Bloggers around the world have all experienced the woes of WordPress editor: the tricky business of adding videos without going from HTML to Visual, image placement, unruly fonts and styles that have a mind of their own, the list goes on. Earlier this year, 16 year old Stephen Ou decided to make a better WordPress. Two months later the better, faster, stronger, and far more intuitive Artsy Editor was ready to launch. NowSourcing interviewed Ou last week in honor of the upcoming release.
1 – Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am Stephen Ou, I am currently working on a premium WordPress editor called Artsy Editor. I also made several web apps before including iTunes Instant, TwtRoulette, OhBoard, and OneExtraLap.
2 – You’ve accomplished some pretty visible releases at the tender age of 16. Do you feel that people don’t take you as seriously at that age, or is age but a number?
I think the age is just a number. Sure, people like to talk about age (ex. in order for blogs to attract traffic, they rather have headlines like “X years-old created Y”) and put me into a different consideration (both positively and negatively). But for me, I am just doing what I enjoy doing, and I seldom mention my age unless it’s necessary.
3 – It seems that you have a repeating pattern of looking for pain points inwell-known software (e.g. iTunes Instanthttp://mashable.com/2010/09/13/itunes-instant/ and now ArtstyEditor). What other pain points are on your mind?
Well, there are a lot that I would be like to see solved. Just a few examples:
– Domain registration and hosting setup. Right now no matter where you buy your domain and hosting, it takes a pretty long time to set it up and make sure everything is working. I’d love a way where I buy the domain in one-click and the hosting is set up for me in few seconds.
– Better ways to communicate with customers. I’d love to have FaceTime made for business. I really want a tool where I can video-chat with customers live so I can solve their requests faster and more efficiently. I want online businesses to have the same customer interaction as brick-and-mortar stores.
4 – What made you think to create ArtsyEditor in the first place? Not thatI’m complaining, it’s a welcome edition to the otherwise clumsy WordPresseditor.
The reason I started building it was because people wanted it, and they were willing to pay for it. I went through a customer development process where I got in touch with 100+ people, and 38 of them liked my idea and were willing to pay. From those kinds of positive responses, I knew I was onto something. So why give up the chance?
5 – Any plans to approach WordPress directly to try to get this incorporated into the core? Woothemes was able to do something to that effect before withtheir menu code which is now part of the WordPress core.
Possibly. WordPress has been the most revolutionary platform I’ve ever been into. It had helped me and others create countless websites and blogs. So if there is ever a chance that I can contribute to the core, I’d love to. But of course, I have to focus on Artsy Editor and build up something awesome first so I can get their attention.
6 – I saw your beta launch email. How’s the reception to your product been so far?
It is going exceptionally well. I’ve reached profitability before launch with a pre-launch promotion I did. And after the official launch today, more folks were coming to our site and trying out our free demo. We also received few nice pieces of coverage on The Next Web and TechInch.
7 – What else should we know?
Just something I say in most interviews: If you are about to start building stuff, choose something that solves real problems.
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