In the Not So Beginning
In 2013, Stephen invited Gregg and me to be a part of the ServerPress Team. At the time, Gregg and I were doing development work and were daily users of DesktopServer. I often comment about the fact that DesktopServer was only second to my text editor as my most used piece of software. Having known Stephen for a bit and having been avid evangelists of both he and his product, we were thrilled at the prospect of becoming part of ServerPress, hanging up our “Dev” hats and putting on our “Product Development” hats. I quickly fell into an Operational & Marketing roles, while Gregg got up to speed quickly and fell into his Customer Support & Marketing roles. Stephen got to do what he wanted to do: code while resting assured that all the other aspects needed to be sustainable for the company he started were taken care of.
At the time, our goal was simple: triple the revenue within two years. In two years, with little to no fanfare, we realized we had actually quadrupled it. Mission accomplished.
At the end of 2014, it had become increasingly obvious that we needed to get Stephen some help in the Software Engineering side of things. Between supporting our current offerings and building that out, and managing the vision of our product, he was at beyond full-time. We needed someone, but who? That was the question asked at virtually every meeting.
On more than one occasion, the statement was made: “we need someone of Dave Jesch’s caliber.” Dave has always been a respected member of the Community and the three of us knew that we needed someone who could speak Steve’s language completely. While Gregg and I could understand *most* of it, we were very aware that Steve always operated at a different level than, well, almost anyone, when it comes to code. While to many of us, code is a second or third language, to him, it’s a first.
Birth of an Idea
In February, Gregg was put on the spot at the Orange County Meetup to do a presentation on DesktopServer. Being asked, at the last minute, to put on a presentation is not unusual, so Gregg was happy to oblige. During the Q&A portion, Gregg was asked (as is typical) some questions about how to synchronize your local site to the live site once it’s up and running. Gregg has referred to this as “The Holy Grail” on more than one occasion and did so in response to the question.
After his presentation, none other than Dave Jesch tapped Gregg on the shoulder and explained that he’s had a plugin that does exactly that and it’s been sitting on the shelf for a bit. Would we be interested in collaborating?
Naturally, Gregg was excited to hear about it, so we set up a meeting of the minds for a few days later.
The Big Bang
It only took about 3.5 milliseconds of listening to Steve and Dave talk on the phone before we knew that we had a match made in Heaven, and that’s probably because I might not have been listening to the first 2.5 milliseconds. The two just clicked.
Additionally, Dave introduced us to his wife, Jennifer Cloake; his Project Manager, Gatekeeper, Administrative Assistant, Sales Manager . . . oh – let’s just call her his boss. And, in that same 3.5 milliseconds, I knew two things: 1. With Dave comes Jenn and 2. Holy Gee Whiz! She’s a firecracker and just what we need! Truth be told, the order might be reversed on that.
We knew Dave was brilliant and we were a bit surprised that he was wanting to bring his brilliance to our team, if even just for a collaborative project.
Since that initial conversation, we have introduced DesktopServer v3.8.2 with fully functional CLI capabilities and v3.9 soon to come. We have introduced WPSiteSync for Content, which allows developers to push content changes between two sites, and we are introducing four new extensions all designed to improve your workflow.
But the best is yet to come. . .
Announcing ServerPress, LLC v3.0!
We’ve been holding onto this news for a bit. We wanted to wait to share it when the time was right. We wanted to share it with our friends at WordCamp Orange County. The Southern California Group of WordPressers has been with us since the beginning and we would not be where we are without you.
THIS. IS. BIG.
Within a couple of weeks of collaboration, the talk quickly turned to partnership. Dave and Jenn wanted to work with a group of like-minded people and, well, not only were we always hoping to get someone *like* Dave Jesch as a member of our team, but we now had the opportunity to actually HAVE Dave Jesch as a member of our team. We ALL just clicked.
When considering partners, we felt it was important that we not only can work well together, but it was equally important that we actually *LIKE* each other. Bringing a skillset to the table is one thing, but if you don’t like and respect the others on your team; if you cannot learn and appreciate the things that are important to them personally as well as professionally, the partnership is doomed.
While everyone was taking care of their responsibilities, Jenn and I had several conversations. We hammered out an agreement (and actually, “hammering” is a bit of an overstatement. We agreed on just about everything). She took it to Dave and I took it to Gregg and Steve. It might have been the easiest negotiation in which we’ve ever taken part.
So, with that, I am beyond thrilled to announce ServerPress, LLC v3.0! We’ve been talking about the evolution of DesktopServer for some time, and this is the next major step in the evolution for the company behind it.
Dave brings over 35 years of development experience, with a keen sense for optimization. He has consulted on many complex products such as PeepSo and WooCommerce Multiplex, and has worked with many large companies specializing in architecting and prototyping 1.0 products. Coffee is his preferred method of motivation, and as long as the coffee is flowing, so is his code!
Upon meeting Jennifer, it’s obvious she’s a born leader. She has established a well funded real estate portfolio, and with her quick, “get-to-the-point” approach she has been able to assist numerous not-for-profit organizations to implement effective internal structures while turning their finances around within 12 months. Armed with this experience, she has been a force to be reckoned with when it comes to establishing processes, timelines and deliveries since our initial collaborations. At ServerPress, LLC, she runs our daily status meetings and keeps the ever growing team of employees and contractors on task. Among her toughest tasks, though, is the task to keep me in line. And not a day has gone by that I have not been grateful that, while we always knew we wanted a Dave Jesch, we also got a Jennifer Cloake!
So, it is with great excitement that I introduce you to the new ServerPress, LLC Executive Team (listed in alphabetical order, because . . . is there any other way?): Dave, Gregg, Jenn, Marc, and Steve!