MageTalk Episode 219 – Creating Healthy Daily Habits

How do you create better habits? How do you do more creative work? Does your day have a predictable structure and are you trying to optimize that for productivity or for happiness? Kalen and Phillip dive into more meta topics of productivity and focus.

Also, we talk about TikTok.

Yeah, the content is pretty varied but what do you expect? It’s MageTalk. Recorded from a Youtube Live on July 13, 2020.

Listen now!

MageTalk Episode 213 – “I’ve Lost 3 Stone of Stress this Week” w/ Rebecca Brocton

The boys are joined in today’s episode by Rebecca Brocton and they discuss mental health, how to battle impostor syndrome, and how to overcome social anxiety when attending community events.

Listen now!

Show Notes

You can watch the video live stream here.

1:02 Rebecca’s In the House

Kalen and Phillip are joined in today’s episode by Rebecca Brocton (@RebeccaBrocton and Phillip brings up that Kalen has been streaming every day for 49 days.

Phillip says that she reminds him of a certain scene in Alice in Wonderland.

2:50 What are we talking about today?

Rebecca and Phillip tag-team hosted health breakout at MagentoLive Europe.

Phillip was speaking about physical health and Rebecca was speaking on mental health and the conversations were basically the same.

Mental health is a stigma that we tend to not talk about but Rebecca has been at the forefront of mental health awareness in the community.

5:00 What’s Been Happening in Rebecca’s Life?

A lot has happened since the last time Rebecca was on the show.

Rebecca is now on the board of the Magento Association. She has also started following a vegan and healthy lifestyle.

After being vegan for a while, Rebecca had one weekend of not being vegan and then realized that she wasn’t missing much.

Kalen asks if she has heard of or considered cricket protein

The boys are also intrigued by the fact that Britain does not have Disney+ at the moment and that Rebecca goes to bed at 8:00 pm every night.

Does Kalen have the ability to transfer curses?

15:12 The MageTalk Weight Loss Challenge

Rebecca took the boys up on the MageTalk weight loss challenge a few months back. Phillip has lost 154 pounds, Kalen lost around 32 pounds, and Rebecca has lost around 30 pounds for a combined total of 216 pounds.

The Magento Community has evolved to include more than just the platform and Phillip brings up the positive communication he has received on his weight loss journey.

18:40 Some Mental Health Commonalities

Kalen asks Rebecca if she is hearing from people that are struggling with mental health in the community.

It shocked Rebecca just how common work anxiety and other mental health issues are amongst the members of the Magento community. A reoccurring issue that she hears from community members is that they are suffering from impostor syndrome. Essentially, people get worried that their opinion is not valid and that they don’t know what they’re talking about. This feeling also permeates into other parts of our lives outside of work.

It’s easy to get swept up and feel like you’re getting dragged behind in the fast-moving Magento world while the rest of the community is keeping up and ahead of the curve. This is simply not the case and we are all in the same boat when it comes to harboring emotions like these.

Phillip states that one of the most authentic phrases we can say is “I don’t know” yet it is very hard for most people to admit that.  Phillip has been trying to admit this to himself more.

Rebecca also struggles with the level of expectation that comes along with the successes in her career. She leverages her own feelings and experiences in helping others who have similar feelings.

26:36 Combatting Impostor Syndrome

Kalen asks what people should do if they do feel impostor syndrome.

Rebecca says that this all depends on where they personally are in the battle against impostor syndrome. Reaching out to a friend or colleague and talking to get their opinions can sometimes be enough to combat this. Other times, peer voices may not be enough which is when you should consider professional help. Pursuing professional mental health can be a scary process as it is not always easy or available. There are also helplines that you can call that will just talk to you.

Rebecca also speaks about her own experiences with professionals in the mental health field and gives some great insight into the attempt to quantify the severity of mental health issues. Phillip has someone very close to him that struggles with feelings of inadequacy and how hard it is to quantify the reasons why we feel emotional pain.

34:48 Personal Battles

Phillip personally struggles more and more with co-dependency and breaks down what that means in his personal journey.

First, he needs people to like and approve of him and it’s like a drug. He craves admiration and approval and he goes about getting these in different ways. When you have platforms that give this approval, it can be very addicting and vice versa, if you don’t get that approval, it can be soul-crushing.

7-8 years ago Phillip had the idea that helping people gave him satisfaction and this eventually grows to the point where you have so many people depending on you and so many things to do that you start to let some people down.

You can only spin so many plates for so long until one hits the floor.

-Phillip Jackson

37:32 Some Questions from the Viewers

Kalen reads some of the comments in the live chat from the video stream.

He also reads a question from Gareth that asks for advice on how to deal with social anxiety.

