Jeffrey McKinnon - After Hours Entrepreneur Transcript
10:23PM Aug 1, 2022
Welcome back action takers. My name is Mark this the app errors entrepreneur and today we're joined by Jeff McKinnon. He is the co founder and CO CEO of the.com. And today's episode is all about web design. It's about building out a website that works different innovations in the field. And Jeff's story, we get a little bit technical, but Jeff's story is, I think, really important, his journey from college to entrepreneurship, cutting lawns at 15, and how that has impacted what he's doing now raising capital. And I think the importance of automation. I've been really seriously thinking about automation across all different forms and websites. And that's really what my business podcast producing is all about. It's how do I automate more. And I think that as we move into this web three world is we implement new technology, new AI, automation is so important. So I really hope that you enjoy this episode with Jeff today. Sit back, relax. We're gonna learn a little bit about web design best practices, and how to automate more. I think you're gonna love this wet this episode with Jeff super inspirational, very impressive, dude. Let's get into this episode. DJ. Ron, let's say. Yo, Jeff, welcome to show.
Thanks for having me, Mark.
Yeah, Jeff pleasures, all mine super cool business, by the way that you built. And I can't wait to talk a little bit more about the.com how it automates website building why that's important. But I want to go back in time, I want to start it's all the after hours, entrepreneurs understand we all start somewhere. So take me back to take me back. Jeff, take me back to your first business age 15. What did that look like? Oh, I had a couple when I was 15 had to have the lawn mowing side hustle. That was number one. If you could afford a lawn more, your dad had one that he'd let you borrow and used on 20 other people's lawns without killing you. You're doing all right. I always did that stuff. I think those early days, I also got in trouble at school for slinging Pokemon cards, honestly. And they were threatening to suspend me because I was making money at it. And they're like, you can't be selling stuff to other students. That's good. So Char zardes.
Oh, yeah. And they weren't even real cards. I was like printing out photos, just super high res photos of the cards pretty much. And people were that was like back when I'm not that old. I'm 32. But it's back when super high res like photo printing was just coming out. And my dad was an entrepreneur as well. And we were able to have some really nice equipment at the house from his business. So because he worked from home, my brother and I who co founded the company with me, we both had little businesses like that. That's awesome.
I'm curious, do you do your dad? Did he like really push you into the entrepreneurial type of endeavors? Or do you say hey, you got to go to college, you got to get a job. How did he guide your way to becoming an entrepreneur Jeff?
Yeah, he did not at all push us anywhere. He was a hippie love the Grateful Dead. He still is and still does. And he always asked us he always just let us do whatever we wanted in terms of Goby, founder, go work in finance, go do something and keep cutting lawns if you want. Like, that's the whatever he was very much so and still is a person that just wants us to be happy. So, but my brother and I, Clark and I had crazy drive, we had a family of entrepreneurs. And he did well. And our grandfather was able to move up from the mailroom to CEO and the whole floor of the Chrysler Building in New York. And so technically not an entrepreneur, but when you think about it, so we just had that drive to follow in our father's is in our grandfather's footsteps.
That's cool. I, the reason I asked that, Jeff is I sometimes wonder or ponder or think, is entrepreneurship genetic? Is it like built in to certain people? Because my father was a business owner. And I was always an employee. I was never an employee, or I've just recently made that transition. And so I wonder, do you feel like it's genetic? Or do you feel like you've had that drive? Like, where do you think where do you think that comes from? Help me here.
It's a tough call. I don't think it's genetic. Because I think anyone can kind of get motivated to do something incredible. And it's just really about, it's more about the drive and the grit of the hard work and being told no, a million times too. And having that kind of like gusto to be like, Well, screw you, I'm going to do it anyway, whether you think I can't, but I also know that you know, that you get a lot of no's. So there is definitely a character trait that just forced allows you whether for better or for worse, right to just ignore the no's and ignore the people saying you can't do this. And you can't accomplish that. And that thing will never work. And it's a terrible idea. And generally what we found out over the years is it's the people who wish they were in this situation you were fighting extra hard. That say no to you, because they're the ones that couldn't either do it themselves or they don't understand the business. And usually what you're doing with podcasts and what you said, like your dad probably did is it's something that really well, then you did it on your own and you found a niche or an area where there's multiple people asking for that. Whether it's a sad SAS business or services business.
