Better Communication Begins Today

In the wake of the news about Headway Themes I felt it was critical that I get out ahead of this potential for customer concern and be clear about some important points regarding Cobalt Apps and the products we provide.

First, let me start by apologizing for the lack of consistent communication with our members. There’s no real reason for this other than the fact that I’ve been extra busy on the home front and I’m just not naturally one to chat without a specific reason (i.e.. big news, critical updates, etc…). I’m an introvert and have to make an effort to share my thoughts and opinions with more than my closest confidants, but I’m coming to realize that this simply is not adequate when running a business with a large number of customers expecting to stay in the know. And after reading the latest news about Headway I’ve come to realize that though Cobalt Apps does not share much with that scenario, one thing that I know sounded similar was the lack of clear and consistent communication between the owner and the customer. So that’s going to change right now.

The other critical point that needs to get out there with as much clarity as possible is the fact that even though some have seen my semi-silence as a reason for concern for the longevity of Cobalt Apps products, there’s no need to worry, we’re not going anywhere, and both Dynamik and Extender will be updated and supported for years to come. Let me repeat that for those who need the extra boost of confidence: Cobalt Apps is trucking along as it always has, I’m as dedicated to my products and customers as I’ve ever been, and both Dynamik and Extender, which thousands of our members utilize in their online ventures, are in no danger, can be relied on as they always have been, and will be under my support and attention for years to come.

Now, does this mean that I have big plans for major Dynamik and Extender feature updates in the near future? No, that’s not on the road map at this time (I know that Dynamik is at version 1.9.9, but that’s not because “Dynamik 2.0” is immanent…sorry to disappoint). I’ve been continuing to push out compatibility, refinement, and bug fix updates as always to help ensure the kind of product reliability our members have come to expect, but new features are simply not on my current to-do list.

I understand that many would prefer a future feature road map so they can know what’s coming around the corner, but I’ve always found that hard to accomplish effectively. Pretty much every feature found in our products came organically and without a timeline pushing it along. That’s how my brain works and my motivation drives me. I know it’s not ideal for some, but it’s who I am as a programmer and entrepreneur and it’s served me well for over seven years in this WP marketplace.

But again, let me be clear that I’m not saying that Dynamik and Extender are forever stuck in compatibility update limbo, just that they are more on autopilot right now while I work on other Cobalt Apps projects.

Speaking of other projects, there are two in the pipeline that are essentially spin-offs from Dynamik and Extender. I don’t want to get too specific at the moment because until a product is past the Alpha stage I’m not 100% sure it’s even viable. I’d rather finish the mock-ups and start really playing with them before I let other member join the fun. 🙂 And to be clear they are not groundbreaking or cutting edge, simply my attempt to address the needs that others have brought to my attention. They’ll be sold on this website and be included in the same affiliate, support, and update system, so my attention will remain fully only CobaltApps.com regardless.

A Little Insight Into My Personal Life

I don’t usually talk too much about my personal life as it’s generally irrelevant in this context, but I think it’s important as I’ve been unusually silent as of the past few months and I’d like to explain why. My wife and I recently had our fourth boy, back in June. Shortly after that we moved to a new city, and now we are having to move a second time in two months because of issues with the first home. So with an infant, a family of six, moving to a new city, and then having to move again, all within one summer, I’ve had my hands full to say the least. 🙂 That’s all just to say that I haven’t been sitting behind my keyboard twiddling my thumbs.

Things are settling down now and I’m getting back into the swing of things so momentum will restore soon. But let me make one more point that needs to be heard. I have NEVER…EVER let my personal life get in the way of taking care of my customers, supporting my products, and running my company! I’ve got a track record of over seven years in this premium WordPress marketplace and have not once neglected my responsibilities. So I may have down time and catch-up time, but we’re talking about situations of making progress, not maintaining my responsibilities. The former I try to pursue as much as possible, but the latter I’ve always made one of my top priorities, period!

Becoming More Vocal

Moving forward I am committing to you, Cobalt Apps members, to be more vocal, communicative, and open about what I’m working on and whatever information might help keep your concerns at bay as you continue to rely on our products to accomplish your online goals. I know it can be a bit scary when we really don’t know what small company will stick around and which ones will fall away or move onto something new, so my hope is that I can be one of those premium WP providers that encourages a sense of confidence and consistency.

