WPCoffeeTalk: Anil Gupta

March 25, 2024 00:55:37
WPCoffeeTalk: Anil Gupta
WPCoffeeTalk
WPCoffeeTalk: Anil Gupta

Mar 25 2024 | 00:55:37

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Show Notes

Anil is one of the kindest people I've met in WordPress (and that's in a sea of kind people). And he is filled with so many ideas and passions. Some people would be content to have one idea or one business...but he keeps spinning new ideas and ways to help.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:02] Speaker A: Welcome to WP Coffee Talk. I'm your podcast Barista, Michelle Freshette, serving up the podcast stories and the stories of WordPress people from all over the world. And as I often say, my next guest is also a friend of mine who I have met in person through the WordPress community, Anil Gupta. Anil, it's so good to have you here. You are the CEO and co founder of Thoughts. How are you today? [00:00:26] Speaker B: Doing great, Michelle, and thanks for having me here. It's a great pleasure and privilege to be on the show. [00:00:32] Speaker A: Well, it's so good to have you on the show. You and I met, I think I know we've met. Our paths have to have multiple times over the years. Yes. But I really got to know you more in depth. I think it was last year, it was almost two years ago now when we were both in Oklahoma City at a post status event, so. And actually sit at a table and chat with you. So it was really nice to get to know you a little more. When I was working at Givewp multidots, that came up once or twice because I know that you had done some work, your company had done some work with us as well. So it was not a foreign company name to me. I had already heard of you, so it's very nice to always put the face with the name and all of that kind of thing. So welcome. Thank you for coming here. So tell us a little bit about. I mean, I've already kind of spoiler alerted a little bit. [00:01:20] Speaker B: Yeah, you already spilled the beans. [00:01:22] Speaker A: I did. But tell us a little more about who you are and what you. [00:01:27] Speaker B: So yeah, I'm a CEO and co founder of Multidots. And with multidots we help enterprises and large businesses to either build a website on WordPress or migrate to WordPress. I'm also a CEO and co founder of two other businesses. One is called Multicolab, which is a Google Doc style collaboration plugin where we help large teams to collaborate, write and collaborate in WordPress. Our third brand is Dot store, where we help small business owners or e commerce store owners to basically make their store a little bit more powerful, optimized for the sales and conversion. And besides these three brands, I also host a podcast called Peaceful Growth, which I recently started just a few months ago, where I talk to the other entrepreneurs and basically we talk and share the tactics, tips, strategies, tools and methods for peaceful growth. Because when it comes to growth, it's very challenging. There are two different aspects, extreme growth and sometimes we feel like I'm not doing much. Then I'm also a writer at Learn and Grow, which is my weekly newsletter where I write personal growth and work life balance tips. And I'm also a certified yoga and meditation teacher. I don't teach professionally, but I do teach it to my friends, family and my team in multidots. And very recently, just two weeks ago, I graduated from Texas coffee school as a barista. So I just finished my coffee brewing course two weeks ago. [00:03:25] Speaker A: My goodness. It's like you're going to take my job away or something. You're podcasting, you're writing your coffee. I love it. That's wonderful. Well, congratulations on all the wonderful things. Very exciting. And I'm embarrassed to say that I just opened up whatever creamer I like and poured into my coffee. And I'm even more embarrassed to say, I mean, I do pour over coffee. I do french press coffee, I do cold brew. But in my office I have a keurig, so I'm even more embarrassed now. I shouldn't have even said that out loud. [00:03:55] Speaker B: Anyway, no, you don't have to feel bad about because when I was in that course, I've been drinking coffee for last five, six years, approximately. I grew up in India where it's more like a tea, so tea is more prominent. But yes, I started drinking coffee since last five years. I didn't know much about the coffee and was just brewing myself watching some YouTube videos. But when I went to this course, oh my God, it just changed whole my perspective. I was like, oh, I'm just doing it wrong for last five years. But that also made me think I was like, well, I'm 36 and if I live, let's say 1995 years, that means I'm going to make at least 30,000 cups of coffee in my lifetime. So I better learn it. Yeah, right. Because if you think about it, I drink two cups of coffee every day and it's like for the rest of my life I'm going to make at least 30,000 cup of coffee. So I better learn it. Make it right. [00:05:00] Speaker A: Make it like you like it, that's for sure. Well, I'm 55 years old and I've been drinking coffee for only about eight years. So I didn't drink coffee until I was in my late forty s. I didn't like it. And all of a sudden one day I tried it with just the perfect blend of cream and sugar and it was good coffee. Not like I grew up with my dad doing like instant coffee. Like the coffee sanka, I think it was called back then. And he would put these coffee grounds, add water, and stick it in the microwave. Well, no wonder I didn't like coffee. That was really crappy coffee. But it always smelled so good. So anyway, so show me your mug. I saw a brief glimpse of it. Show us your mug and tell us what you're drinking today. [00:05:42] Speaker B: So I just made two shot Americano. [00:05:46] Speaker A: Okay. [00:05:47] Speaker B: And my mug says, the Austin public Library. So I moved to Austin five months ago, and before I moved here, I've been kind of, like, visiting Austin for last three or four years. So multidots. Actually, headquarters is in Austin. We have a small team who live here