You bring up a really interesting point to Jeff I think about internalizing the know. And using that as like a driver. One of the things I find young entrepreneurs and podcasters really struggle with is that feeling of imposter syndrome. And especially when you're starting out everybody's, there's no end to the people that tell you you're doing the wrong thing. Or you're on the wrong path, or no, you can't cut my lawn kid get out of here. So, right, how did you? And I actually read through this and Tim Ferriss, The Four Hour Workweek, I thought that was one of the really important concepts of getting comfortable with discomfort. How do and how did you handle that? Jeff, how do you handle getting past all those noes and all those doubters?
Yeah, I think, well, my brother, and I love Kanye West. And we love one of his main lyrics is he says, I never take advice from people less successful than me. So I think that's number one that we live by. Because I would say a lot, you tend to get a ton of advice from people who are not working as hard or trying as hard or being or even going out on a limb, right? And then the people that are much more successful than you just got to surround yourself with people that even if they do say, No, generally, the smart ones will tell you, Hey, I could be full of shit. I could be totally wrong here. But this is what I would do. And they're never telling you necessarily, no, they're usually saying, This is what I would do, I could be completely wrong. And I think those are the people you got to surround yourself with. Because generally when in our experience, those are the ones that are incredibly successful, and probably the goal that most people are trying to get to in their lives and their career.
100% I love that thought Jeff about look at the people who are actually telling, you know, look at those quote unquote, influences that are telling you it's a bad idea. Where are they?
Exactly, you got to take all of their experience into account and say, like, do I want to be like that person? Or do I want to be like the person started $2 billion companies in one lifetime. And that was one of the reasons we ended up raising from the fund that we really respected called NSX. And NSX was James courier. Pete Flint, Dini wise, like Morgan dollar, people that have really just keep Flint started true, which was only one of his multibillion dollar businesses, he started. And James is effectively the early inventor of a lot of social media in the late 90s, early 2000s. And has worked ever since as a product person. And the reason I bring that up is because generally you're getting these, this advice, and it's feedback from people who are just completely not related to the thing you're working on. And so you have to take that into account for sure.
So I definitely want to talk about this topic about getting people to believe in you raise money. Before I get into that specific question, I want to ask Jeff, did you find it easier to find and land people to donate and bring capital to your project? Or did you find it easier to sell your first lawn mowing, but which one was harder, which one was easier?
Lawn mowing was way easier. Because the lawn was growing, and they needed someone to cut it. And they didn't really care who would who did it happen to be the kid next door even easier, because you can just call them up and they'll be there in 10 minutes, selling and working with these VCs pitching VCs pitching angel investors, you're pitching them on a vision that may be five years away. And so there's a lot of things that you have to internalize and have a lot of confidence towards in your vision. And generally, with us, we're super confident because we built 1000s of our specific industry for the listeners is website development and automation and things like that. We built 1000s of websites as an agency and a marketing agency and web development agency before this business. So we had insane amounts of context. And that's what I was mentioning before about know your history and the reason that you believe an idea to be a good idea or vision to be what you see the future of the industry being whereas people who say we got plenty of nose, we definitely got a majority of pitches were nose and and all those people don't understand, because they never built a site. They never lived that life. And so that's where you got to really take those notes and be like, it makes sense. Some of those people said no, that actually is a positive that some of those people say no, because they have no clue what they're talking about. So if they said yes, I'd be worried.
Fair enough. You definitely need to be in front of the right people. Especially if you're raising capital. You need the right investors, Kevin O'Leary, love you, but you might not be the best fit for that 15 year old girl who's trying to sell muffins on the side of the road.
But he'll take one cent until he recruits his money. Right?
I need that I need the royalty. You gotta love that. So I want to talk a little bit more about your business before we start talking a little bit more about how to get in front of the right people. So I think those are two really important points. Okay, so why don't you just briefly explain, Jeff, what is va.com th e.com What do you do? What is this business?
Great question. Yeah. the.com has a bunch of different use cases across the web development industry. The platform itself is the backbone of the actual accompany to web development platform can be used as a CMS, it's fully managed in the cloud. So there's the postings included the deployment, the custom domains, the SSL as the backups, the security. It's also built on a very robust infrastructure called serverless technology that allows it to load faster than any other platform. And the unique thing about it and what all the VCs that we've worked with believed in was, it's not a drag and drop editor, like most platforms, like Squarespace and Wix, those are great platforms. They're built for the one off use case, generally, you're one person building one site at one time. the.com is built around the idea that data is what's most important when working with the site. And that has to do with the code itself as the content from the marketing person from the business owner, all those things. And so the columns actually set up like a table or like a spreadsheet. And that allows you to create these variable instances that will have different stakeholders, the ability to edit the site and work with data and content in their own kind of like preferable environment, let's say, an air table or a Google sheet or a notion database.
