In a world where digital professionals constantly seek innovative solutions to enhance website management, Héctor stands at the forefront of redefining the boundaries. Héctor’s journey into entrepreneurship was fueled by the desire to create something impactful and uniquely his own.
In this conversation, we delve into Héctor’s entrepreneurial journey, his advice for newcomers in the web and WordPress fields, his perspective on failure and success, and the No-Code “future”.
Devrims: Hey Héctor, how are things going these days? What inspired you to create Modular DS and how does it aim to revolutionize website management for digital professionals? What key pain points is it addressing?
Héctor: It’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to share our (Modular DS) story, and I’m truly excited to do so.
My colleague David and I have always been driven by the ambition to develop a digital product that could impact thousands globally. Something that would allow us to innovate and that felt like ours. That is why we embarked on this journey quite early, exploring different things to find our niche.
Modular DS, as it stands today, wasn’t our initial vision. However, through numerous conversations with WordPress professionals, we uncovered a common challenge: the struggle to effectively manage WordPress sites post-launch, especially in offering maintenance services to clients and getting them to pay for it. This revelation pushed us toward creating a tool that we, as a WordPress agency, wanted for ourselves.
So our focus has been on enhancing and advancing beyond what existing tools offer, particularly in the business aspect of website management. You won’t believe how many ideas we have for the future. We’re not just addressing the technical tasks of website management; we’re expanding the scope to include and innovate on the business side as well.
Devrims: Given your extensive experience, what advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those interested in the fields of web, No-Code, and WordPress?
Héctor: Honestly, I wouldn’t say I’m super experienced. Sure, I started playing with website creation pretty early, but I’m still on the younger side (or at least, that’s how I feel, haha).
But, if I were to share some advice, I’d say: Jump into building stuff on the web ASAP. Get a feel for how it all works, explore the possibilities, and nail down the basics. The more hands-on experience you gather, the better equipped you’ll be for any project you dive into.
And for those eyeing the WordPress world, definitely get involved with the WordPress community. Whether it’s online or through a local meetup group (if there’s one around you), it’s a game-changer. The WordPress community is incredible – it’s packed with folks who are super supportive and from whom you can learn tons.
Devrims: How do you navigate the balance between learning from failures and celebrating successes in the entrepreneurial journey?
Héctor: Both of these things are a tricky part of the entrepreneurial journey. They require a certain mindset that needs daily nurturing. When it comes to failures, it’s all about attitude. Constantly question how things are panning out, whether they’re a hit or a miss, and strive to learn from every outcome. The key is to keep your ego in check. Failure is a normal part of the process, and the real win is being humble enough to learn from these setbacks and adapt for future success.
On the flip side, we often get so caught up in the grind, the push for continuous growth, that we forget to stop and celebrate the significant milestones we’ve hit. These are achievements that were mere dreams just a few months back. We need to celebrate more, both solo and with our team. Just like in sports, teams familiar with winning always have an edge over those who aren’t. So, let’s embrace our victories and use them to fuel our journey forward.
Devrims: You mentioned failures across some past projects. Could you talk about one key failure, the lessons you learned, and how it impacted decisions with Modular DS?
Héctor: Our biggest failure, which wasn’t our only one, was trying to create something that nobody wanted. It seems like such an obvious lesson, but we missed it initially. Our first SaaS venture was in a saturated market filled with stellar alternatives that already had a loyal user base. We were light-years behind these established tools. So, we poured hundreds of hours into developing a product that, frankly, no one wanted to use.
This experience was a tough but valuable lesson for us in how to create software. We learned to start by engaging with potential users, understanding their challenges, and discussing potential improvements. It was only when we began noticing recurring themes in these conversations that we realized we were onto something. We shifted our focus to addressing real problems faced by web professionals, rather than just running with an idea that we fancied in our office. This approach has profoundly influenced how we develop and refine Modular DS, even now, when we have to think about the next features or advances we are going to develop.
Devrims: As a proponent of the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem, what tips do you have for first-time founders just starting on their journey? What early lessons served you well?
