Louis Reingold, the founder of Oxygen and Breakdance under parent company Soflyy, has issued a response to the lingering drama that has plagued the WordPress community for the past year. The dispute centers around the abrupt release of Breakdance and its impact on Oxygen users, leading to a wave of discontent and skepticism among the community over the past year.
The catalyst for the turmoil was the sudden launch of Breakdance, which left Oxygen users feeling neglected and abandoned, contrary to the company's assurances.
Since then, a significant portion of Oxygen's user base shifted to Bricks, a rival WordPress builder developed by a different company, driven by doubts about the long-term viability of both Oxygen and Soflyy.
This exodus underscored the power of public perception in the WordPress ecosystem, revealing that effective marketing and communication hold more way sway than even the quality of products and support. The WordPress community is one of the strongest and tight knit tech communities online, and this further emphasized that.
David McCan, business owner & member of the Dynamic WordPress community, provided Louis with a series of insightful suggestions to navigate the ongoing Oxygen-Breakdance saga. McCan's advice emphasized the importance of addressing grievances comprehensively to eliminate any rational basis for resentment. Even though many users might never change their mind, it’s still better than what thoughts existed before.
In response, Reingold acknowledged his own missteps in not prioritizing marketing and communication efforts. He admitted to focusing primarily on product development and support, while overlooking the significance of managing public perception and user communication. The message from Louis seemed to be very candid & reflected a dedication to product excellence but also highlighted the evolving demands of the WordPress economy, where effective marketing and clear communication are indispensable.
To address the lingering controversy, Reingold took the initiative to set the record straight. He posted a thread containing a series of comments and videos aimed at providing comprehensive information to the community. His commitment to transparency and addressing concerns head-on signifies a conscious effort to rebuild trust and rectify the misconceptions that have clouded the relationship between Oxygen, Breakdance, and the WordPress user base.
This episode serves as a reminder that successful companies must balance product quality with proactive marketing, open communication, and responsive customer engagement. The aftermath of this drama will likely influence the strategies and practices adopted by WordPress builders moving forward, encouraging a more holistic approach to customer relations in an ever-changing landscape.
I believe Louis is a good person who happened to choose the wrong marketing style because of his skillset. He’s a builder, not a marketer. While the past can’t be changed, this is a step in the right direction to try and stomp the past drama & create a clean slate moving forward.