Quick interview with Augustin Prot (weglot.com)
Hi could you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I’m a non tech guy who graduated from Dauphine, in Economics. Then I started my career in Finance, in merger and acquisition advisory. After 3 years, I thought I was not learning enough anymore, so I decided to try starting a company. But I had no specific and no partners. That’s when I met Rémy Berda (co-founder of Weglot), who had an idea, a first user and a strong background as an engineer and entrepreneur. It was the first step of the Weglot journey :).
When did you first stumble upon WordPress?
At the very beginning of Weglot, Rémy and I did not know anything about WordPress. Actually, the first time I heard about WordPress, was from a user asking us if we had a plugin to add Weglot to their website. Then, another user and another one kept asking us if we had a plugin available. We created the plugin and started discovering this amazing technology and community.
What product / website of yours are you most proud of and why?
The only one that came to my mind is Weglot :). Rémy brilliantly describes our very beginnings in this post as well as our first success here. To summarize, we started from a single and simple idea: adding multiple languages to a website shouldn’t be complicated. From this idea, we built a service used by more than 20k+ websites in less than 2 years. We developed an obsession for feedbacks and efficiency to try to develop the idea as quickly as possible with very limited ressources.
Now the thing that makes us very proud, is the Weglot team. We’re now 6 people, and we’re looking for additional expansion in the short/mid term.
Have you had any epic fails so far that you’d like to share with us?
Every entrepreneur have epic fails :). Failing is learning.
I can share 2 epic fails. The first one is my very first weeks/months on Weglot, I was in charge of finding new users. I tried cold emailing/calling potential leads. I thought that the startup employees/founders was a good niche to start with, totally wrong. First I needed to convince them multilingual was something they needed (you loose 80-90% of your leads), then I needed to get in touch with the guy in charge of the website (most of the time a freelance, overall only 1% of conversion). So a lot of energy for very little results, and a business model that could never be profitable.
The second one, is our first pricing structure. The very first weeks, we had a plan without any limits. Never do that. When you’re a service, you cannot sell it without limits. We experienced some innapropriate behaviors from users trying to take advantage of that, hopefully we understood our mistake very quickly and changed our pricing structure.
In your opinion, is the premium themes / plugins market saturated? Are there any opportunities out there?
I might not be the best guy to answer this question, as I’m relatively new to WordPress. However, Weglot is a good example that there is still room for new entrants. I think that WordPress is gradually going upmarket, offering opportunities to new solutions matching this type of needs and usage. In other words, premium solutions with a focus on user experience and simplicity.
What’s your advice to new theme / plugin authors?
Be user/customers focus and do not waste any time in trying to develop the most perfect solution/product, such product does not exist. Put all your energy in offering a first product that solve an existing problem, then iterate as quickly as possible to improve it.
If you had the chance to add a single feature in WordPress core, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to browse page codes (HTML/CSS included) the same way it’s done in Shopify.
Is the inclusion of the REST API a decision in the right direction and why?
Yes, nowadays, it seems to be one of the standard for web app builders.
What’s your take on project Gutenberg?
It’s a good and complicated question. From my non tech perspectives, I have the feeling that Automattic tried to bring a very new approach to further compete other web app builders. Again I’m not a tech guy, so it feels like it’s not something designed for .org web developers but more for .com web users.
What’s your current hardware / software setup. Any apps you can’t live without?
I have a MacBook Air 13″, and there with one App I love, Inkscape for creating and editing svg media.
What’s your typical day like?
A typical day starts between 8:30 and 9:00am at the office. After a first email review/check, I start by trying to structure my day into big tasks. Then, during 10-11hours it’s all about having things done ;).
Once every 2 weeks, we have a team drink. Otherwise, I play sports or spend time with friends and family.