Switching from Thesis to Genesis: Chris Brogan’s Influence

Would your business be sustainable if 10% of your customers walked away?

Many of you are familiar with the potential divorce between Chris Pearson (DIY Themes) and Matt Mullenweg (WordPress) over GPL compliance. I have received numerous emails from readers asking how it will effect their blogging platform of choice. Relax. Pour yourself a glass of spanish cava or red wine. Take a sip. It’s ok. What? Chris Brogan just posted an article on his official divorce of Thesis? Ok. Well. We need to talk.

He closed out his article with “If you’re using Thesis, I still think it’s a good theme, and for those of you wondering, Chris Pearson and team at DIYThemes are GPL-compliant again, so that’s a non-issue.” But is it really? He switched from a major framework just for the hell of it? Doubtful. In a very passive way he drew a big red line in the sand and said this is where Chris Brogan stands.

How this will affect current Thesis users

Imagine if that estimate is grossly wrong…he is now responsible for nearly 10% of all Thesis users alone.

I recently purchased a Developer’s Option for $164. The next day I got cold feet as links to articles like Technosailor.com’s exclusive interview with Brian Clark (Copyblogger.com) fed my inbox. Like you, I have a vested interest in seeing a product I paid for have a decent half life. Especially in this economy.

Before Chris Brogan posted his article I had faith that DIY Themes would maintain a certain level of support to their clients. Their website states, “Over 28,019 savvy webmasters rely on the Thesis website framework.” But what percentage of those became paying customers because of Chris? Maybe not directly, but think about his reach. His influence.

Mathematically speaking: If ChrisBrogan.com receives nearly 2 million visitors per month and 1/10 of 1% have interest in Thesis that still results in 2,000 people. Maybe only 1% of those people purchase Thesis. That is still 20 consumers he influences per month. That doesn’t even factor in those 20 consumers inspiring the purchase for others. After one year, his influence alone accounts for nearly 1% of all Thesis users.

Imagine if that estimate is grossly wrong. Instead of .01% his initial influence equals a full 1%. He is now responsible for nearly 10% of all Thesis users alone.

Should you be concerned?

No. You purchased the Thesis theme and your transaction is complete. Even if DIY Themes goes under and all membership support is gone please remember that there is still a community out there. A vast majority of you will have the same common questions that have been tutorialized many times over. The development community that goes outside the box of what was intended for the Thesis theme doesn’t require DIY’s support. Just a means to communicate and work through problems together.

The public opinion of Thesis, thanks to Chris Pearson’s rant, is shaky right now. With Brogan taking a stand more people will lose trust in the ability of Pearson righting the ship. The general public is vastly influenced by Brogan. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

What does 10% mean to you?

Would your business be sustainable if 10% of your customers walked away? How far would you go to correct the error(s) in your approach to business? A refund to new customers? Devoted customer support for current customers for at least 12-18 months regardless of what happens?

DIY Themes needs to show their hand in this game before everyone has left the table.