MageTalk Episode 206 – Brazilian Blowout

In today’s episode, Kalen and Phillip introduce the MageTalk Fitness Challenge, review a lot of Magento Community events, hate on PWA, and get into some of the philosophy of eCommerce Platform Selection.

Listen now!

You can also watch the live stream here.

Show Notes

3:43 Gettin’ Your Fitness On

Kalen and Phillip are officially announcing a MageTalk Weight Loss Challenge.

If you want to join in, post a Tweet with #magetalkweightlosschallenge to get involved. And there might be prizes involved…

They brainstorm some possible configurations for the challenge but are challenging all of you MageTalk listeners to get your fitness on!

9:27 Speaking of Cool Titles

Kalen ran into Jenna Warren from Creatuity and he thinks that her title (Vice-President of Special Projects) is really cool. It has a very CIA vibe to it.

They also both agree that they need to get Jenna on the show.

11:14 Kalen’s Healthy Day-to-Day

Phillip asks Kalen to talk a bit about what his day-to-day routine looks like now that he’s getting healthy.

I’m surprised there wasn’t a banana joke here.

Kalen gives us the rundown of what he has been doing to lose an impression 25 pounds so far.

Here’s a sneak peek.

Phillip also weighs in with some fitness tips and how he has maintained his fitness model status. Are we a fitness podcast now?

Phillip recounts his recent front tire blowout bike accident and the resulting road rash.

19:53 Meet Magento New York Recap

The boys recap Meet Magento New York and Phillip heard that it was a pretty dope event. There were a lot of first-timers who had a really good time.

Neither Kalen or Phillip attended, but they got some serious FOMO from seeing how active Twitter was.

Kalen also talks a bit about how he has been trying to find the right balance with his community engagement.

The boys struggle to define what a Brazilian Blowout is. Keep it clean, boys.

25:32 A Plethora of Events and a MageX Review

Phillip finds it fascinating that in the space of a little over a week there was Meet Magento New York, MageX in Austin, Meet Magento Brazil, and Meet Magento Poland.

A lot of people attended MageX and it was the highest attended Magento event in the Austin area with the most merchants.

Kalen gives a shoutout to longtime Twitter friend John Davis (@jdavis2125) who he finally met at MageX.

27:47 Is PWA the New CBD?

Phillip likens PWA to CBD as they both have been proclaimed as a miracle elixir that cures everything.

But at least CBD actually does something…

There is definitely some stuff out there, but extensibility surely isn’t there yet.

Phillip gives us some insight and lets us know that Shopify has a very mature GraphQL stack for catalog, so PWA development is progressing faster on that platform.

Technology is a moving target, and you can’t just drop anchor and pin PWA development on the current technologuy stack.

-Phillip Jackson

Unfortunately for the community, Phillip predicts that PWA will only be applicable in the following scenarios:

  1. If you are a very small single operator that can focus on delivering one site at a time.
  2. If you are an operator that can build just what you need and only that.
  3. If you are a giant agency that has massive capabilities as well as clients with hordes of cash that they can dump into PWA projects.

Kalen thinks that for the Magento community, the answer to PWA is simple: go with one of the community PWA options.

35:28 A Pop Quiz for Kalen

Phillip asks Kalen if he remembers what date Magento 2 was launched, but Kalen nevers remembers these things.

The answer: November 17th, 2015. Coming up on four years. 

There was a huge focus for years on building the API stack, and there are still gaps in the API years later.

Kalen calls out Phillip for his alternate, super positive Instagram story personality.

38:03 A Deviation from the Norm

Kalen points out that Phillip has gotten away from being Magento-centric and is becoming more of a retail strategist. This is leading to him focusing less on platform specifics, and concentrating more on brand image and creating products that people love.

Phillip thinks of things as The Why, The How, and The What.

What does this mean and how can you apply it to your commerce strategy?

Art 3D GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

42:38 Is Here is a CMS tool for M2. It’s an extension, it’s open-source, and for monetization, there is a cloud option.

The announcement was made at Meet Magento Poland.

Phillip finds it interesting that the UI seems a little hard to use in that it requires a lot of choices. It seems like it’s going to take a lot of work to build. However, it is de facto the best option you have for a Pagebuilder tool in Magento open source.

If you put this together with a couple of modules like Yireo, you’ll end up with a package that is competitive with Magento Commerce.

46:28 Have you heard of Webflow?

Phillip throws a curveball and asks if Kalen has heard of Webflow.

Webflow is a modern SaaS equivalent of WordPress. It is an incredibly powerful drag-and-drop page builder toolkit for building websites and it has an eCommerce capability. The things that you can build with Webflow are incredible, and the fact that it’s free is truly incredible.

Well, we know Phillip is a fan.

You can design an objectively beautiful site in Webflow (as a designer) and then export that site to static HTML and deploy it wherever you want.

We are very close to having the developer skillset getting closer to the end user or the designer.

-Phillip Jackson

Most new brands that are launching eCommerce sites have small catalogs so they don’t need all of the infrastructures that Magento has for brands with larger catalogs.

The challange of being an eCommerce platform today is that you have to have a million features that aren’t good fits for everybody.

-Phillip Jackson

53:37 The Price of Admission

With the merger of the Adobe and Magento ecosystems, it’s exceedingly difficult to get into the higher-level partner ecosystem because of high costs.

The boys get into some of the details on the waves this high cost of entry is making within the developer community.

Shocked Shopping GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

58:40 Some Acquisitions

Kalen brings up some recent acquisitions within the Magento community.

Nexcess was acquired by Liquid Web.

Nexcess then acquired some of MageMojo’s data centers that had clients running sites on M1.

Mediotype was just acquired by Blue Acorn iCi.

1:02:12 Last Stab Shout Outs

Kalen gives a shoutout to Emily Pepperman (@bkbeltgal) who literally met Chuck Norris.

Mentions / Links

Jenna Warren
-John Davis (@jdavis2125)
-Emily Pepperman (@bkbeltgal)

MageTalk Weight Loss Challenge
Meet Magento New York
Meet Magento Brazil
Meet Magento Poland
Nexcess acquired by Liquid Web
Mediotype Acquisition
Blue Acorn iCi

MageTalk Episode 205 – Humming Makes Your Voice Better

In a surprise mid-week episode, the boys talk about the disruptive power of marketplaces, sustainable initiatives, and predict how AI might bring about the end of the world. Listen now!

