Jorn van Dijk

Yo! Podcast - Published 31 May 2023

Jorn van Dijk (@jornvandijk) is a Dutch designer, startup investor and CEO of the Framer website builder. After leaving his role as one of the early product designers at Facebook, he co-founded Framer in 2014, which was then a prototyping tool. Nine years and several strategic shifts later, Framer evolved into a robust website builder, earning admiration from top designers worldwide. We rap about the upcoming road to $100m revenue, explore their product roadmap, the potential impact of AI on the template building industry and just how Framer hype up a good product launch.

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Conversation Topics:

  • 01:27Intermission: Overrated, Underrated
  • 02:59How is Framer doing?
  • 03:46Is Framer growth more than when you took Series B investment in 2018 as a prototyping tool?
  • 04:40When is a good time to raise capital and why raise at all?
  • 06:50Sponsor: Lemon Squeezy
  • 07:33Is Framer looking to raise again?
  • 09:34Does taking funding increase long-term risk or alleviate risk?
  • 10:50Goal: 100 people with $100m revenue
  • 13:18How do you and Framer co-founder Koen decide what product to work on next?
  • 18:52Intermission: True, False, Maybe
  • 20:12The ingredients to a hype Framer product drop
  • 23:44Framer AI
  • 26:16 Next Guest Cameo: Matthew Smith aka Whale
  • 27:33Design inspiration vs AI
  • 31:29Do template authors need to level up their offerings to compete with upcoming template AI solutions?
  • 33:28Promo: Yo! on YouTubeYo! Newsletter
  • 34:17Advice for designers nervous about AI

Bonus Episode Content:

Jorn loves saying Yo! more than I do and is known as the CE-Yo! of Framer.

Watch Jorn give advice for designers scared of AI:


Rob: Yo Jorn, welcome to the show, my man.

Jorn: Yo. Yo. Here we go. Thanks for having me.

Rob: Let's jump into a fun intermission. It's called Overrated, underrated.

Jorn: Ooh.

Rob: I'm gonna give you a topic, a brand, a person, and you just need a quick fire back if you think it is overrated, underrated, or properly rated. You got

Jorn: Okay. I like this. Let's do it.

Rob: Co-founders,

Jorn: Oh underrated.

Rob: Daft Punk.

Jorn: Properly rated best band in the world. What do you want?

Rob: Kaleidoscope for Mac

Jorn: Oof, outdated, but underrated. If you compare it to file merch, it's it's pretty good,

Rob: ChatGPT,

Jorn: Properly rated, groundbreaking in my mind. I use it every day, came outta nowhere and I use it half an hour each day.

Jorn: Easy.

Rob: Mark Zuckerberg as a designer.

Jorn: Ooh, underrated.

Rob: Minimalism

Jorn: Is what it is. I guess. I don't have a rating for, for the style minimalism. Properly rated

Rob: French Chardonnay.

Jorn: Best in the world. Everything you can [00:01:00] drink from Burgundy is probably best in class. I go for Meursault or ri. But yeah, I'm a big fan of French French wise.

Rob: Good stuff. Satehci typeface,

Jorn: Very nice. I use it so probably properly rated.

Jorn: I like it.

Rob: Banning cars, driving in city centers.

Jorn: That's a good thing. We should do that. So that makes it underrated because it's not happening right.

Rob: Stroop , waffels.

Jorn: Stroop waffles, properly rated, they're, they're good.

Rob: And lastly, sharing revenue in public as a startup.

Jorn: Properly rated. Really depends on like what you wanna achieve with it. Do what works for you.

Rob: So you mentioned to you know, red and his recent deep dive, which I will link to. It was a wonderful conversation that Framer, it's doubled revenue, you know, every couple months for that little while, how things looking now, how's the vibes of Framer?

Jorn: Pretty good, pretty good. I wouldn't say we doubled them every every month then, then I would be really, really, really, that will be, that will be insane. But we've been growing or we, yeah, we, we launched Framer sites, which is now just a regular Framer in May last year. [00:02:00] And then November things really started to, to eat up.

Jorn: And it hasn't, hasn't slowed down yet. So the growth that we had November is still with us here all the way in May and June. So it's a high growth startup and yeah, I could not be more excited about having that for the company.

Rob: To dive a little deeper, you know, in 2018 you took a series B investment from Atomico and you mentioned that at that time before it sort of plateaued, is that there was growth, you know, the prototyping was, was doing great.

Jorn: It was, yeah.

Rob: Now I wanna know, is that, is the graph currently similar to that time in 2018 now or is it just way more hockey

Jorn: Oh, it is way more hockey stick. Yeah. So this is like, the growth that we're now seeing is double what we had when we were scaling the prototyping product.

Rob: Wow. That's brilliant, man.

Jorn: Month over month. So it, it, it really starts to yeah, it starts to add up. It's good prototyping. Yeah. Prototyping wasn't terrible. It was just like we're hitting some sort of like max [00:03:00] of how many people that wanted to prototype, which is a problem that we had to solve.