So I can’t promise that I will do this perfectly or that I won’t be more quiet at times, but I’ll make a concerted effort to keep you in the loop. And at this point the loop doesn’t have super exciting news, but more of a somber statement of dependability. But as new projects make their way off the drawing board and inside the walls of Cobalt, and as notable features form into upcoming updates, I’ll be sure to update our members promptly and with clarity.

I can’t speak highly enough of our members and the degree at which I appreciate their support and trust. So if you are someone who has invested in my work and the products of my company I just want to say thank you. And to use more than words I will continue with my efforts to provide the products, support, and resources that help you achieve the goals you set out to accomplish online.

Sincerely,

Eric Hamm

26 comments on “Better Communication Begins Today”

  1. Eric,

    I have 100% trust and respect for you. I have never had a doubt about CobaltApps, its products and you. And I have been here from nearly the beginning and have personally experienced your commitment to your members. Glad I got on board when I did. Thank you for the reassurance and my best to your family.

  2. Glad to hear you are cruising along great. Never for a minute equated you to the Headway drama, but then over the years no matter how non-chit-chatty you are, you always give 110% to support. Rock on Eric! (and 8 is Enough was a thing before inflation)

  3. I’ve been using Dynamik for a while now. It works fine for me (keeping caught up with Google Fonts input is annoying, but still far easier than fiddling with a functions file).

    We get scads of email every day. No need for you to feel compelled to pile on. The only thing I feel you should do differently is write an explanatory brief whenever there are software updates, and maybe a once-monthly status update.

    Congrats on the upcoming new addition! I know we like to keep personal and business separate. But we all have families, and wish you and each other the best.

    Regards.

  4. Hey Eric,

    4th child. Wow – congrats.
    Thanks for the update.

    No v2.0 – I agree. It doesn’t really need to do anything new or different – there are other tools to plug in to do those different things (Beaver Builder for example). Creating a good starting point for a Genesis site whether a developer or a implementer is what it’s good at.
    Just keep up the great work – on the family and the work front! Awesome.

    Regarding Headway, I hope one way or another things improve for the owners, community etc – whatever it is that’s going on. I imagine the owners are in some point where they can’t actually comment.
    I like Headway. It’s very very cool at what it does. There is certainly room for DWB, Headway (or an offshoot of it), Genesis, Beaver Builder and others to co-exist.

    All the best
    Paul

  5. I am running several websites using Dynamik and I have been pleased with how quickly and thoroughly my questions have been answered. i have recommended Cobalt to people who have asked what I use.

  6. Hey mate,
    Truly appreciate you taking the time out to post this. We’re expecting #4 ourselves.

    You’ve got a solid product. I’ve been very satisfied with it and the support and community that accompanies it. As a result, I’ve built quite a few sites on the platform – and hope to build many more.

    Be sure to get sleep & rest too! 😉

  7. Eric

    Thanks for the update. I found you way back at Frugal and have built a nice business using Dynamic & Catalyst then Dynamic & Genesis. I always appreciate your help when I need it and communication when it was necessary. Great product, great support and a class guy. I never post anything anywhere so I understand about lack of posts except when necessary. Thanks again.

  8. Eric
    Been using you products for a long time. Your customer service has always been great. Personally when some company contacts me twice a day, I wonder what is going on. Happy to hear from you more often, but for me just keep up the good work and excellent support.

  9. Eric,

    I wanted to tell you how important Dynamik has been to me. For whatever reason, I’m too stubborn or too much of a control freak to want to settle for a standard WordPress theme, however, even when I tried to create a site with 20-whatever, I would get frustrated over my inability to figure out how to style some aspect exactly the way I wanted. No doubt I was too impatient with my learning curve.

    I tried multiple times to learn enough html, css, php to have a site the way I wanted it and my frustration always caused me to eventually give up.

    Dynamik has been the product that finally helped me understand the components and how they interact so that I could finally create the sites I wanted to.

    A few years ago I created a site for my wife who teaches piano from her home. When I began the site ranked on page 55! 😉 It now is always in the top three for organic search and she has more students seeking lessons than she can accommodate.