Is this kind of like Wikipedia, where it's like all the many different people are contributing to the designing of the building up the website, am I hearing you, right?
So there is a really cool concept we added into the platform called blocks. And you can actually read next block. So that's if you were to create a part of your website that you thought we were really proud of, you built it really nicely, you can actually submit that to a block feed where other people can take that information, and then remix it into their sites and start editing. So there is this idea of kind of like, and that's where it crosses over into something that one three principles, kind of like composability and ownership, but the rest of it's still very wedded to traditional web development marketing sites, landing pages, one, you can build 1000 pages, or you can build one page.
And that's what I'm trying to struggle with. Like, why would I? So I'll just give an example. personal example, my first website was a Shopify website, pretty simple. Doesn't couple dozen pages, sold some merch. Cool. I'm hosted now through Bluehost. It's designed through Elementor. Pretty simple charity, simple, nothing too crazy. Why would I need 1000 websites? Why isn't one website not enough?
Yeah, great question. So there's a couple interesting points in there. Mainly the fact that you building a site for yourself on your own totally great teams, all those platforms, but really the.com was created to help people build at scale. So from a website development perspective, that would be agencies, freelancers, people who make a living or a side hustle building websites. And the reason that the data first approach is so important for those people, is because they're able to take what they've built in the past and reuse. So that's one thing that's very hard to do with current platforms today is, Hey, man, I've already built this button, I've already built this section, this slide or this header, this footer, all those things. And I got it just the way I like to get it every time I build and I don't want to have to ever redo that work again. So that icon allows you to transfer those blocks or small sections of websites to not only to the fee, like I talked about before, but to other sites you're working on. So you can effectively create your own almost like GitHub repository of your own project work. And so it allows you to build faster and faster the more you build on the backbone,
like a template, right, you can develop various templates for certain types of functions you might would have on a website.
Exactly right, except the nice thing about blocks versus templates. So templates are like entire site, right. And so when you're loading up a new Squarespace or a new Shopify template, they're effectively giving you tons of sections, tons of extra information that you don't need or don't want. It's also something you didn't build versus with the.com, you start to amass these blocks of specifically created things that you your agency or your LLC, and your Freelancer a job are able to say i i like it built this way. I want the customer to be able to access the information via Google Sheet was very specific way. And I've already done that twice. So I there's no reason for me to pull in this huge template every single time I create a new site. That's the
other thing that's interesting to me the way it looks like. So again, I'm just trying to pull all this together because there's so many different pieces to the way that this web design platform works, right. It says you can use Google Sheets, the Google Forms type forms all these different software's together to create this cohesive website. How does that How did you bring those together though?
Great question. So one really cool thing that people love when they're using the dot coms effectively, the agency or the Freelancer builds that site, let's say for your guy's company, the after hours entrepreneur, and you have an SEO person that's working on it a consultant and you have yourself that's editing the blog posts and uploading them the podcast. And then you have another person that might be a graphic designer that's adding new images for the podcast pages, you can actually set that up using the data sets with the variables I mentioned. And you can have your editing source via Google sheet where I like to just add my blog post in a Google sheet. And then the SEO person might like to use air table to edit their SEO, all of those sources of data can be brought in simultaneously, and pretty much feed the website in any way that the original creator sets it up.
Yeah, that's really interesting to me. I'm gonna take this one level further, right, because one of the things that I do in my business, I've run a podcast production agency, is I have a client fill out a Google form, which started several other automations. But if I'm hearing you correct, if a client finishes an episode of a podcast, they can fill out a Google form. And then that could actually update the website automatically. Is that
exactly right? Yeah, so takes a lot of manual labor. We work with a lot of companies that get their information from their customers via a Google form or an airtable form. And then it goes into a Google Drive folder, and then they have to go in and manipulate the data, copy and paste it, move it around, add the photos and whatnot. But the.com, you can set the variables to flow directly into the page, based on the information they're filling out when they hit submit.
I like that. I like that. I think you I think Jeff is, is I was preparing for this episode thing of like, how is this different for something else from the other options out there? But that automated factor is? I'm trying to automate everything nowadays.
