24 episodes

Jason and Kim Coleman dig into business topics and family topics as married co-founders running a WordPress plugin development company and raising two kids.

That Talking Thing Stranger Studios

    • Business
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Jason and Kim Coleman dig into business topics and family topics as married co-founders running a WordPress plugin development company and raising two kids.

    Are seasons worth it? What was going on in the car that night? [Family] That Talking Thing | S2, E16

    Are seasons worth it? What was going on in the car that night? [Family] That Talking Thing | S2, E16

    Family-focused topics from Jason and Kim. We'll talk about living in a climate with four distinct seasons. Is it really worth it? Some people just live where it's mostly beautifully warm all the time. We'll also talk about what exactly was going on in the car ride to dinner last night.

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    Transcript: Season 2, Episode 16

    Welcome back to that talking thing. I'm Kim I'm Jason. This is episode 16, season two. We have a couple of life topics and, um, I have kind of a sensitive question coming up in the second half of this episode, but we'll start with maybe an easier one, uh, where man, it's springtime here. And we had a couple of nice days today was a little chillier, but every time we have like nice spring days, I think there's places on earth where the weather is always like this.

    Like why do we wear it sometimes cold and sometimes oppressively hot. So, uh, what do you think about that? Like, you know, about choosing to live here for school? Hold on. I thought this topic was about seasons and our podcasts because about actual seasons. Okay. Got it. Got it. Got it. Well, we live in a temperate climate.

    We live in the Northeast in Pennsylvania, in the United States. So we do have four seasons. We have we're currently entering spring. I know. Is it starting this weekend is the 21st or something like that? I think it's starting this weekend. Okay. Yeah. And then we'll have summer, then we'll have fall, then we'll have winter.

    Um, I like living where there's seasons. Yeah. I think that they're just the right amount of time that you are getting kind of sick of that weather and ready for it to get to a new temperature. Yeah. I used to think so. I think so. I don't know if I think so. I used to think so. And I don't know if I think so anymore.

    Cause like in the winter time it gets cozy, you know, or like I really appreciate the fall because the summer is so hot. Um, and do we need that kind of change to really appreciate it or people who live in like San Diego, just like, dude, it's always nice to know. Are you talking about like, I ride my bike whenever I want, but we get to have a variety of activities.

    We get to have like a winter sport and it's summer sports and you know how much we love sports. Yeah. And think would do it, had to take that much advantage on it. I don't know. But yeah, we got a lot of, uh, good growing seasons here in Pennsylvania. So we get. Yeah, we have a lot of farming and backyard farms, but also gardens and different kinds of farms.

    Yeah. In a tropical climate where it's the same all the time. It's always the same kind of produce that's in season versus here. We're in spring, we're having like broccoli, cauliflower, beets, spinach, all these kind of cool weather crops will translate into summer when we'll have fresh tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, all local.

    If you're trying to minimize your impact on the world with the food and travel, and this is kind of a privileged conversation of, we can choose to live somewhere else. We work from home, not everyone does, but I think some part of our audience is. Couples who are working together potentially remotely and do have this option.

    Um, and we, we choose to live here because our family is around here. Like I like being near our friends and our family who happened to live around here. Yeah. Um, but sometimes it's tempting to, you know, There's no way to really test this is their go live somewhere for a year or something. Yeah. Oh, it has to be a whole year.

    Cause the whole point is like you would get tired of, you have to break through and never end your summer. This is maybe where, if the folks who are watching on YouTube and stuff,

    • 17 min
    Guessing & Testing a Feature's Popularity, A Bias Towards Action [Business] That Talking Thing | S2, E15

    Guessing & Testing a Feature's Popularity, A Bias Towards Action [Business] That Talking Thing | S2, E15

    Business-focused topics from Jason and Kim. We'll talk about how to know whether a new feature is going to be popular. What are some ways to see whether many people really need this or just a few noisy users. We also discuss realizing our team has a bias towards action and some ways to help us interview and hire the people that naturally have this bias.

    Follow Jason on Twitter, Follow Kim on Twitter, Follow Stranger Studios on Twitter

    Transcript: Season 2, Episode 15

    Welcome back to that talking thing. I'm Kim I'm Jason. This is episode 15, season two, and we were talking about our favorite thing, not our children, our business as stop X. And there's a good one coming up a phrase that I've been like reading recently. That's really motivated me in changing the way I think about business.

    But first let's also talk about how do you know if a feature will be popular. Yeah. So I'm going to talk about a feature that's been brought up repeatedly historically for our product. People have mentioned it and then we'll decide maybe we'll make a plan for how would you evaluate whether the popularity of this?

    So, one thing is. WordPress user accounts. We're a membership plugin for WordPress. So it tacks onto WordPress allows you to create members in your WordPress site that login can access private things. Um, you can do a paid membership or you can do a free membership. So for this feature, um, all WordPress user accounts require an email address.