Watch the video live stream here.

Show Notes

3:40 Humming Makes Your Voice Better

Kalen enlightens us with the information that humming makes your voice sound better. Both Kalen and Phillip talk about how their children are constantly humming.

4:54 The Fast Track to Magento Certification

The Magento 2 Certified Associate Developer Examn is not an easy test. Something Digital has a program that takes new hires and guides them from no knowledge of Magento all the way through being a certified developer. Phillip also goes into some detail on the mentor program that Something Digital uses.

Kalen asks if Something Digital has ever considered talking about how they organize their mentorship programs at conferences.

Phillip says that there has been some talk about open-sourcing the whole process.

10:25 A Useful Data Dump

Phillip brings up Hawraf, a company that shut down but dumped all of their data that wasn’t client-facing into a Google Drive that chronicles all of the tools they used and created when forming their business.

Getting a point-in-time snapshot of a creative agency at the top of their game that details successes and failures is an invaluable resource.

More companies, especially services organizations like a creative agency could benefit of having a culture of extreme openness.

-Phillip Jackson

Kalen remembers a payments company that used Github publically for everything that they did. He also brings up how he was recently watching a Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) video in which Gary says that he gives out all of his best tactics in a very transparent way.

15:27 An Interesting AI Shift

Phillip brings up a podcast called Culturally Relevant in which the host David Chen was talking about how they handle AI in the Matrix film universe and how AI would actually destroy the real world.

Kalen thinks that Elon Musk’s take on AI with the neural link is especially brilliant. Basically, we can’t stop AI from progressing, but the neural link will connect our brains directly to all of the AIs of the world and we will be essentially able to compete with the AIs.

I thought this was a Magento Podcast?

21:07 Marketplaces, API, and Magic Quadrants

Kalen saw a tweet from Tom Robertshaw (@bobbyshaw) about his upcoming talk at Meet Magento New York in which he’ll be talking about how to protect your customers from Magecart attacks.

PJ HOT TAKE – You can’t be Magecarted if you’re not on Mage!

Phillip also talks about some of his personal history of giving talks on the digital shopping cart and how marketplaces have the power to be disruptive in the industry.

Marketplaces create a unique opportunity for people to participate in retail where they wouldn’t normally be able to. You need talented people to be able to pull this off (especially on Magento cloud) so there are definite hurdles in creating a marketplace.

StockX was hacked with over six million customers records exposed, and if a large custom platform can’t keep customer data safe with enormous sums of funding, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Adobe/Magento was just rated as a top tier platform in the new Gartner Magic Quadrant and there was a fascinating article from commercetools CPO Kelly Goetsch about how this was the first magic quadrant that used API as one of the qualifiers for a top tier platform. This allows other competitors like commercetools to rise above larger companies because the game is changing.

35:21 Meet Magento New York Agenda

Phillip tries to remember some companies that attempted to use Magento to push the envelope and set trends in the eCommerce world.

Kalen was looking through the Meet Magento New York agenda and noticed that there was a lot to do with API and headless options. He also notices a talk on Adobe Sensei which he is really excited about.

The boys continue to beat the dead horse that is the lack of coupon code joke. 

39:02 The Rumor Mill is Turning

Phillip has heard through the grapevine about a restructure of Magento and Marketo within Adobe. It looks like the former Marketo CMO Sarah Kennedy Ellis will be heading the marketing efforts behind Magento as a product.

Magento is further separating its commercial sales practice from its enterprise sales practice and Gary Specter (@gspecter) is going to take over the commercial sales for both Magento and Marketo.

45:01 Hot Takes on Hosting

Kalen put out some tweets that were asking about where people did their hosting.

He got a lot of responses and a lot of people had very strong opinions on their hosting.

The boys give some of their hot takes on the ins and out of hosting as weill as some of the struggles that companies face if they want to host themselves without going to a hosting provider.

Spoiler: don’t do your own hosting.

55:30 Future Commerce Sustainability Initiative

Phillip has challenged both himself and Future Commerce to state what they are going to be doing to affirm their commitment to sustainable business practices. They put out a press release last week announcing that they have created their own Sustainability Initiative but will also hold their partners to this sustainability initiative.

Google Cloud is the only cloud provider that runs all of their server centers on 100% renewable energy, so all of Future Commerce’s infrastructure will be moved to Google Cloud.

59:09 Kalen Challenges the Data

There was an interesting graph that Kalen saw on Twitter that sparked some opinions.

Essentially, this graph is saying that startups are in decline, but Kalen doesn’t believe this at all. He personally knows so many people that own side businesses, and can’t imagine how this doesn’t apply to the American Economy in general.

Phillip speculates how this graph was created and essentially, the avenues that someone can take to start a business are now almost limitless, but back in 1979, there were far fewer ways to begin your own business. Entrepreneurship in 2019 in the United States can be associated with apps that don’t have to be registered with the state in order to be in business for themselves.

The boys get into the future of the show and what possible directions the content could go in.


-Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee)
-Tom Robertshaw (@bobbyshaw)
Kelly Goetsch
Sarah Kennedy Ellis
-Gary Specter (@gspecter)

Magento 2 Certified Associate Developer Examn
Hawraf Google Drive
Culturally Relevant Podcast
Meet Magento New York
StockX Hack
Magento Gartner Magic Quadrant
commercetools Article on the Gartner Magic Quadrant
Adobe Sensei
Future Commerce Sustainability Initiative


MageTalk Episode 204 – What is the Future of Adobe Open Source?

Kalen and Phillip get into some serious gossip about the future of Adobe Open Source as they dive into the truth behind some high-level employee departures from Adobe. What does the future of open source look like?

Listen now!

You can also watch the video live stream here.

Show Notes

2:10 Just Do It, Buy a Technology Partner

In true Phillip fashion, he starts the show off with a Nike tidbit.

Are we surprised?