and work here full time. So I was kind of, like, traveling here every three or four months, and we'll meet them in person and also attend some events. So one day I had, I think, some free time. So I checked out the Austin public library, and if you haven't been there, it's by far, like, all the different libraries that I've been to around the world. That's one of my favorite library. They have done really good job creating the whole place. That's kind of like place where I spend a lot of time on the weekend, sometimes weekdays. And if I have to meet someone, I'll always tell them, let's meet at the library, and then we'll meet there. Yeah. So I just got this cup a few days ago from nice. [00:07:01] Speaker A: Well, my cup was one that I actually forgot I had. I don't use the top shelves very often in my kitchen because I'm very short and so I can't reach them. But I have somebody who helps me clean my house and things like that, and she rearranged a bunch of things for me. So I found this mug that I love now, and it says, I always turn things the way. It's official. You are awesome. [00:07:27] Speaker B: Oh, wow. [00:07:28] Speaker A: Lovely. Thank you. And it's the pour out of a creamer caramel macchiato, because I love sweet and creamy coffee. So there you are. And I have a wonderful invention on my desk that is a coffee warmer, so you can set it on. It keeps the coffee hot and it's pressure. So when the coffee cup is on there, it's warm. And if you take the coffee cup off, it turns itself off so that I can't accidentally leave it on, which is a good thing. Anyway. [00:08:00] Speaker B: How many cups of coffee do you drink every day? [00:08:03] Speaker A: Usually one in the morning, one on occasion. If I do a coffee talk interview after work. Sometimes if I'm in the mood, I'll do coffee, but then I know that I'll be awake until 02:00 in the morning or something. So usually then I just switch to water or sometimes bourbon. I have been known to drink bourbon out of my coffee. [00:08:21] Speaker B: Interesting. [00:08:22] Speaker A: Hey, you know, it's my show, I can do what want, right? [00:08:26] Speaker B: So you're talking about bourbon in New York. Starbucks reserve, I think it's near Chelsea market area. I forgot the street name, but they have a really good cold brew old fashioned. So it's cold brew old fashioned and I think by far, like in the world. That's my favorite drink. If that's something that whenever I'm in New York, I drive there or get an Uber, I'll just spend like 30, $50 just to get there and have that coffee. [00:08:59] Speaker A: Well, if we're ever in New York at the same time, we're going to meet up for a drink there. [00:09:03] Speaker B: Sounds great. Deal. [00:09:05] Speaker A: Perfect. Well, tell us, how did you get started in WordPress? [00:09:10] Speaker B: So I started my career as a web developer. So in 2000, I think around seven, 2009 in fact, actually before that, 2004, 2009, for the five years I worked as a web developer. So I built a lot of different websites using PHP open source technologies, and eventually I learned Drupal and like a bunch of different open source. And before I started multidots, my previous company where I was working as a web developer, we got a website project to build on. So somebody wanted their website to migrate from Drupal to WordPress. And I think it was 2006 or seven, I guess 2007. And that was the first time where as a developer, when I looked into how easy it was to kind of build a website using WordPress compared to other open source CMS, but most importantly, our client or the customer that I was talking to and we were building this website for, she told me that she just love WordPress as a user. She thinks it's very simple to publish content using WordPress. It's not overwhelming for a non technical know. So at that time, that was like first time where I see a non technical person appreciating WordPress as a platform. And so that since then, whenever my company will find a WordPress client or project, I was like, I want to do that website. I want to do that. So I think pretty much like four or five websites in WordPress before I started multidots. And when we started multidots, I think within the first year we built two or three WordPress website. And then eventually it became kind of like our core focus. [00:11:16] Speaker A: I love that. That's awesome. When you look at websites across the web, I guess I don't know why I said it that way, but when you look at all the websites that you see, whether they're websites you and your company have built or others, what do you think is something that we as web developers, designers and builders don't pay enough attention to or don't focus enough attention on that actually would make our sites better for the end users? [00:11:45] Speaker B: I learned this very recently, especially becoming more like being more on a client seat. So from multidoc agency business, we have been building a website for others. But when I started focusing more on growing other businesses like Multicolab store and peaceful growth and learn and grow like other brands, I was more like on a client side and I was like, all right, I need a website for my podcast. I need a website for Multicolab. So at that time I was the customer. I'm the one who is telling the developers like, hey, this is what I want, man, my website. One thing I learned, I think, from that experience is that as a developer, it's very easy for us to think that, oh, I'm building a website for me. But we always forget that the website, you're not building a website for yourself as a developer. You're not building a website for, let's say, your client as well. You're building the website for the end user like your customers user should be. Yeah, visitors, right? Not always, but I think that's kind of like something that's like, it's not for me, it's not for my client, it's for my clients, customers, visitors, users. So that's something that now I always keep into the main anchor when I design or, or build a website. And I also kind of encourage my team to kind of