Rebecca recommends starting slow and small in a situation that won’t trigger any trauma or stress. Maybe attend a small local event and try to not put too much pressure on yourself.

Rebecca also brings up that she put the phrase “Fake it until you make it” into practice.l She would expose herself to social situations in a confident way until it actually became less scary.

Try to take the pressure off of yourself.

Kalen has gotten comfortable going to Magento events but has been trying to go to events in Austin where he doesn’t know anybody and still feels some of the anxiety of the unknown. He advises planning to attend events over a period of years because each subsequent year brings more of a comfort and ease when attending the event.

The group also goes into some of the intricacies of small talk and best practices in how to socialize well.

Phillip brings up a recent Twitter thread from Willem Wigman (@willemwigman) in which he discusses burnout.

45:03 You Are Not Alone

Phillip tried to do as little talking as possible at the round table and MLEU because hearing other peoples’ stories enforced the message that we are not alone.

Nobody has all the answers, but it helps so much to know you are not alone.

-Phillip Jackson

Communities like OSMI provide safe groups of people that you can share your struggles with.

At the end of the day, it all about prioritizing yourself. It might feel selfish and that you are not doing what you should be doing, but it is imperative to take care of yourself. It takes a lot of courage and bravery to make difficult choices with your best interests in mind.

Some viewers bring up the fact that they do go to events but feel like they are hiding in a corner the whole time. Also, there is a common thread of feeling disappointed when leaving an event when you don’t feel like you have made up for all the effort it took to get there. This can get toxic when you constantly apply these pressures to yourself. Don’t forget that events are hard for everyone.

Prepare your interactions, have some questions ready, and have a goal of how many people you are going to talk to.

Also, an introduction from someone you know can be one of the most effective tools in forming new relationships.

54:16 Overcoming Obstacles

The group gets a difficult question from listeners on how to deal with the stresses of having someone in your life with a more severe mental disorder.

While this is a question better suited for a professional, Phillip points to never forget that you matter. Sometimes taking care of yourself is the only way for you to help others and it is not something to feel guilty over (even though that’s hard to overcome).

Sometimes other problems can make your own struggles seem like they aren’t significant in comparison. Your struggle is also important and you need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself.

1:01:16 Closing Remarks

Rebecca points out that there local groups and opportunities that you can reach out to in order to get the conversation going about mental health. Take a walk in a park, get out of the house, and take care of yourself.


Mentions / Links

-Rebecca Brocton (@RebeccaBrocton

-Willem Wigman (@willemwigman)

MageTalk Episode 213 Video Live Stream
MagentoLive Europe
board of the Magento Association


MageTalk Episode 212 – An Interview with Mage One

In today’s episode, the boys are joined by Rico Neitzel and Fabian Blechschmidt from Mage One to discuss how Mage One is keeping Magento 1 alive even after its end of life.

Listen now!

Show Notes

1:05 Broken Bikes and M1

Phillip and Kalen are excited to be recording today, even though Phillip broke his bike on the way into work.

2:27 Two Guests from Mage One

Rico Neitzel (@riconeitzel) and Fabian Blechschmidt (@Fabian_ikono) from Mage One are joining the boys later on in today’s episode.

2:52 Evolving Laws

Phillip brings up Kalen’s law for analytics software.

“All analytics software eventually becomes email marketing software”.

-Kalen Jordan’s Law of Analytics

Phillip then proposes a new law for Yoav Kutner (@YoavKutner) that evolves this law. (*Mainly because he doesn’t want the idea tied to his own name. *)

“All platforms eventually evolve to cannibalize their own ecosystem.”

-Yoav Kutner’s Law (*but really just Phillip’s*)

4:00 Shopify Email

Shopify just launched a new functionality called Shopify Email that brings email marketing directly to the Shopify platform.

How does this pertain to Magento? It doesn’t but the boys are going rogue today.

Phillip had some thoughts on the announcement.

Does building a new feature mean cannibalizing the part of the ecosystem into which that new feature fits? What does this actually mean for Shopify?

Shopify wants to own their audience, and taking email marketing into their own hands is a great way to do that.

12:40 Phillip Makes a Bold Prediction

Everything seems really great for Shopify right now and everyone is really happy. However, they just had the site crash do the makeup launch of Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson and this could mark the beginning of a shift.

Phillip compares this to the Magento honeymoon period up until the launch of features that competed with solution providers. Magento shipping, Magento payments, and the Adobe acquisition all directly cannibalized solution providers in the community.

Let’s just ignore the fact that Kalen and Phillip talked about Shopify for fifteen minutes at the beginning of a Magento podcast.

15:30 The Whole Magento End of Life Thing

Both Kalen and Phillip are really tired of the end of life conversation.

Kalen gives a spoiler about the interview to come and says that he was surprised by Phillip’s reaction to the Mage One interview.