Rob: Well, first of all, congrats man. It's really exciting. It's been a, it's been a long journey. For listers out there with their startups, you know, currently picking up, they're considering funding. What advice do you have for them? You know, when and why?

Jorn: It really depends. Let me copy out this by saying I'm, I'm by no means an expert. We've raised money with with Framer, this company and with our first company sofa. We bootstrapped it and we didn't raise any money. We didn't really know about venture capital when we started that company. And so, yeah, I have some insights.

Jorn: To both, and it depends on, on, on your goals and your ambitions. With Framer, our ambition was to, or is to build a pretty big company that impacts a lot of people and, and the industry as a whole. For that to work out, you're gonna need a. Capital and you're gonna need to take some risk and you're gonna have to figure out how to scale and maybe hire some more people than you'd be comfortable with.

Jorn: And so if that is your ambition, and, and [00:04:00] so yeah, for us, the end station would be we, IPO . Then the question is like, how many companies raised venture capital to IPO and how many didn't? And then you gotta make up your own minds. Like what do you, what do you wanna do in a, in a way raising money is, is there's a lot of angles that you can discuss from, you know, there, there's a game element to it.

Jorn: There's knowing the right people pitching, blah, blah, blah. But the only thing that really matters for your ability to raise money is if you made a product that people, like, if you made a product that people like, you're going to have a much easier time going to an investor and saying, Hey. You know, with some additional capital, we could get more people to like this product or we could build a product out faster, or we could market it better, or we could advertise it in a, in a clever way.

Jorn: If you don't have a product that people already like, then you can also raise capital. But I don't, we don't have experience with that. Like, we first built the first version of Framer, started selling it, started iterating on it. And only when we had some initial usage in [00:05:00] people attraction. Did we consider raising raising some, some capital?

Jorn: But bootstrapping is also like is a, is a fantastic option for so many people. You, you can be, be bootstrapped by yourself, can bootstrapped with 10 people, a hundred people, and all depends on, on what you, what you want as a founder and, and and your goals.

Rob: So in 2018, you, you know, with a graph, half is good. You took investment before the plateau. Would you say now is a brilliant time to take more investment right now while things are on fire?

Jorn: It depends. We're getting pretty confident that with the pivots we corrected for a lot of things that the first product didn't achieve. And so I'll give you one example for prototyping. Prototyping, we bet it. That people I'm gonna talk about like usage of the product, right? And so if people use your product as great indicator that you can find more people of in that area.

Jorn: And so for prototyping, we looked at how many minutes or hours a week would [00:06:00] Rob Hope use the product to get his job done? And if we would get those minutes up, Rob would be more successful and we would be able to find more robs. And in that way, sort of like expand. The user base and with sites it's, the usage is, is very different in relation to if we wanna fundraise or not.

Jorn: Like right now, I think we're very confident that this is gonna be an amazing year for Framer and we can sort of like, from all the metrics that stopped working with prototyping products that we've corrected for the product that we have now, like we, I'm pretty confident that I don't see any red flags as to why they would stop working.

Jorn: And so for us, At the end of the year, even with the product development that we can still do and the marketing that we can still do, we can sort of like plot out and see. I'm unlike 80% confident that we're gonna get to that level of revenue by the end of the year. And so the question's more, would it go faster if we would take on more money now?

Jorn: Because if the answer is not [00:07:00] really, then it's not wise to raise money now. But if the answer is yes with more money, We go faster and we can end the year even stronger or prepare ourselves better for next year where we have to, you know, triple or at minimum, then that is sort of like how we think about it.

Rob: Would you say take. Funding increases long-term risk or alleviates risk.

Jorn: If you, if you know, and this sounds almost too simple to be true, but if you know what to do with the money, then yeah, you're gonna increase your chances of success. But very often people take on money or maybe too much money, and they don't really know what to do with that. So you start sort of like maybe hiring people to solve problems that you don't fully understand yourself.

Jorn: Or just start hiring too many people and think that, you know, you need a lot of people to solve problems is pretty has it been a trend for the last couple of, you know, ye decade almost, where it's just like more bodies at all these big tech [00:08:00] companies are gonna solve the problems that they have and then come to layoffs and the companies are equally efficient.

Jorn: Right. And so with VC comes the. An explicit sort of like, now you must grow faster. And that's yeah, it's a little bit of like, what happens if you take on that money. But it depends because you can have a conversation with the investor and say, Hey, you know, listen, we're not gonna just like double the workforce because the company will explode if we do that.

Jorn: And so we're gonna, you know, we're gonna deploy it and do a, b, and C with it because that will increase our chances to hit the targets this year and hit the goals next year.

Rob: Okay, so this is a great segue into this. Next question. You know, when I see your team doing, Its thing online. The first word that comes to mind is flow. And in my experience, flow equals fun. Are you hesitant that growing Framer more than 45 people could slow down the flow and the fun?

Jorn: So we made it a goal for the company to see if we can get to a hundred million in revenue with a hundred people.