think from that perspective. [00:13:21] Speaker A: I think that's a really good focus for sure. Right. Because I was a freelancer for years and I would say, what are you looking for in a website? And they would tell me what they like and I would say, well, what are your customers looking for in your website? Right? Like they would want to have this huge about us page. And that was where their focus was. I'm like, that is not going to sell. Yes, I agree. You should have an about us page. It's one of the things in our business that I look at, I'm like, who's behind this company? I want to know who's behind this company. But that's not going to make me push a button to contact or buy something. [00:13:57] Speaker B: So, makes sense. Yeah. And also I also tell my team to always keep that in mind. It's like, see, you know more than your client, so you as a developer, you know more about WordPress, about website design and development than your client. So it's like in the website business, client is not always right. So it's okay to kind of have that discussion with them. Like, hey, this is something that I think will be good for your user. So think always to keep that in mind that it's not necessarily because I have seen in last 14 years running agency business, like a lot of clients that we work with, most of the times they have only seen their website or two or three of their competitors website, right. So I always tell like, all right, that's kind of like what they think is what they want. And sometimes it's our job as a consultant and as a developer to kind of show them the possibility of the variety of different ways you can solve a problem and what is possible and what is the other great examples of good websites. [00:15:02] Speaker A: I think that's very solid advice. Absolutely. What is something that you wish you had known earlier in your WordPress journey that would have made life a whole lot easier had you known it sooner? I know I ask the best questions, don't I? [00:15:22] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. I would say I think it might not just be related to the WordPress, but in general the website design and development that I would always think that, oh, something will take only takes as a developer when I'm building a website, whether it's WordPress or something else, that, oh, it takes me X number of hours or X number of days. And based on that my website or my work should worth this much. And I learned very interesting thing about Apple. So if you know, let's say Apple Safari browser, if you go to Apple Safari browser in a search bar, when we type in any search term, it automatically suggests use the Google search and take us to the Google search result page. Now that search bar, someone typing a search query and passing that query to Google and rendering the search result for Apple developer, it might have cost probably a day or a week or let's say maximum 100 hours. I'm just making it a little bit more 100 hours. Now if that developer or Apple company itself, if they value their developer's time or the developer value their own times like, oh, 100 hours, even if I, let's say value my time as like $1,000 an hour, you'll still consider like, oh, probably it will be let's say $100,000 or a million dollars, that's something I chart Google is paying, oh, what is. That's new. Have you used these reaction features? [00:17:25] Speaker A: No, but if anybody's listening and not watching the episode, all of a sudden we had, like, emoji bubbles pop up in the. [00:17:32] Speaker B: Let me do this. Now watch this. All right, there you go. [00:17:37] Speaker A: Oh, my goodness. All right, so there are new reactions in Zoom. [00:17:42] Speaker B: Yeah, there are new reactions. Yeah, I need to just handcuff my hands, because if you weren't watching, he's. [00:17:50] Speaker A: Talking, and all of a sudden it was the thumbs down emoji. And I'm like, I didn't do that. I don't know what that was. I'm sorry. Please continue. [00:18:00] Speaker B: Yeah, so going back to the Apple story. So for that feature, it might have cost, like, just, let's say, hours. Google is paying Apple again, it is undisclosed there still, but it's somewhere between $18 to $21 billion a year just for that one feature. And what that story tells me, that it's not how long it takes you to build a feature, it's about how much that feature is valuable, can either help or hurt the customer or the person that you're building a website for. That's something that we need to always keep in a mind. So I think that was a big lesson that I learned. [00:18:47] Speaker A: Definitely. Valuation is something that it's a delicate type thing to figure through, for sure. And just because somebody in your area makes or doesn't make the same amount of money, we're in a global market, so you have to think about that, too. Yeah, no, that's very interesting. For sure. You've been to word camps. I know you've spoken at Wordcamps or some of your favorite Wordcamp or meetup talks or experiences. Maybe you met somebody or you heard something that was kind of pivotal or inspirational. Tell us about that. [00:19:24] Speaker B: I would say, yeah, it was Wordcamp Nashville. I forgot the year, but I think we did Nashville twice. It must be either 2017 or 2018. One of them, but yeah. What camp Nashville. And I think after one of the after parties, me and Tom, CEO and founder or co founder of human made. Okay, so we both were waiting for an Uber, and we're actually going to go to a meetup for Enterprise council. So it's kind of know, I think Matt, he sent an open invite to participate in Enterprise council, just kind of how we can make actually WordPress enterprise ready and kind of, like, tell the story into the enterprise. So I signed up for that, and I think there was probably twelve to 15 council member and Matt Mullenweg through a party. He's like, all right, let's do a little meet up among all the council members. So Tom and I, we both were going to attend that party, and we were waiting for Uber. And Matt Mulenweg, he just walked right behind