I have been to CaboPress, between 8th-12 Oct 2018. Bringing back new ideas and killing a few. It was a refreshing and relaxing experience during CaboPress and now after returning back, it’s time to Reflect. Though this was my second time attending CaboPress, it was different, unique and full of great values and surprises. CaboPress is not only my favorite “Business Event” but probably the best of all the events I have been to in the last 10 years.
Let’s dive a little bit into what makes this event great again (and again). And some of my best moments and memories from the CaboPress 2018.
CaboPress is an interesting and innovative business conference which happens every year at the beautiful resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The event is designed and organized by Chris Lema. The event is a power-packed 5 days gathering of some of the smartest people from the business, internet and WordPress world. I asked “What does CaboPress mean to you?” to some participants during this and last CaboPress. I have got different answers. Few people described it as “Mastermind Group Event” where people from different business vertical and function join together to solve their business problem, get new motivation and ideas. For me, it means “Launch Camp“. Because since it’s inception of 2013/14 CaboPress has been a strong and supportive launch pad for many different ideas and business.
What makes it my (and everyone’s) favorite?
CaboPress happens at very big and beautiful 5-star resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Ocean facing view where you get a perfect little break to brainstorm new ideas and think of the challenges and problems you are facing. The place has great restaurants, nice pools with a great view and excellent staff service.
Photos by Katie Elenberger
All the attendees at this event are hand-picked. I am so fascinated by the amount of time, energy and thoughts that Chris Lema invest to decide who and why should be the part of the event. All the attendees are so strategically picked up and invited. My interaction during both CaboPress with this people has been phenomenal. There has been a lot to learn and inspire from them. Their background, experiences, expertise, industry knowledge all have greatly mixed.
The format makes the whole event very different and effective.
- Talks/Expert Sessions happens in the pool. I haven’t seen anything like this before in any conference. And it’s not for the sake of stunt but strategically and psychologically thoughtful.
- There are only two sessions in the morning and then until evening plenty of time to brainstorm and discuss and reflect the learnings.
- There is a lunch group that is also hand-curated by the Chris Lema. That lunch group is small and remain unchanged for all the days. Lunch groups have been one of my favorite ways to continue the conversation further about the things we learned during the morning sessions or anything that make sense.
- Dinner Group – Chris announces the dinner group in the evening and that is always random and different which is very nice and effective way to get an opportunity to connect with everyone in the event.
- Post Dinner – After dinner connecting over coffee, drinks or cigar – whatever your style and test are to discuss anything about business and life.
Photos by Katie Elenberger
The best part of the whole event is Chris Lema. With his great storytelling skill, he makes the complex problems simple. The way he drives the whole event is itself very enjoyable. With deep industry insights, he can pretty help you for any problem that you have in the business. You can rely on his advise and suggestions because I met such people and businesses who have been positively affected by Chris’s advice.
Collections of the best moments and conversations.
- On our first day, during the group dinner, we were talking about the “Competitors”. We all shared our thoughts on how we look at the Competition in the business. I was very inspired by an “Analogy” shared by Kevin Stover from WP Ninjas. He said “Competitors are other cars driving on the same road where you are driving your car. You need to watch who is on your left and right. Who is ahead of you and who is behind? You can’t ignore them but you also should not pay much attention that leads you to crash your own car. He and his team are known for one of the popular form builder solutions in WordPress – Ninja Forms.
- Jonathan Wold has been part of my Lunch Group. He shared how he practices developing tiny habits, something that I believe is so powerful and effective. I am also very much delighted by the work that he and his team at XWP are doing with tide project which I believe is a great initiative to incentivize the people who believe in writing better code.
- Talking to Chris Lema is always inspiring and fun. Out of my several different conversations with him one about product innovation where he mentioned how a product innovation can be done by operating on 70% cost/resources and utilizing the other 30% for new product innovation. It sounds very simple but is so powerful when you already have a large running business and trying to disrupt new product or innovation.
- It was worth listening to Joe Oesterling – CTO of Liquid Web about his principles and formulas to managing and motivating the people for Results. It was so inspiring to hear how wonderfully he has been managing the LiquidWeb and other past ventures with his sheer focus on motivating the people. People in your company and team is the key ingredient to your success. Great lessons learned from him was giving importance to company culture and values, having the right framework for hiring the right people, and beyond talent and technical skill look upon other behavioral and soft skills in the people.
- Beyond Business, I had a nice little conversation with Ken Wallace about the Adoption of the Kids. We (Me and my wife) have been considering an option to adopt a few kids. And I was so glad that when I was mentioning that to someone in our lunch group, Ken jumped into that discussion and then decided to pair in our group to continue that discussion. He shared his own experiences of being adopted and also shared why and what to do to adopt kids. Another coincident happened when I got connected with Ken’s wife during a dinner. She too shared her thoughts on adopting kids and raising kids. It was so great to talk to this couple about something not a business but still noble.
- I met Brian Krogsgard – an Adult Child during CaboPress. He kept telling several times and then I started to observe him if he really means so and yes he is. I haven’t met any such an innocent adult :-). I was so fascinated by my conversation with him about how he thinks of journalism, education and empowering the WordPress and business community by covering the success, unique and interesting story of the people. Don’t forget signup for Post Status – if you are in WordPress Business and Ledger Status if you are into the Trading, Blockchain, and Crypto.
- I met Tony Perez, people know him for his successful venture into Security through Sucuri and his role at GoDaddy. Tonny has been a great source of motivation and inspiration as an entrepreneur. I enjoyed his talk about “Founders Fears & Frustrations” where in his most humble and unique way addressed how to deal with the fears and frustrations as entrepreneurs. It gives a great level of confidence to watch him as a living legend who believes in acting based to the instincts, taking timely decisions, asking questions and solving problems.
- Before and during the CaboPress, It was great spending some time, talking about the business strategies and challenges with – Sujay. He has been a successful entrepreneur and disrupted the WordPress Theme Framework Market with their most popular and powerful – Astra Theme Framework.
- My small meeting with Max Rice from SkyVerge has been quite humble and insightful. It was great chatting with him about the future challenges and opportunities in eCommerce and WooCommerce. SkyVerge is one of the strong market leaders in WooCommerce space. I was so inspired learning about the challenges that Max and his team at SkyVerge are working to solve in WooCommerce and eCommerce.
- My interaction with both Robby and Justin Busa co-founders of Beaver Builder has been worth mentioning. I was very delighted to know their journey from agency services to a product business. Beaver Builder is one of the famous and favorite page builder in WordPress Community. And was so inspiring to learn from them that how “CaboPress” served as Launch Pad for this innovation.
After attending this two CaboPress, what I got to know that it’s not only a business conference which provides the opportunity to connect with other like-minded people but it also provides the right framework, setup and support to introspect your existing business and innovate new businesses.