19:58 The Guests Have Arrived

The guys from Mage One and here and Phillip struggles to pronounce their names even though he’s been practicing for seven years.

Fabian has been doing PHP since 2004, joined the Magento community in 2011, has organized hackathons and conferences, does a lot of talks at events, started Lizards & Pumpkins, and finally, started Mage One.

Rico invented the global Meet Magento brand with Net Research, works as a consultant and trainer, and develops custom programs.

Rico has some thoughts on the evolution of the Meet Magento brand and you can read it over at this blog post by Carmen Bremen.

23:27 Let’s Talk About Mage One

Magento 1 is reaching its end of life in June 2020. You have a decision to make at this time if you are still running Magento 1 and one of your options is to stay running Magento 1 and Mage One will provide ongoing support for the platform.

Mage One was built to provide longterm support for the Magento core and will extend what Adobe is currently providing.

Rico clarifies that they did not create Mage One because they thought that it would be a good idea, but created it because they saw demand for Magento 1 support. When talking to merchants, they would hear that there were Magento 1 stores out there that were running perfectly and that the owners of those shops didn’t want to change anything.

From this demand, the Mage One team set out to provide a support network for merchants that didn’t want to leave Magento 1. Adobe did not want to provide any support, so Mage One fills that now empty niche.

Kalen is optimistic about Mage One’s ability to provide security patches because a lot fo the patches were provided by the community initially.

Mage One also intends to take over the Bug Bounty Program.

This. But for bugs.

29:39 Some Clarifying Questions

Phillip asks what we can expect from Mage One in regards to how long they are going to be around.

At the moment, the Mage One team has a clear statement that they are going to be providing support for the next five years which is a very long time in eCommerce terms.

34:30 What Can a Merchant Expect?

Mage One provides patches which means that you don’t have to change your core. If you want to become a Mage One customer, your Magento 1 should be running on the latest version when Adobe shuts down their support. After this, you just have to apply the patch that Mage One provides. There is no maintenance, no onboarding, and the process is very simple.

(Also, sorry about the weird sync issues here.)

Currently, the plan is to provide patches as either a patch file of a zip file (so whatever you’re already doing).

In comparison, OpenMage will do what Mage One does and more, but the problem with this is that OpenMage is a community project that is unfunded, so in the end, the security patches will not be funded.

Seriousness and reliability are things that cannot be compared between a community-driven project and one that is funded.

41:33 Forking Magento

A while ago, Phillip took a Magento training from Matthew Turland (@elazar) and he was talking about forking Magento in 2009 for the chief reason of Magento being too slow.

Mage One is not a fork, but functions more like what support from Adobe would look like.

In regards to an SLA, Mage One is setting out to provide a patch with fixes within 30 days. In addition, they plan to implement a QPS (Quick Protection System) which a module that you install on your shop that acts as a firewall.

44:52 What Does the Future Hold?

Since Phillip has been hogging the questions, Kalen finally gets to ask one of his own.

Kalen asks if Mage One is an endeavor that will grow and become a good-sized business, or is it just a temporary measure to help merchants out for a few years before it phases out.

Rico clarifies that they will create a business model out of what Mage One is doing and apply that to other systems as well.

The idea was born because people love Magento (as does the team at Mage One) and Mage One just wanted to provide people a way to continue hosting their stores on the platform.

Phillip gets cynical (but are we surprised) and says that he isn’t very hopeful that people who have stayed on Magento 1 will not want to move off of Magento 1 in five years. He also adds that businesses should grow up and that nothing lasts forever.

51:52 About Those Price Points

Kalen points out that the price points make sense for what is being offered.

Based on the existence of something like Mage One, will more people be open to paying for the support of a free service?

Fabian gives some insight into how customers are responding to the pricing model. The team thinks that if your shop makes more money, then it is only fair that you contribute more to the maintenance and costs of the future of Mage One.

Also, revenue-based models are highly discussed amongst the team and they have their ways of finding out if merchants aren’t telling the truth about how much money they are making.

59:00 What About those Modules?

Unfortunately, Mage One doesn’t have the manpower to support all of the extensions and third-party modules out there. Their wish is that if a company is going to stop supporting Magento 1, that they will upload their code to GitHub so that the community can take care of them.

Mage One is also doing its best to form partnerships with the most important module vendors and extension providers.

In a surprise twist ending, Phillip informs us that he has been convinced that Mage One is going to be successful and will grow with correct partnerships.

I guess we all have surprises inside us sometimes.

