Michael Heilemann

http://habariproject.org/en/
http://binarybonsai.com/

http://b2evolution.net/about/b2evolution-vs-wordpress (not to be confused with https://p2theme.com/)

Transcription:

Micah: [00:01] Welcome, I’m Micah Wood.

Aaron: [00:02] And I am Aaron Reiman from WP Square One and I’m here today or we’re here today with Michael Heilemann. How are you doing?

Michael: [00:10] I’m good. How are you?

Aaron: [00:12] Doing well. Michael is known in the WordPress community as the guy that wrote Kubrick, which is no longer in WordPress, but it was in WordPress for, I would say, probably five or more years. But Michael, go ahead and tell us a little about yourself.

Michael: [00:31] All right. Yeah, I think it was actually almost six years it was the default theme in WordPress and I was kind of praying every year that it would find its way out because I felt it was getting a little long in the tooth there near the end so yeah. Yeah, so myself, where to begin? I’m Danish; I grew up in Denmark. Today, I live in New York.

[00:54] Some time ago—now it feels like a lifetime ago—I discovered WordPress kind of very early on. Actually when it first got released, I was one of the very first users and then I got involved with that whole community for a few years and wrote some templates for it, got involved with some open source stuff, kind of have found a way to flex my muscles in programming and design, stuff like that and then from there, kind of went off and somehow ended up working in the, for lack of a better word, the online publishing industry, if you will, and that’s what I’m doing today.

Aaron: [01:35] Cool. Well, how did you start off digging into WordPress? Were you just looking for a blogging system?

Michael: [01:44] Yeah, essentially. This is going back to, I’m going to say 1999 or 2011 even, where blogging was kind of beginning to take off as a thing and there were a bunch of platforms out there. Really not actually platforms even, more kind of like small tools you could install on your server and make it function as a blogging CMS and WordPress wasn’t really out at the time. But there was another platform that was called B2, I want to say? I feel like I’m so old that I can’t even remember.

[02:27] But it was kind of dying out and I think Matt Mullenweg, I think he announced that if you wanted to pick this up and one of the things that made me really interested—which is kind of a funny little detail by now, but it kind of shows you how details matter—was that he wanted to include smart punctuation and stuff like that in there as kind of a little extra feature and I love stuff like that. So it caught my eye and then after it launched, I just kind of got involved with it.

Aaron: [02:57] Nice. And what were you doing? I was looking at your… What is it? Binary…?

Michael: [03:06] Binary Bonsai?

Aaron: [03:07] Yes, that website, which we’ll have a link to. And you started off very similar to me, I think. I did my first HTML in 1996. Before that, I was doing BBS stuff like in high school, for me. You seem to have like a similar background as me.

Michael: [03:30] Yeah, that’s right. So way back— I don’t even know when it was. Probably around the same time, maybe 1994, 1995, something like that, I actually had a BBS as well. I ran out of my parent’s basement in Denmark, which much to their consternation, they had to buy a second phone line so I could run that so people can call up and try to talk to my modem.

[03:56] That was fun and I kind of was doing that for a while. FidoNet, if anybody’s familiar with that kind of thing. And then the web kind of slowly began making its presence known. We did small— Like we would have these line parties and we would do kind of internal little infranets essentially where you could probably mostly download pirated software and stuff like that.

[04:23] But that was kind of where we began to get to kind of have HTML, play with it and understand what it was and how you could use it for various things because the web wasn’t really that big and there weren’t a lot of consumer companies that you could go to and get whatever you needed in terms of subscription and the equipment to get online with your computer. So you actually had to go through, at one time, the university in Copenhagen to get online. It took a few years before that kind of became available to the normal consumer.

[04:58] And then once it kind of started rolling out, it was this thing, the skill set that we had picked up, we and then the various friends that I had, and somehow there’s something really empowering about being able to sit down with a text editor and then build something that you could put on and everybody could have access to it even if it was a little bit more difficult then, than it is now, because you kind of have to figure out all the server stuff and setting up domains and whatnot which is a whole different story. But that’s kind of how I got started.

