As well as helping clients through business coaching and events I often have a "side project" or two on the go. Here's the back story to two closely related ideas.
Work With Shop
After leaving Shopify at the end of 2018, I had the idea of launching a Shopify-specific job board. The ecosystem was buzzing, and finding good people was challenging — a vibrant, cost-effective job board was surely the answer. I had the contacts and a good network — it was a no-brainer!
The idea percolated and together with my good friend Kieran (confusing, I know), we decided to do this under the banner of a new company called Default Ventures. We were all set to launch in June 2020, but the world had other plans. The company morphed, as did the world, and it never came to be.
Fast forward a couple of years and the world was in a better place and I still had the itch to build the board — this time solo. I ended up launching an MVP in late 2022. The timing couldn't have been much worse as global economies, and therefore recruitment took a nosedive. Nevertheless, many learnings were had, and I finally got to play with Kirby CMS, which was a bonus. I ultimately closed down the project in 2023.
As part of the project's marketing campaign, I interviewed a bunch of Shopify agency owners and app developers. Those interviews live on here on the blog.
We Worked at Shop
Not long after launching Work With Shop in the summer of 2022, Shopify announced a round of layoffs. I wanted to help. Losing a job unexpectedly is never easy — regardless of the generous package offered. I repurposed the code from Work With Shop, registered weworkedatshop.com, and hooked up a form to allow those affected to post a short profile.
The site took off, companies got in touch with open positions, which were duly added to a new page, and folks found new positions.
In due course, the traffic died, or so I thought. A year or so later, a new profile popped up in my inbox, then another, and then more. It turned out that another round of layoffs had taken place at Shopify. The influx was getting too much for my hand-cranked system, so I took the opportunity to automate the process and spent a day or two rebuilding the site.
Hopefully, the site once again benefitted people searching for new roles. After a few months, traffic had died down and I decided to close the site (for now)!
Ultimately the site, and its monetization plan, didn't work out. I'm still very glad to have tried. I learned a lot, not least the importance of gauging the demand for a product or service. Would I do it all again? Almost certainly.