Yeah. Right? Well, we haven't even touched on like some of the crazy automation shit that.com offers now with the.com automate, which is a sub product on its own. So what we just talked about is effectively because of our data oriented system, setting up variables to feed data in from third party platforms isn't really full automation. That's just like, variable editing. And we use Zapier because we love Zapier and those guides over there. So you can attach that to any platform. But that icon automate itself is a whole new level of automation. And it goes like crazy when you think about it, because at first, like your question before, I don't understand why would I need 100 100 page or 100 sites, or 1000 pages or 10,000 pages, it doesn't really make a ton of sense until you start digging into some of the use cases. And there's like this crazy, like, need for sites and pages. And so I'll quickly explain the site side is super, actually pretty simple. Like we work with marketplaces, places that have, let's say, 20,000 plumbers, right. And they offer the plumbers profile page and their payment processing and their invoicing. But what they don't offer is the plumber to have John's plumber.com. And we can actually take the data that those platforms already have in the profile, their logo, their hours, their location, their map, their reviews, and we can just put that data into Wednesday automatically. So all of a sudden, they just want to whatever, 29 bucks a month, they just say sure turn on a website for me. And the structure is all there because the company built the structure the way they want. And then all of a sudden, the John's plumber guy, he's going to be able to get all that data sent in. And then he has a site in 15 seconds. And it's customized to that person.
So I guess the my counter question here, Jeff, would be doesn't that make life more complicated? Because it's hard enough running one website when there's updates and things needed? What do I do if I have 1000 websites and all of a sudden crash eight to get them all updated? How does that work?
For sure? Well, the cool thing is the individual plumber in this case, in this use case would just go back and edit their profile that they always edit on this one company's website like labor marketplace called Angie's List, right? It goes into Angie's List, they update their logo, we got a new logo and guess what the site is managed already by that information that there is we call it like the single source of truth, right? The single source of data truth.
Don't It sounds complicated. Do I need to be a coder to actually make this work or like because I've worked I work with Zapier great program, like I said, great program, I would say pretty simple to use. I'm pretty ugly, inclined, but pretty, pretty simple.
For sure. So the great thing about the automatic sites, and we haven't even gotten the pages yet, but with the automatic sites that we're talking about. That plumber person pretty much just clicks a button saying, Yes, I want a site and I will pay the money for it. That's the only thing they ever touch. So it's actually a system. The automated sites is a system that the parent company or the marketplace company, the aggregator. They're the ones that set everything up, and they only need to set it up one time and then they connect it to their system and they say, alright, new button just appeared or new email came out. Do you want to turn on your site automatically? And that way no one's paying for sites that aren't being used, which we've talked to company owners in the past that have unfortunately failed when they tried to pre spin up all these customers websites, and then the bill was insane. And no one was buying it because it looked fake, because how did you spin one up for me without me asking versus this new way of going about it, which is we have your information, you update it regularly, we can even pull it from Google if we wanted to. And you can say, activate my website. And so the plumber person or whomever it may be, never even needs to touch anything to do with the website. They're just constantly updating that source of data, which happens in this case to be the marketplace platform that they came from.
Super, super gnarly, did super gnarly, I just, it's such a, it's such a cool idea. You know what this kind of reminds me of, and I don't want to go way down this off this tangent because I know people kind of their eyes glaze over when I use the word NF T's. But a lot of NF T art is not actually art. It's just a bunch of numbers and codes that delivers that piece of art. This kind of reminds me of that of those concepts. Do you see those similarities? Also, was that an impetus at all?
Yeah, we build the blocks to effectively track and when they get manipulated like NF T's so that they can track the original ownership of that, but I do see what you're saying in terms of effectively, people set in 20 different variables. And then they say multiply that times every combination that equals 10,000. And now you have 10,000 NF T's. And that's what a lot of those famous company is, like, for names and whatnot were able to do, they didn't actually hand draw those, all those different variations. And so from that perspective, it's very similar where they said, here's a dataset, one hat, one, one style of mouth, one style of eyes, and then we want to ran, they randomly generate that stuff. firstname.lastname@example.org, it's very much companies using automate are very much directing that data specifically to where it should live on the website.