Nike just acquired Celect which holds a cutting-edge intellectual property portfolio across data science and software engineering. Celect’s cloud-based analytics platform provides proprietary insights that allow retailers to optimize inventory across an omnichannel environment through hyper-local demand predictions.

The interesting part is that Celect houses the data of some of Nike’s competitors like Puma and Aldo, so technically, Nike now owns that data.

5:53 What is the future of Open Source?

There was a recent tweet that shed some light on some pretty big news from the Adobe front.

David Manners (@mannersd) is leaving Magento for bitExpert over in Germany and Matt Asay (@mjasay) is leaving to head over to AWS Cloud.

Phillip will always remember David as the founder and creator of MageEngage, and once again reminds us of his superpower to resurrect dead podcasts with his words.

9:08 A Little Birdie Told Me

Kalen hints that he’s heard that someone else is leaving Adobe from an inside source.

Phillip tries to pry and get the dirt on who’s leaving.

Phillip also credits Kalen for teaching him all of his YouTuber skills.

10:52 Here’s the Deal…

There is a dramatic uptick in people leaving Magento (two so far….I guess that’s an uptick?).

The boys break down the details of who has left so far, and what that means for both Magento and the Magento Association.

Is the Magento Association just for events and has it done something that has directly affected open source?

To answer this, the boys have to head to the Magento Association website.

Eric Hileman (@ericvhileman) from MageMojo gives a lot of good feedback on this topic in the comments. Eric says that the Magento Association has no funding from Adobe other than Magento/Adobe paying for SmithBucklin.

If one or two people leaving Adobe as a company has a material impact on the future of Magento and open source, then we were probably doomed from the start. I would hope that one or two people do not have direct and total control of the open source vision at Adobe.

-Phillip Jackson

19:57 A Larger Shift

While one or two people don’t make or break the future of open source, is it indicative of a large shift?

Matt Asay was at Adobe for three years and nine months, and this is a pretty standard tenure for someone in the tech industry.

David Manners was at Adobe for one year and eleven months, so just under the two-year mark.

Kalen harkens back to when the acquisition was happening and how excited Matt was with the merging of the communities. Excited enough to leave altogether it seems.

Phillip also goes into some more detail on the logistics behind Matt Asay’s leaving. There might have been the possibility for a relocation that was not necessarily wanted by some of the open source team.

Does the acquisition of Magento strengthen Adobe’s stance on open source? The restructuring could be a hint at some very positive growth and not the harbinger of an open source apocalypse.

Does Magento give Adobe an advantage in open source?

35:52 Boons and Shifts

Phillip would put money on the fact that this is a chance for Magento to show that they are doing better than any other organization within Adobe. He also hopes that Adobe will shift and give Magento control over more aspects of the Adobe umbrella in the future.

Kalen points out that one thing that they are not giving to Magento is the ability to hire remotely. Magento was beginning to make several remote hires right before the acquisition, but with the acquisition, these remote hires are being reversed and a requirement to be within certain offices is being set.

Hiring remotely is a huge competitive advantage.

-Kalen Jordan

If someone is not willing to relocate and change their life around a job, then those people were probably more prone to leave at some point. This could be a strategy for retention to see what employees are in it for the long haul.

David chimes in that he was never asked to move and that remote work is still a possibility.

41:50 Jumping Ship

Kalen says that there is a non-trivial number of people that left Magento right after its acquisition by Adobe.

Tony Ciarelli from Something Digital worked as a Channel Manager at Magento for two years and offers some frame of reference for Ben Pressley’s leaving. 

43:10 Commerce Hero Updates

Phillip asks if Commerce Hero has been around long enough to have a median time of employment for its placements.

Kalen says that it would be useful if he could pull in the LinkedIn work histories, but claims that the LinkedIn APIs are a hot mess. To do basic authentication and get a basic avatar image, the API is great, but to do anything more than that, fuhgeddaboutit.

Phillip asks TJ Gamble (@ecommerceaholic) if his new streaming set up is working out.

Kalen also calls out Phillip for hating on the audience participation portions of the show back in the day. Phillip says that is because he used to be concerned about the purity of an audio podcast.

How times have changed…

45:19 Future Commerce Update

Phillip announces that Future Commerce has relaunched its subscriber email to shift to be more brand focused and that they are scaling out into market research.

Getting deep into market research.

47:44 Salary Survey

Commerce Hero is about to do a salary survey. All you have to do is authorize your LinkedIn account and then input your salary. Kalen says this authorization will make the survey more credible.

Phillip says he would absolutely fill out the survey if it was anonymous, but would absolutely not fill the survey out if he had to say who he was.

Phillip polls the live audience to see if they would take the survey.

Kalen incentivizes the survey by releasing more detail on the results depending on if you identify who you are.

52:00 A PSA from Phillip

Phillip says that if you are an agency that is listening to this episode, it is super important for you to be asking your customers what they think of you. It is also super important for you to understand what your customers think they need from you. You can get additional insights into this feedback depending on how you ask the questions.

All of this information is part of improving your company and making your customers happy.

Kalen goes back to asking how to get more people to take the Salary Survey.

54:59 Let’s Talk About (COUPON ALERT)

Kalen now has an account at and gives out some coupon codes.

Simply enter the code “MageTalk” to get a 4-week free trial.

Kalen is very happy that MageTalk can once again offer coupon codes.

Kalen also sings some praises at the content on and it makes him think about how much the Magento community has evolved.

A huge shoutout to Vinai Kopp (@VinaiKopp) for having a successful community-focused product.



-David Manners (@mannersd)
-Matt Asay (@mjasay)
-Eric Hileman (@ericvhileman)
Tony Ciarelli
-TJ Gamble (@ecommerceaholic)
-Vinai Kopp (@VinaiKopp)

Nike’s Celect Acquisition
AWS Cloud
Magento Association website
Future Commerce
Commerce Hero Salary Survey

MageTalk Episode 203 – Everybody Hates Their Ecommerce Platform

The boys are back with a live episode in which they talk about how everyone hates their eCommerce platform, the state of the Magento ecosystem, and the true worth of customer lifetime value.

Listen now!

Show Notes

It’s been a minute, but the boys are back with some of that quality eCommerce Podcast Content that you love them for.

