MageTalk Episode 198 – $10,000 Luxury Magento Site

Kalen and Phillip explore the complications surrounding a low budget Magento build, the concept of a luxury brand, and a possible Mage Reconciliation Day.

Listen now!

Show Notes

00:52 “Let’s Talk About Feelings”

Phillip starts the show off with a bang by suggesting that the boys talk about feelings.

Kalen harkens back to last week when Phillip told everyone to “grow up”. Phillip now refers to this as “the dark place”. Phillip also says that Kalen has a lot of similarities to Dracula.

This is quite the start…

4:18 A Most Interesting Integrated Ad for Tax Solutions

Phillip makes quite possibly the most original integrated ad by linking Dracula to Vertex by saying that unlike the former, Vertex won’t suck your blood. 

Kalen says that it makes no sense that tax filing is as stressful as it is and gives a shoutout to his accountant. Kalen also says that it is always worth it to have your taxes handled more proactively.

Does Phillip make another interesting analogy for taxes but this time involves Slip ‘N Slides?

Take a guess.

8:28 What are we talking about?

Phillip steers this ship back towards scheduled programming and brings up the $10,000 Magento site.

Kalen fills us in with some context. Essentially, he had a client sign up on Commerce Hero that wanted a site built for $10,000. In spite of the red flags going off in his head, Kalen puts the notice out for this job.

Let’s just say the feedback on Twitter was…colorful. 

12:24 Lots of Different Angles

Kalen has been thinking about the $10,000 site from lots of different angles.

Why can’t people work in whatever level of the stack they need to work in like they do with Linux?

Kalen also brings up some of the joking comments that refer to the high pricing of anything regarding Magento.

15:36 Phillip Joins In (Here’s the Deal)

Phillip is chomping at the bit to get a word in on the topic of the $10,000 build.

Magento Enterprise Solutions Partners are charging around $150-$175. It would take between 42 and 52 hours to accomplish installing Magento to remain within the budget.

In that time you need to:

  1. Decide where to install Magento (Obviously [MageMojo](
  2. Decide who’s going to set up the account
  3. Provision access to the account
  4. What plugins will we be using and are they compatible?
  5. And the list goes on and on.

See where this is heading?

There are several hours in just conversations at the beginning of a Magento installation.

22:11 Is it Even Possible?

Kalen lays out some very specific things that would have to happen in order for this project to work with this budget.

Phillip brings up Mercury, an accelerator powered by Something Digital that can do a build for around $55,000.

How is this possible? The answer is simple: fixed choices.

By creating a known environment, Mercury eliminates a lot of the choices that lengthen builds.

Phillip also brings up the below comment from David Stillson (@DavidStillson) and compares this to the Magento ecosystem.

Does supporting lower budgets hurt the higher budget projects?

30:14 The “Luxury” Trigger

Phillip brings up a good point by saying that the response to the site could have been triggered by the word “luxury” in the post.

Oooo. Luxury.

If the word “luxury” had not been included, would the responses have been the same?

Phillip asks Kalen a hypothetical question about what he would charge if he were developing a logo for a billion dollar company. Does the worth or clout of the company affect the cost of the work?

Kalen says that at the high end of the market, you want the consumer to be impressed by the level of the work and the reputation of the designer can affect the outcome.

35:17 Some Good Feedback

Another piece of good feedback that Kalen got from the comments was from Len Lorijn (@lenlorijn).

Check out what his idea below.

Kalen thinks this is a really cool idea.

Phillip says this is also timely in the Magento space because people are balking at Adobe Stock integration being part of the Magento Community Engineering Platform project.

The boys also delve into some of the positives and negatives of hackathons and work through some scenarios where this model could work.

Phillip also gives some examples of things that exist in other spaces that are similar to Len’s suggestion.

42:30 The Adobe Stock Integration Thing

Kalen wants to talk a bit about the Adobe Stock Integration thing.

Phillip points out that some people are wondering why Adobe is asking the community to build their product for them.

Phillip then picks apart the perception that we are taking developers’ time (for free) and using it to fund a commercial product. But isn’t this how all of Magento works?

Point Taken GIF by Third Rail with OZY - Find & Share on GIPHY

46:33 Mage Reconciliation Day

Kalen has been getting a lot of ideas from the Reply All Podcast and wants to create Mage Reconciliation Day.