Aaron: [05:30] Very similar here in Atlanta. There was a thing called PeachNet and you could dial in and it was just dialing up, using—I can’t even remember what it was called—like a terminal application. It would connect you to the Internet and then you were just kind of like, “Okay, what do I do now?” It was kind of pre-browser in the aspect of there was no gooey; it was using links, stuff like that. It has changed in I guess, insanely over the years so and yes, I feel old even though I know I’m not really that but.

[06:15] So you moved kind of from doing some little HTML stuff and then you move, you found b2 which for the people that don’t know, WordPress is a fork of a software called b2 and it was dying—

Michael: [06:33] P.

Aaron: [06:33] What was it? I’m sorry.

Michael: [06:37] P2 as in letter P as in person.

Aaron: [06:39] I thought it was b2!

Micah: [06:42] I think it’s b2. Is it? P2 I think is a template, is that right for (00:06:50 unclear)? Somebody get a fact checker on that.

Aaron: [06:55] I’m pretty sure, yeah, I think it’s b2. Nonetheless, it was forked because it was kind of dying and so you wound up using b2 or did you start off with b2 or did you start off with WordPress?

Michael: [07:08] That’s a good question. I think I tried installing b2, but I don’t remember if I used it a lot. It’s been so long. I mean, the interesting thing was that at the time I had a site kind of prior to any kind of CMS. That was just pure handwoven HTML, which I poured it into somebody else’s completely random, very simple CMS, which I’d imported probably into b2 which I then moved into WordPress kind of on and on. Which I still have a version of it in an archive of it on my Squarespace site today, which still has the archives from way back when. So it’s been a long, rocky road for that content which is probably not worth keeping around any way but here it is.

Aaron: [07:59] Well, I still have a copy of a website I did in 1996 and I keep it up there just because it’s funny because I like to be able to see how it has just kind of transformed into something that’s much more functional than what we have.

Michael: [08:18] You probably have a lot of tables in there.

Aaron: [08:19] Tables and do you remember when you had a frames that would like, your menu would be on one frame and then the content would be on the other? So that’s kind of how I started. It was like Netscape 2.0; like super old school, you had to have a little graphic on there that says, “Best viewed in Netscape” so yeah.

Michael: [08:41] Obviously, yeah. Otherwise, how could people know? It was a good time because it was simple enough to get on, kind of get involved with it. You didn’t have to go get an engineering degree to understand how to write a website even with kind of quote unquote advanced stuff like frames and stuff like that, which is one of the things I’ve always really valued about the web.

[09:02] It’s a little bit different today; it’s a little harder to actually even do basic stuff just because it’s very easy to get sidelined by all the tools that are available and stuff like that. Back then, it was a little bit more simple and pure.

Aaron: [09:16] Yeah, I totally agree. I remember using edits.com, like the command line editor in Windows or not even in Window, sorry. I was using it in DOS so it was pretty old school. I’m sure Notepad existed at that point but never really used it. But anyway sorry, go ahead Micah.

Micah: [09:42] Yeah, well I was just curious. So talking about Kubrick and all of that, I was curious. How did you get into creating the default WordPress theme? Did Kubrick exists before the need for a default theme or which came first?

Michael: [09:58] Yeah, it did.

Aaron: [10:00] (00:10:00 inaudible).

Michael: [10:01] So how did I get into it. That’s a good question. I think, where to begin? So prior to this period, I was living in Scotland at the time. I was studying up there and I had, prior to that, worked at a small web agency or kind of a multimedia agency I guess in Aalborg in Denmark. I had done some websites and stuff including one for the band Aqua, if you’re familiar and how does that—I always have kind of been playing around with the web in various forms and when blogging kind of became a thing and essentially, you had personal websites, there was kind of this just kind of a need to be able to do something that looked nice as well.

[10:55] And with all due respect to the existing template at the time, it just has some things in it that I didn’t really enjoy that it had really long line lengths, I didn’t love the colors on it and stuff like that. So I wanted something that was a little simpler and I haven’t had the skill set to go and do that. So I was playing around with that and that was kind of a simplification, I guess. I go over a bunch of different smaller templates before I kind of wrote Kubrick and kind of put that out in the world.