You can also watch the video Livestream of this episode here.

1:04 Lots of Finger Points

In true MageTalk fashion, Phillip and Kalen start this episode with pointing, thumbing, and a Barack Obama impression.

Because how else would they start the episode?

3:50 Facebook Timeline Creepin’

Kalen saw a video on his Facebook timeline that showed Phillip’s face promoting Future Commerce. Phillip says that he learned it from Kalen Jordan Content Creation Train.

4:35 Phillip At CommerceNext

Phillip recently went to a conference entitled CommerceNext and says it was a very interesting show.

It was founded by three people from three separate areas of the ecosystem: Scott Silverman, Allan Dick, and Veronica Sonsev.

6:53 The Famous Twitter Thread

Phillip posted a tweet from CommerceNext that started quite the Twitter thread.

This thread also named this episode.

Kalen feels like Phillip is going beyond just being Magento-centric and getting to the mindset of what the consumer or retailer really care about.

Phillip finds it refreshing to know that the conversations he has with people that are frustrated show that everyone has pain because we are all doing things that are very difficult. Different platforms solve different problems differently from others, and this is a sign of a healthy ecosystem.

The desire for innovation and execution from a merchant is at a pace where the technology platforms cannot keep up with it.

-Phillip Jackson

10:18 Alibaba vs. Amazon

Kalen was watching an interview with Jack Ma, the CEO of Alibaba, in which he was talking about the differences between Amazon and Alibaba.

Jack Ma stated that Alibaba is focusing on empowering their ecosystem.

12:25 Some of the Hard Questions

Jesse Tyler (@jessebtyler) asked Phillip to get into more detail regarding advice for each platform.

A lot of people don’t realize that Magento is a legacy product, and whether it’s true or not, Mark Lavelle went on a rant about having the “youngest codebase in the entire ecosystem”.

eCommerce is now a service and these problems aren’t anyone’s fault but the customer. If you want to blame anyone, blame the customer because they have the expectations of eCommerce platforms that are leading to these issues.

16:44 The Truth of the Matter

Phillip boldly points out that it is a customer expectation that you are cloud-first. Magento can say that they are cloud-first, but so many of the problems we have in the ecosystem are around the installed software.

In honor of Kalen’s Obama impression.

Kalen says that most of the time when you have an enterprise software product, it’s the first-party company that does the hosting for you.

Kalen also points out that Phillip is doing a great job of being honest about a topic that is hard to talk about.

23:11 Flexing Those Entrepreneurial Muscles

Both Kalen and Phillip have extensive experience in the Entrepreneurial space, and Phillip states that there is only so much pain he is willing to endure when building an eCommerce site. When he thinks about the pain that retailers have to undergo to do simple things in a Magento context, a lot of that pain would be relieved through PWA.

Empathy is key.

Karen Baker (@wsakaren) also makes an appearance in the comments.

29:45 A Vestige of the Past

The design pattern of developer useability is a vestige of the way that we did opensource five years ago.

-Phillip Jackson

Phillip breaks down a lot of the developmental factors that locked Magento into a certain era of development.

Kalen brings up that the strength of the Magento community has been the developer ecosystem, which can be a huge boon if it aligns with the trajectory of the platform but can also be detrimental if the inertia takes you in a direction that is the opposite of the market.

Phillip gives a shoutout to Mark Lewis (@mrloo) and Emily Pepperman (@bkbeltgal).

Phillip also mentions how Magento announces things so early that people eventually forget about them before they launch.

36:13 So Many Choices

Phillip brings up how at Something Digital they have recently been doing a lot of Shopify work and that they are actively talking to their customers all the time about the way that they are choosing their platform.

You shouldn’t choose a platform by budget; you should choose a platform based on what your needs are.

-Phillip Jackson

Everybody’s got pain, some pains are different than others.

When Phillip is at a Magento focused conference, he has noticed that the conversation is always about the platform and the technology that powers it. At broader retail conferences that aren’t focused on Magento, he hears conversations that are at the next level that are about people and relationships.

38:20 The Actual Value of Lifetime Value

Rent the Runway COO Maureen Sullivan opened CommerceNext and said that their original business strategy was to rent runway fashion directly to consumers. Brands were offended by this at first, but Rent the Runway stuck to their guns and pushed to make relationships directly with the brands.

They played the long game to win the trust of the brand.

The average value of a Starbucks order is $3.80, but the lifetime value of a Starbucks customer is $14,000.

Phillip goes on to say that companies he works with are all working to make their quarter numbers instead of focusing on the lifetime value of customers.

44:26 Developer to Business Owner

Kalen was speaking to a developer friend of his who was very inspired by Gary V’s talk at Imagine. This developer launched an eCommerce business and loves the idea of building a brand that the community cares about and how some of the other businesses in that niche did not have the best experiences.

Phillip goes on to say that a lot of people in this industry connect with the idea of entrepreneurship.

In Kalen’s case, he has always produced something that is his own and is connected to the community that he cares about.

46:28 Meet Magento New York Updates

Kalen’s buddy Aaron Sheehan (@AaronSheehan) is giving a talk at Meet Magento New York about RFP Processes.

Don’t Fear the RFP-er.

Kalen connects coupon codes with the branding discussion the boys had earlier about premium brands.

If you’re a premium brand, you don’t want to dilute your value by being discounted all the time.

-Phillip Jackson

49:57 The Dish on Reviews

Kalen saw the below tweet from Mike Sudyk (@sudyk).

Kalen gets asked from time to time about the best way to structure reviews and gives some of his insights into the best way to leverage your reviews.




MageTalk Episode 202 – “Hoboken No Jokin”

In this episode, the boys get giddy over a positive review, discuss the trials and tribulations of hiring remotely, and talk about the newly created consultant landscape that comes with GDPR.

Listen Now! Or watch the video livestream here.

1:04 Bet You Weren’t Expecting Some Gore

Phillip starts this episode off with a bang by showing us the aftermath of a spill he took while riding his bike.

I guess that’s extra incentive to watch the video live stream…

Also, Kalen is educated on the wonders of Halo Top. Kalen also says that they need to hire someone to pull up images on Google in real-time so that viewers at home can see the images.