us. And I think, I'm not sure if Matt said or Tom, but can know, join you guys in Uber. So I'm sitting in the middle, say, and on my left, I have a Tom. On the right, I have a Matt. And both I consider as my hero and know, because Tom, as an agency owner, he definitely, as a human know, is doing a great job. So I always look up to him. And Matt, as an entrepreneur, has always been someone that I consider has a very high regard, and I like him as a person and his values, and I'm sitting in the middle know between both my heroes. And so that was, I think, one of the best moment. And we had a lot of interesting conversations over there, even when we went to the meetup. And we kind of talked about the future of WordPress enterprise. So that moment, like, that hour, like, I think 15 minutes in Uber and then a couple of hours at that place where we, twelve or 15 of us get together and we're talking about enterprise, WordPress. And, yeah, that was, I think, one of the best moment. [00:21:55] Speaker A: I can absolutely understand that. Absolutely. For sure. I love that my mountaintop or whatever moment also has to do with Matt Mullenweig. And that was at Wordcamp us in San Diego last year when I asked a question and he said that I was the busiest woman in WordPress. And I was like, he knows who I am. [00:22:19] Speaker B: Everyone knows you, Michelle. Everyone knows. You are such an. Yeah. [00:22:24] Speaker A: Wow. Thank you. But it was like one of those moments where you almost like, am I real? Pinch me. Is this really happening? Yeah, I understand. [00:22:32] Speaker B: Yeah. Also, it tells how humble and ground to earth he is, where he was like, all right, I'll join with you guys. So that was kind of something that, though, he runs this billion dollar company and he wasn't hesitant to just kind of share an uber with us. That tells a lot about him. [00:22:52] Speaker A: Absolutely. Yeah. I do enjoy conversations with him. I don't think enough people really have a conversation. Not that he's available as often as you'd like, but if you have an opportunity to talk to him at a word camp, talk to him. He's a real person and he's an interesting person to spend some time with, for sure. So tell us a little bit more about what you do at multidots and multicolab and all of the things. Here's your opportunity for five minutes to kind of do a little more of a deep dive. Of course, I know you just said you do so many things, and I understand that. I do a lot of things myself, but I'm very interested in multicolab, especially because last year I saw a demo of it when it was still not even on the market. It was brand new. You were like, hey, look at this thing we're building, right? And it was like very soon after that, you opened it up for the world to take a look at. And I'm like, this is super cool. So when you get a chance, talk about that. I'm not hearing you now. I don't know if you. I think we got you back. Sure, no problem. No, I've lost you all together. You're not even moving on the screen now. I don't know if you can hear me. If you need to go out and come back in, we can do that. So let's talk a little bit about your companies and what you do. And I know that you told us you have a lot of companies. I do a lot of things that is not foreign to me. I also have a lot of things that I do, and I think a lot of us do. But of course, tell us about multi dots. But I am super interested in what you've been doing with multi collab as well. Mostly because last year when we were in Oklahoma, which, gosh, I say last year because it technically was 2022, but it feels like it was literally almost two years ago because I think it was February of 2022, but you were like, hey, guys, look at this thing we're developing. And it wasn't even public yet. And a few months later, people started talking about it like, oh, my gosh, did you see this? You can actually collaborate. But I feel like I got in on the ground floor because I got to see it before a lot of other people did. So tell us all about that and whatever you want to talk about. We got a good five minutes that we can do a little bit more of a deep dive into what you do. [00:25:30] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. So, Multicolab, what it does is it's a Google Doc style collaboration, content collaboration for WordPress. Now, if we look at any content creation platform, whether it's Sigma or Microsoft Word, Google Doc or the Mac page, pretty much like even the canva and notion, like, bunch of all the modern content creation tools, if we put it. One thing that is common among all those tools is that they all have collaborations, so multiple team members can come together and collaborate on a piece of content together and they can publish it together. So that's like collaborative content creation. Collaborative content publishing is there as the default feature in pretty much all the modern content creation apps. Unfortunately, WordPress was lacking that feature and WordPress is a great, and a lot of content creators around the world they use, even Tim Ferriss blog is on WordPress. Like all the content creators and publishers, they use WordPress for ease of use and all the great benefits. But when it comes to collaborating with a remote team or even the team within the same location, it's very challenging. And especially I think after the COVID and more people started working from home and working remotely, they all were looking for this collaborative editing in WordPress. So I think few of us customer around 2021 they reached out, they're like, hey, we have 300 authors, 300, 400 authors, and most of the times at least 15 or 20 of them, they collaborate together in order to publish a content. It's like we are using right now Google Doc in order to create. So what we do is we write the content, create the content in Google Doc and then copy and paste into WordPress and that's when we publish. And so they were our client, multiros client, and we built actually a lot of interesting and beautiful Gutenberg blocks. We tried to kind of like improve their workflow. We