    People have long said, what if I don't have users with email address? Is there a certain, uh, age that they're not email users? Along with that. What do you do if somebody has an account with an email address and just wants to update their billing, doesn't want to have to authenticate. Doesn't want to have to log in.

    So I guess the feature is kind of twofold, a user accounts without an email address or some kind of magic links that would come to you by email, and you could use to authenticate yourself without a password to manage your account. Whether it's to update a payment method on file access and invoice, you see like magic links, a lot of places, whether it's secure codes or, or secret code sent to you, all kinds of things.

    So how would you even evaluate if we should do that? It's been. In our internal channels for awhile and it's tough. And I know why we have them because I think the notion is that this is easier. It's less, you don't even have an email, but not in this case. It's like the internet expects you to have an email address and kind of accounting for those cases where you don't have one, or you already have an account on the site is complicated.

    And that's why we keep kicking the can down the road. But it, um, we need like, There's other stuff they'll say, I want to be able to check out without an email address, but there's probably like something else. We could get more specific about what they really need. Um, But it is, uh, yeah. So both of those things w cause people are asking for them, is it still a good idea to do this also came up again because we're talking with a crypto protocol, which part of the unlock protocol and part of, uh, you know, crypto in general is kind of privacy.

    And, uh, you know, you could sign in with a Ethereum wallet and we don't know your email address, and that's kind of one of the problems that has to be handled. And they're kind of diving in head on. Um, like how about WordPress user count without an email? Um, and just try to fake it. Um, Hm. So how would we evaluate if it's, I don't, I don't even, it's funny.

    Like, I, I believe people would use this and like I would, on my own side, I realized, yeah, that one where like, w uh, on the alumni association site, we imported a bunch of users and then the

    • 17 min
    Do we work TOO much? Kids and Wasting Salad at Lunch [Family] That Talking Thing | S2, E14

    Do we work TOO much? Kids and Wasting Salad at Lunch [Family] That Talking Thing | S2, E14

    Family-focused topics from Jason and Kim. We'll talk about our children and how they think we work too much. Also covered is wasting food, specifically salad which we aren't sure that they really like but think is healthy. Why is wasting food such a trigger for Kim as an adult?

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    Transcript: Season 2, Episode 14

    Welcome back to that talking thing. I'm Kim and Jason. This is episode 14, season two, and we are talking about our life. Yeah. Later on in the episode, we're going to have a funny story about our daughter. Uh, but first we'll start off with a question. Uh, do we work too much? And this was motivated by the fact that we had a list of ideas for this podcast.

    And we had about eight business ideas and you're like, we have no life ideas. And I was like, maybe that's our first idea is why are we thinking about work so much? And we don't have life questions. I want to talk about that, but I want to also say, and not in a cryptic way, but our kids are getting older and we are going through some interesting things with both of them.

    But I think that they're personal and I, as I don't post photos of our kids on Facebook, I don't judge you. If you do. We stopped doing that for their own privacy. Yeah. We advise them how to be safe online with their privacy. And I think if we exposed things that they were exploring in their lives and questions and things, we may have tiptoed a little bit around some things in the past, but the older they get, the more I want to protect.

    Yeah, as preteens and teens, because I don't not have things about our life that I want to talk to you about. I just don't wanna talk to you about them. So I hope every parent can respect that. So I'll talk all about us. So books, do we work too much?

    I don't know how so. Yeah, I guess you could, like, what does that mean? Like total time-wise is it spread out? Are we always thinking about work? All right. We look, I like our work, so it's kind of, you know, I tried to put myself in the mindset of like a person on our team who isn't tied to this business's performance success outcomes as directly as we are.

    And has as much influence on it as we do. And, and I think they still think about their job off hours, but I don't think that they have unhealthy work habits logging on to early in the day, logging on too late at night, logging on, on weekends. Yeah. Is there a related question? Do you work way more than me?

    And that's 10. No, no. I used to think that you've been keeping a better schedule through this year. Yeah.

    We work in separate places that helps. So you can like, you know, when I'm not working, you know, now the whole time I'm in the office, you think I'm here. I used to think that, um, when I worked at Accenture, I think you knew I was a good worker. Like you'd meet my coworkers and the really Jason's a good worker.

    And I would like get promoted and get paid. Well, Get stuff done. And then when we started working together, I guess it was rough. Cause it was the first time just working from home in general. But I think you realize like, oh, like Jason would like stop in the middle of the day and take breaks and get back.

    And maybe he's working like four hours out of a seven hour day. Um, and like the gaps in between were more noticeable. Uh, I've been noticing for myself that I, I work to scout. I don't work at intentionally enough. And that was a comment you made about blocking eventually getting back to a place where you could say Friday was a work on the business time.

