Devrims #TechTalk 001: Basilis Kanonidis from InstaWP talks about Outcome-Centred Growth, AI, and Success

Eric Miller

Devrims #TechTalk 001: Basilis Kanonidis from InstaWP talks about Outcome-Centred Growth, AI, and Success

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Welcome to our interview series, where we delve into the minds behind remarkable innovations in the digital realm. Basilis Kanonidis, Vice President of Product at InstaWP, is our special guest today.

With his profound understanding of behavioral and positive psychology, along with strategic foresight, Basilis has redefined the approach to business and product growth. Through his innovative methodology, known as Outcome-Centred Growth, he has empowered businesses to create compelling, accessible, and competitive tech and marketing solutions.

This interview is truly an eye-opener especially for those who are in the daily grind of things.

Devrims: Hey Basilis! Good to have you with us. Let’s start with a small introduction of yourself, as you have quite a few accomplishments.

Basilis Kanonidis: Thanks for having me. I do appreciate it, but you make me shy! I am not going to say that there are quite a few accomplishments, but I am trying hard to keep growing. I have managed to do some stuff here and there, but I do believe that there is a need for more growth for all of us. Achievements aren’t easy–and if you want to stay at the top in an industry, you need to do a lot.

Devrims: Let’s jump right into discussing cloud hosting. Over the last decade or so, cloud adoption has increased by manifolds. However, it’s not as widespread as it should have been. What can be the biggest hurdle towards cloud adoption?

Basilis Kanonidis: I believe that the more understanding users have over a technology, the more it makes sense for them to adopt it. At the beginning it was not easy, we couldn’t figure out what “cloud hosting” was and what type of benefits it had. However, cloud has since helped reduce infrastructure costs, which has broadened its appeal and benefits.

Devrims: Let’s talk about “Outcome-Centred Growth”. It seems to be the driving force behind, your creative agency. Can you tell the basics of this framework?

Basilis Kanonidis: Yeah, well, let’s first define those:

Outcomes: are what the business wants or needs to achieve.
Outputs: are the actions or items that contribute to achieving an outcome.

There are multiple ways to measure how your product team is performing — and none of them is 100% right or wrong, they are simply different from one another:

The output-based product team’s KPI: features launched, development time, stability, team velocity, and resources availability.

The outcome-based product team’s KPI: active users, feature usage, time to X, and users per feature.

Both ways, if well performed, will be leading the company to higher times but through different paths. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, every company must identify owners for both outcomes and outputs. Growth teams can strike the right balance in this equation, providing a safe environment to experiment and take risks without jeopardizing ongoing operations.

An outcome-based approach allows managers to ensure teams are heading in the right direction with company expectations, while also giving their teams the flexibility to find how to get there — managers define the questions, and teams find the answers.

That being said, I love it when we can deliver outcomes that make our customers happy. As I am working with InstaWP, we will be soon giving out to users higher outcomes and results for what they are expecting. 

That of course eventually not only drives growth, but also customer satisfaction. It is really important for companies to be Customer Obsessed.

Devrims: You seem to love WordPress. What’s your advice when it comes to picking a WordPress hosting plan?

Basilis Kanonidis: Pick what you need. A lot of people are searching with their minds for what I need now. No, pick properly and carefully, deciding to buy and use something that makes sense down the road for you, not just for now.

Devrims: The world is crazy right now about AI. How do you see the future of WordPress after these magnificent AI developments? Do you think our jobs are in danger?

Basilis Kanonidis: I am AI addicted to be honest. 

I believe that AI is a tool for the future that won’t replace humans but will help automate many tasks and processes. In WordPress, builders like Elementor have already incorporated AI. In the future, we can use AI tools like Chat GPT to automate tasks and improve our results.

Devrims: Can we see your working station? We would love a quick office trip.

Basilis Kanonidis: Unfortunately, right now I am working completely out of office as I am trying to renovate a little bit, so there are no photos for me to share 🙁

Devrims: In one of your previous interviews, you said you are awesome at ClickUp? Want to share some tips? What other tools do you use?

Basilis Kanonidis: I am taking it back! At this stage I believe that no one should be using ClickUp any more. I have switched everything on Notion and now I am trying to utilize it as much as I can. I am working on my own Notion product that will assist Product Managers with their daily tasks, and I plan to release it soon.

Devrims: We know you do not like to talk about success. But, you can always share some tips on how to get successful. Right?

Basilis Kanonidis:

  1. Focus on what you do and let others play their violin.
  2. Study. 20 books each year is the minimum you should be studying.
  3. Watch movies and learn more creative stuff through them.

These three things will take you far, often putting you ahead of your competition. Whether you’re on an entrepreneurial journey, working a job, or pursuing something else entirely, competition will be a factor.

Devrims: So, what’s your after-work routine? How do you like to wind down after a hectic day?

Basilis Kanonidis: Some coffee with friends. I go here and there, and enjoy a little bit of fun time. Nothing else to be honest – I like to keep things low.

Devrims: Rapid-fire!

Basilis Kanonidis: 

Android or iOS I was a big fan of iOS, but I am now focused on Android phones. I believe that Apple overcharges their phones for what they offer.
WooCommerce or Shopify Well, I am a WordPress guy, so I am supporting WooCommerce, but for massive on scale stores, I trust Shopify.
Product Management or Project Management Product Manager. However, a good Product Manager needs to be able to do Project Management also. 
Work From Home: Yes, No, or Hybrid? Remote work is my bread and butter. I do not change it.
LinkedIn or Twitter Now that Elon bought Twitter, I am more into it!

Devrims: Any advice for anyone who is just getting started in WordPress.

Basilis Kanonidis: Try to get good at something specific; either design, or development, or product, or marketing. Do not try to do everything. WordPress is scaling fast, if you are focused on one of the aspects of the business you will be able to proceed and get some results. If not – things will get harder.

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