[11:26] So I’d kind of done a couple of versions of it and then finally made Kubrick, which was trying to summarize all the things I’d learned and I was also at the time kind of picking up kind of best practices for information design and stuff like that, trying to make it a little bit more human, trying to give it a little bit more a sense of approachability and yeah, that was kind of my way of fussing about both with the web technologies of the time as well as building up my skill set to become a designer, I guess.

[12:07] Prior to that, I don’t know that I would call myself a designer. I’m more of a kind of a tinkerer. So that was kind of like the impetus for it. Just wanting something that looked really nice rather than something that was just functional and it got built and I actually forget the exact timeline at this point. I could probably dig it up somewhere, but I think it was out for a year, year and a half maybe before it came in and then became the default template in WordPress. Because I remember putting out a number of versions and in that period, it kind of went—I can’t really explain why.

[12:43] I think just because WordPress was kind of taking off at the time and this happened to be a template that people could kind of relate to, it was really taking off in popularity and I ended up spending a really significant amount of my spare time just trying to kind of support it and keep it up to date, fix bugs or whatnot and answer people’s random emails, which strangely, it’s been a while since I had a Kubrick one. But people will find you in the weirdest places and even today, will kind of seek you out if you have something like that and they have a website that’s really kind of figure out where do you work and call the workup and get on the phone with you go, “Hey, I have a weird problem with this thing that you made ten years ago” which is great. I really enjoy the enthusiasm, but I don’t know if I could even answer the questions now if I wanted to.

Aaron: [13:37] Well, I had a client or not a client, a person hunt me down and call me on a Sunday morning about one of the plugins that I wrote and I was like, “Wow, how do they find my cell phone number and on a Sunday morning?” Nonetheless, I get it. You get calls from just random places, random people but how did you—so now when you submit a theme, I mean there’s a process. There’s a vetting process. Was there a vetting process at all with Kubrick or did you just say, “Hey, I’ve got this thing. Can you guys put it somewhere?”

Michael: [14:19] No, there was no vetting process at all. I don’t think there was a lot of process for a lot of things at the time; it was much more kind of scrappy and do-it-yourself-y. In this case, it was actually Matt who reached out and asked if I’d be okay with them using which I was. I was working on a bunch of stuff around WordPress anyway so it was just kind of cool.

[14:41] Now WordPress was also a lot smaller at the time than it is today. So while it was cool, it wasn’t necessarily like wow millions of people are going to see it just to put that into context but that’s kind of how it happened. And then from there, it just kind of went in there and then after it went into WordPress proper, I essentially stepped away from it because I just kind of at the time I had enough of looking at it and having to deal with the support of it and whatnot. So I just kind of stepped away from it for a while and didn’t do anything because I needed to kind of cleanse my mind a little bit.

Aaron: [15:24] Understood. Was that like five-year, five, six when you did that or did that happen kind of early on?

Michael: [15:33] Say that again?

Aaron: [15:35] Did you have it in core or not in core, but was it the primary theme for about a year and then you stepped away or?

Michael: [15:45] That’s a good question. I don’t remember. I think it was actually pretty early on because at the time I was also working full-time as a designer. I had a game company and I was really trying to focus on that as well. So I think it was actually pretty early on after it got put into WordPress proper that I was like, okay, I’m just going to step away from this and focus on my day job. And then for a while I kind of didn’t touch it a lot and then by the time I kind of got the craving for wanting to have a big project again, I went off and did K2 instead. I think that was kind of like the process for it.

Aaron: [16:26] Nice. That might be a good segue. Can we jump over to your day job?

Michael: [16:33] At the time or now?

Aaron: [16:36] Either, both, whichever. What were you doing years ago and what are you doing now? Because it’s kind of interesting that you’re not in the WordPress community on a regular basis.

