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GutenBOOM: How Being First to Market Powered by Year

GutenBOOM: How Being First to Market Powered by Year

At WordCamp US 2017, Matt Mullenweg announced that he believed WordPress 5.0 would be out in April, with the brand new editor Gutenberg. With that news, Joe decided to be proactive and develop the first Gutenberg user course. In this talk, Joe will discuss how being first to market in January 2018 transformed and powered his business for a large part of the fiscal year.


Joe Casabona

May 22, 2019


  1. GutenBOOM! How Being First To Market Powered the Most of

    My 2018
  2. Johannes Gutenberg “Yes, it is a press, certainly, but a

    press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams, the most abundant and most marvelous liquor that has ever flowed to relieve the thirst of men!”
  3. @jcasabona Gutenberg was coming.

  4. @jcasabona Photo by Sheri Bigelow “Learn Javascript, Deeply.” - Matt

    Mullenweg in 2015.
  5. @jcasabona By 2017, we were seeing real demos. Target: April

  6. What I learned by being 1st to market: • Stay

    ahead of the news • Partnerships are important • Keep an open mind • Do the work • Establish authority quickly
  7. @jcasabona Stay Ahead of the News • You can’t be

    first to market if you don’t know what’s coming • Attend WordCamps, listen to talks • Have conversations with people in the space • Read blogs / news articles • Find what people are asking for!
  8. @jcasabona I knew Gutenberg was coming, but needed a little

  9. @jcasabona Partnerships are Important! • You can’t do it all

    alone • Find people who compliment your skills • Make sure you like & trust them • Talk to them about ideas you each have.
  10. @jcasabona Zac Gordon approached me after WordCamp 2017 and told

    me I should make a course.
  11. @jcasabona Keep an Open Mind • Look for opportunities •

    Listen to ideas • Consider them before just saying no* • If you like it, figure out if you can make it work *Some caveats apply
  12. @jcasabona I thought it was a brilliant idea! And it

    fit in with my mission.
  13. @jcasabona Do the Work • Don’t just talk about it

    • Make time to create an MVP • Release that MVP as soon as you can
  14. @jcasabona Zac and I released our courses in early January

    2018. Then we iterated.
  15. @jcasabona Establish Authority Quickly • We became a deFacto source

    for Gutenberg education • This lead to related work and contracts • We both built our audiences
  16. @jcasabona Rinse, Repeat! I followed this cycle within the Gutenberg

    space until it officially came out in December.
  17. Powering my Year • Launching the Course • Iterating •

    Consulting Gigs • Licensing • Launching Related Products
  18. @jcasabona Launching the Course • I knew I was getting

    early adopters, but wasn’t sure about much else. • Based on feedback, audience, and value, I iterated • I didn’t do that much marketing in the beginning
  19. @jcasabona Biggest Takeaway: Stay on top of 
 fast-changing markets.

  20. @jcasabona How did I Iterate? • Stayed on top of

    Gutenberg news for big changes • Added new modules regularly • Completely updated the course twice • Broke it into 2 courses: “Intro” and “for Freelancers”
  21. @jcasabona Biggest Takeaway: Listen to your audience.

  22. @jcasabona Consulting Gigs • Course made people want to hire

    me to train their clients and users • Got hired to do webinars, workshops, and write documentation • This helped my bottom line more than sales
  23. @jcasabona Course Licensing • Organizations like Automattic and WP101 wanted

    to license my content • Agencies wanted to work with me on creating similar, extended content
  24. @jcasabona Launching Related Products • Over the summer 2018, Zac

    and I launched a “Theming for Gutenberg” course to supplement our other offers • I created a workbook and checklists to help
  25. @jcasabona Biggest Takeaway: Be aware of the secondary opportunities.

  26. What should you do? • Look for opportunities • Keep

    an open mind • Find partners to work with • Do the work
  27. Joe Casabona Educator, Developer, Podcaster @jcasabona casabona.org/wordsesh/