    Right? I need time to write procedures and documentation and things like that. Instead of, I think we could both try some time boxing experime

    • 17 min
    [Business] That Talking Thing | S2, E13

    [Business] That Talking Thing | S2, E13

    Business-focused topics from Jason and Kim. ...

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    Transcript: Season 2, Episode 13

    Welcome back to that talking thing. I'm Kim I'm Jason. This is episode 13, season two, and we have some business topics later on in the episode, we're going to be talking about AB testing, if that's your jam. But first up, we're going to talk about freemium business models. And if should every membership site have a freemium model?

    Yeah. What is a freemium model? Jason? Okay. Ah, freemium is when you have a paid product, but you give away. Something for free first. It could be as simple as a free trial. I seen people talking about free trials as being freemium, but more often there's a free version of something that is limited in some way.

    Um, but you kind of capture people and then they have to upgrade. There's all kinds of like MailChimp has a free plan, but when you use it a lot, then you have to upgrade. Um, specifically, specifically, it was kind of a shower thought for me that, you know, our membership product is freemium and. I also had this thought that like, it was as simple as like we should write a blog post or have a video about the freemium business model and how it applies to membership sites.

    And I started thinking, I was like, should every single membership site have a freemium version? And sometimes it's obvious like, yes, like a podcast, there's a free podcast and a premium podcast. And that's your. Membership. Uh, but sometimes it's a little more settled. Like it, your blog posts are free, but the stuff you actually pay for is your premium.

    Like, so even if you don't have like a free product, almost every business is putting like free content out into the world. So I was trying to wrap my head around this and figure out how we could explain it to our customers. Patrick shared a tweet recently from Nathan Berry founder of convert kit. It was, you know, an audience is like a business hack.

    Like one of the best things to have in your pocket when you're starting a new business, like just a runway to being more successful because you've created an audience and that's what people use freemium for a way to create an audience that's willing just enough to give you some personal information, willing to commit just enough to liking your stuff for some small downloadable PDF, for some access to something.

    And you can later market that. So kind of the goal for us, we do open-source everything, but for freemium on our site, you need to create an account to access documentation. Yeah. That's really the only thing free people get as documentation, or you can get the plugin for free. We serve a version of the plugin for start download the generic membership site.

    Writing this blog post, is it like the title could be like, you have to have a free, what did we, we had like stats on this. How many of our members had freedom when Patrick did the research? It was an overwhelming majority. Had a free membership level and were priced at a monthly payment under $30. Yeah, it was the most.

    So maybe this is not news to folks like, Hey, you have to, but, oh, but, oh, the other motivation for this, remember when we're in person at booths at conferences, there's this order of conversation where they say, what do you do? It's a membership plugin for WordPress. And what does, what does that mean? Like you can charge for access to content.

    And then as a. What does it cost, but it's free. And like, how do you make money? Or they say like, can you use it even if you're not charging for access? Yes. I remember some plugins got paid memberships pro, so it's kind of, we have to say, Hey, it's okay if it's free, you know, figure

    • 15 min
    Empowering Self-Care for Kids, First Family Trip in 2+ Years [Family] That Talking Thing | S2, E12

    Empowering Self-Care for Kids, First Family Trip in 2+ Years [Family] That Talking Thing | S2, E12

    Family-focused topics from Jason and Kim. We'll talk about empowering your kids to manage their own self-care. Things like showering schedule, physical activity, grooming (haircuts, nail trims), and keeping their room tidy. We'll also debrief the success of our first family trip in over 2 years and some tricks we used to manage anxiety and schedules.

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    Transcript: Season 2, Episode 12

    Welcome back to that talking thing. I'm Kim I'm Jason. This is episode 12, season two. We have some life family topics, life topics, family topics, same thing. I wrote this topic a few weeks ago. I'm vague on what I meant with it. So we're going to peel back the layers of this onion and try to understand what I meant, but it's probably related to our kids.

    They're 10 they're 13, they're getting older and the topic is empowering. Your. To care for themselves. When I think of this topic, I think it must relate to hygiene because I'm the kind of a hygiene, I'm the protein police and I'm the hygiene police in our home. And by hygiene, it's trimming your nails, getting a haircut, keeping your room kind of clean washing well and not smelling using deodorant.

    Did I say using Q-tips so you don't have ear wax kind of just falling out onto your AirPods? Yeah. All of those things. It's probably rooted in this fear that people will at school will say my kids, the smelly kid, or the gross kid that the dirty kid or the kid covered in dog and cat hair. I don't know.

    Hygiene is important to me to put on. Not that I'm like fancy and well put together, but I'm clean. Yeah. How does the topic of empowering kids to care for yourself? Translate as a mysterious topic? Yeah, that is a challenge. I think it's interesting. Your word choice, empowering the kids to care for themselves.