built lot of smart widget, smart blocks and the templates, all of that great stuff. And they paid thousands of dollars to us in order to build that feature. And when we deployed the website, they were not using it. And I was like, what's going on? And that's when I learned from them. It's like, hey, we are actually writing all this content in Google Doc and then we're just copying and pasting it here. So it's like a lot of blocks that you build. It's not that much of use to us because we basically write and collaborate content outside WordPress and we just copy and paste here. And that was a moment for me. I was like, wow, we are missing so much and putting so much living on the table and not able to leverage. And so that's where they say like, hey, can you build or find a Google Doc style collaboration plugin for us so that we can kind of publish it? Because I told them, I was like, hey, you paid us this thousands of dollars to build all this and now you're not using it. Yeah. So then I started, I and my team, I gave them. All right, find out if there is any plugin that we can use or suggest to the client. So we did a lot of research. We couldn't actually find, I mean there were some editorial commenting plugins, but there weren't any inline Google because Google I think has become a standard, like when it comes to the collaboration, right? It became like a default Google set a very high bar. So it's like you are not going to just get away with doing something which is not user friendly as the Google and other apps has. So we didn't find any plugins and that's when we decided that. All right, now I think this is an opportunity, this is also a problem, but this is also an opportunity because that client, because of that whole discussions and all we talked about, this is one reason that also a lot of publishers probably will not be actually using WordPress because they need these collaborating features. And I remember around that time, Matt, he already announced four phases of Gutenberg and phase three was going to be a collaboration, but that was still like far in the future. [00:30:27] Speaker A: It still isn't part of. So it's still in the. [00:30:30] Speaker B: Yeah, so, yeah, so that's when we built Multicolab. And at this moment we have quite a large team from Ganet and then smartassets.com. So they are like a big financial blog and news publishing website. So we have anywhere from a team of three to team of 300 using and collaborating and publishing the content in WordPress using Multicolab. [00:30:58] Speaker A: That is so super cool. It makes me want to find somebody to collaborate with me on a blog just so I can use it and see how it works. So I'm going to do that. I'm going to do that. I'm going to find somebody to collaborate on a post with me. We're going to put multi dots in, I'm sorry, multicolabbin and then I'm going to report out to the world how awesome it is. I promise. [00:31:16] Speaker B: Yeah, and we actually just very recently we also launched our 4.0 version where we had inline commenting and Google Doc style suggestions, but we are still working on building the real time editing so multiple users simultaneously in one post can edit a content at the same time in real time. That feature is very big problem. Technically it's a very big problem. So we have been working on that for I think more than two years and finally we launched that feature. So now I can probably say now it's like everything that Google Doc offers when it comes to the collaboration, that you can use it with multi collab in WordPress. [00:32:02] Speaker A: Those few times when I do, it's not even collaborating on the writing, but where somebody's putting in the featured image and then they're like, okay, it's in there. And I'm like, it still says you're editing. Can I take over? Can you refresh those conversations? Won't have to happen, I'm assuming, because it's not like, get out of the post so I can finish it. Right. That's what you're constantly saying to other people. So very exciting. That is super exciting. I love that. Yeah, for sure. Gosh, I literally can't wait to try it because I think it sounds so. I love things that are innovative. Right. And so there's reinventing the wheel, we see. I love forms. I love form plugins. There are a lot of form plugins. I mean, I have my favorite, of course, right? We all do. And they're all different, but they're iterations of the same function, whereas this doesn't exist. And so this is true innovation, which I think is very cool. So thank you. I'm very excited to get into that and see what it looks like for myself. So we'll talk later. I will find out how to get that and we'll do some work on that for sure. [00:33:10] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:33:11] Speaker A: Well, let me move into our rapid fire questions. As I say, if they're not really rapid, just take your time by asking them. It's all good. But what are two or three must have plugins that you would recommend to somebody building their own website? [00:33:29] Speaker B: I would say one of them is not a plugin, but it's a theme. So Astra has really good high performing themes and we use in a lot of our internal website, but also we sometimes suggest to some of our clients. So Astra, they did a really good job in terms of creating not only the user friendly, but also the developer friendly themes. Second, I would say publishpress. So they have a bunch of different custom roles and permissions. So we work a lot with publishers. So that's why I think they have built a lot of different tools and plugins. Those are really useful. And we recommend to not of all of our clients, but the clients who need more advanced workflow in their publishing. And yeah, I might be a little bit biased, but multicolab, because it is, again, providing that, saving the time for if you are a developer and if you're building a website for your clients and your client is publishing a lot of content using WordPress, then it saves tons of time. Actually, we did a little test with that. So we tried to publish a blog using