feel like they’re just going to fizzle out cuz like why would you choose them over like commerce tools or whatever? I don’t know. And then, uh, Optimizly is interesting because they have a, they bought a platform called insight insight had a very, they had a very strong niche in B2B distribution and I do a lot of work in [01:04:00] B2B distribution.

It’s really hard. It’s really hard. And so they really double down on that and I think they have that niche, but once again, now they’re like merged into Optimizly. They also bought, um, another CMS tool. So it’s like a multiple mergers. So my guess is it’s gonna be a big mass and it’s probably, I don’t know, they don’t really have much of an ecosystem.

[01:04:23] kalen: right. It’ll be, it’ll be surprising if they pull it off. But when you say insight is a B2B distribution, what does that mean? Exactly.

[01:04:32] isaiah: distributors you’re familiar with the distributors, right? They, they sell to businesses.

[01:04:36] kalen: Oh, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah.

[01:04:40] isaiah: So mid-market distributors that like do 200 million in revenue, but sell like car parts or anything you can think of. There’s like a guy that does that in, in

[01:04:49] kalen: Yeah. Right, right, right, right, right,

[01:04:51] isaiah: these weird, crazy requirements with the E R P and it’s pretty complicated.

And they they’ve been pretty strong in that market, but that’s all they really strong in. [01:05:00] Right. That will kind of niche. So when they say optimize, like they really mean insight, but like, it’s really like a mix of all these things kind of come together. So I’m not sure how it’s all gonna like merge together.

Like it’s the same thing of like these other, you.

[01:05:13] kalen: that’s so strange because I always think of Optimizly as being this like. Slick, you know, AB testing tool for consumer. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But, but it’s just, I think of it as being this very consumer facing like, like, like tool and the fact that they acquired the most B2B of puts the, like the most B2B of B2B things.

So like distributors that like, that like, don’t even, like, they probably don’t have a website to save their life. Like why, why would that be? Unless they think they can

[01:05:50] isaiah: one, that’s a weird one. I don’t know what’s gonna happen with them. Um, I don’t know, man. It, so Unilog is also like that, but Unilog is just kind of stuck to their [01:06:00] guns and they do product data and, and, and they actually, I think are a viable option for like smaller B2B sites. Cuz they can come really down market where like even tr less I’m like, dude, we can never do a site for that cheap in that market.

So I think there’s some, some, some viability for like the Unilog the Sonic commerce that like have this like B2B niche where like, it’s kind of hard to do that stuff for cheap. Um, I don’t know what the hell scale is or emphasis Equinox, like get ’em off the list. Like who the hell is choosing those? I mean, I don’t know.

They, maybe they have some weird niche that like, that works, but I don’t know. I’ve never seen

[01:06:36] kalen: like what is Sona? Sona, commerce. What is that

[01:06:41] isaiah: on a commerce, so they’re pretty much, honestly, I think what they are is like you, Microsoft dynamics, they’re just like a little, like add on, on top of it. It’s like, they, they say they’re commerce, but really they’re just like an E R P you know, plug on like, you know, thing on top of that. I just, they have no ecosystem.

Right. So they’re good for, [01:07:00] like, let’s say you’re a little manufacturer on Microsoft dynamics and you just like, need something to do commerce. They just like, kind of sit right on top of it.

[01:07:06] kalen: Mm-hmm

[01:07:07] isaiah: like the cheap, full time option for like, when you don’t have the budget, do a nice custom like user experience, you know,

[01:07:15] kalen: Right,

[01:07:15] isaiah: similar tolog.

But I think analog’s a little further ahead of them in that. Um, yeah. I mean, I

[01:07:22] kalen: have a,

[01:07:24] isaiah: is interesting in that. Yeah,

[01:07:27] kalen: yeah, when you have a B2B, like a complicated, like, you know, like a, like a, like a, like a typical B2B scenario, what, what are they like? I think of Oro, but like, what are they building on? How are they dealing with all their tie-ins with all their sales reps, all that kind of stuff.

[01:07:50] isaiah: mostly the

[01:07:50] kalen: this is kind of your, your niche.

[01:07:52] isaiah: the first thing I try and understand is how they do everything in the ER P so it all starts with the EERP. So if that all depends [01:08:00] on, you know, are they on NetSuite? Are they. Infor do a lot with Infor, uh, are they on Microsoft dynamics? So the first thing that I try and figure out is like how they operate with their E R P what state E R P is, how modern is it?

