Jon is a partner at Praxis and they’ve been working in eCommerce for 10 years. ECommerce is selling products (physical or digital) online.
Jon began as a developer and digital consultant starting in the late 90s. Early in his career he landed big clients through agency partnerships, word of mouth, and (according to Jon) luck.
Around 2009 Jon and his partner decided to scale their business into an agency. Both of them had growing families and they wanted to stop going project to project. It was at this time they decided to specialize in the open-source eCommerce software, Magento.
Positioning as an eCommerce provider also aided the business. It simplified the marketing process, the hiring process, and more.
Jon accredits a large amount of his early success to networking. He contributes 60 to 70% of his early success to his networking compared to his actual skill level.
“Being a tech guy, it was very difficult for me to take marketing seriously… but looking around at all of the other people who were doing what I wanted to do and how they divided their time and their money, clearly marketing played a big role. I had to ask myself, do I want to take it seriously or do I want to wait for everyone to come to me and be impressed because I’m technically proficient.”
Jon says networking is even more important now, contributing to 80 to 90% of his company’s success. That being said, you need to understand the technical side of things to close the deal.
Jon company is more relevant in the enterprise space. He thinks eCommerce segments can be broken up into 3 different categories: enterprise readiness, flexibility, and cost. Platforms include Etsy, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, Netsuite, and more. His company competes by working with people who need features outside of the box. Customers want fun shopping experiences online and those experiences help generate revenue.
Jon is a fan of the minimum viable product product (MVP). Praxis contributes some of its success to clear positioning. If you are trying to discover what industry you should pursue, consider trying a few avenues and go after whatever avenue gets you results first.
“It’s easy to get pulled from one thing to another. And it’s easy to jump at what’s shiney and new as opposed to to doubling down effort on what has proven to work.”