Michael: [16:51] Its been a fun, weird, strange journey. When I was doing this, I was living in Copenhagen and I was working at a gaming company called IO Interactive which does games like Hitman and I was a (unclear 17:09) graphic designer, stuff like that, and I was kind of focusing on that. I’d done some prior work in the web while I was studying, but I didn’t really have a drive to go and get into the web, for lack of a better word.

[17:31] Tech industry wasn’t as big a thing as it is today back then and Denmark wasn’t necessarily the place you wanted to do that anyway. So having a good job at a good gaming company—the only real game company that was in Denmark at the time anyway—was cool and enough for me. So that was kind of what the situation was then and then after a while having done that, I got tired of the gaming industry, which is a whole different thing and fun to have tried, but also kind of like, okay, I’m done, I think I want to go find something else. I kind of got interested in doing some more stuff with regards to the web or apps or tech and stuff like that.

[18:23] So I started a small consultancy agency that I had for a little bit, but it didn’t last super long because based on my WordPress work and some other work that I did for a CMS called Habari, if any of you are familiar, I ended up talking to Anthony who’s the CEO of Squarespace and he invited me to come over and see the company, talk to some people, which is in New York, which I did and now I’m here. So I joined in 2010 as the Director of User Interface. Today, I am the VP of product design and yeah, still chugging along.

Aaron: [19:11] Cool. So I’m curious, as far as Kubrick and K2 and some of these other things. So I particularly had some development work I had done early on in my career that really helped bolster visibility and actually got me my first real job as my family called it.

[19:31] So I’m curious how much did Kubrick or K2 or any of these other things that you’ve built kind of help you get ahead or make connections to get to where you are today?

Michael: [19:43] Oh, a lot. I think without a doubt. I remember the Kubrick itself necessarily is why where I am in terms of what other people— I think what caused me to end up at Squarespace was partially that, but also the work that I’d done on Habari, which was another CMS. I think it’s actually still around, but I haven’t looked at it for a long time. But I designed the management interface for that and just because there was a kind of an opportunity to create a management interface from scratch for—at the time anyway—a modern CMS. And for some odd reason—who knows how these things happen—I was really drawn to that and I thought it was kind of an amazing challenge to take on.

[20:38] So I did that and that’s what Anthony ended up seeing. He probably saw some other stuff too, but I think that was really kind of what intrigued him because we have very I think similar thoughts on how he sees something like this could be used, what’s the aesthetics of it, how should you kind of present certain things to people and whatnot. So he kind of saw that, but I think outside of that what’s interesting is, I wouldn’t have ended up doing that if I hadn’t done the other thing. So finding a kind of a thing that I really love doing and that I’ve found it’s just hard for me today.

[21:20] Now I have a son, a very challenging job so there’s a lot of things that kind of steal my time. But I want to say ten, fifteen years ago, it was little bit easier to take some time out at night on the weekends to work on these things. So that’s kind of where I found the time to work Kubrick and K2 and a couple of other projects as well.

[21:42] And finding that kind of thing that you always want to do, even though you’re tired after a long day at work, I think was probably what actually ended up kind of driving me in, driving my career in many ways. Not that I didn’t like my day job as well, but that made it possible for me to explore a new skill set and explore a technology and a platform that was new and nobody had really been there before. So there was a lot of kind of unexplored territory that you could (00:22:24 inaudible), that you could go and figure out so it was like a (00:22:33 unclear) ramp. (00:22:37 inaudible) but anyway. I’m sorry, what?

Aaron: [22:44] I’m sorry. It sounds like you were kind of jumping into not just design aspects but really focused on more of the UX at a time when UX wasn’t really a thing per se that people focused on.

Michael: [23:00] Yeah, in some ways, I think so. But I think design has kind of evolved in a way where there’s a need now for more specialization, especially as companies scale out and to figure out how to hire enough people to do everything well enough. But I think UX, it was a thing certainly (00:23:25 unclear) was but not necessarily in the way that we think about it today where it’s kind of separate from UI design, for instance or information architect, all these other things.