Phillip also talks about his love for The Good Place.

5:45 Meet Magento New York

Phillip spots Eric Hileman (@ericvhileman) from MageMojo in the chat and pulls off a pretty fluid segue to Meet Magento New York.

This year, the event takes place on September 5th and 6th in New York and has an awesome list of speakers including Ivan Chepurnyi (@IvanChepurnyi, Fillip Rakowski (@filrakowski, Jisse Reitsma (@jissereitsma), and many more!

Get your tickets now!

10:37 Another Great Review

Kalen brings up that MageTalk got another great review on Apple Podcasts.

Central to the Magento Community

Phillip and Kalen have such great on-air chemistry and banter that keeps listeners engaged throughout the whole podcast and wanting more. You feel a personal connection as if we are all sitting together at an Imagine lunch talking about our challenges, learnings, and airing of grievances. Definitely fan favorite of the Magento community!
-HobokenNoJokin, 07/22/2019

It seems like if you leave a review, you get an episode titled after you. Just saying…

In typical fashion, the boys play grammar police and analyze the review.

There are a handful of MageTalk listeners out in Hoboken, such as Redstage.

Also, Kalen and Phillip challenge you all to leave some well constructed, grammatically perfect, and meaningful reviews.

Have at them.

14:19 MageHike is Happening

 Kalen is organizing a hiking meetup in Austin called MageHike. So if you’re in the Austin area and like trekking through the outdoors, check it out.

It might be your only chance!

Kalen also rants about how he feels is absurd with its pricing.

16:48 A Couple Things on Hiring

Kalen changes pace to talk about a couple of things regarding hiring.

First, he brings up a book by Basecamp Called It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work. The thesis on the main page is a great example of how you should summarize your work in thesis form.

Phillip also suggests a few books that were recommended by Elena Leonova (@elena_a_leonova).

The books are Radical Candor and Start With Why.

23:00 The Pressure of Time Restraints

Kalen has also been thinking a lot about agencies, mainly how deadlines never get met and the insane pressure that comes with time restraints like this.

Phillip elaborates how they promote that a healthy work-life balance is better for everyone.

How do agencies deal with the inherent stress of deadlines in an ever-changing technological landscape?

The boys also talk about the pressure that comes along with specific holidays (such as Prime Day) and how to deal with seasonal craziness.

29:35 Remote Hiring Woes

Kalen brings up a Twitter rant from Josh Pigford (@Shpigford) regarding the trials and tribulations of hiring remotely. Kalen agrees that it’s helpful to sometimes speak about the negatives of hiring remotely.

Don’t worry, I’ve compiled the entire thread for you below. 

Phillip talks about some of the struggles he went through when he was trying to hire remotely. He brings up a story he heard from Mark Lavelle and how he was frustrated by some of the remote hiring regulations.

Kalen sneakily works in a Commerce Hero plug and lets us know that there are some really good candidates looking for positions right now.

Very impressive.

36:27 GraphQL Videos are Live!

Kalen was excited to talk about the videos on, but he didn’t have a membership so all he can talk about are the titles.

Does Kalen actually know what GraphQL is?

Phillip brings up that MageTalk listener Pat McLain in Michigan is a big contributor to the GraphQL project and just so happens to be a part of the Something Digital team. Phillip also talks about how important the GraphQL framework is for the future of PWA.

45:04 What is the New Mage?

Kalen asks if there is a new naming scheme in the current Adobe sphere just like everything was named Mage for Magento.

Is it Adobs- is it -Dobe?

The boys give a shoutout to Erin Kissling (@vertexerin) for being awesome and they let us know that she will soon be on Commerce Party.

Kalen takes credit for raising Commerce Party from the grave just like in Weekend at Bernie’s.

49:06 Phillip’s Powers Put Into Practice and Static Content Deploy

Phillip stretches the limits of his resurrection powers and puts some of the things he wants to happen out into the universe. Some of his attempts involve getting Mark Lavelle on the show and bringing MageEngage back.

Kalen gives a shoutout to Andrew Levine (@drewml) who recently hit a big milestone with his rewrite of static content deploy.


You can actually use the tool yourself here.

Paul Manafort promised that static content deploy would get better years ago. Turns out it didn’t and thankfully the community is stepping up to remedy this.

Kalen loves the fact that Andrew is developing things in full view of the public and you can see the community interest in real-time by gauging the interactions.

Also, in case you didn’t see…

57:46 Getting Into Compliance 

Phillip states that more people should be GDPR compliant and brings up that there are now GDPR Compliance firms in existence. He mentions that the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) is the closest thing to an American GDPR.

What does this mean for the future of compliance once the CCPA goes into effect on January 1st, 2020?

Inchoo released a blog article back in 2018 in which they discuss the GDPR Compliant Magento 2 Database Dump that they performed.

Kalen thinks that the GDPR consultancy stance is interesting and that we will be seeing more of these in the future.

1:04:22 Some More Commerce Hero Updates

Kalen has been working on improving the matching logic and require tags within Commerce Hero. He was doing the matching manually before, so the automation has been really nice.

Phillip mishears “rate” and briefly thinks he heard that Kalen was filtering candidates by “race”.

Kalen calls out Twitter for not responding to anything he’s been posting recently but then going crazy on a tweet about typehints inside a loop.

Phillip critiques Kalen’s coding after actually looking at the code he posted.

I think Phillip needs some code review in his life. 

1:09:46 Some Final Topics 

Max Chadwick (@maxpchadwick) is giving a talk titled “What Agencies Want From Extension Providers” and is looking for some suggestions.

Kalen might have created a new word (or social event) when he was fixing a typo.


-Eric Hileman (@ericvhileman)
-Ivan Chepurnyi (@IvanChepurnyi
-Fillip Rakowski (@filrakowski
-Jisse Reitsma (@jissereitsma)
-Elena Leonova (@elena_a_leonova
-Josh Pigford (@Shpigford)
Pat McLain
-Erin Kissling (@vertexerin)
-Andrew Levin (@drewml)
-Max Chadwick (@maxpchadwick)

Halo Top
The Good Place
Meet Magento New York
It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work
Radical Candor
Start With Why
Commerce Party
Static Content Deploy
GDPR Compliant Magento 2 Database Dump


MageTalk Episode 201 – “I’ve heard of the Oxford Comma but have you heard of the Reed Jenkins Comma?”

