WorkWithDevs: the idea

UPDATE: WorkWithDevs was a podcast project I have now sunsetted. It was, I believe, a solid idea. In all honesty, I realized I wasn’t motivated enough to work on it alone nights & weekends.

Last week, a family member working in marketing confessed that she regretted picking the cheapest development shop for their new app. "It's riddled with bugs," she sighed.

The week before that, a friend in HR told me he dropped the ball with a client: "I was so eager to find them a developer, and I sent over dozens of mediocre applications. They said I got fooled by buzzwords."

A month ago, a local entrepreneur told one of my partners how he lost all his Google rankings after hiring a shady SEO firm.

Just yesterday, a sales rep I won't name admitted to sometimes promising unrealistic features to close deals—he thought their SaaS developers could just "figure it out."

And the list goes on.

There's a lot of wasted energy, time, and money in these stories. A lot of pain.


Because most professionals haven't got a single clue what developers really do.

They don't know how websites, apps, Google, or the Internet work.

I know—I've been there!

The irony is all of our professions are influenced by software and web development. To stay competitive, businesses must leverage modern marketing channels, automation, and data.

And who can help with that? Developers.

I can't believe when I hear, in 2018, people brushing off the importance of understanding the work developers do, and the critical systems they help build.

So, how to fix?

I've got an idea. I call it WorkWithDevs.

(If you aren't digging the name, drop a suggestion in the comments!)

Before spending more time and money on it, I'm writing this post to gauge interest.


So, what is WorkWithDevs?

It's a content platform to help professionals better understand and collaborate with developers.

Right now, I want it to be a podcast. I've been thinking about diving into audio content for a while. This is as good a time as any!

Here's what I'd do to make it happen:

  • Create a rough content roadmap. Begin at n00b level, work my way up to more technical topics.
  • Map each topic to 1-2 episodes. Invite a relevant guest to discuss said topic on the show.
  • Set up a simple suggestion/voting system for users to signal subject interest.

Who is this for?

  • Junior product owners/project managers
  • Sales & marketing staff
  • Customer support staff
  • Founders & business owners

Content examples

  • How websites work: HTML, CSS, JavaScript basics
  • Client vs. server-side/frontend vs. backend
  • Understanding Agile/SCRUM development
  • Cookies: how online tracking actually works
  • Webhooks & APIs: How systems communicate with each other
  • Deconstructing @iamdevloper tweets for "get the joke" episodes

How will I monetize it?

I won't. At least not in the beginning. But a few ideas:

  • Ads (meh)
  • Patreon
  • Selling a valuable info-product to audience
  • Selling exclusive content/training to audience
  • Syndicating content to structure/sell enterprise training

Why do it?

  1. Dogfooding

Our businesses (Snipcart/Spektrum) need new marketing & design hirees to get technical as soon as possible. WorkWithDevs could help. I myself also want to keep boosting my technical chops!

  1. I know there's value in there

I've had "proto-validation" from dozens of peers and colleagues, on both sides (non-technical & developers). I've seen firsthand people go through the horror stories told in the intro. Hell, I've been there myself!

While better understanding developers sure helped me thrive in a developer-first business, it also made me much better at my digital marketing job. It made me more solution-oriented, less tolerant to bullshit, and more self-reliant.

  1. I want to try something new!

I love technology. I love working with developers. I want to keep doing it.

But I've been knee-deep in growing Snipcart for almost 5 years now (mostly through content marketing, SEO, and CRO. I feel like trying something new; getting out of my comfort zone a bit.

What I find exciting about this project:

  • I know jack shit about recording audio.
  • I'm not a native English speaker.
  • I've never practiced my interviewing skills.
  • I'll be meeting & speaking to people smarter than me.

Potential hurdles:

  • Time commitment. I remember Rob & Mike explaining how crucial their commitment to publishing once a week has been with Startups For the Rest of Us.
  • Technical learning curve—for apps/software, but maybe also editing, mixing, elocution, recording, etc.
  • Costs: hosting, website, transcription, editing—no direct revenue stream in the beginning.

Can you help?

(if you have constructive feedback, please drop a comment!)

Would you or someone you know listen to audio content like WorkWithDevs?

🔔 If so, I made this rough landing page: 🔔

Punch in your email, and I'll keep you updated with the project!

Rapid fire Qs:

- Would you prefer other formats of content? Which ones?

- Which subjects would be valuable to you? Analytics, website/app development, UX, web design, SEO, tools of the trade?

- Would you like to get involved?

I'm not 100% sure I'll do all of this alone yet. I'm open to collaborations & partnerships!

Oh, and any podcast software and hardware recommendations are more than welcome. 👇


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