So I'm not sure I just have to call attention to this. The website is valid.com. That's th e.com. And it's someone who is someone who is set up quite a few websites, every single domain out there is already taken, spoiler alert, whatever website you want. So how the heck did you get the.com? That's a serendipitous
story. It actually found us Clark and I were obsessed with this old building a company started in Boulder, Colorado. And we were obsessed with this old building, because we're from right near New Haven, Connecticut. And it's an all old buildings out there. There's nothing that all right downtown Pearl Street in Boulder. And so there was this one building, and we wanted it really bad. And it took us forever to find the owner and finally agreed to lease it to us. He's like, I don't understand why you want this thing. It's an old autobody shop and hasn't been used since 82. It's full of trash. But sure you guys can rent it from it. And so we rented it from we cleaned it out, we cleaned it up. And finally he came by and said I don't understand why you guys wanted this so bad. What do you even do in here? And we were like, this is the idea. This is a vision. And he pretty much goes you know, it'd be perfect for that. This domain name that I have an instant comms No way. Yep. And so we worked together with him, he became a good friend and investor in the company. And the rest is history after he was fired from him and off to the races.
Super cool. I just like it is when I think about the hardest website name to get that's probably it.
It is the most common ly used word in English language. So it's probably the hardest URL to get. It's not a two letter URL. But it's most two letter URLs aren't words. So right, I would say we definitely have the best word URL in the world. Yeah, the
dot.com. The website looks super cool to it, which I'm assuming is also designed by the.com. Right? To automate system,
that would be correct. But you wouldn't be surprised at the number of people that think it's built on a different software.
Right, you got to practice what you preach maybe
100%. Also, we want all the benefits of the.com offers, we want to be able to take sections of our site and give it to new customers that sign up, people come to us and go I love that section of your website. We go boop, we'll turn it into a block. And we'll send it to you. And it takes us two seconds.
Super cool. I want to talk a little bit about web three. Because that's fascinating to me. I want to keep that super simple. I don't want to overwhelm people. But before I move on that topic, I just want to ask you, Jeff, like, what was the hardest part in building out this project from from conception to live? What was the hardest part of that process
for you? It's an incredibly complex build. Because anytime you're using a web app to build other web apps, there's a lot of crazy things that are amazing development team has to keep in their head at any one time, because you can't really write down that easily how to things connect in a system that's producing websites, right, because you're effectively using a website to build another website. So there's a lot of complexity that's involved in creating something like that. There's also a lot of mental energy that it takes to figure out oh, what if someone clicks over here and then it shoots out this circular logic in everything crashes. Okay, well, we have to make sure that never happens. This never happened. I also wanted to give. The other reason we built this is because we felt so restricted. We were very design heavy back end coding heavy at our agency. And we wanted when people said, Can I add this little thing? And we had to say no, because it was on WordPress or web flow, not that those aren't great platforms. We just wanted more access to the code itself. But we were coders, we were marketers effectively design. And so we were like, can we just expose the code in a way that I understand. And a spreadsheet is very easy to understand, because code is just data and data is just math effectively in the same way that you would set something equals to an Excel or a Google sheet, you can inside the.com as well.
So it sounds like really the it was the actual building, it was constructing everything. But so how do you do that? If you and your co founder? are marketers? How did you actually build that out? Did you have to go and hire like a bunch of web designers from India or the Philippines? How did you build out the actual product? That because that would be very expensive.
Yeah, it has been very expensive, because we didn't go offshore at all, with any of our development. Everything is built by people we were close with during our marketing and web design agency. We knew a lot of developers, we knew a lot of very talented developers, we got very lucky as well, I would say, but their head of engineering Devin, She's incredible. She happens to be happened to know her through a friend of a friend in Boulder, and she's able to she was able to put together an incredible team. And so we're very lucky as non technical founders, you can call us.
Really Did you. So we talked a little bit about funding and raising capital before to raise the cap, what comes first the chicken or the egg? Did you raise the capital first and then build it? Or did you build it and then raise capital,
I can tell you, we were able to put a proof of concept together without any capital, because we own 100% of this new idea, Clark and I. And so we were able to give away a little bit of equity early on to someone who is a friend of a friend, again, was our temporary CTO effectively, you could call this person, and we iterated hundreds of times with him over about six month period. And then once we got to a place where we could start doing a preseason, we were able to raise about a million bucks from friends and family in Boulder that allowed us to actually get our first head of engineering, she came from Cloudflare. So we were able to get a ton of fantastic DNS and website, architecture knowledge from her, because Cloudflare is one of the leading platforms for any type of back end web infrastructure. And then after that is when we met Devin, and Devin was able to start as just a regular engineer, because we didn't need a head of engineering when he only had three engineers. And then we had four and then we had five minutes six, and then she was able to get promoted up to that title, which now we have about 14 people at the company, mostly engineers. And so to answer your question, incredibly expensive, and it's all people in the US, really, you wanted people to be able to come into office all the time, it was during COVID. So we didn't do a lot of in office during that time. And we are a remote company right now. But we have two offices, people come to them all the time, once a month. And I think there's nothing that can really do the kind of brainstorming and innovation that happens in person.
