While at WordCamp Nordic, we had the chance to get a quick interview with Jimmy Rosén who is the founder and CEO of a web agency called Angry Creative. It is an agency that focuses on WooCommerce solutions and is also the biggest one in Sweden!
In this interview, we talked about WooCommerce, e-commerce trends, Jimmy’s experiences and Angry Creative of course. We also finally found how Angry Creative got its name.
Hi, Jimmy! Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I started with WordPress way back in 2005 when I was a student. I started using it for clients and after I was done (the studies) I was like, “let’s do an agency”. And here we are today!
There’s a question I’m sure you hear all the time. Why Angry Creative? What is the reason behind the name?
Back in the day, open source software was not considered as a good choice. Proprietary software was the way to go. So it was a way for me to name the company after my beliefs that open source and open source values are important not just for our businesses but also for humankind as a civilization. So what can I say, angry young man, wanting to change the world kind of went into the name.
We know that you (Angry Creative) mostly focus on WooCommerce solutions, what led you to that decision?
I have been in the WordPress space for quite some time. In the beginning, it was mainly CMS websites, digital marketing that today is inbound; and there are a lot of inbound agencies. For the last couple of years, we have been more and more going towards only WooCommerce. That is because in the e-commerce space it is more important to have a really great process, great tools. And for companies that sell things through e-commerce, it is really important that everything works, everything checks out, that they have the infrastructure to do the right tests. But for companies that only use CMS,’s not that important. We are a very developer-centric organization where development is in our core. So it’s kind of been natural for us to switch to WooCommerce.
What about from the customer’s perspective, why would a person or a company choose WooCommerce instead of any other solution?
I think that WooCommerce is a very versatile and flexible solution. As a client, you can start off your idea cheaply and run it really fast through the market. A lot of our clients have done really great things with WooCommerce. And if you compare it to other open source e-commerce solutions, you can get twice the amount of development and twice the amount of features. Obviously, there are solutions like Shopify but you can’t customize that the way you want it. If you’re going to customize Shopify, it can be really expensive. I think that is the main reason why people should and are using WooCommerce.
On your website, it states that “We do not build the website you think you want. We build it as you need”. I absolutely love that. When would you say is the right time for companies to look for help from an agency like Angry Creative?
In the customer journey, you start out as a small company. You download WordPress from wordpress.org and the WooCommerce plugin from the woocommerce.com, buy a bunch of plugins. And that’s an excellent start! A really cheap to try out your idea without a lot of risks. But after that, what happens when you’ve been doing that for a year or two, your company grows and you are starting to make decent money.
With open source, there’s the big question – who’s responsible? You get all of these excellent things. But for a client it’s like “Whoa, this is free stuff from the heavens, what is this?”. But no one is really responsible. So, first of all, when you need someone to actually take responsibility for this technical solution, then you need to turn to an expert agency, because otherwise, it’s on you, basically. A lot of our clients turn to us for exactly that reason. We need someone to be responsible, someone that we can count on. To make sure that the fundamentals of our e-commerce business will continue to work and will be available to help us with everything.
Also when you want to push on, do integrations and all the tough things, you obviously need an expert to talk to. But from a business perspective, when you realize that someone has to take responsibility, that’s critical.
The year has just started, so are there any e-commerce trends you think we will see in 2019?
Yes, I think more of everything I’d say. Honestly, I’m not surprised by anything these days. We have clients who sell everything from stuff for your phone to funerals. I would say that more and more things will be digitized, so we will see more of everything.
What is the thing that you would really like to see in e-commerce to come this year?
In terms of how WooCommerce will develop, I’m really looking forward to it because we’re getting a faster, better and stronger WooCommerce, And that’s excellent work, by everyone contributing to the project. That’s one thing.
And then there’s the more open question, how would you like to see e-commerce develop. I think we will follow societal trends. More and more things will be on e-commerce, small business like “mom and dad” shops and small businesses are going to get online.
Just like WordPress democratized publishing, WooCommerce is democratizing e-commerce. I think it’s great for everyone in the world that WooCommerce exists. And I think it’s a great year for anyone to be in the WooCommerce space and the e-commerce in general.
Would you share what’s been the most challenging or the most interesting project which you worked on?
Honestly, I don’t work with a lot of operative work like in the projects. Speaking about what our teams have done, I think the hardest thing has probably been doing really deep customizations.
We have one client for who in a very last minute we managed to fix the thing in WooCommerce core that made their website 85% faster. That was really excellent. The website could take ten orders per second. They made a lot of money since it was in conjunction with Black Friday. They had really high loads, you don’t deal with that amount of traffic every day.
That fix is now a part of WooCommerce core and it was really cool to see that WooCommerce did it. And it did it with a yawn like, “oh, come on, give me more traffic”. So we could have pushed it even more. That is probably the hardest thing that we’ve done, scaling WooCommerce to a ridiculous scale. I am really proud of my team that they managed to pull that off.