Mentions / Links

-Rico Neitzel (@riconeitzel)
-Fabian Blechschmidt (@Fabian_ikono)
–Matthew Turland (@elazar)

Mage One
Shopify Email
Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson Makeup Launch Breaks Shopify
Lizards & Pumpkins
Rico’s Opinion on Meet Magento, Carmen Bremen’s Blog
Bug Bounty Program

MageTalk Episode 211 – Interview with Phil Hanson, Queue-It

Phillip is joined on today’s episode by his name twin Phil Hanson and they discuss virtual queue technology, how to handle massive traffic on your website, and of course, their sneaker obsessions.

Listen now!

Show Notes

1:02 Double The Phil, Double The Fun

Phillip is joined on today’s episode by Phil Hanson (@phlhnsn), who shares not only his name, but all of his interests.

Phil heads up the North American operation at Queue-It, which is a virtual waiting room for high-demand online events. When there is more website traffic than a site can support, they are passed off to Queue-It until the host site can accommodate them.

3:43 A Big Cupcake Shout Out At Imagine

Phillip has come across Queue-It the past a few times. Mainly when trying to buy sneakers.

Queue-It got a pretty big shout out when Melissa Ben-Ishay, the founder of Baked By Melissa, gave them a shout out on stage at Imagine 2018.

Baked By Melissa used Queue-It (which they implemented in only 15 hours by the way) to help orchestra Side With Love in which they gave away a million cupcakes for free.

4:57 What’s Up in the Magento Space?

Phillip asks Phil what he has been seeing in the Magento ecosystem in regards to how his business has been shifting in recent times.

Phil gives us the rundown and speaks a little bit about Queue-It is navigating through today’s technology ecosystem.

7:04 The Intersection of Work and Passion

Phillip brings up how his passions overlay with the work he does day to day. Inevitably, he brings up sneakers and asks Phil to talk about his intersections between his passions and work.

Are we really surprised the conversation got to sneakers?

Phil says that Queue-It naturally serves things that he is interested in: live music (he used to play in bands), sneakers, eCommerce, etc.

Phil also mentions that he comes from a smaller town where they still manufacturer Red Wing Shoes which could explain his shoe obsession. He was raised by a single mother and he couldn’t afford luxury footwear growing up, so it feels good to be able to afford sneakers in his current situation.

11:38 Some Familiar Brands

Phillip asks Phil to talk about some of the recognizable global brands that Queue-It has worked with.

Unfortunately, he can’t talk about the recent footwear brands but Phil does mention DTLR VIlla, YCMC, and Snipes just to name a few.

14:54 What Makes Queue-It Different?

Phillip mentions how Jeffree Starr broke Shopify with the release of his latest makeup collection and asks Phil to talk about what makes Queue-It different when it comes to handling large influxes like that.

With internet users being tracked on so many levels, Queue-It shrinks down their profiles to 4-5 main criteria to service each user and get them to the right place. With their set up, Queue-It is not exposed to customer data and easily passes security tests because they are not exposed to eCommerce site credit card data or sensitive user information. Over the years, they have also gotten to be masters at partitioning the traffic and distributing it effectively.

In a very intriguing example, Phil hints at a recent launch where they had 1.4 million users simultaneously queued for a release…

17:51 The Psychology of Waiting

With eCommerce, the general consensus is to not introduce friction into the customer shopping experience, so does waiting in a queue provide a better experience than having to refresh a page?

Phil clarifies that it all depends on what people are waiting for when it comes to whether or not they will wait in a queue. For example, there’s an 80/20 ratio of people who wait versus those who don’t on Black Friday.

A wait seems longer when you don’t have any information on how long it will be. You are more likely to wait if there is social proof of how many people that are in line in front of you that also value the product.

-Phil Hanson

Queue-It likes to call themselves platform agnostic, but they have a Magento plugin, Salesforce integration, and have seen a lot of uptake recently on Cloudflare CDN.

21:33 New and Evolving Lines of Business

Phillip asks Phil to talk a little bit about new and evolving lines of business that might be able to take advantage of Queue-It’s technology.

Social Media Influencers are started to sell more and more to their followers, and there are some platforms that are meeting these influencers halfway when it comes to selling their products.

Phil gives us the lowdown on some of the integrations they have been working on in collaboration with some influencers.

Influencers in the traditional sense are storytellers so it makes sense for them to choose a platform that allows them to extend that storytelling into their eCommerce platform.

-Phillip Jackson

Phillip also comments that eCommerce is typically reserved for traditional catalog setups and needs to move towards catering towards storytelling.

25:53 Some Music History

Phil talks a bit about his previous music experience. He liked to write songs from time to time but mainly played what people paid him to play.

Phillip suggests putting together a Magento community jam band the next time they get together.


Mentions / Links

Guest: Phil Hanson (@phlhnsn)

Melissa Ben Ishay

Baked By Melissa
Melissa Ben-Ishay at Imagine 2018
Side With Love
Jeffree Starr Breaks Shopify