As time has gone on, Kalen has come to know an increasing number of people who have a serious beef with each other. With this in mind, what if there was one day a year where people could come together and squash their beef?

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Kalen gives a shoutout to Nina Stocklöw (@ninnah90) and Phoenix Media

Phillip loves the idea of Reconciliation day but has some words of warning.

In reality, it’s none of your business what other people think about you.

-Phillip Jackson

He also suggests that we are all adults and if you need reconciliation, go out yourself and get it.

Kalen says that as a general rule for reconciliation, you shouldn’t expect the other party to forgive you as well, you should look to just let things go for yourself.


-David Stillson (@DavidStillson
-Len Lorijn (@lenlorijn)
-Nina Stocklöw (@ninnah90)

Something Digital
Reply All Podcast
Phoenix Media

PHP Internals News: Episode 13: Release Management

Enums, Laracon AU, and making payments with Mollie

Jake and Michael discuss all the latest Laravel releases, tutorials, and happenings in the community.

Show links

Community links

MageTalk Episode 197 – “I Bet You Expected An Imagine Recap”

The boys discuss Kalen’s sabbatical and recent trip to Canada, Magento’s upmarket trajectory, and a possible change in what we call PWAs. There also might be some Imagine recaps in there somewhere…

Listen now!

Show Notes

2:28 Dating Apps

Phillip has a friend who is designing a dating app for musicians.

Kalen says he’s getting closer and closer in being able to qualify for

3:58 They Don’t Understand Ranch

Kalen was in Canada and states that they don’t understand the concept of ranch dressing with their french fries there.

Phillip says it’s because they’re maniacs that put gravy on their fries instead. Kalen thinks that gravy on french fries is fantastic.

Phillip amends his statement to say that he just doesn’t like french fries anymore.

6:28 Why Canada?

Phillip asks Kalen to talk about why he was in Canada.

Kalen lets us know that he went to visit a friend and that during his sabbatical time, he has been receiving some judgment of how he is taking a sabbatical.

Spoiler: it’s pretty much not a sabbatical.

9:18 Why the sabbatical?

Kalen talks a little bit about some of the reasons he has taken a sabbatical. It’s one of the reasons why he didn’t go to Imagine.

I never thought I’d type the word “sabbatical” as much as this. 

9:58 It All Started Because of Imagine

Phillip recalls that this podcast started because of Imagine.

Phillip found a picture of himself and Kalen in a limo en route to some sort of exotic racecar experience in 2014 that was their first picture together.


10:45 “You’re Getting Seriously Ripped”

Kalen compliments Phillip on his increasingly impressive physique.

Phillip lets us know that he is doing a basal metabolic test that he will be sharing the results of soon. He also gives us some insight into some of the athletic endeavors he has been taking part in.

There’s also a shoutout to Erin Kissling (@vertexerin) for introducing Phillip to SoulCycle and for her recent promotion to Head of Partner Marketing at Vertex.

Another spoiler alert: Phillip thinks it’s spiritual mumbo-jumbo. 

12:39 Back to Vancouver

Phillip returns to the Vancouver topic by asking Kalen if he had a good time in Vancouver.

Kalen talks about his trip, including the judgment he received for being scared of bears. Let’s just say he had to wear a bear belt.

Scared Bear GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

There were also literal cougars that could kill you. Not divorcees. 

15:17 Magento, an Adobe Company

Kalen says the whole “Magento, an Adobe Company” thing is getting annoying.

Phillip brings up that at Imagine, everyone’s badge said “Adobe” and the Magento logos didn’t actually say Magento at all.

16:27 Shoutouts to the Mojo and the Key to Imagine

MageMojo got a Twitter shoutout from Ivan Chepurnyi (@IvanChepurnyi) regarding some load testing they provided for him.

Phillip brings up the event that MageMojo hosted at Imagine called the Key to Imagine with Bob Schwartz. He wasn’t there but heard it was a pretty cool event that was a first of its kind.

20:32 “Just Be Better”, A Rant from Phillip 

Kalen asks Phillip how he feels Imagine went this year.

Phillip begins by saying it went well but then prepares us for a rant by mentioning that he head that “Imagine felt weird” from several people.

Rant commences.

It was eleven pm on Monday and Phillip had just seen a series of tweets saying that Imagine had felt weird. He was stopped by Manish Mittal (@mittalmanishm) (a fan of the show) and Manish wanted to introduce Phillip to someone. So Manish went to WhatsApp, and lo and behold, had his entire team from Singapore on the other end who wanted to meet Phillip.