The boys talk about some of the current posts and publications recently posted by members of the Magento Community, discuss escalating risk versus technical debt, and tackle the difficulties in automating content creation.

Listen now!

1:45 Great Review, But Wack Feedback

The boys start off the episode by bringing up an awesome review they just got on Apple Podcasts from Reed Jenkins.

“Useful, entertaining, accessible.
So much domain expertise, is expressed on this podcast. The hosts are innate storytellers which pull you in and keep you engaged unlike many podcasts focused on bespoke technology.

Highly recommend for anyone interested in e-commerce and product development!” -Reed Jenkins, 7/11/2019

Did you notice the Reed Jenkins comma?

Phillip also asks for the real Reed Jenkins to please, stand up.

Kalen asked for some topic ideas for this episode on Twitter, and let’s just say y’all came up with some interesting ideas…

7:46 Prime Day Plans

Phillip aggressively deviates from the topics at hand and asks Kalen if he bought anything for Prime Day. Kalen did not, but Phillip might have gone a little crazy…

This is pretty much Phillip on Prime Day.

Phillip was mostly excited about the coffee maker he found for an incredible price and then was even more excited that the coffee maker delivered 18 hours later.

He also calls out Zumiez for taking a little longer to deliver than what was initially promised…

13:21 An Awesome Article

Tom Robertshaw (@bobbyshaw) wrote an article on LinkedIn called The Magento Ecosystem is Evolving that fleshes out a lot of really important points on Magento’s trajectory. Both the boys agree that it’s a great post.

So check it out.

16:37 The Dissection Begins

The boys begin to go into some more detail on the finer point of Tom’s post.

How has the Magento community felt after Mark Lavelle’s leaving? What does the post Imagine communication look like in the Magento ecosystem? Who was missing from Imagine?

All these questions are explored, but go read the article.

22:04 Something Digital Gets A Mention

Robert also gave a shoutout to Something Digital in his discussion the changing Magento landscape and Mercury, the Magento 2 Accelerator.

“Nothing is cheaper than free, but sometimes nothing is as expensive either.”

-Phillip Jackson

Phillip also mentions a recent tweet from Tyler Jensen (@tyleroptpres) regarding suggestions on keeping sites up to date for security purposes.

Talesh Seeparsan(@_Talesh had some pretty good points but ended with a mic drop of a tweet.

25:06 A Couple More Tactical Items

Kalen noticed that there was a new Magento Coding Standard released and he was curious if the coding standard is used universally.

Phillip gives an oral history of the coding standards. He also pronounces “commit” in a very interesting way.

Spoiler: It Sounds like “comet”.

Kalen thinks that Magento is doing a better job, in general, of tooling and has heard that the coding standards are enforced in the Magento marketplace.

33:18 Kalen’s Back At It

Kalen has been actively coding on Commerce Hero for the past few weeks for the first time in about a year. He brings up some of the weird things that he’s been experiencing in the code.

There is also a performance issue in 2.3.2 related to MSI for which Douglas Radburn (@douglasradburn) from Pinpoint Design has provided the below patch.

Phillip finds it strange that the Magento Stack Exchange is its own little insular platform.

Kalen also discusses the below tweet from Ryan Hoerr (@ryanhoerr) and discuss the M2 dashboard charts and how you should be using the BI tooling.

42:40 MageX Is Coming Up

Phillip is hearing from more and more people that Kalen is planning on submitted a talk on hiring at MageX.

They still have some trouble finding the dates of the conference. 

Phillip offers 25 Magebucks to anyone who can name the default meta tag that still ships with Magento 2 that is left over from Magento 1 for SEO purposes.

Don’t miss out on your Magebucks.

45:46 Kalen Hosts a Hike

Kalen is wanting to organize a hike for the local hikers in the Austin area. He creatively wants to name it MageHike.

Kalen also informs Phillip that he’s been attending some hiking meetups and also offers 50 Magebucks to whoever “wins” the hike.

He also wasn’t aware that you had to pay a monthly fee to post a meetup on MeetUp.

49:36 Phillip Gets Super Jazzed About This Topic

Kalen saw the below tweet and it made him think about the different aspects of technical debt and how not all debt is bad.

What is escalating risk and how do you factor it into your business plan?

Phillip compares technical debt with a mortgage and makes some great points regarding how you can use technical debt to your advantage.

55:30 A Commero Hero Update

Kalen has been doing a lot of behind the scenes work such as payment processing that Phillip thinks sounds awesome.

Kalen also brings up what has recently become a part of his technical debt and how that shifts his day to day business.

58:00 Phillip’s Future Commerce Army

Phillip has been trying to do a lot more hands-on work with Future Commerce and has found that managing a team of people to smoothly work together via automated platforms. He also has struggled to find automation tools in the content publishing worlds.

Kalen asks Phillip to go into more detail on the army of people that working at Future Commerce. Phillip gives a gist of where Future Commerce is headed and what he and his team have been working on.

The boys discuss the paid content model and Phillip talks about this is where Future Commerce is headed.

1:04:00 More On Paid Content

Phillip mentions Substack and how it is the simplest news system that you’ve ever seen and has Stripe as a payment gateway.

Venture capitalists must think that paid content is a worthwhile investment.

Kalen also brings up StrongLifts as a great example of a paid content business models.


-Tom Robertshaw (@bobbyshaw)
-Tyler Jensen (@tyleroptpres)
-Talesh Seeparsan(@_Talesh
-Douglas Radburn (@douglasradburn)
-Ryan Hoerr (@ryanhoerr)

The Magento Ecosystem is Evolving
Apple Podcasts Review
Pinpoint Design
Future Commerce

MageTalk Episode 200 – “Oot-Gaverjet-Ploom”

In an episode plagued by audio issues, the boys cross the 200 episode threshold by talking about PWA demos, Magento 1’s trending pattern in market share, and the recent Magecart attack.

Listen now!

