You can find Jean on LinkedIn or Twitter. This is our recent interview with him, as part of our Kinsta Kingpin series.
Q1: What is your background, & how did you first get involved with WordPress?
I started out as a freelance website developer and for this reason I soon needed a CMS to implement on my clients’ websites. This was back in 2006 and the market share for Open Source CMSs was still split a number of ways with Mambo/Joomla, WordPress, Drupal and MODX all vying for the top spot as CMS of choice.
I started out with Joomla (then called Mambo) but soon realized that it was overly complicated for the clients to use. Shortly afterwards I discovered WordPress and have never looked back since.
Q2: What should readers know about the companies/projects you’re involved with?
WP Mayor is one of the most visited WordPress resource sites on the web, and I run that together with my wife Alyona. We also have several writers to help us keep pumping out great content on a daily basis.
I also love building products and the result of that passion is our product side of the business, consisting of WP RSS Aggregator as well as a few extensions for Easy Digital Downloads. WP RSS Aggregator has thousands of users and several premium add-ons.
Lately we are working hard on EDD Bookings and I am very optimistic about this plugin as I have spoken to countless people over the years who have urged me to create a booking solution for WordPress.
Last but not least, I co-host the Mastermind.fm podcast which is all about building successful businesses on the WordPress platform. I thoroughly enjoy the chats with my co-host James Laws, as well as those with our interviewees. I am really looking forward to improving as a podcast host and growing this project further.
Q3: What challenges did you face in building your businesses?
The fact that I was constantly traveling wasn’t easy; it was hard to juggle work and travel planning plus getting used to new places, finding co-working spaces etc. On the other hand I was lucky enough to find great people to work with us and we now have a fantastic remote team that I can rely on 100% even when I’m traveling.
Q4: Did anything surprise you during the process of growing them?
I can’t think of anything in particular but I’m very much learning as I go, so challenges are encountered on a daily basis. I love entrepreneurship though so this is all part of the game.
Q5: What does the future look like for WP Mayor?
We hope to introduce new features to the site and improve the design to make certain content more accessible. The site has grown immensely over time and so we need to make sure that a new user can find what he needs without too much searching around. The main aim is of course to grow the audience and perhaps launch a podcast in the near future.
Q6: What’s the WP community in your area like?
Being a digital nomad that is a hard question to answer, however I can tell you that the WP community on a global basis is really awesome. Whenever I move to a new country one of the first things I do is attend a WordPress meetup to get to know people. In Chiang Mai I even founded the local WordPress meetup and made several friends with whom I have remained in touch along the years.
Q7: What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from your laptop?
I love travel and practicing several sports, depending on the location that I’m in. I also love reading across a wide range of topics.
Q8: Who should we interview next, and why?
My podcast co-host James Laws, all-round great guy and he’s doing a great job with Ninja Forms.