I’ve used WooCommerce for years to sell training and online services, but I recently started using Gumroad. Here’s a quick comparison: The short story: Gumroad is for people who want to sell stuff right away, easily. WooCommerce is for people who want more power and control, and are willing to spend a lot of time managing their store. Now for the longer story, starting with my background. I’m a data professional: I help companies make their Microsoft SQL Server databases faster and more reliable. In my work, I sell training videos, live webcasts, and online service subscriptions at BrentOzar.com. I…Read
Posts by Brent
When last we met, dear reader, I was super excited that I’d broken $500K in Black Friday sales – a goal that I’d been working on for a while. I was really proud of that. That moment triggered a lot of introspection, though. In my post about year 6 of the company, I wrote about how the business was a stool with 4 legs: training, consulting, online services, and community. At that time, I didn’t have the skills to make the consulting leg of the business consistently profitable, so I laid off Angie, Doug, and Jessica. However, I kept Erik…Read
In 2013, mostly just for laughs, I ran a Black Friday sale on BrentOzar.com. It did way better than I’d expected – turns out a lot of y’all love Black Friday shopping as much as I do – so I gradually put more work into it over time. Woohoo, WooCommerce! Here’s how it did over the years: 2013: $52,780 2014: $84,577 2015: $167,728 2016: $181,457 2017: $439,550 – a great jump upwards that I was really happy with, but ever-so-slightly disappointed because I’d set an Epic Life Quest task goal of $500K. That goal seemed bonkers, but I put a ton…Read
After big conferences, I like to share my session evaluations to talk about what worked and what didn’t. Let’s see how we did this year. Pre-Con: Performance Tuning in 21 Demos This was an all-day session that Erik Darling and I co-presented. When Erik and I designed this session, we were both at a point in our presentation-writing style where we were madly in love with demos. All week long when working with clients, we have to spend a lot of time in slides, explaining concepts that we see out in the wild all the time. (I give my talk on…Read
For last year’s Black Friday sale, I set a goal of $500K in sales, then did a ton of prep work: Set up a new training class lineup with labs Added a new Live Class Season Pass so folks could attend my classes all year long Added a handful of guest instructor courses Wrote a multi-day email launch sequence To handle the doorbuster deal load, upgraded our web site hosting at WPengine to a $6k/mo plan It paid off with a big sales jump: $440K, well above 2016’s $181K but still shy of my ambitious goal. Later, after the sale…Read
I alternate between a few different backpacks depending on trip length, so I keep the core of my electronic gear in an organizer pouch. I can just toss this into whatever bag I want to take: Vanquest EDCM-SLIM 2.0 It’s a Vanquest EDCM-SLIM 2.0 8″ x 6″ organizer pouch with lots of webbing. Wild overkill for a geek bag. Vanquest makes lots of tactical, medical, and first aid organizers with Molle straps for military folks. I was really torn between this and their FTIM 5×7, but went with the EDCM after reading a couple of reviews that said the dual-zipper format of…Read
The World condo floor plan from one of the brochures Years ago, I saw a documentary show about The World, a condo cruise ship. People with at least $10M net worth could buy a home aboard, and then see the literal world go by their windows. When it first launched, it was both a condo and a regular cruise ship, offering nightly rentals for non-owners. The wealthy residents got understandably tired of cruise ship visitors, then bought the whole ship outright, kicking out the management company and running it themselves. These days, the ship is pretty private: CruiseMapper has old…Read
Kind of a convoluted title, I know, but I get questions like this every now and then: @BrentO read your article on your home setup, any chance there could be a follow up on how you have things configured? You’re using a Mac, but how do you do SQL stuff effectively on a non windows platform? Would be helpful to share any tips. — Chris Lumnah (@lumnah) September 25, 2018 Chris and I had a good conversation on Twitter, and I figured it’s time to post an updated version of how I work. I have a “fake job” – I’m…Read
We live on the flight path to San Diego airport, and we like watching planes as they go by. One afternoon, we stumbled into the bar Nolita Hall. It’s also on the flight path, and they have skylights so you can watch the planes as they fly overhead. They have a big split-flap display behind the bar, and the bottom 3 lines show the next incoming flight: View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nolita Hall (@nolitahall) We talked to the staff and found out that their custom split-flap display was made by Oat Foundry. There’s a similar consumer equivalent…Read
We moved to San Diego and I refreshed my computer hardware, so it’s time for another update in my home office blog post series. Here’s what I’m using: Home office 2018 Standing Desk: Xdesk Terra Pro – Expensive, but works wonderfully and is built to last. I love the 3 height presets, and I’ve got them set for sitting, standing, and standing on top of my Fluidstance balance board. (There’s also an Aeron chair out of frame – I wheel it around behind my desk when I’m not using it.) Computer: Apple MacBook Pro 15″ (2018) – 6-core Intel Core…Read
Hi. I’m Brent.
I live in Iceland with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.
I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.