Google Doc and Gutenberg so copying and pasting the content from Google Doc to WordPress. And I'm talking about just a single person. Even if not, we are not talking about multiple people collaborating just one person in order to create the content if they are using the Google Doc. Because sometimes even if you have a small team, you would still share the draft with someone to review. Or like if your content writer or freelance writer is writing a content, you will provide some feedback. So even if you have very small team, there is like that feedback loop that you do and then you copy and paste the content. So it actually going back to the time saving. So it saves I think 42% of the time. So publishing with Multicolab is 42% faster. So that's one reason why I would also. [00:35:27] Speaker A: That's a lot. That's a significant amount of time for sure. [00:35:30] Speaker B: And it's just in one post, right? Like imagine if you're publishing across a. [00:35:34] Speaker A: Lot, lots of posts. Yeah, that's amazing. Okay, we're going to talk more because I have other ideas, but off the show, off the show. At any point in your business WordPress journey, have you had a mentor, whether that was an official mentor or unofficial, maybe somebody that you've looked up to, been able to ask questions of and yeah, who was it? [00:36:00] Speaker B: I would say Krishlema. So Krishlema, I've been to his couple of events. Plus also whenever I get stuck into, whenever I have a WordPress, product questions, pricing questions, I just book a mentoring session, consulting session with him and yeah, it's very helpful. So I would say Chris Lemma, Jonathan Wald, he's an amazing person. So when I started building our product business, I did bunch of different paid consulting with him in order to understand those. And he's super smart and helpful. Even right now we are not under the contract. But still I ask any questions to him on a slack, he always respond to that. So I just love him as a person and also how talented he is. And I would say Matt Mullenweg, even though we are not working into any advisor or mentor relationship, but just listening to his podcast and his blogs and it kind of itself gives me a lot of different advice as how to run a business and like leadership and entrepreneurship advice, just listening to his podcast. [00:37:16] Speaker A: Wonderful. Okay, now the next question, you can't say any of those names again because it's more interesting if we can talk about more people. But who is somebody in the WordPress community that you admire and why? I know I just took away the top three, so you'll have to think of something else. [00:37:37] Speaker B: Let me think about it. [00:37:41] Speaker A: I know it's not easy. There's so many awesome people out there. [00:37:46] Speaker B: Yeah, I think I would say Pippins. I'm not sure if I'm saying his name right. Yeah, Pippin. He was the founder of easy Digital download and bunch of other plugins. Yeah. I think I admire him a lot because he's kind of like an ideal of what I talk about, peaceful growth. So I've seen a lot of people who are very successful in their life and their career. They build very successful business, but for some reason they would not be as humble as grounded. But I feel like Pippin has been that, like, he built an awesome product, he built an amazing business, but he is also a very humble and grounded human being. So I think that's something that I really like about him. [00:38:45] Speaker A: I like that. That's a good answer. And I don't think anybody's ever mentioned him before. So shout out to Pippin. Awesome. What's something that you'd like to learn in WordPress but that you haven't tackled yet? [00:38:59] Speaker B: Full site editing. [00:39:01] Speaker A: You are not alone. You are not alone in that one. Absolutely. [00:39:06] Speaker B: Yeah. Like, I mean, as a consultant, we provide services to our customer. My team, everyone in my team, they know full site editing, my solution architect and all of them, they know about it. And I keep telling myself that I was like, yeah, at some point I need to kind of just play with it, learn a little bit more about it. But yeah, that someday has never come yet. [00:39:32] Speaker A: Same. I will say absolutely same. What's the biggest mistake or one of the biggest mistakes you've ever made in WordPress and what did you learn from? [00:39:48] Speaker B: It's not a mistake, but I think it's a missed opportunity that I see. So since last few years, we have seen how email newsletter just has just flooded like everywhere you will see email newsletter. It's kind of like become one of the way where people love consuming content, not just reading a blog or the social media, but more like email newsletters. And when I see Substack and Ghost and all those different platform which allows publishers or the content creators to kind of create and publish and manage their newsletter and subscription, obviously they're like, oh, that's such a missed opportunity in WordPress. Like WordPress could have been that where could have somebody or even the WordPress would have built something for the content creators so that they can easily create content, publish content and build their newsletter and audience. And I feel like, yeah, that's something that I always think like, it's really great. Big missed opportunity for WordPress. [00:41:04] Speaker A: Yeah, for sure. What is your proudest WordPress moment? [00:41:15] Speaker B: So when Matt announced Gutenberg, I think it was very initial phase of Gutenberg where like, oh, we're going to build a know a block editor to compete with Wix and the other content creation platform. So at that time we had a classic editor and before Gutenberg we had a classic. I mean, we still have a classic editor, but there are also this bunch of different page builders which are again, awesome. They solve a problem, they serve a purpose. So we had one of our client and they had, I think, 2025 websites in WordPress and they were using a page builder, but they were not happy with the page performance