Expert Speaks: In Conversation with Alexander Matienko, the CEO of MotoPress

Today, on ‘Expert Speaks‘, we have Alexander Matienko CEO at MotoPress.

Alexander has been working with MotoPress for almost 10 years.

In this conversation, Alexander shared his thoughts on WordPress hosting, how he manages his journey of excellence, and his work.

You would definitely love reading his fun-filled informative answers, Here it goes :

Hello Alexander, Welcome to LearnWoo! So, can you please tell us about your journey & experiences so far?

Hi, thanks for inviting me! I’d say this question alone requires a good long evening to answer in detail, so I think I’ll shorten it to a few main highlights. I have had computers around me from a very young age, and I’ve been working with software and different IT companies since I finished my studies. Let me say so, my career journey sort of coincides with the digital transformation of the world!

I had a chance to work for a few big companies and get various types of experiences, from building in-house software projects from scratch to managing teams, and even diving into marketing. Like, I got all the experiences you need to start feeling it’s high time to take risks and begin your own journey if you know what I mean! That’s how MotoPress was born and continues to prosper for almost 10 years already!

Tell us more about MotoPress?

MotoPress helps big and small businesses solve various tasks on their WordPress website. Our products range from robust business themes to creative photography portfolios, website content building plugins to powerful booking solutions. But we realize there are thousands of WordPress themes, which means customers are spoiled for choice, so the true gem of MotoPress is plugins; in terms of the market competition, the latter are more unique and on-demand.

We build and continue improving booking plugins for hotels and other rental accommodations, as well as service-based industries. You can find them by MotoPress Hotel Booking and Appointment Booking names.

To be more specific, we help hospitality businesses improve in the new digital economy by delivering more automation to their brick-and-mortar presence! And secondly, we help people sell their time more effectively. I know how these industries dramatically boost their profit and cut down expenses just by implementing more automation! so I have no doubts the demand for the digital transformation of these business types will only grow over time. And there will be us to help.

These are just a few of our key directions. We are also embracing the new native WordPress content-building experiences by giving people our free extension, Getwid, which enriches the website editing process with many more powerful blocks and designs. 50K+ people have already installed it on their websites.

That said, we know that, for instance, WordPressers enjoy Elementor, so we also deliver a few great extensions to this plugin, which are branded by the Stratum lineup (the name means we aim to add an extra ‘strata’, or layer, of flexibility to the core plugin – and people say they are more productive with more agile tools at hand!).

As almost every business, we witnessed surges and letdowns of the market demands for our products, but the diversified product line, our constant experiments and improvements helped us steer our way in the right direction! 

Where is the company today versus where you thought it would have been 5 years ago?

That’s a tricky one! We have annual planning and everyday dilemmas, so I don’t think we had set our mind to such a question at that time. The only thing I can tell is that we of course wanted to grow and scale the business – and we don’t have any significant problems with that.

What are the pros and cons of working for yourself?

Well, as for the pros, you have more freedom in choosing the development path for your project, but freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. I mean, the cons are of course bigger risks and more areas where I have to take an active role in driving changes. That at least means shorter vacations and a few extra hours of work per day!

What are the biggest challenges that someone in a similar position as yours would face?

I hope I’ll never learn what they are, haha! If you mean challenges for a CEO of a WordPress company, the oversaturation of the WordPress market comes to my mind first. I mean the competition is becoming more fierce because new brands appear, times change, and the market share of WordPress as the most used website builder in the world is growing. The last thing means no time to rest on your brand’s laurels, you have to work harder and get more creative every day.

What part of your current role do you love and can’t stop doing? And what part do you hate doing?

I love to generate new ideas and implement them. It’s a pleasure to see how these ideas resonate with my team and how the common encouragement leads to changes. I will never turn down an invitation to the next brainstorm! I love to know that our products solve the needs of real businesses, big and small.

As for the part I hate, I don’t like to say farewells. Farewells to our deprecated products and colleagues who leave the company.

How are you balancing between work and normal life as we all know war is going on in Ukraine now?

It’s really hard to balance, to say the least. Many of us had to change locations, but after COVID-19, we are used to working remotely. Also, constant thoughts about the war, the destiny of my country, people, and team members make my concentration quite often difficult. We all need more encouragement to move forward with the project aims, and I try to help with that inside my team. Those aims are very ambitious but I must tell you that our team is brave and strong enough to work and reach the goals even in such unbelievably hard circumstances when peaceful and sovereign Ukraine is in grave danger. But of course, it all takes a lot more time! As a result, I manage to distract myself and spend time with my family only on the weekend.

What has been the biggest letdown in your career so far?

I’d say missed opportunities. That’s why I always advise everyone to raise the bar for themselves, never stop to self-educate and always strive for bigger goals.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy the most?

Sport (kiteboarding in particular), family, and traveling are the sources of unfailing inspiration for me.

Can you tell us your typical daily tasks? Also, how do you prioritize?

Well, in addition to the routines, I love to start with the analysis of what was already done and, based on that, plan how we can move forward, which steps are required, which tasks are prior.

I think my prioritization technique is super simple – I either start with the most urgent tasks in my workflow or do what drives me! I can get quite spontaneous at the idea or question that really gets my attention. Then with the help of my team I try to do my best to find solutions or test the approach. From my experience, it’s worth it to postpone daily routines to bring those ideas to life!

What are the projects you are currently working on?

MotoPress is our main project, it takes the vast majority of our time and resources.

Additionally, we run Gutenix, a one-theme project, which is a multipurpose WordPress template with tons of beautiful design skins and support for major page builders.

And of course BNBForms, a property booking widget that is WordPress-independent, namely, anyone running a website on any CMS can use it to accept bookings and payments. It was a startup idea and I’m really happy to see it’s growing so fast.

All these websites are hosted under different domains but managed by our team. So you can imagine how much work our team of twenty has!

What is the motivation behind your success and what advice do you want to give to those who want to follow your path?

Build value. Always. Listen to your customer – and I mean it! Listen to them, understand their pain points. Love what you do, connect with like-minded people and do something together. And of course, never give up, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and just keep trying. Simple but all genius is so, don’t you agree?


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