Sounds is I listened to your talk, Jeff, it seems like a common thread is your your network is your net worth. It's really the network of people and the credibility that you've built over the years. And probably a lot of that arose from your web design and web creation business, right? Oh, yeah. When you were starting that business, did you ever think that it would grow into where you're at now and building out this website builder?
Definitely not. We were a services business, right. We were trading time for money, which is the old adage. And that's where you can you got to start. But you don't necessarily have to end up there. And we had no clue that we would start selling software products that would eventually start becoming enterprise level and all these crazy things. So no, I just took it day by day. We love what we do. And part and I just loved helping. It was really about the small businesses, honestly, because we we early on before the agency wanted to create this app that had to do with drinking beer, because we were in college. And we were like, how do we get to drink beer for free? How's that a tax write off. And so we wanted to create this app that just reviewed beer pretty much before like untapped, or any of those cool beer apps that help you recognize the stuff that you like, and we were in Boulder in the mid 2000s. Like 2012 When craft beer was blowing up there. So then what happened was we couldn't get it made. We were in college, we got a couple of quotes. We had one for 20 grand one for 50 and one for 150 grand. We said dude, I got about $150 in my account, or less honestly. So that's not happening. So what we ended up doing was teaching ourselves how to build a website to make it look like the app was coming soon. And that's where it all started.
Ah, okay. It's all about creating that vision for What what is coming, right?
Yeah, exactly. Because to be honest, what we've learned is like to create a huge business, you definitely need people that believe in you. And that monetary side of it as well. Yeah. To the people that can bootstrap like $2 billion business like, they're geniuses because they're able to turn the profit and pay their employees all with ever raising capital. So that's the I always envied those people as well. But there's also the side of it that comes with the advice that we get from these incredible operators that we work with that and FX and other VCs like village global and sound ventures and Ashton Kutcher and people like that. Who have incredible advice.
You mentioned Ashton Kutcher, I got to find out more about the name drop to see him, but he's involved in this business also.
Yeah, he is one of the founders of sound ventures, and they are one of our bigger investors.
Super cool, Dude, Where's My Car? Does that ever that's got it?
Did where's my website?
I liked that, Ashton. I want to see that. Super cool. So it's va.com. Jeff, I just want to hear a little bit from you. Again, I'm really fascinated web three, which to me is owning the internet. How do you see websites evolving over the next decade? Are they still gonna look the same? Or they're gonna be completely different? Where do you see the internet going over the next decade.
There's a lot of cool things that we're trying to come up with internally, that because web three is actually so data oriented.com, we think fits really well into what that story is going to be. Because there is the ability, like you mentioned with NF T's to almost randomize the variables. And we're really one of the great platforms that treats variables as the most important piece of the platform. And so I think there's some really cool stuff that we didn't see in the future. websites will always be like this brochure for the small companies. And we want to make sure that we're always importing small business. But I think there's some really cool things that people will be able to experiment with. I mentioned Kanye earlier, he had some crazy, like, landscape 3d kind of website experience back in the day, where you could walk further deeper into the website and like this 3d landscape, but you didn't need VR AR. And then you start talking about VR and AR like, how does that affect going to someone's website. And I think once Apple comes out with their Apple glasses, I think that will be another transformative moment, just like Apple Watch. And originally, obviously, iPhone, I think, I'm not quite sure. So don't quote me on this. But I remember something about how Steve used to say that eventually, you won't need the phone in your pocket. And then eventually, you won't need the watch on your wrist. Because the ability to just see what you're doing without interrupting, you have to look down at your phone and be like, Let me hold on a second, I'm looking at my phone. But when you have glasses on, you'll be able to not break your eye contact and Continue what you were doing before. So I think that's gonna have some really interesting, interesting aspects for web development and websites in the future.
Yeah, I'm wondering what like an augmented reality type of website would even look like? You're walking through someone's brick and mortar shop? And it's like, you're in their website? I don't know. I don't know what that's gonna look like.