1:29 Prep Work and Gifts

The boys start out by announcing that guests on MageTalk will from now on be getting an entire packet of information as well as gifts.

We have also crossed a threshold and are now in the 200s in regards to episode count.

Congrats, boys!

Phillip mentions the now extinct Modern Seinfeld.

The boys also come up with what may be the Worst Superhero of All-Time.

7:55 Starting On the West Coast

Both of the boys were out in Seattle (but not together) and both enjoyed their time.

Kalen’s kids met their cousins who live there for the first time and they visited a botanical garden that everyone enjoyed.

Phillip is on the West Coast for the Pacific Northwest Magento Meetup that Brian Lange from Future Commerce started when he was still working for Amazon. The meetup has grown over the years and now has a couple of hundred members.

The boys also give a shoutout to Binary Anvil for having one of the coolest agency names.

Even if Kalen doesn’t get it.

11:23 A Possible New Segment?

Kalen pitches the idea of a new segment in which the boys make fun of one of the company names in the industry.

Cause that’s always funny.

11:40 Speaking of Names to Make Fun Of…

Brent Peterson (@brentwpeterson) has changed Mage Titans into MageX, an altogether new conference (that is kind of the same thing) that is not just for developers.

MageX is in Austin, Texas (so right in Kalen’s backyard) in September and Kalen might even give a talk on hiring.

Phillip also gives us insight into his process of creating new talks. Spoiler alert: it’s 89 days of crippling anxiety and then one day of extreme productivity.

16:55 A New Podcast on the Scene

Divante has just come out with a new podcast called eCommerce Talks that Kalen thinks has some great production quality.

eCommerce Talks discusses tech, current trends, and insights from around the eCommerce world. It features industry experts, business leaders, and top consultants to share their knowledge.

Phillip says that the setup reminds him of the Kevin Rose Podcast.

20:39 You Know Who’s Not Taking a Sabbatical?

The Magento Community Engineering Slack has reached 5,000 members and Phillip can proudly claim to have another successful vanity metric.

Also, there was a weird audio glitch here so excuse the silence when Phillip’s mic cut off.

Phillip says that this number is actually probably a better measure of activity in the community than the 250,000 developer count that he sees thrown around a lot.

Kalen predicts that by the end of 2021, a Magento developer will be hired with a salary of $300,000.

29:03 Kalen Rants About PWA Demos

Kalen saw that there was a Braintree Integration for PWA and he was curious about how extension integrations are going to work in PWA. He went to go check the PWA demo and it was down.

The boys check the demo in real-time and find that it works so Kalen retracts his rant because the demo looks great.

Phillip also mentions the Creatuity PWA Demo and that Elegentos has just launched a new site on Deity Falcon named Uitgeverij Pluim.

34:35 Magento 1 Is Still On Top

Kalen brings up a tweet from Tom Karwatka (@tomik99) that shows that Magento 1 is leading in Top 10K sites, and if you click the link in the tweet, you can see the trend patterns.

Phillip points out that there is ample opportunity for Sports and Home & Garden sites on Magento 1, so make a move before the opportunities are gone!

38:20 A Simple Request for Rebecca Brocton

Both Kalen and Phillip have heard from multiple sources that the community wants Rebecca Brocton (@RebeccaBrocton) to release video overviews of Magento releases complete with costumes and all sorts of fun extras.

You owe it to the community, Rebecca.

The boys also try to come up with a song that goes with 2.3.2

41:13 Magecart Attack

On July 4th, over 960 stores were breached with an automated Magecart campaign.

Phillip woke up on July 5th to the below tweet from Talesh Seeparsan [(@_Talesh)( reminding the community that hackers know when you are off work.

Phillip also goes the extra mile and points out some of the sites that were hacked as well as some of the developers who work for the sites that were hacked.

Do you think that open source is a double-edged sword?

Phillip says that people are not vigilant about keeping their platforms up to date and people don’t sit down to calculate the cost to run software that might be inherently free but has certain costs to keep updated and secure. He also believes that a breach like this is something that can set an entire industry back.

Kalen thinks the bigger risk is companies ignoring the security threat altogether.

51:45 The Future of the Magecart Cyber Threat

Phillip asks how long it will be before Magecart evolves into ransomware. He also brings up how the technique of card skimming has come to be known as Magecart, regardless if it takes place on Magento. Well that’s quite the reputation.

Kalen thinks that GDPR will assist in preventing the leaking of data and cyber breaches like this in the future.


Modern Seinfeld
Future Commerce
Binary Anvil
eCommerce Talks
Kevin Rose Podcast
Braintree Integration for PWA
Magento PWA Demo
Creatuity PWA Demo
Deity Falcon
Uitgeverij Pluim
Magecart Breach

-Brian Lange (@brianjlange)
-Brent Peterson (@brentwpeterson)
-Tom Karwatka (@tomik99)
-Rebecca Brocton (@RebeccaBrocton)

MageTalk Episode 199– “Better Eat Your Googley-Ohs” (w/ James Zetlen)

In one of the more technical episodes of late, Phillip is joined by James Zetlen as they explore the future of UI components, UPWARD and the importance of a common coding language, and some nitty-gritty details of PWA Studio.

Listen Now!

1:36 Down a Kalen, Up a Zetlen

Today, Phillip is joined by James Zetlen (@JamesZetlen) the Senior Frontend Architect from Adobe. Kalen is not here so he’s probably off eating a banana somewhere.

Or maybe for the first time actually taking his sabbatical.

3:05 A Brief History on James Zetlen

Phillip asks James to talk about his history with Magento.

James takes us through a quick background and lets us know that he has been with Magento since December of 2016 and when he started there, he was one of the few engineers that were actually located in the Austin office. When he first started, they had just finished polishing Magento 2.2. Now that’s a flashback.

Phillip recalls when it was really difficult to vertically center things.

7:19 A Flashback Shoutout

Ten years ago, Phillip recalls that Nicole Sullivan (@stubbornella) (who invented OOCSS by the way) worked in the Austin office and now she works on the Google Chrome team.

She was kind of a hero to him.

James points out that at (Or Googley-Oh for the initiated) this year, she did a talk on Elevating the Web Platform with the Javascript Framework Community.