Phillip walked away from this wonderful experience feeling terrible that the community thought that Imagine felt weird when there are people who are as excited as Manish and his team were.

“Just be better. Stop the cynicism.” -Phillip Jackson

Phillip also looks to the future of the community and gives some insight into who to look for in regards to leadership.

Does the community need a figurehead?

30:17 People Freaking Love the Banana Thing

It wouldn’t be an episode without bananas coming up.

Kalen calls out Phillip because of how hard he is running with the banana thing. Phillip retaliates saying that people love the banana thing. Kalen agrees.

33:34 Mage Yes/No

The boys play Yes/Yes/No with a recent banana meme that Phillip posted.

Kalen doesn’t get it. Phillip obviously does.

Themes of the meme are then explored. That sounded fancy…

Also, the banana thing will never die. 

Phillip also goes more into the other part of the meme and talks about a fashion brand called Off White and how the symbolism from that brand applies to the banana meme.

39:31 Swimming Upmarket

Kalen brings up a tweet from Phillip about Magento moving upmarket.

The boys talk about this move and talk about a clip from Jason Woosley in which he talks (more like shouts) about Magento remaining dominant in the Small-Medium sized market.

If you follow the Twitter thread started by Phillip’s tweet, you’ll find a lot of opinions on as to why this isn’t true, but Phillip points out that Magento is making it pretty clear as to what their stance is.

What are your thoughts?

The boys explore the intricacies of the statements from Magento and also weigh in with their personal thoughts on the trajectory of Magento, an Adobe Company. Can you sense the sass?

48:40 A Shift to SMB and A Shift Towards Progressive Web

Somebody told Phillip that Mark Lenhard’s group at Magento (which used to be called the Strategy group) now focuses on what they call SMB.

If Magento is focusing on SMB, what does this mean for company-wide initiatives?

Phillip thinks that the idea that “Magento is too complicated” is something that exists only for Magento and he also points out that no one says this about Linux even though it’s just as (if not more) complex than Magento.

Can this be remedied with a shift in perspective that gets Magento closer to the Linux model?

54:15 PW not PWA

James Zetlen (@JamesZetlen) posted an interesting tweet about apps being a necessary idea.

The boys give their thoughts on this tweet and the semantics behind the change in perspective.

Phillip makes the point that you have infinite control to create more flexible things that don’t require you to be a backend developer that specializes in the world of progressive web apps.

Are backend developers the best group of people to shape the direction that PWAs move toward? The frontend developer shouldn’t have to work under the abstraction created by a specific developer group.

1:02:02 Magento 3?

Are PWAs essentially Magento 3?

Phillip rants that idea of version numbers don’t mean anything. Spicy.

“Eventually, every part of the thing you are using that lives in the digital world will be replaced.” -Phillip Jackson


-Erin Kissling (@vertexerin)
-Ivan Chepurnyi (@IvanChepurnyi)
-Manish Mittal (@mittalmanishm)
-James Zetlen (@JamesZetlen)

Key to Imagine
Where the Banana Thing Started
Off White


MageTalk Episode 196 – REST in Mage Peace

The boys get into some nitty-gritty details about the recently announced Imagine keynote speaker, a newly released database of useful Magento resources, and talk about overcoming issues within the partner ecosystem.

Listen now!

1:38 Some Music To Start

Phillip has gone live without Kalen and fills the time with some improvised songs about his absence.

There are even some banana jokes thrown in there in song form… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You can also check out the

( of this live stream in case you want to see the boys’ beautiful faces.

4:04 And Now We Really Start

Kalen recently tweeted a poll asking if people enjoy his video content in an effort to get some feedback on what he has been creating recently.

Over half of you just wanted to see the results…

6:30 Workshop That Promo

Kalen makes an attempt at a promo for some sparkling water, and the questions then creator of the verb “workshop”. Phillip then jumps in and lets us know that there are many verbs that he fundamentally disagrees with.

Plus, there’s an interesting example of the term “woodshed”.

8:55 Gary Vee with the Key

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) is the keynote speaker for Magento Imagine.

Kalen aks if Phillip will get to meet him and Phillip lets us know that (just like Jamie Foxx) he probably won’t get to meet him or introduce him.

The boys also ask hard-hitting questions like” “Is Kathy Griffin the same level of celebrity as Gary Vaynerchuk?”