because it was slowing down the whole website. And we did some internal testing in the very early version of Gutenberg. And even though like user experience wise there was still a lot of room for improvement. But performance wise, when we did a side by side comparison of Gutenberg and a couple of other page builder, we found that Gutenberg was actually much more faster when it comes to page performance. And so at the time, I think it was very initial days of the Gutenberg, my team even didn't know much about Gutenberg. So I told them, I was like, we're going to build this website. Like, we are going to migrate the page builder migration. So it's still WordPress, but we're going to migrate all the other page builder to Gutenberg in order to give the better speed to our client. So I had to sell Gutenberg to my client first and I told them like, hey, we did this experiment. I have even all the evidence that Gutenberg is much faster than, because it's a know so native platform and all that. And so I sold it to my client, but selling it to my team was very hard to sell because they were like, oh, we don't know about Gutenberg. We don't know how long it will take. We'll finish project. But long story short, yeah, we actually migrated all the 20 websites from other page builder to Gutenberg and we achieved the remarkable page performance that we promised to the customer. My team loved building the website and they learned actually from that and they felt really great about working on something that they initially thought that, oh, this is not a good idea to do it. But I think that was kind of like a very proud moment. I would say that we were early adopter of Gutenberg and that enabled a lot of different opportunities for us as an agency from that point onwards. [00:43:50] Speaker A: I love that so many people were afraid of it, first of all, because it's not the way it's change is hard, right? That's not the way I've always done it. And I used to teach classes in WordPress, and then Gutenberg came and I was like, I can't teach this until I learn it because I don't know. Right. So stop teaching classes until I can. And then people who were learning WordPress after that point, that was native WordPress to them, they didn't know before and after like some of us did. And so, yeah, I think that's great. I love that. That's your really proud moment. I can get behind that. That's awesome. [00:44:24] Speaker B: And also, I think just general, a lot of time, what happens is we just hear from third party, right? Oh, this is bad. This is good. And I was like, we are engineers, so we should actually just try whatever. For example, people are like, oh, no, Gutenberg is not faster. I was like, let's just taste like Gutenberg is not easy. Taste it until you have a firsthand experience or your own experience, then you can make form an opinion. All right, I like Gutenberg. I hate Gutenberg. But before making that, like, not just because some people on slack or just in general talk about the good or bad, and you accept think not just in this Gutenberg story, but in general in my life, that has been one of my driving values. Like, okay, something that is not going to kill me, trying, not going to kill me, then I would try it first and then we'll form an opinion about it. [00:45:20] Speaker A: I love that. That's a great attitude to have. Absolutely. And a good way to approach new things, for sure. Because fear holds people back way too much. And like you said, trying Gutenberg was not going to kill you. So what are you afraid of? [00:45:33] Speaker B: Exactly right. [00:45:35] Speaker A: If you weren't working in tech at all, take web, take tech out of it, right. What's another career that you might like to attempt? And I'm going to guess maybe barista, but I don't know. But you tell us, what's another career that you might like to try? [00:45:51] Speaker B: Well, I would say your guess is not wrong. So it's a tie between more than barista, actually. I want to own and run a coffee shop. So that's something that I think at some point in the future I want to do. But I have a tie between running a coffee shop and meditation teacher. [00:46:14] Speaker A: You could have coffee shop where everybody gets all hyped up on caffeine and then you're like, but in the back room. We could help you calm down. [00:46:23] Speaker B: I love it. Awesome. Yeah, that's a good idea. Yeah. So you drink coffee and then on the next room, yeah, we'll do some yoga and meditation and take that, all those energies out. [00:46:35] Speaker A: You need two rooms. One for people who are already drinking decaf, and then the other one is a little more intense with the people who are caffeinated. I don't know. We'll talk later. I have more ideas. What's something on your bucket list? [00:46:56] Speaker B: So I do this practice right up here where every year I pick ten to twelve items that I'm going to do. Because sometimes I feel like we delay too much. It's like, oh, I'm going to do sometimes in the future. But when it comes to the bucket list. So I had this practice of every year around December. I would think like, okay, what are the ten to twelve experience? The big experiences or something that I want to experience or achieve or accomplish in next year. So I kind of like focus on yearly basis. My bucket list and this year's bucket list was doing this coffee course at Texas coffee school. Also becoming yoga and meditation teachers. I went to Bali beginning of this year and did my yoga and meditation teacher training program for the next year. I have one which is burning man festival. Not maybe next year, but in next two years I want to go and attend a burning man festival. And then not next year necessarily, but yeah, at some point in my life I want to publish a couple of books. So I want to be an author. My learn and grow cafe that we talked about. Like, I want to have a coffee shop. I already have a name, learn and grow cafe, but I like it. And another, I think my north star is attaining enlightenment. So, yeah, like experiencing to be what it feels like to be an