[23:37] It was more that design as a whole was something that you rarely thought about when it came to software. Maybe the best example would be outside of the visual sense so something like Mac OS and how that (00:23:54 unclear). But the way that Apple I think certainly thought about that and the way that a couple of other companies kind of looked at design was beginning to show that there was like a human side to it. It wasn’t just a matter of kind of hitting functional points, it was also a matter of taking things and making them a little bit more humanistic.

[24:19] So the iMac, (00:24:22 unclear) as a whole, iPod and a lot of that was kind of the inspiration that I found that made me want to go and apply the same kind of thinking to various other things and the opportunity just happened to be the web because that was available. You didn’t have to do anything; you didn’t have to learn a lot of deprogramming to kind of get in there.

[24:44] So I forget where it came from, but that was the drive that ended up kind of pushing me into that general space was how do we take something that is really, anybody should be able to publish online? How do we do that in a way that’s also approachable and human? Feels nice and that’s kind of the start of it.

Aaron: [25:11] Which sounds exactly like what Squarespace does this is try to make (00:25:15 unclear).

Micah: [25:15] Exactly. I would say, I mean that is one of the things that WordPress has grown very quickly, very fast. Although, it’s been fifteen years but it has grown and developed and I think now, WordPress is having this whole shift towards the thinking that you were just talking about.

[25:43] I mean that’s why something like TinyMCE, the editor within WordPress, is being booted. Just because you’d look at something like Squarespace and you can make something look pretty, really good relatively easily. And I think with things like Gutenberg coming out, WordPress is trying to evolve and try to fit into that type of space where you cannot be quite as controlled with WordPress, traditionally. I mean now with all the plugins and page builders, all that stuff you can do, you can do a lot. But I mean the core, you have a header, a body and a footer and we’re trying, we meaning WordPress just in general, is trying to morph and make it where it’s a little more independent. Where a module doesn’t necessarily have to live within just the body of the page, it could be moved somewhere. I mean, I think that’s the way where we’re going, correct me if I’m wrong.

Michael: [26:51] Yeah, I mean I think it’s interesting to kind of and I should say, I don’t follow WordPress super closely these days so I don’t have a good sense of where it’s at per se, but I obviously pay a lot of attention to where we are. So I can speak to my perception to some of that.

[27:11] I think what’s kind of interesting with computers, the Internet and whatnot, but with the past say fifteen to twenty years, maybe fifteen years in particular is back in the day, when you sat down to use your computer, it was kind of a big thing. You had to turn it on, it took a couple of minutes, go get coffee while it turned on and often you’d have to dial up to the Internet and whatnot. So using a computer was a very, very different thing than it is today when everybody has a smartphone in their pocket and the way that we interact with pretty much everything through our computers is very, very different depending.

[27:53] It’s not that we’ve gotten rid of desktop computers either, but we have the smartphone and it’s driving, I think the majority of our downtime computing. And the expectation is that the way that that’s moved the expectations is from if you go back and look at a lot of kind of the big old blogs and the big old websites, they’re so much more complicated than anything that you see in general today. Where you would have these massive sidebars, multiple sidebars, you’d have three sidebars just to contain all of the content that you had. Blog rolls, link searches, social profiles and whatnot. Some of that’s still around, but less and less so because really, people’s attention is a very much shorter, the screen that they have to view it on is actually practically a lot smaller.

[28:51] So it’s like this forcing function that forces everything to become more simple which is actually really nice from a designer’s point of view because it makes it possible to kind of say no to some things that you otherwise might say, “Yeah, let’s just include that because that’s necessary.” But when you’re forcing everything through kind of a smartphone and the smartphone culture, if you will, it makes it a lot easier to make decisions that kind of fall on the simple side. And I think that’s kind of where at least a lot of this is heading, both in terms of online publishing but also online consumption. That makes me happy because I do think some of the tendencies that were around when it became possible to build your own websites and have the CMS was you would just keep layering on.

[29:48] And certainly, when I had my site on WordPress back in the day, I had a lot of plugins because it’s a lot of cool stuff you can do and bringing all this other stuff. But it just makes for a very confusing kind of overall site and experience. So while I think there’s still, this is something kind of interesting in bringing together, kind of integrating across multiple things. I think that forcing function is one of the best thing that’s happened in computing, at least as a consumer, both in terms of maybe primarily in terms of websites. I think it’s nice to kind of see that evolution.