Héctor: I want to share a couple of tips that aren’t your typical, run-of-the-mill advice. Firstly, if you’re aiming to do something special, even if it starts small, find a co-founder. Entrepreneurship is tough, and our life is like a non-stop rollercoaster ride. It’s crucial to have someone who’s in it with you through the highs and certainly the lows – someone who truly gets what you’re going through. And trust me, as much as they might try, your family can’t fully understand this journey. You shouldn’t expect them to. It’s a unique experience that only someone on a similar path can relate to.
Another tip: connect with other founders in your space. This is for inspiration, learning, and networking. Most founders are surprisingly open to chatting with fellow entrepreneurs and often are willing to lend a helping hand. You never know what opportunities or collaborations might arise from these connections.
Devrims: As Modular DS continues scaling, what do you anticipate being some of the biggest challenges? How do you plan to overcome issues with customer acquisition, product-market fit, etc?
Héctor: I think everything is a challenge. Right now, the main one for us is increasing product visibility so more people know and try out Modular DS. We’re confident in our tool’s capabilities, and the positive feedback from our current clients reinforces this belief. So our focus is on enhancing our reach, encouraging more professionals to discover and experience the value of our product.
Looking ahead, a significant challenge will be in educating WordPress professionals about the benefits of offering WordPress maintenance services. I truly believe this area represents a lucrative opportunity for them, offering recurring revenue, profitability, and scalability. However, many in the WordPress community haven’t yet embraced this service model. Our goal is to change this perception. The more WordPress professionals offering these services, the broader our potential client base becomes.
Also, a pivotal aspect of software development is discerning which features to develop and which to leave out. Since many products fall into the trap of incorporating an overwhelming number of features that users don’t need or want. Our challenge will be to achieve a balance between expanding our feature set and ensuring a seamless, top-notch user experience. It’s about focusing on quality over quantity, ensuring that each feature we add enhances the tool’s overall functionality and usability.
Devrims: Maintaining a work-life balance is difficult for founders. What rituals or systems do you use to prioritize self-care and avoid burnout while scaling your company?
Héctor: I would say the biggest key to avoiding burnout is to love what you do. Without that, navigating the rollercoaster of ups and downs in entrepreneurship is almost not worth it. Also, having a family that supports you is important.
Another crucial lesson for us founders, which often takes too long to learn, is the importance of taking vacations. Stepping away from work, even briefly, is vital. This downtime is not just beneficial; it’s necessary. It allows you to return with a renewed sense of calm, happiness, and often, a fresh set of ideas that just weren’t possible amidst the day-to-day stress. Doing this a couple of times a year and exercising often are some of the things that work best for me.
Devrims: What emerging technologies or digital transformation trends excite you the most when you survey the web landscape and ecosystem today?
Héctor: Well, I guess we would all say AI. Because it is all we talk about these days, and because it is incredible what we have seen this year. I think it is one of the biggest changes we’ve had since I can remember. And I still think it has a long way to go in many aspects. So it will impact our lives much more in the future. To the question tough, sometimes it excites me, and sometimes it doesn’t, but I guess it is normal with things that can change life so much.
Devrims: For web developers looking to level up their skills or get into entrepreneurship, what resources, communities, or guides would you recommend they turn to as a starting point?
Héctor: Look for inspiration in what others have done. I’m a big fan of entrepreneurship podcasts and books by founders who’ve achieved success in our industry.
To master your skills, nothing beats hands-on experience. If you’re currently in a regular job or studying, start a side project. Build something small that challenges you to learn and grow. It’s a practical way to not only improve your technical abilities but also to gain experience in launching and marketing a product, and in collaborating with other professionals. The best way to learn is by doing
Devrims: Thinking in 3-5 years, what does the future look like for both Modular DS if your vision succeeds? What milestones are on the horizon?
Héctor: We see ourselves empowering thousands of web professionals globally by helping them to establish robust web maintenance businesses. We believe this shift from merely creating websites to maintaining them offers a path to greater freedom, thanks to the recurring revenue and scalability inherent in website maintenance services. And we hope to be having as much fun as we have now. Thinking about how we can do it better, developing it, meeting new professionals, facing new challenges, going to events… We love what we are doing, so we are excited to keep doing it for a very long time.