My name is Anthony Gordon, founder of WooSignal, RoomsLocal, CodaMarket, and a few other startups. I’m originally from Birmingham, UK (near Moseley Village). I still visit Birmingham now and again but I travel around more nowadays.
My childhood has been an interesting one. I faced a lot of challenges like many growing up and I had to figure things out fast.
The school I attended didn’t teach me much, I was unfortunate to be a part of the bottom group for all my subjects. Our teacher would usually assign us with Word Searches at the start of the lesson and make paper planes to throw from the balconies, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there.
I witnessed a lot of stuff but from that experience, it helped me understand my abilities better and be the fastest in the room to complete a Word Search haha.
The first piece of software I wrote was called XSale in 2014, it was an Excel spreadsheet for eBayers to manage their stores, looking back I’m not even sure how I did it all in Excel. Here’s a YouTube link of a demo I did back in 2015 if anyone’s interested.
After promoting XSale for months, I remember finally receiving my first software payment for £2.99. I’m pretty sure I danced around the house, it was a special moment. Since then I’ve learned a lot of programming languages and skills through sites like YouTube and StackOverflow.
The Journey Began
My digital life probably began at 11 because it was the first time I created a website in Dreamweaver. The end product was shocking but it kinda worked. Years later, I discovered website builders and really got into that until I learned basic web development.
I remember hearing that WordPress was an amazing blogging tool but when I got around to trying it, it wasn’t for me (WordPress 2.0). Fast forward a few years later and WordPress was completely transformed.
At the time I did a lot of eCommerce through eBay and decided to try WooCommerce and it worked great for me.
The Need for WooSignal
WooCommerce has all the basic building blocks to build an incredible eCommerce store but I noticed that there wasn’t a mobile app present to allow customers to buy from my store so WooSignal was created in 2017.
It’s been a difficult journey… countless hours coding and over 6 app templates have been created since the start. The new templates are really a good baseline standard for what a WooCommerce app can be and look at.
WooSignal in Action
The competitors that I’m aware of use web views which if you’re not familiar just loads your WooCommerce site in a mobile format which is no different from just visiting the store in Safari.
With our template, it’s a completely native code that gives you a real mobile app experience. You’d have to experience both to see the differences but it’s huge.
The initial challenge was the design and networking for the apps to communicate with WooCommerce. Once that part was done and I saw products from my store on the app, I think I did another dance around the house haha.
Besides WooSignal, I also founded:
- WP JSON API – Plugin for developers to access APIs for login, register, and user info.
- WooCommerce API in Flutter – Flutter plugin which allows you to use APIs from WooCommerce in Dart code.
Myself with my Brilliant Team
During COVID I can’t but here is my small WFH area.
Anthony Gordon Workplace
Advice for Business Owners
Focus on making the product magical and keep pricing simple with as few ‘plans’ as possible to start with. You need to highlight all the goodies, features and show the net result that they’re expected to get from using your product.
It’s not easy but one thing that helped me is watching UX videos on YouTube and it’s really interesting. The important pages on your site need to help and guide users to get to the actions you want them to do, just listen to this song “all by design ~ Kid Cudi“.
And if you are planning to start a new business, I’d suggest doing something that doesn’t exist or something you think you could do a lot better and keep building.
WordPress & Beyond
To grow our business, we’ve planned to continue helping WooCommerce store owners get on the App stores and make a few updates/changes along the way.
Regarding the future of WordPress, if you had asked me this 10 years ago, I really wouldn’t know where to start but the empirical evidence suggests that it won’t change drastically.
They’ll probably continue to include more useful features and have more first-party plugins available so there’s a more compelling ecosystem.
Moreover, I can’t see anything as a direct competitor, WordPress is still a favorite for most because it’s not too expensive to get up and running.
My Love for the WordPress Community
I’ve joined a few WordPress Meetups in the UK, it’s a great way for authors to showcase their products.
There’s a good crowd of WP users in Barcelona… ¡La mejor comunidad para WP!
How I Keep Myself Updated
I follow WooCommerce and WordPress on Twitter so I’m updated there. I do also check the changelog on GitHub for any minor changes that happen.
Good books I’d recommend for the industry are:
- “Tools of titans” | “Steal like an artist” | “Good Vibes Good Life”
I Have a Life Other Than the Work
When I do get free time in my schedule, I usually have a trip planned or I’ll use that time for mediation, fitness, and reading. One thing you can try is mediation in a sauna, after a long day, it’s helped me reset.
For spending holidays, I recently started spending it in different cities, Miami’s Wynwood a cool spot for NYE, and Montserrat which is near Barcelona, the views there are surreal.
Connect With Me
I’m currently on Twitter and Instagram for anyone who wants to connect.