Micah: [30:30] I agree. Yeah, I was just thinking back. I remember my first WordPress plugin that I created. It started out as something very simple and then some people started to use it and I started slowly adding features and then more and more people started using it and more and more people wanted features and I added features faster and faster. So it became this amorphous blob of stuff that just, it’s very bloated.

[31:00] So I’m very curious and you don’t have to give any trade secrets or anything away, but just kind of now looking back at all of your experience kind of like you were just talking about a little bit. But what are the lens through which you see whether or not features should be added or shouldn’t be added? That kind of thing?

Michael: [31:21] Yeah, I mean that’s the whole trick. It’s very hard. I think often, we love features, we love functionality and the trick when you’re so familiar with the web and its capabilities, on the one hand and on the other hand, you can think of a whole bunch of things and execute on them. It becomes really, really hard to figure out well, what of these things should we be doing and what should we be saying no to? And add on top of that and this is just kind of speaking from the CMS point of view, but adding on top of that the fact that the web is extremely malleable to the point where sometimes it’s much more malleable, then it’s easy to build a great user experience around it. So it’s a really complicated kind of a decision funnel, if you will.

[32:30] Ultimately, we kind of look at it as we’d like it for everybody to be able to go to Squarespace and to build a website. So if you have an idea, if you have a business you want launch or run, you should be able to just go to Squarespace.com, sign up for the website. And it’s also fine like, we also want to create a platform that embraces the people who are like us; who have deep understanding, who are willing to go a little bit further and who are kind of okay with working a little bit longer to create exactly what they want.

[33:11] Those are kind of like the two extremes that we like to cater to and finding the balance between that can be really difficult but ultimately, the market is bigger at one end than it’s at the other so that determines a little bit of how we think about it and some things, it either can’t be done or it requires a tremendous amount of work to bring something really complicated up to the kind of the biggest part of the audience. So that dictates a little bit where you can draw a line and that kind of leaves everything that is either easy to make available for people or super valuable to make available for people, in general and that begins to kind of tighten the decision funnel a little bit. So that’s kind of some of it.

[34:09] Then there’s kind of like just thinking about what do we think people should be worried about when they’re building a website? How do we help them think about what a website is? What a good website looks like not just in terms of stuff like SEO and whatnot, but in terms of what kind of stuff should we be putting on your fund page versus your other pages? What kind of materials do you need? Do normal people, wherever they are up there in the world, do they have access to the kind of content that we would like for them to have access to?

[34:45] Sometimes it’s a little hard to have great photography or great writing. So what can we do to kind of help facilitate their process from “I don’t know anything about building a website” or “I know very little and I’ve seen some examples of cool websites that I like”? How do we facilitate that going into actually building a website? And that’s like a messy process but that’s kind of like the hardest part of it and that’s where we focus most of our energy and then also trying to make it something that we want to build websites with as well, which is even harder.

Micah: [35:25] Yeah, it sounds interesting because it’s not just about making the right decisions for features for your product, but it’s also about helping other people make the right decisions for features for their own sites.

Michael: [35:39] Yeah, exactly and we don’t want to take a kind of the power of expression away from people. If you want to do something and you know you want to do it, you should be able to do it. But at the same time, it’s a little bit like having you know that it’s a bad idea so how do we help your understanding of what’s good and what’s bad? And that’s probably the trickier part and sometimes it’s hard when, if customers are asking for something that we know is inherently not a good idea, then we have to kind of think about, “Well, do we do that anyway or do we figure out how to tell them that it’s not a good idea?” Or it’s kind of a third way where what they’re really looking for is something that’s a little bit different and they just don’t know how to ask for it. Navigating that minefield can be interesting.

