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Ymir Report #18 — Feeling better

published10 months ago
4 min read

Heya friend!

Carl here. You signed up to receive updates about Ymir, the WordPress serverless DevOps platform that I’m building.


INTRO

Building a business is definitely a roller coaster of emotion and self-worth assessment. Last cycle, I felt like a failure and a fraud. Now, I feel better this cycle because I started getting a handle on these performance issues, their causes and solutions.

The business itself is still stalled. I'll talk about it more in the business section. But the thing is, it's a lot easier to weather this plateau if you believe in your product.

And that was the larger issue with the performance problems. It made me doubt my own product. If that happens, I feel it's game over. So that's why figuring out these performance issues was paramount.

I also did a lot during marketing. Wrote an article, did some Q&A videos, lots of calls and cold outreach on Twitter. Just tried to bring up my sleeves and push through this stalled growth. More on that in the marketing section.


PRODUCT

You can always view the history of Ymir's product development at https://ymirapp.com/changelog.

Not a big product cycle. Spent some of it just trying to improve performance. I tried some wild things like using the PHP 7.4 preloading feature. That didn't work out so well 😅

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Carl Alexander
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@twigpress
October 3rd 2021
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Otherwise, I have Relay support pretty much figured out on the AWS Lambda side. I just need to add support for it with the Ymir object cache and write a guide. It's still experimental, but this is mostly just because Till is still working his ass off making it better.

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Till Krüss
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@tillkruss
October 16th 2021
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All this work is starting to pay off. I can't show it yet, but it's really exciting to see performance on Lambda be better than on a local machine for large WooCommerce sites. I also understand why there aren't any horizontally scaling WordPress hosts out there lol

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Carl Alexander
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@twigpress
October 15th 2021
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Besides that, I wrapped up two small product features. Ymir now manages the object cache prefix automatically. This is useful since you'll often use the same Redis cache across multiple projects.

I also added support for locking and unlocking a database server. This prevents someone from accidentally deleting a database server. This is hands down the most dangerous thing you can do with Ymir. So I wanted to add some more safeguards around it.


MARKETING

Had a really busy marketing week. I produced a lot of content. First, there was an article going over the differences between headless and serverless.

What’s the difference between headless and serverless WordPress? >>

I also did a bunch of Q&A videos:

So that was all the content I did, but I also spent a lot of time doing calls and cold outreach on Twitter. I know a lot of agency tech directors and a decent few follow me. So I just reached out for feedback on the product and what I could do to make the product more interesting to agencies.

So far, most of the feedback is, "This looks interesting, but also we have existing partnerships with hosting companies and WordPress VIP." There are still a lot of people to reach out to, so this is just what I've heard so far. I will probably have to learn to be better at marketing/sales, as I joked.

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Carl Alexander
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@twigpress
October 12th 2021
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I also reached out to a friend who's been doing Google/FB ad marketing for over a decade. He offered to help me create and manage an ad campaign for free. So I might try out Google/FB ads soon! Honestly, I wouldn't even touch ads if he didn't offer to help because doing this well is HARD. It'd be faster to light my money on fire if I was doing this myself lol

Me and Till have also been invited to the Do the Woo podcast to talk WooCommerce scaling. We're recording this upcoming week and it'll be out during the next marketing week. Don't really expect it to change a lot in the short term, but anything that builds awareness is 👍🏻

Besides all that, I did some small marketing changes. The blog now has a free trial CTA at the bottom of articles. I also tweaked the agency pricing header to be a bit tongue in cheek about what it is lol

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Carl Alexander
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@twigpress
October 15th 2021
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BUSINESS

You can always view Ymir's up-to-date business metrics at ymirapp.com/open. They're updated every 10 minutes.

October is still flat. No trials, no cancellations. I'm getting visitors based on the chat bot and people are signing up. But nothing else besides that.

Personally, I'll probably have to pick up a bit more consulting. I've been trying to keep that to a minimum. That said, Ymir just can't pay me much of anything atm.

Most of the money Ymir made this year is going to paying income tax and an accountant. This is also all things I’ve been working on this cycle.

It should be better next year, but until I reach 1k MRR. I don't really expect any income from Ymir. That's why I've been trying very hard to try to find one customer for the agency/enterprise plan since that would give me some serious breathing room.

Carl