    I have also used Dynamik to start my own business.

    Thank you so much for creating such a fantastic product.

  10. Hi,

    I’d just like to add my voice to many others: I’ve been nothing but impressed by the Cobalt products and the support I’ve had when I’ve run in to problems.

    And no, we don’t all need game-changing huge updates all the time! If it ain’t broken don’t try and fix it! If you keep on doing what you’ve been doing to date, that’s certainly fine with me. I’m sure any crucial updates will happen as/when necessary, and I’m very happy to work with your existing products in the meantime.

    Thank you.

  11. Hi Eric,

    Like others, I never associated you with the type of issues Headway is having. You and “JustMe” have provided excellent and timely support. Also, it is an understatement to say that the quality of the participation on the forums is way above average.

    I guess I know you now and only expect to hear from you when there is something important to say and otherwise don’t worry. Some companies think they need to have a blog post every day or every week, but that is really not necessary.

    Congratulations on your family additions. Moving with small kids is difficult. It sucks that you have to do it twice in a row.

    While I know there are some big fans who don’t want you to change or add a thing in DWB, I am one of those who would like to see regular enhancements. I get the notion of organic growth and for some of the ideas I’ve posted, you replied that they weren’t where you saw DWB going, which I respect. There are some other things I’ve suggested that I think would greatly enhance DWB, especially for new users. I’d be happy to send those to you again if / when you are at a point where you want to consider them 🙂

    Thanks for reaching out and letting us know how things are going.

  12. Hey guys,

    I seriously couldn’t have asked for a more positive response to this post and my own attempts to bring you all up to speed with Cobalt. And thanks for sharing the stories and experiences with Dynamik and Extender. It always helps to know the different ways our members have benefited from all our hard work and dedication.

    You guys are awesome! 🙂

  13. Thanks Eric for the candid update. I’ve been a long time customer and have poked around here and there for alternative solutions that have caught the interest of the day, but let me reassure you that your product still sits on top of the heap. I look forward to many more years as a very satisfied client.

  14. Thanks Eric – really appreciate the update esp to hear confirmation that you will continue to be supporting Dynamic & Extender. I’ve been wondering about 1.9.9 / 2.0 – actually been thinking ‘I wonder how different 2.0 is going to be and what time implications there will be for me updating my clients to 2.0…’ as I understand time pressure too, running my small web design business & having 3 young children (though not 4!!) and finding it a challenge to balance out all that makes up the rich tapestry of my life.
    All the best to you Eric with your continued journey as family man and as digital entrepeneur – I am grateful to you for your support, would love to hear more from you too, but entirely GET how different times of life require the balance to be shifted towards one aspect of life more than another, and that of course it usually returns to an equilibrium at some stage too.
    Chris
    “Web designer, husband, father & surfer – though not always in that order!”

  15. I’ve been very impressed at the level of customer support during this quiet period. I’ve had people tell me I should switch from Cobalt’s Dynamik child theme because it is too complicated. But for someone who does not write code, it’s perfect and I have appreciated the technical documents and customer service from Eric and other staff members.

    I’m not a website developer. I run my own site. Relative to all the other plug-in bugs, hosting issues, and government agencies I must interact with for my business, Cobalt has been a shinning star of customer service.

  16. Thanks Eric, that is great news as I already posted on Facebook. Your idea to roll out an Extender version for the Beaver Builder theme is a great proof of your innovating ideas.

    Peter Luit

  17. I rely on Dynamik, Beaver Builder, and key plugins to deliver pretty any kind of site I need to. It’s good to hear that you are as committed to the product as much as I’ve come to rely on it.

    As for communicating more, I understand the introvert’s perspective. For those interested, I recommend Susan Cain’s book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” That said, I certainly look forward to your next videos as I find them very helpful and idea generating.

    Thanks.

    – Peter Ingersoll

  18. Back in about 2010 I decided I was tired of using random themes which became unsupported in a few months. Itried Thesis (remember them) but it was awful. Then I discovered Catalyst – I’ve been a happy customer ever since. The only thing I’ve changed recently is adding the Beaver Builder page builder so I’m happy to see you talking to them as well – though I find they integrate nicely together as is

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