The year was 2008.
We were jamming out to tunes like “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. Katy Perry debuted with her smash hit “I Kissed a Girl” and immediately proved it would not be a one hit wonder with “Hot and Cold”. Miley Cyrus proved to the world she’s got much more in her career than Hannah Montana. Lady Gaga showed the world her “Poker Face”.
On the big screen we were watching films like “The Dark Knight”, “Mamma Mia”, “Benjamin Button” and “Kung Fu Panda”. Our vampire fascination was fulfilled with the first episode in the “Twilight” series. Finally, the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicked off by letting us know that Tony Stark is more than just a Billionaire Playboy in “Iron Man”.
In the technology front, we were starting to believe Facebook’s 200 million users may catch up with Blogger’s 222 million. MySpace was still on the scene with 126 million. Apple was pushing the edge by giving us GPS technology in our pockets with the iPhone 3G. They also launched a little project called the App Store. Google decided to give Apple a run for the money by introducing the Android Device. YouTube pulls the classic April Fool’s day prank of linking all videos on their main page to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
It’s hard to believe all this happened 10 years ago.
This was the same year we released the very first version of WishList Member.
It all started when Stu Mclaren (a good friend of mine) and I were having a discussion about how hard it was for him to build a membership site with WordPress.
After some back and forth discussions we decided to build our own solution. Stu drafted up a description of what he’d like to have. I worked with Mike Lopez (our Lead Developer) and we made it happen. Mike spent a little over 3 months developing the first version.
Stu and I were in a mastermind group facilitated by our mentor Armand Morin. The members of the group became our first BETA Testers. Finally, in late October of 2008 we were ready to launch to the world. We sold the very first copy to our first official customer on October 22, 2008.
Truth be told, we had no idea what kind of a ride we were in for. We had a good feeling there was a demand for a serious WordPress membership plugin. If there wasn’t the demand we expected, we were ok because we needed to build this for ourselves anyway.
Fast forward to today and we now have over 31,000 customers. At the time of this writing WishList Member powers 93,675 membership sites, online courses and communities.
I owe a lot of gratitude to Stu McLaren who was our Co-Founder and my business partner for the first six years. His creativity, energy and enthusiasm were and are unparalleled by anyone I’ve ever met.
It’s also important to note this never would have been possible without the Jedi coding skills from our Lead Developer and my business partner Mike Lopez. Somehow he always seems to understand our ideas and implement them into reality.
Our first full-time hire was Wray Cullimore. He’s been the glue that holds everything together for nearly 10 years. I have to say, his multi-faceted role and ability to keep our team on track has been CRITICAL.
A special thanks goes to John Morris for being our lead trainer and consistently creating new content for our WishList Insider community.
Our biggest asset and the thing I’m most proud of is our team. I’d like to say thanks to the rest of our team (in no particular order). Carlito, Bobbi, Jen, Raffy, Fel Jun, Andy, Ronald, Michelle, Maron, Romeo, Maggie, Chris and Renee you guys ROCK!
I realize It may seem like we’ve been a little quiet lately. There is good reason…
We’ve been super focused on the next generation of WishList Member. In the coming weeks we’ll be sharing more.
For now, I want to share that WishList Member 3.0 is a complete overhaul of the user interface and experience. We’ve broken everything down and completely reassembled it.
This upcoming release will pave the path for our future development and innovations. Faster to Setup, More Powerful and Easier to Use.