Here’s the gist:
GIST OF THE GIST:
Club Commerce is a co-operative of consultants who are vertically integrating into software development.
Club Commerce is NOT, repeat NOT, a typical Joomla club that sells software via site subscriptions.
It’s pretty effin’ expensive doing software development. Not to mention not every consultant can do some sort of coding. Plus, there’s a massive amount of software development to do. So, to achieve vertical integration, we band together! It’s that simple.
Vertical integration means we create/maintain the software we use for our consulting business.
Vertical integration does NOT, repeat NOT, mean selling our software!
We are vertically integrating into software development because it is good business. Our revenues depend on technology, and we don’t want to rely on others for that technology with which our revenues depend.
The $36/month to me is to offset the loss of consulting revenue by leading LaSalleMart/Club Commerce. Otherwise, pursuing LaSalleMart will be a side hobby. Or, I end up developing LaSalleMart for a small coterie of monied clients and the general public will not see the LaSalleMart at all — which is Very Bad.
Bad because there are amazing business opportunities for us consultants (and site owners) who “do the code”.
The $83.33/month extra per Club Member pays for programmers we hire. Members pay this directly to the programmers, not me. $83.33/month x 12 months x 300 Members = $250,000 in direct programming.
Did anyone play the trumpet like Satchmo before Satchmo?
Well, we’re playing Joomla ecommerce, but in a completely different way than anyone has done it before.
Club Commerce/LaSalleMart is new, is different, and is the right fucking response to our unique fucking pressures as consultants in the worse private sector economy since the Dirty Thirties.
And, as Zach says, “Why is it a pain to find a Canadian eCommerce solution for Joomla?” — because there isn’t one! Until now!
There are the live versions of LaSalleMart:
- LaSalleMart 1.0 for Canada for Joomla 1.5 only;
- LaSalleMart 1.0 for California for Joomla 1.5 only;
- LaSalleMart 1.0 “Regular” for Joomla 1.5 only.
LaSalleMart is available by subscribing to my Club Commerce. The cost is $36CDN per month.
To the best of our knowledge, LaSalleMart Canada is the only full featured Joomla cart maintained by and for Canadians.
To the best of our knowledge, LaSalleMart is the only full featured Joomla cart maintained in North America — which seems rather incredible. Yet, the Joomla carts are mainly European.
LaSalleMart 1.0 is a fork of Tienda 0.8.2.
More precisely, LaSalleMart 1.0 is a fork of Bob Bloom’s custom Distro for Tienda 0.8.2, which included an add-on for Canadian GST/PST/HST. This Distro was live on a handful of sites before the full fledged fork.
The main differences are:
- Akeeba Live Update;
- cleaned up back-to-basics checkout;
- guest checkout and one page checkout deleted;
- custom extension footer;
- registration form layout tweaks;
- some Tienda rough edges smoothed out during UAT for first live site.
We put in practice the theory we’ve been espousing about software builds with tremendous success. There are three simultaneous full featured flavours of LaSalleMart; and, we can get fixes and upgrades onto your site within 10 minutes.
We are currently working on LaSalleMart for Joomla 2.5 by converting Tienda 0.8.2 to Joomla 2.5.
We assumed that we’d do a straight conversion first. Once we had LaSalleMart for Joomla 2.5 in our hands, then we’d start modifying it drastically.
What is actually happening is that we are diving into changes whilst converting. I will skip completely the why’s and wherefore’s.
We are not extension developers, we are consultants.
We decided to vertically integrate into software development because it makes business sense for us. So, we are coming at extension development from the other side, the user side, which is highly unusual! We are blessed with some programming chops, but this is the first time we actually forked a Joomla extension.
Once we got into software development, we discovered that there are profound business opportunities from being involved in development. If we had not “crossed the line”, we’d never open our eyes to it.
These profound business opportunities are based on two things:
- free uber-geeky software process tools;
- we have the code, and the software development process, and the websites – a powerful edge.
Who are we?
We are a very small group of consultants and users who comprise the Founding Members of Club Commerce. There are less than a dozen of us. Most of us live in the GTA, and are active in the JUGT, with a wonderful representative from JUGSWO. All are Canadians, except for an exceptional consultant living in Los Angeles.
Of our tiny group of fabulous professionals, Zach Atkinson and myself are the ones doing the actual development right now. It’s been a tremendous advantage that we are able to physically meet-up, and it is this powerful collaboration that is motiving me to urge our fellow GTA-ers to be half of the 300 Club Commerce Members — we have a heckuva opportunity here to kick major Joomla ecomm ass.
The purpose of Club Commerce is to band together our peers so we can harvest these business opportunities.
Cost sharing is an key component of banding together.
Here’s an example. Canada Post just announced improvements to its web services. These require fresh coding. Peers banding together to share the costs ensures that these new features are brought to our websites fast.
Here’s another example: integrating QuickBooks with LaSalleMart. I guess-timate that the inital cost will be $15,000, and yearly maintenance $5,000. QuickBooks Canada is not the same thing as QuickBooks U.S. So, 100 of us Canadians in Club Commerce band together with $150 each to build this integration.
Will you be able to serve your local Canadian market better because you have up-to-date Canada Post features? Because you have QuickBooks integration? We know we will!
Relying on ourselves, and not relying on others, will put more features in our hands with which to grow our consulting and online businesses. Our clients will make more money, and we will have more billing opportunities.
Additionally, because Club Commerce Founding Members are mostly people associated with the Joomla User Group Toronto and Joomla User Group SouthWest Ontario, we want at least half our Club Commerce Members to be from the extended GTA area (including Niagara). Why? So we can meet in person to maximize our learning opportunities, talk about LaSalleMart’s development one-on-one; and, to give back to JUGT and JUGSWO which have been very good for LaSalleMart. Toronto can be on the forefront of worldwide Joomla ecommerce — why not!