I think it could I think you're even walking down the street and you take the left, you look towards the coffee shop. And it's we're out of bagels, and you have these green juices right now. And they're like, oh, that sounds really good. And that's technically what would be part of that website. When you think
about it. Super cool. What about voice? What play? What part do you think voice plays in this website? Future?
It's a tough question. I certain browsers like Safari, auto mute any type of volume. So I don't see that changing anytime soon. In fact, they'll stop videos that have volume to them. So if they continue along, that path voice won't have a very big impact, because they don't allow people to do it. When it becomes glasses. Maybe that changes because maybe you have like a little voice on the side and of someone talking in there. But I don't know. That's a good question. I don't really talk too much about the voice aspect of
it will do and the reason I think that's important is I noticed working with people just like my parents or grandparents whatnot, like it seems like technology is continuously getting better and easier to use, but it's also getting more complicated at the same time. I don't know if that makes sense. There's more buttons need to know the right way to go.
It definitely makes sense if we see the younger generations especially like the Tick Tock generation, like easily able to manipulate the dot coms interface, which is a slightly more technical interface and your Squarespace is or your Wix, right, it's not drag and drop, you're actually editing the site in this cell based format where I could go on and I can change just the border radius in pixels of a button. But like to your point is getting more easier to look at but it's actually getting harder to use, but the people are in there, outpacing their knowledge and actual difficulty of editing this stuff because it is really just again back to it's just data. So once you've learned the nomenclature, oh pixels are just 38 px, okay, that's not really that hard to understand. But when it's All put together, it looks very complicated. But when you can parse it out in this table format, it's much more understandable. Now, when you talk about people who are less technical, that's where we wanted to create this variable system to say, Hey, you're less technical, I'm going to give you two rows in a Google sheet to edit. That's all you need to worry. And so that's why we parsed the RS out that way. But yeah, to answer your question, I'm not sure exactly how there is a chance that voice with GTP three, and Dolly, there's some stuff cool stuff we're working on internally with those guys, not with those guys. But using those tools, where voice could be something that could really advance the speed of development. The things
that that you brought up, Jeff, I think it's important is that there is some education involved. And certain demographics or insight psychographics are going to get the education piece more simply. And one of the cool things I'm seeing on your website is it looks like there are resources and coaching videos, things like that, that help give the user the proper tools to actually execute a website. Right. So this is something I think is completely under sold in the market today is how can I automate the education piece? Could you just go into a little bit more detail on how you're automating education for new users for that accom.
What we're trying to do, we don't automate a ton of the education piece of it, yeah. And you still have to, like you said, learn, understand how to connect these things up. But what we're working on right now is the ability for people who are less technical to spin things up much quicker in an automated fashion. And I just think, if you don't have the time, or it's not the job that you're actually in or something, the dream and the vision that you're working towards, then to learn how to build a website, right now on any platform is going to be multi day, if not two week process, right. And so we want to give people the initial wow factor to help them automate, like automate yourself off the ground, right, get off the ground with automate. And that's where I think it'll fill in the pieces for people just by answering something like a Google form. And it'll be like, Wow, okay, I was able to get this far with just a Google form, like, how do I jump in, because when you're looking at it, again, I know the viewer doesn't know what we're talking about. But in our in the.com software, you're seeing every single variable in this spreadsheet. So you're going to you can click on the screen, and you see, you click on the header and the tax and you see the text, you see the color you see the way into the font, see the pixel size, you see the letter spacing, all of it is visible right in front of you, which we pride ourselves on showing all the data and saying like, if it's too complicated, don't worry about it. But most people want to see that data. Oh, letter spacing, and that must be the letter spacing looks like it says 38 pixels. Maybe if I change that to 22, we'll see how that changes. And it's kind of like a little bit learn by doing and the automated piece is what helps you get to the starting one.
Well, I will say the website is super beautiful. And I would encourage everyone to at least at the very least, you gotta go check out the way that the website looks the way that it operates and functions. It's very, very clean. Really, really beautiful. Up there. Three, it looks really good. And in case you don't have a pen and paper down or you can't remember us remember this there will be a link below. It's dot com. I don't know how you could forget it's just the most common word in English language.com. Jeff Yeah, yeah. Before I let you go, I gotta get into the Rapid Fire question. I gotta ask some ask. Mr. Jeff McKinnon some rapid fire questions. Jeff. Are you ready? Let's go all right. All right. All right, Jeff. was the scariest movie you've ever seen.