    Cause it makes it seem like the kind of thing that we should like facilitate. Um, but like what you're also like for themselves or like yeah, empowering them. Like they have a toothbrush, you know, like what other sort of empowering, um, receiving reminders from us that your nails are getting too long. Your wax is in, you're hanging out right here, or it is time for that shower.

    So empowerment to me means handing off the job of doing it, of communicating that it must be done to somebody else and putting them in charge that's empowerment. Yeah. I think the two of finding a way to get them to care about these things that they maybe don't care about. And sometimes other parents or books will tell us like, well, just wait, when they go through purity, they'll get interested in significant others and start to care about these things when they don't.

    And you're like, I know some like 20 year olds that don't seem to care that they stank. So I don't want one of them

    but that's like, yeah, how do we get that? So it's weird that trust as a lot of parenting is kind of like it's okay. Just love your kid and trust that it'll be okay. But if we care about this, we got to talk about it. Like, I guess we could care about ourselves if we're always like, yo your breast Mao's dude, or like making fun of them, um, or something, or like commenting, like, but it's so rude.

    And like that one guy who, uh, there was some interview. Uh, a guy was talking, he studies like super successful people, become presidents and stuff like that. And he said like the formula is to have one parent that loves you unconditionally, no matter what. And another parent, that's like a hard ass and you can never please, and is like barely there.

    And like, you know, you always want their affection and you re. And then I think the interview was like, oh, so how do you do that with your kids? He was like, o

    • 19 min
    Giving Space vs. Jumping Into Convos, A/B Tests Tagline Idea [Business] That Talking Thing | S2, E11

    Giving Space vs. Jumping Into Convos, A/B Tests Tagline Idea [Business] That Talking Thing | S2, E11

    Business-focused topics from Jason and Kim. We'll discuss giving your team space in conversations vs. stepping in — when is the right moment and how can you avoid stunting ideas while also course correcting and stopping unapproved tangents. We also talk about A/B testing, specifically how our current "tagline" is a bit vanilla. Could we try something more inspirational?

    Follow Jason on Twitter, Follow Kim on Twitter, Follow Stranger Studios on Twitter

    Transcript: Season 2, Episode 11

    Welcome back to that talking thing. I'm Kim and Jason. Uh, we have episode 11, season two with some business topics. The first one it's about giving your team some space, specifically, not jumping in, into conversations that are happening. So either on zoom meetings, we work remotely or in our slack channels.

    If people are talking about something, I found like I have an opinion or like, or someone asked a question and they're like, what do you think? What should we be doing? And I'm like, of course I have an opinion on this. I try now with, you know, a team of 15 to 18 and, um, you know, more managers as well. Like I'll, I don't have to jump in early.

    I have to give them some space to figure it out. There's someone else on the team who also has an. And at least half the time, like someone that's like great job, someone else says it, you know? And then I get a moment of like, I can agree. Like that was a good idea. Like either behind the scenes or in the moment, like, you know, like that's a good idea, Andrew has, which is the same idea I would have suggested.

    And it's almost like it's better. It comes from someone else. So it's hard to keep that in mind, but that's almost something like I write on a note for meetings and, um, lately. I think I'm proactively doing this, also trying to let conversations happen before I jump in, because I know as an owner, once I respond and comment, everyone else's comments are shaded by what I've said.

    Um, but the problem is lately I've seen conversations that I hold back from, go down a path. Major correction either because it doesn't align with our goals, with our vision, with our core values, uh, with, with things I know that are happening in other teams and, and these conversations go too far. And before stepping in, they've gotten to a place where it's very much off the rails.

    Think they're excited about a new feature, but like, we should totally do that. Let's do that. Let's pitch it, dot that speech has got to be awesome. And then like me and mom, but like, you know, and you get to a point and that conversation has gotten so far, like a slack channel specifically. It doesn't happen in video call as often because I wouldn't let it go that far.

    I wouldn't let people falsely believe that their idea was great and they all got together and went pretty far. And I would just sit there with my eyes. Um, but it has happened in a slack conversation I come to later and it's very hard to hold on everyone actually now, and not just sound like a complete ass.

    I think it's like that just like with kids is like, this is a learning opportunity. And like, in her mind, maybe don't say that, but you say it to yourself. You're like, oh, this is like, this. Isn't like a problem. This is a learning opportunity. We are in the process we talked about before about, you know, sharing the core values with the team.

    And so if it is that's, the issue is, is kind of like, Hey, like our core value, you can talk from that angle or man, a lot of the time it's like, we've tried this, or we thought about this, or like we were doing this. Or we looked into that, you know, as like new people are coming on the team, they don't know the history.

    And it's like, this is a great idea. And you're

    • 19 min

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