enlightened being. [00:48:48] Speaker A: Those are pretty lofty goals. I like them. That's awesome. I mean, other people say they want to go to Japan, but I like yours. They're bigger, more universal type goals. That's really awesome. That's fantastic. Mine is to give a Ted talk. I want to give a Ted talk. And so I'm watching for when TEDx comes back to Rochester because it's local to me. I keep applying every year because one of these years I'm going to give a TED talk and that's what I'm going to do. [00:49:15] Speaker B: Nice. Have you read that book about the founder of TED Talk? He published a book about, I think, basically observed the top ten or 20 TED talk and then he gave a formula about how to deliver a great TED talk and presentation, introduction and closing and all of that. I'll send that to you. [00:49:44] Speaker A: Send me the link. I'll definitely read that one for sure. And we all have our favorite TED talks, so we could talk about that sometime too. But I have the ones that I recommend to people all the time that just help you think about life differently or from a different perspective, which I love. [00:50:00] Speaker B: Nice. [00:50:01] Speaker A: Show us. Or tell us about a hidden talent that you have that people in the WordPress community might not be aware of. Maybe it's making coffee because we already talked about. [00:50:11] Speaker B: Yeah, actually I was going to say meditation. Like I have practiced 300, 400 hours of meditation in last five years, last ten years. And I have also been teaching or offering the meditation practice to my team for last two years every week and done like a bunch of different meditation. I think. Yeah, there is a lot that I learned about meditation and all, being engineer and practical and rational person, I always made a fun about the whole the meditations and all that, just kind of like practicing it and experiencing a little bit more. That kind of changed my perspective about what meditation is and what meditation is not a secret anymore because a lot of people that knows about it. But I would say one secret, which is my napping skills. I take a power nap every day since, for last five years. [00:51:30] Speaker A: Okay. [00:51:32] Speaker B: And it's 17 to 27 minutes power nap between one to 03:00 p.m. And that power nap has changed so much. I mean, helped me so much in order to be more productive, be more energetic. And I think that's something that I wouldn't miss it. And that's kind of like one of my secret of my energy and all the seven brands that I manage. I think the power nap is one of that tiny little secret that I'm not sure if I've talked much about. [00:52:10] Speaker A: It, but yeah, I love a good nap and there's a lot to be said there. And working from home makes it easier, too. I think when I was working in an office every single day, now I have my break for lunch or something, and instead of just sitting at my desk eating, I'll go lay on my couch for a little while. I'll set an alarm because I'm known to fall asleep when I do that. Right, set an alarm and then go back to work. And yeah, you are a lot more refreshed and sometimes you have a new approach to a problem that you've been struggling with through the day. So there's a lot of good things that come from a power nap for sure. [00:52:45] Speaker B: Yeah. And one little hack with the power nap is that if you drink a cup of coffee right before your nap and then 20 minutes later, because coffee takes, I think, at least depending on your body, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to kind of actually kick in. So by the time you get out of your nap, you will not feel like groggy and tired, but you will feel more refreshed because that's when coffee kicks in. So that's why that's something that is also another hack that if you feel like, okay, I'm having a hard time after getting out of 20 minutes, power nap may become probably three hour asleep. So then that coffee, having a cup. [00:53:28] Speaker A: Of coffee right before wake up really awake. [00:53:31] Speaker B: Exactly. Yeah. [00:53:32] Speaker A: I love it. All right, I'm going to start trying to try that from now on. If people want to learn more about you, if they want to connect with you, what's the best way to do that? [00:53:43] Speaker B: I would say my personal website, which is anilg substack.com. So I have a substac blog where I publish like a weekly newsletter. And that is where I have all the links for the podcast, all my three brands that I talked about. But I think that is the place where they can learn more about my story, my long story. I have two different versions of the story, like short story and long story, whatever, and all the other things that, exciting things that I do and experiment in my. [00:54:18] Speaker A: Oh, very good. So, and if you're listening to this podcast, you don't have to memorize that. Just go to wpcoffeetalk.com, look for Anil's episode, and that will be in the show notes along with the transcript of today's episode. So thank you so much for joining me today. It was nice to have a cup of coffee with you, and I'm sure yours was better than my Keurig coffee, but it still accomplished the same purpose it does. And I look forward to seeing you at a future WordPress event together, for sure. Is there any last things you'd like to say before we sign off today? [00:54:52] Speaker B: Thanks for having me here. And of course, really great conversation. And especially I've been to a lot of different podcasts, but I love the questions. It actually takes out a very candid side of me. And I always tell my team that all the great stories and wisdoms and knowledge and insights is just one question away. Just if you know how to ask like one good questions, you can basically extract any wisdom from end anyone. And yeah, so big kudos to you. For bringing in all those great questions. [00:55:30] Speaker A: Thank you very much. It was great to talk to you today. We'll see everybody else on the next episode of WP Coffee Talk. Stay cool.

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