Can it get the APIs in a way that can integrate well, and then I kind of work off of that and then kind of like figure out what their requirements are. A lot of times they’re willing to just have simple stuff. So if it’s simple, it’s like, you could be B2B on Shopify. Most people can’t do that, but you could do that.

Right? Like, and so it’s kind of like a level of complexity and, and how like deep, it needs to go into the E R P and how complex their business model is. And, um, I, I

[01:08:42] kalen: if you, if you’re.

[01:08:43] isaiah: the office systems.

[01:08:45] kalen: That makes sense. So if you have your Stu your date, your product date is in an E R P. You’ve got your descriptions, your images. Everything’s nice and clean. It’s up to date. It’s not, it’s not like spread across multiple out date systems and all you want to [01:09:00] do is sell those products.

Boom. You, you tie it up to Shopify. You’re good to go.

[01:09:04] isaiah: Yeah, actually, Shopify has a pre-bill integration. They’ve been investing in NetSuite, uh, I think in, for Acumatica Microsoft dynamics. So they’re gonna have like a fairly out the box integration with some of the big ERPs. Obviously it’s gonna be somewhat limited. So like, I always tell people like that might work if you’re willing to just like, let it do what it does, but if you need some weird, crazy custom thing or like, it needs to pull in this field, that’s special to your E R P then like it’s not gonna do that.

You know what I.

[01:09:32] kalen: mm-hmm mm-hmm

[01:09:34] isaiah: yeah, it all depends. I kind of work backwards from there. Um, but sauna and Unilog are very much, and, and even the insight world, optimizing insight, people they’re very much built around the E R P like commerce model. Like that’s how they kind of built up their business.

[01:09:49] kalen: So like custom price lists and customer

[01:09:53] isaiah: pulling, they’re pulling the pricing directly from the EER P I think log doesn’t even store the pricing.

It just takes it all in [01:10:00] from the EER P

[01:10:01] kalen: Gotcha. Yeah. That, that makes sense. And then you just have to do

[01:10:04] isaiah: displays whatever the ERP customer record says, you know, I hear you wrong, but they’re like very E R P centric integrations and focus of how they kind make it all work, which is obviously shop wears kind of really more like magenta open source. Like, do you think ware will become like the new magenta open source?

[01:10:24] kalen: Dude. So I, I was, I was talking to Ben marks about this just just an hour ago. We, and, uh, and I, I remember tweeting, I said, um, Magen, uh, software is the new Magento. That was a year or two ago. That was before he moved there. It was just based on me seeing the developer community and stuff like that, and kind of feeling like it had a similar vibe and, um, and he told me that when he went interviewed with them, they had that tweet on a slide deck in, in, in internally or whatever.

Um, but, but anyways, like I think that, um, I [01:11:00] think there are a lot of parallels there and a lot of people are excited about it, but I, but I was talking to him. I was like, dude, is anybody using it in the us? Like, it doesn’t

[01:11:09] isaiah: I know, I don’t know a single person in the us. I dunno, one

[01:11:12] kalen: told me. He told me there’s one enterprise customer that’s getting ready to go live.

And so he’s basically, it’s starting to happen. He said the other channel is you’ve got people in Europe that are on it and they may might open a us sales channel,

[01:11:31] isaiah: That’s what I kind of figured is that their best bet

[01:11:33] kalen: makes a lot more sense.

[01:11:35] isaiah: I think that’s their best bet, right? It’s gonna be pretty hard to convince someone in the us to go straight on to shop, but like I figured their larger European customers will expand to the us or that that’s kind of how I see it happening.

[01:11:46] kalen: Yeah. That made a lot of sense when he said that to me, I think that, I think that like a lot of people seem to be excited about it. I think that once it starts to pop, it could pop really fast and hard if especially. The [01:12:00] pendulum is swung really heavily towards SAS subscription. Everybody’s wanting to do a subscription payment for everything these days, but that’s gonna swing back.

At some point, people are gonna go, I have too many subscription payments, both personally, and as a business, they’re gonna

[01:12:14] isaiah: Nothing works all the apps conflict, right? Like, let’s say if 20 apps, it all like breaks down,

[01:12:19] kalen: You’ve got 20 different subscriptions for 20 different apps. They’re gonna go. And so if that happens, combined with them, you know, continuing to, uh, improve the product to develop ecosystem grows, Ben works this magic. Maybe it pops hard in the us at some point relatively soon. Um, but right now it’s like, it’s funny.