Aaron: [36:37] Yeah, guys at 37signals. Are you familiar with them? Their response is always no. You need a feature? No. But it is hard to tell a client you don’t want that. They just see it as a dire need to have this big button that’s flashing and it’s difficult to guide people, send them in the right direction. I’m sure as a UX guy, probably drives you crazy a lot more than it would drive me crazy so.

Michael: [37:19] Yeah. I mean, I think it’s fair for people to want something like a big flashing button because obviously, it’ll draw attention to itself. And while that could probably be argued a little bit more effectively, there are some of those decisions that are just, it’s really hard to explain kind of what the subtle effects of something can be outside of redeploying, measuring it or running research against it. So we kind of do it on scale so that does become a little bit more, a little harder to do, but that’s the whole trick. But I think ultimately, it’s about kind of building trust.

[38:04] Similarly, if you’re working with clients, if they trust you to be feeding them the correct information, having thought about something really deeply being a domain expert, then hopefully they’ll trust you to kind of on the smaller things as well and you can get out of the big blinking button.

Aaron: [38:21] Understood. Well, let me ask you one question and I know your path and my path are similar but you’re not in the WordPress space per se, but this I think still applies. What piece of advice would you give someone that wants to follow not necessarily your footsteps exactly, but I mean, what advice would you give someone that’s trying to learn something new and kind of get into a career doing that? What type of advice would you give them?

Michael: [39:01] Oh, that’s hard. I think first and foremost, if it’s something that you care a lot about, it’s really just about persistence from (unclear 00:39:11) which I think is terrible advice, but really kind of the best or the most true. I think a lot of where I’ve been fortunate enough to kind of be where I am now, I think the biggest thing that I can say is I applied myself as best as I could and I was very persistent.

[39:32] Those were probably the two biggest qualities that have kind of caught me here other than just kind of sheer luck and timing. But other than that, especially I think around the web— I don’t think this is really fundamentally changed, although it’s probably a little bit harder to find the right spaces, but there’s a lot of communities out in the world and people love teaching each other the skill set they have. It’s one of the things. Once you learn something, you almost can’t contain yourself from having to teach it to somebody else because it’s really exciting and I think the web in particular has always kind of had that at its core.

[40:15] The open source community that I kind of was playing around in at the time was always willing to chip in to answer questions, however dumb they may be or help contribute some code and stuff like that. And a lot of the projects that I worked on over the years had these complete strangers. You would write out an idea like “Here, I think this could be kind of cool,” and somebody would throw code your way. They would have spent hours on it and no reason; they don’t get paid for it, there’s nothing in it for them, but they do it anyway because they also enjoy that part of the learning process. So I think aside from persistence, finding a community, and finding people who are kind of interested in answering questions or just kind of helping you get on your way or finding the right resources is really kind of the biggest thing.

[41:08] Not just for the web but for everything, there’s so many resources in the world today; it’s really just a matter of finding the time or the energy to pursue something and you could probably do just about anything on your own if you had kind of the discipline for it, which I’m not sure that I do anymore, but those are probably my best directions on that.

Micah: [41:35] Awesome. Yeah, we appreciate it. Probably about time to wrap it up here, but I don’t know that we actually… Maybe you mentioned it at some point, but I don’t know if we actually mentioned that you were the VP of Product Design at Squarespace. So I guess anybody who wants to get ahold of you, find out more about you can go to your website, binarybonsai.com. You got links to your Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever.

[42:10] So really, we’re glad to have you and it was very interesting hearing a little bit more of the background not just of Kubrick, but always enjoy hearing people’s origin stories so. Yours is a good one. Yeah, go ahead.

Michael: [42:29] Oh, sorry, I was going to say I appreciate it. It’s always fun reminiscing about the old days and it’s also fun to kind of have a community there that keeps on growing and building and doing cool stuff. That’s always super exciting to me. I think no matter kind of where that kind of creativity happens, it’s awesome that there’s a place for it and I got so much out of it in my time and then hopefully, some of the stuff that I built has made it possible for other people to kind of stand on that and build more stuff, which is kind of the whole reason why we’re here.

Aaron: [43:09] That sounds good. Thank you. All right.

Michael: [43:14] All right, thanks. Bye.

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