Saw? Saw one.
That's classic, classic. What's your favorite place to vacation?
Skiing for sure. Probably ask them.
Are you skier snowboarder here? Okay. Okay, I didn't nobody's perfect. That's okay. That's fair. That's fair. I will say I really struggle with the polls for the skiers on one hand, they look so nice when you're like trying to like shuffle your way on your snowboard but the other hand there's just more stuff to carry. So I don't know.
For sure. It's it's definitely not a an easy sport to move around and and maneuver and
know unless you're going downhill at 60 miles an hour then it's nothing like it. Jeff, what is an underrated food?
Underrated food? I don't know if this is underrated. But honestly anything buffalo chicken. It's ridiculous. Being from New England. I love it on everything.
Good deal. Good deal. If you were on a plane ride, you could sit next to anybody would you want to sit next to
well I don't want to do a token Elon Musk because I feel like you can get some incredible information on what he thinks about the future and neuro blank and all kinds of I love kind of like learning about space and even theorizing alien type, things like that. And I think it's really pretty interesting to talk to you about that for a long time. Yeah,
I don't think you go wrong with Elon, he's definitely at the forefront. Final question here he had 10 seconds with yourself 10 years ago, would you say?
A probably say go to a two year college instead of a four year college. Because if I could have gotten started a lot earlier, I think I learned everything by doing. And maybe that's just my way of learning. But I definitely would recommend that people get started earlier. Don't waste any time.
I love that I love that get started today. The best day was yesterday. The Second best is today. So that's an interesting point, Jeff, and I just want to hold on that for one minute. Is there something you think that colleges could do differently to prepare people for entrepreneurship? It seems like the workforce is very different now than it was 1020 30 years ago. Is there anything you'd like to see college do differently?
I mean, I think it would be immensely helpful to really provide people with the ability to work at a real job, whether that's part time, whether that's really get more credit for it. And I know there's programs out there where they do do that, but I don't think it's emphasized enough. I think it's kind of like go to class, get good grades, that kind of thing. But I would I would recommend that more real world experience. It's not that hard to get people need people, especially right now. workforces everyone's begging to hire people in the colleges can definitely help support that.
And the opportunities are just so immense, but you have to be willing to go out there and intake it get uncomfortable.
Well, it's scary as a college game, you feel like I haven't finished college and I have a degree Yeah, no one's gonna hire me. No. And I don't know anything. But you know, the truth is that like, most of those positions you get after college you could easily have gotten after high school. Yeah, because your degree isn't teaching you how to do that job.
Yeah, two, super, super insightful Jeff MacKinnon from the.com. Everybody, Jeff, where's the best place for people to link up with you and find out more about what you're working on.
I mean, obviously, go to the.com. Check it out, you can sign up for free right now, you can check out the editing experience, we have a free free version, if you're just pulling the one off site if you want to learn about automate, and you can click the big button at the top of the site, or you can go to the.com forward slash automate. And we have a great Slack community too. We have like three or 4000 people now that are in there participating helping other people build websites, getting projects. So yeah, reach out to us DMS on Twitter, and we'll get you hooked up with the Slack community as well.
Love that. Love that. So I have your your Twitter handle put that there the Slack community who is it for specifically who's the best people for your Slack community,
mostly web devs people who are looking to get better at building websites learning how to build a website looking for projects to get given because a lot of times people automate these things look at.com. And we have all these sites that we need worked on. And so we just have this thing called gig grabs and we let our community first come first serve on that on our community getting these great projects.
Super cool. I could probably go on for hours and hours, but I'm not going to because just time is super valuable. Jeff, thanks for joining the show today, brother.
Thanks for having me on was great meeting you, Mark.
Well, well well. Thanks for listening today's episode. Hope you love Jeff. I really enjoyed the episode. I think it's super informative. And by the way, if you haven't yet, definitely check out the website. It's super cool. Super cool. I'm very interested in what Jeff is going to be doing next. Very impressive business. And listen, this is what we do here we interview after hours entrepreneurs putting into after our hustle time to turn passion into profit just doing it you're doing it. Thanks for listening. If you haven't yet, leave a five star review go ahead and subscribe leave that review. It means a lot helps us to reach more people with the show. In the meantime, do me the biggest favor. Take Action go ahead and take the action that you need to reach your dreams. Go take the action I'll catch you here next time all the after hours entrepreneur these