It’s one of those things. Everybody’s excited about it in the us. Nobody actually uses it. Um, and, and there’s a lot, it’s very German centric. So I was talking to ’em about how, like I’ve talked to developers that like it, but a lot of the documentation is still in German. A lot of the people in slack speak German.

So he told me that. Literally from the C-suite down, they got coaching on English Lang they’re making a push to [01:13:00] move cuz they, they wanna build market share all over the world. So they’re trying to bake that into their culture to literally speak more English. But it’s I hear that from everybody they’re like it’s all German.

Um, so

[01:13:12] isaiah: Yeah, that’s hard. That’s a, I, so let’s kind of round this up. I mean, I feel like the visionaries, I don’t know, man. They seem like really, I feel like they’re almost more obscure than the niche players in a way. Um, because at least the niche players, I think have kind of a path forward that I see as viable, especially for Unilog shop where Optimizly, but, um, the, uh, I think big Congress and Shopify,

[01:13:38] kalen: are kind of, the visionaries are kind of random, like uh

[01:13:42] isaiah: random, right? Like VTax like who the fucks on VTax honestly like some company in south America. Great. Cool. Like at what point do they realize like, alright, expand the us. Just gonna like put, migrate like Shopify or something. I want,

[01:13:58] kalen: like I’ve been an [01:14:00] yeah, like I’ve been an Auro fan ever since yo I’ve started it, cuz I’m a yo yo fan. But, um, I don’t, I don’t, like, I honestly thought it was gonna pop a lot stronger than it has from day one. And it

[01:14:12] isaiah: You didn’t listen to me. It’s all EER P man. I told you B2B. Remember that podcast. I did like five years ago. B2B is all ER, P man. You have to figure out the EERP.

[01:14:20] kalen: That makes sense

[01:14:22] isaiah: And so a lot of our B2B integrations, we don’t even store pricing, uh, in the platform. We just should display the pricing from the EER P it’s hard to do though.

[01:14:31] kalen: because you want

[01:14:32] isaiah: you’re yeah.

[01:14:33] kalen: but then are you like prec cashing it and sh and stuff like that to make it fast. Okay.

[01:14:39] isaiah: Yep,

[01:14:41] kalen: And then are you tying in the user authentication to a, to a user customer record in the E R P? Yeah. That makes sense. As long as you have a nice little caching layer, I mean, you basically always need to have a caching layer, whether the pricing is in the E eCom or wherever it is.

So it almost seems [01:15:00] like, as I’m thinking this through, dude, it almost seems like you want a headless, uh, slick site with a bunch of modern components. It just talks straight to your E R P

[01:15:09] isaiah: If I was the CTO, that’s what I would do. But like no one, you know, they, they don’t have the budgets, the expertise, the, the people to manage that kind of project. You know what I mean? So, and

[01:15:19] kalen: why do you need

[01:15:20] isaiah: it’s not, it’s not like proven in the sense that you can just like point to someone else on Shopify or whatever.

You know what I mean?

[01:15:27] kalen: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s yeah. That’s where you’re like saying this now. Now I see why you’re always shouting from the rooftops about headless because for that type of a customer,

[01:15:40] isaiah: of truth is already in 10 different systems. We’re talking about a company with 120 systems. Most companies have 20, 30, 50, a hundred systems. You know, when you talk about their E R P and their email and all the shit. So the source of truth is not usually eCommerce for much.

[01:15:57] kalen: And it’s, it’s almost like eCommerce in those [01:16:00] scenarios is doing less and less and less because like you could say, well, you need a process payment. You could have a, you could have could process payment with a Stripe plugin or with some other, uh, plugin. Right. And then your orders, you could send to an order management, your Pam for your pro.

Like what, even what, in that situation, like what even is the eCommerce platform? Like you don’t even need

[01:16:23] isaiah: a redundant system. You’re paying a license for,

[01:16:26] kalen: yeah.

[01:16:28] isaiah: so yeah, maybe we’re gonna get in trouble for like, telling them they’re all obsolete, but um, but yeah, I mean, I still, yeah.