12:00 Be Careful When You Google

Phillip brings up a story of how he set up an auto-follow software for Future Commerce that ended up getting his Twitter account shadow-banned because of the amount of Taliban fighters that were followed.

Kalen asks if ISIS has been conquered.

14:50 Deets on the Vee

Kalen has watched several keynotes that Gary Vaynerchuk has given in the past, and wonders what he is going to talk about. From what he has seen, Kalen has noticed that Gary has a core message that he tailors to his audiences and that he is brutally honest.

16:48 Mageres Has Been Released

Alessandro Ronchi (@aleron75) just launched mageres which is a curated list of useful Magento resources.

Kalen wonders how this is different from the Magento 2 Awesome List. Phillip brings up that Alessandro mentioned it will be more of a weekly digest than a static list. Follow @mageres_info or subscribe to the monthly digest.

The boys then break down some of the resources that are available within MageRes.

19:42 He Shust, He Scores

Phillip brings up a free course by Mark Shust that shows you how to set up a Magento 2 environment with Docker and shows you all the correct steps.

The boys also rave about Valet+ and Phillip brings up a helpful article from David Macaulay on how to Install Magento 2 on MacOS using Valet+.

22:16 Docker vs. Valet+

What is the use case for using Docker instead of Valet+?

Phillip brings up why you would choose to Docker instead of Valet+ and gets into some of the more technical aspects of the two options.

Kalen asks Phillip why you would use Valet+ if it’s not going to sync your production environment.

Some good, helpful technical information here.

28:55 Multiple Platforms, Multiple Possibilities

Phillip says that there is a trend he is seeing where people might be able to have multiple environments and platforms in disparate parts of their website that they use to feed other parts of their sites.

What’s the use case of having both Magento and Shopify at the same time to run different aspects of your business?

34:27 Extension of the Week(ish)

Kalen brings up his pick for the extension of the week: Unirgy uRapidFlow for Import/Export in Magento.

Phillip mentions that he personally prefers Firebear Studio for Import/Export but Something Digital mainly uses Unirgy.

The boys then go into the advantages and disadvantages of both products and weigh in with their own opinions?

Which product do you think sounds better?

38:18 Phillip Soapboxes 

Phillip gets on a soapbox about API integrations the challenges they present. Kalen thinks that Magento should focus mainly on the API layer.

Phillip also goes into the struggles of working with APIs in Magento. Kalen points out that webhooks are something that should be built into the core but are still not.

There’s also a show title in here somewhere…

43:33 Professional Relationship Issues

The boys discuss intricacies of professional relationships, mainly, reasons why companies sometimes get distracted by small issues and don’t look at the bigger picture.

A particular example of using professional leverage to get the desired result is also discussed.

“Customer relationships get solidified when an issue gets resolved, especially when it gets resolved in thorough way.” -Kalen Jordan

What do you do when you can’t overcome an issue in the Magento open source community? Don’t let a single obstacle with a vendor inhibit your relationship with them. 

Does the maturity of a company affect how you treat issues you encounter with them?

52:35 Let’s Talk About the Shopify Thing

Phillip points out that it’s interesting that early on in the Shopify ecosystem, it was possible to earn a cut of the revenue in perpetuity for sites that were built in a certain timeframe. This created a downward market pressure in which developers would create websites at extreme discounts just to have the potential revenue stream come later if the website became successful.

This was a huge competitive advantage in the partner ecosystem that could not exist forever because it was simply unsustainable, so it was changed.

Phillip points out that changes like this happened for a reason. He also brings up a certain non-disparagement agreement within the Shopify partner ecosystem…

59:00 Salty About Mandrill

Kalen gives a firm “what goes around, comes around” to Mailchimp regarding the recent Mandrill incident.


1:01:28 A Last Minute Commerce Hero Plug

Kalen gives his traditional Commerce Hero plug and lets us know that he has some real beasts of developers looking for work.

Check them out.


-Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee)
-Alessandro Ronchi (@aleron75)
-mageres (@mageres_info

Video Live Stream
Gary Vaynerchuk Imagine Profile
mageres Monthly Digest
Magento 2 Awesome List
Setup a Magento 2 Development Environment with Docker by Mark Shust
How to Install Magento 2 on MacOS using Valet+
Unirgy uRapidFlow
Firebear Studio
Mandrill incident