The boys discuss what Nicole is doing today, and how valuable her work is.

Phillip is also surprised to find out that Paul Irish (@paul_irish) was at Imagine.

11:28 The Complex UI Problem

Largely, the response of the community to Magento 2.2’s UI components might have been too much. The frontend development got very tricky and full stack developers ran into complex issues that might have been past what their skillsets allowed them to comfortably build.

Phillip goes on record saying that the implementation surpassed the maturity level of a typical open source developer working for a merchant that doesn’t have an enormous commerce budget.

18:20 The Separation of Concerns Horizontally

There’s a general principle that used to be called the separation of concerns horizontally that leads to things being decoupled in the web stack.

James goes through some of the layers of abstraction that make up the Magento framework and the history of its development.

“The web was designed as a way to surf around using hyperlinks through academic documentation and you can see that history everywhere.” -James Zetlen

Some really good technical stuff here.

Most programming shows hallmarks of its era and we have compounded functionality on top of essentially basic mechanics.

24:21 The Future of UI Components

James predicts that the future of UI components looks like a vertical integration that instead of its connectors being PHP interfaces and XML dialects, they are more broadly accepted industry standard portal directives.

Phillip then states that it seems like James has done away with all the existing UI components and rebuilt it from the ground up with a more sensible orientation.

Maybe James is the hero we need.

30:03 A Big Circle Back to Lighthouse

Phillip asked about Google Lighthouse back at the beginning of the episode and the discussion has naturally spiraled back to it.

James gives lots of juicy information on how PWA Studio was initially a project to begin the creation of the new stack for Magento. He also lets Phillip know that the process has not always moved as fast as he would want it to.

33:51 What are some exciting things on the horizon?

Phillip asks James to talk about some of the exciting things that are coming up in the pipeline.

James starts out by saying that PWA in itself is exciting. Once you begin to mess around with the capabilities of PWA, you start to see just how powerful a tool it can be. Once you’ve played around with it and bring that perspective to PWA Studio, you will have the perspective to give feedback on how to improve PWA Studio itself.

“PWA Studio will help to establish a pattern that other people will recognize, so that when they go to build their own extension concepts then they have code that doesn’t surprise them and code that works together.” -James Zetlen

James also gives some examples of how PWA will work with other languages and components out there.

39:30 Runtime Dependencies and Required JS

Required JS is a runtime dependency manager, and it has a builder that is not used in standard Magento 2 Production. James talks about some of the workarounds to make this process more efficient.

Phillip brings up how a documented javascript module system is a first-class feature nowadays, but it was not always that way.

James talks about how what they have today is not really a runtime system, but more of a build-time system.

44:30 Additional Magento Needs

James talks about how he wants the extension manifest to function, and how most of what is written in the extension manifest is Magento specific.

We should be able to identify within a component what Magento schema are present and the ability to identify the schema is and the additional component to developing the stack.

48:22 Criticism On Complex Deployment

Phillip asks James to talk about what he would say to the argument that other third-party ecosystem progressive web app approaches that exist solely because Magento has to solve them for themselves.

James explains why Magento needs to support multiple deployment scenarios, and why this can lead to complexity.

James also brings up UPWARD (Unified Progressive Web App Response Definition) that he invented because it wasn’t guaranteed that they would be able to run Node JS at run time in order to deliver up PWA made with their tool.

Say Unified Progressive Web App Response Definition five times fast.

53:59 No One Left Behind

James and the team wanted to build an environment in which no one was left behind. They wanted something that was deployable yet also something that wasn’t invasive to their existing tech stack.

James quotes Star Trek: Insurrection and Phillip signs off on the perfect analogy.

56:53 Let’s Clarify a Couple Things

James clarifies that UPWARD is a definition file for how a custom-written back end server would work. It would be great if you could maintain node servers with several different languages but what if instead of writing the same code in five different languages, you identified the commonalities in all of those languages and objects?

What if we could create a domain specific language that you need on the fly?

UPWARD has a small(ish) number of instructions and was only confusing initially because James wrote a document that wasn’t very easy to read.

“There are some things that, no matter how technical they are, need to be promoted”. -James Zetlen

1:04:10 PWA Studio 3.0.0

PWA Studio 3.0.0 has just been released.

James let us know that the most exciting thing about it to him is the existence of the release itself. This was done almost entirely without him writing commands by the awesome team of Craig Herdman, Dev Patil, and their developers.

James also thanks a lot more people and it begins to sound like an Oscar Speech.

A big update for developers in 3.0.0 is the inclusion of Peregrine hooks that is a React-based API. Peregrine uses a new paradigm that feels like magic.

1:08:08 A Big Thank You 

James wants to address his last appearance on MageTalk and commends Kalen and Phillip for their efforts in making him feel welcome and not attacked. James also gives thanks to the boys for giving them insight into what is like to actually use the tools and calls that episode revelatory in their process of development.

With praise like that, I’d check it out

1:09:25 One Other Thing About UPWARD

Phillip points out that it does us no good to have a spec for HTTP without someone building something that actually allows us to use the web. The implementation is just as important as the spec.

James asks Phillip what things would like without UPWARD and also states that he’s willing to throw it out if it’s not useful in the future.

If Magento was able to produce a proof of concept of an alternative, something that is maybe more turnkey and less flexible in its deployment, would that seem like they were invited others into UPWARD?

Phillip says that it would have to be something that is Commerce Cloud-centric first because that is where we are today.

James also talks about some of the issues in UPWARD that make it appear more confusing than it actually is.

Does anyone else have a tired brain after all the genius in this episode?


Guest Host: James Zetlen (@JamesZetlen)

  • Nicole Sullivan ([@stubbornella](]))
  • Paul Irish ([@paul_irish](
  • [Craig Herdman](
  • [Dev Patil](
  • [OOCSS](
  • [Elevating the Web Platform with the Javascript Framework Community](
  • [Google Lighthouse]([Google Lighthouse](
  • [PWA Studio](
  • [UPWARD](
  • [PWA Studio 3.0.0 Release Notes](
  • [Peregrine hooks](
  • [MageTalk Classics with James Zetlen](

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

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