[01:16:37] kalen: is what’s cool about being independent. Like going back to what we were talking about, like there’s a lot of people who are captured by whatever part or ecosystem they’re in. They can’t say X. They can’t say Y I like it when people are, you know, can, can independently say what they think.

And of course, you’re trying to obviously be friendly. You’re trying to collaborate with as many people as you can. You’re trying to find the right solutions, [01:17:00] but there’s so many people who just, can’t just say what they honestly think about X, Y, and Z

[01:17:04] isaiah: Well, I think that’s

[01:17:05] kalen: of the

[01:17:06] isaiah: right? It’s like, we’re so beholden to these things. Like, dude, isn’t the whole point to like eCommerce company, like rising tide. I think rising tides raises all ships. And if companies actually just get better with eCommerce, we’ll all make more money instead of struggling with shit that shouldn’t even be work, you know, being discussed cuz it’s just like bias, you know what I mean?

[01:17:26] kalen: Yep.

[01:17:27] isaiah: Um, but I

[01:17:27] kalen: that note.

[01:17:29] isaiah: and big commerce have a huge upward trajectory. I, I think. they’re still scratching the surface. There’s still like random, old, small custom sites, weird random platforms that aren’t even on this thing. W w commerce has like 3 million sites w commerce isn’t on the

[01:17:50] kalen: kind of wild actually that they’re not that they’re not

[01:17:52] isaiah: list’s large sites. Cool.

[01:17:56] kalen: now that you mention it, it’s kind of nuts. I mean, you got frigging, [01:18:00] you know, you got frigging, uh, scale on here. that you

[01:18:04] isaiah: don’t even what scale is, I

[01:18:05] kalen: what even is that? And you don’t have w like you got HCL and you don’t got w commerce dude.

Like what, what, even

[01:18:15] isaiah: well, cause WooCommerce is really just a plugin, so I don’t think they have like a, it’s not a platform it’s really like WordPress. Right. So, um, which goes to show you that e-commerce can be literally as simple as a plugin so, um,

[01:18:29] kalen: Right,

[01:18:31] isaiah: Where is, uh, scale. sorry. I just, I don’t, uh, I just wanna know.

[01:18:40] kalen: The way it’s the way it’s spelled S C Y L E all

[01:18:45] isaiah: I’ve never heard of until this, until

[01:18:47] kalen: And, and, and by the way, and by the way, if anybody’s watching this, we’re not, you know, obviously if you work there and we’re talking shit, like you’re, we’re not trying to be mean. It’s just, you, you know, it’s

[01:18:57] isaiah: all we’re is [01:19:00] that’s all. We’re kidding.


[01:19:06] kalen: Nicest in the nicest way possible. And, uh, but you know, and the truth is, like we said, nobody know, we don’t know the, all of these platforms very well. We know them at a certain surface level. It’s entirely possible. That scale is absolutely fantastic and they’re doing everything right. And we just don’t know, but that’s, you know what I mean,

[01:19:29] isaiah: look like it’s headless and it’s in Europe is what they’re basically saying.

[01:19:33] kalen: dude, Europe, Europe is coming up, man. Europe is coming up. Lot of

[01:19:38] isaiah: is hard to do so, like they probably have their niche in marketplace, cuz there’s not a lot of, um, not a lot of good ways to do marketplace

[01:19:50] kalen: marketplace is an, is a, is an interesting one. That’s a whole, that’s a whole thing. You’ve got the miracles and, um,

[01:19:56] isaiah: see, like if you’re a headless player, eventually I [01:20:00] think eCommerce is the wrong way to think about it. And it’s really, you’re just like what pieces of eCommerce do you fit into order management, blah, blah, blah. It looks like they do order management and you know what I mean? So like once things move more headless, you’re gonna actually, it’s not gonna, there is no eCommerce anymore.

It’s just basically a bunch of systems that serve operational purposes, payments, order management,

[01:20:25] kalen: makes sense.

[01:20:26] isaiah: customer data. And each one of those could be its own silo or like you could have, you know, your payments, your payment, you know what I mean?

[01:20:33] kalen: that makes sense. That makes sense. It’s almost like all of these separate functions are getting decoupled. Um, and the idea of an e-commerce platform maybe eventually goes away. So you’ve, you’ve got the separate components and they

[01:20:47] isaiah: Well, you go front end, right. But the front end is gonna be like reacting, whatever. And then you have the back end with which could be, you know, one thing or a hundred things. In my opinion, if it’s just one thing, I think you’re kind of like doing it wrong [01:21:00] because if you only need one back end, then like, do you really need headless?

