I just attended my sixth Magento Imagine. I’ve missed only one and that was the very first that was held near the Los Angeles Airport in 2011. All I can say is, Magento is back! That statement might imply they went somewhere but it's more to articulate a feeling: what’s old is new again.
In the keynote on Tuesday morning, Mark Lavelle asked the audience to get on their feet if they had attended seven imagines, six and so on. He got down to, “is this your first Imagine” and it felt like half of the massive hall stood up. Don’t get me wrong, the old stalwart Magento players were all in attendance but now there were additional players bringing an exuberance I have not seen since the early days. For those that know me, I don’t say this lightly since I think it’s my duty as an old-timer to play the role of Statler & Waldorf in the ecosystem. I sit in the corner and complain to whoever will listen. For those of you too young to remember the Muppets look them up on youtube.
I showed up to Imagine 2017 with my typical curmudgeon attitude and left feeling like a millennial. Let’s look back and figure out how we got here.
Imagine 2016 was one of the proudest moments of my career as we launched the Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition but I didn’t feel the same thing from the ecosystem. I’m not speaking directly about ECE as this was 5 months after Magento had been sold again, finally launched 2.0, changed to GMV pricing, hired many new faces, and launched ECE, MCOM and Marketplace. This was more change than any one ecosystem could take and I felt a distinct fear that seemed greater than even when eBay bought Magento originally.
I didn’t hold these same fears at the time but I had the benefit of daily access to some extremely smart people at Magento. There is Doug McIver, the Cloud Product Manager, who had the vision for ECE four years before the Market was even ready for it. Also, Chuck Choukalos, the MDC Performance Product Manager, who could make anyone feel better with a 15-minute walk around the City. That doesn’t even speak to all the changes that were taking place in engineering and the vision the executive team was putting in place. I knew we might hit some bumps in the road but that everything would be alright.
Fast forward to Imagine 2017 and not a single person spoke about fear, they spoke about launching sites on 2.1.x with incredible success, they spoke about record breaking sales for everyone in the ecosystem, they spoke about seeing the beauty in ECE and using it to its full potential, and they spoke about the future. There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!!!
Not as a nearly decade old company but as a Company who's hungry like they had just raised their first seed investment and needed to prove something to the world. The number 1 shopping cart for the IRCE 1000 hungry. Hungry to create a fuller experience, for order management, cloud, shipping, B2B and I have a feeling they have many more tricks up their sleeves.
As the old saying goes, seeing is believing and while everyone spoke only happy thoughts this year what I saw at the Magento booth was even more amazing. Merchant after Merchant after Merchant getting demos of MDC, MCOM, and ECE. Solution Consultants begging for a break from the demos to eat lunch. There were more merchants interested in re-platforming to Magento than I have ever seen before. I can’t tell you the exact number of demo’s I witnessed but I know it was record breaking by a large amount. It was a renaissance of sorts and they even brought Roy Rubin back to witness it.
With this much exuberance leading out of Imagine 2017 I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.