You know what I mean? Um,

[01:21:06] kalen: Right,

[01:21:07] isaiah: I mean, it can, it can be faster, but you’re spending a lot of money just to be faster and a little more flex. I don’t know. I just, I, I feel like you, you generally should be doing it. If you have like multiple things on the back

[01:21:18] kalen: Well, and then, and then that gets you into middleware because like I’m hearing, for example, that, you know, a lot of, like, for example, with different SAS platforms, you end up needing a significant middleware layer to talk to all the different systems and that

[01:21:32] isaiah: Yeah, we generally do that somewhat custom or actually I think where that I see that going is, uh, Azure API management and AWS API management. You know, those like AWS, I think they have like AWS API. I’m not an expert by this by any means. Are, do you want

[01:21:48] kalen: some deep waters here with, with yeah,

[01:21:52] isaiah: but I think you could standardize in some of these like API layers that some of these like big cloud things offer. Right. [01:22:00] So, yeah. I mean, it’s still so new, right? Like I, I think it’s gonna be a while before it’s really ubiquitous, but, um, it’s starting to get there for some of the larger stuff, for sure.

[01:22:11] kalen: Yeah. I feel like for so long, I heard people say headless headless, headless, and it was kind of like, it was like, yeah, it sounds cool. Whatever. It was like a problem in search. It was like a solution in search of a problem. And when you would ask people about it, they really didn’t get into very much detail.

But now when I hear you like fast forward a couple years and having this conversation, I feel like I get it. And I understand why it, it, it, you make such a big deal out of it and you believe in it because it like it finally. The way you’re

[01:22:44] isaiah: But

[01:22:45] kalen: it. It makes a lot of

[01:22:45] isaiah: point, like we’re not doing small headless projects. We haven’t figured that out. Um, one tool that I think I’m pretty, uh, I think has a chance to pull it off is shown front end sho front end does make it easier. And I think that we could do a smaller headless [01:23:00] project on sho front end.

Um, we just haven’t found the right one for the right kind of smaller size. So generally our headless projects are pretty large. We’re talking half million.

[01:23:11] kalen: Mm-hmm yep. Yep. And does, does Shogun front end, they basically have built in compatibility with a lot of the popular Shopify apps,

[01:23:22] isaiah: Yeah. A bunch of the apps. Yeah. Shopify is one of the one, you know, big commerce, but they’re gonna add more and more apps. Right. Which is kind of cool. Cuz the more apps they add, then you don’t need to integrate as much with that or just it’s simpler. Right. You just install the app and then, uh, they make like the front end, they do all the hosting.

So we don’t have to do all the DevOps. Cause the DevOps is actually pretty complicated when it comes to headless and that middleware, like they handle a lot of the infrastructure that otherwise is, is somewhat complicated and they make it really easy to like drag and drop components. So like the component layer, like what I was talking about with components on the front end, you can actually manage that in like kind of like an [01:24:00] admin, like a CMS

[01:24:01] kalen: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And, and, and it, and it seemed to me that not only are they integrating with like Shopify the platform, but they’re building out integrations into the apps that you’re using with Shopify. So they’re integrating directly with your Clavio, your YAPA.

[01:24:19] isaiah: into front. Yep. Everything can go straight up into the front

[01:24:21] kalen: because then that’s the best of both worlds where you can do headless, but you don’t have to build your own Yapo integration.

You don’t have to build your own reviews. Yeah.

[01:24:30] isaiah: Yeah. Maybe things that are like really bespoke or like weird to your situation you build, cuz it’s like your thing, but like the popular stuff, just like all ready to go, theoretically, you know,

[01:24:40] kalen: Well, Isaiah, this has been an epic roast slash review of the Gartner magic quadrant.

[01:24:47] isaiah: I’m sure we’ll get in trouble. At least I will, uh, being a partner of some of these and uh, I don’t know, man, I’m just trying to grow my business and do what’s right for the customers. And I think ultimately, hopefully that comes back to us, you know?

[01:24:59] kalen: [01:25:00] I think so, man, I think at the end of the day you’re you’re, you’re, you’re, uh, doing good work and trying to do the best for the end customer. And uh, so I think it’s, I think it’s good times.