Rob: Wow.

Jorn: So that's [00:09:00] very crazy ambitious. I don't know many companies that that have done that. And so if you are listening to this podcast and you know of companies that have done this, leave them in the comments below because I'd love to talk to them, but.

Rob: I can't think of any.

Jorn: I make a little bit of a joke out of it, but, but I, but I do think, you know, we, we, we, we, we wanna build a very efficient and productive team. And for that, you know, you need, you need a lot of talented folks to work together for quite a long time. It's hard to get really, you know, maybe you call it flow, I call it efficient, but you can't really stick 10 new people in the room and say, build a, build a great product and ship weekly updates and have everything be of great quality.

Jorn: You need a lot of flake. Working together for years to, to get to that level. And yeah, if we would now hire for the product team, so our product org is maybe 25 people total. 1, 2, 3, 3 designers and three tech leads says like, yeah, we could probably add an and and split over. Four teams, no three [00:10:00] teams, three teams total.

Jorn: We could probably build another team, like another, a fourth team to the, the, the product team's big enough that it would be able to find five amazing people and hire them and bake them into the, into the culture. But then getting the team up and running and getting them really good is gonna take a year, if not to to, to really get in the flow of making great products, making great product decisions.

Jorn: Learning everything there is about the platform, about the user being present in the community figuring things out that have high impact, low impact, solving bugs, blah, blah, blah. It's not as easy as like,

Rob: So back to your a hundred million dollar revenue. There's pretty much just a long path of hard work and Framer is a billion dollar company.

Jorn: Yes, that is a long path of a lot of hard work that still needs to go into that for sure.

Rob: I would actually love to be a fly on the wall and and know how does a conversation go down when Kun goes? Localization is the most important thing [00:11:00] we need to ship next. But you're like, no, AI is absolutely the next narrative. How do you guys actually decide on what gets

Jorn: Between those two. It's funny because we're building both, I can paint a bit of a picture around what we wanna achieve with the product team this year. And so one is we wanna make a lot more people successful building a site period, right? And so Framers now sort of as a website builder, people are saying, oh, it's, you know, it's easy, but it's very powerful.

Jorn: If you come from Figma, you'll feel right at home. You can still make anything like you can in Webflow, and that's very, that's amazing. But there's still a large portion of people that will just like stare at that canvas and don't know where to start. They have no clue. You know, they don't know anything about break points.

Jorn: They don't understand anything about like responsive design. They, they, it has a learning curve. It's not as easy as, Cart, it's not as easy as Squarespace. It's not as easy as maybe wick, right? And those website [00:12:00] builders, they all fall in the, you start with a template and you can modify it, but limit it.

Jorn: Like you can pick a different color, pick a different font, but nothing really layouts, nothing really affects nothing like you can't make it your own. You can't make it as professional as you want. And so we have a product team dedicated to make more people successful building the site that they want.

Jorn: And AI is a big component of that because if we can get you to input prompt that describes the type of sites that you want, and we can give you, let's say, you know, a seven out of ten first pass. So it has, you know, it has layout on it, has colors, has type as copy, there's images, and get to that level where Rob has no knowledge about these design tools.

Jorn: He's just like, oh, this is amazing. I don't need this section. Want some different colors for that section and now all of a sudden you're editing sort of like you're curating outputs instead of drawing everything from scratch, which is very time consumed, consuming, and, and few people can [00:13:00] do. And even fewer people can do really well.

Jorn: That's also like we see all of the output that Framer produces. Yeah, I think that with AI we can make more people better at producing really good outputs. And so that's one strategy for the company, make more people successful, making professional websites. And then the other one is our best clients go all in.

Jorn: And by all in, I mean they run the on Framer everything like the whole, not only the landing page, but message, twin There's a few new ones that are coming up. They, they're great examples of sites that run end-to-end on Framer, and we have another team dedicated to making that easier.

Jorn: And for that we need a few new features. So search was one that we launched just last two weeks ago.

Rob: Yeah, that was brilliant.

Jorn: Thank you. And yeah, we're now in a position where we can offer those features in a really elegant way. Search is just, you know, a, a components. You drop on your websites, you configure [00:14:00] it, and now search works.

Jorn: It's, it's kind of nuts.

Rob: It hurt me a lot cuz I used WordPress and I spent thousands of dollars integrating Algolia, and it's amazing, don't get me wrong, but it's like you just dragged your component in and it just popped up and looked nice and I was like, no, no, no. It's not that. It can't be that easy.

Jorn: Time to switch.

Rob: No, dude. Yeah, no, we, I will chat to you after this, but yeah, like, honestly, that one, that one for me, like really stung on the WordPress department.

Rob: It's so difficult to make search, look that easy. And that's the beauty of your team, though.

Jorn: Your run on WordPress.

Rob: Yeah. Yeah. One Page Love 8,000 posts, all WordPress. There's a lot happening behind the scenes with AWS and Image X and Algolia for the search. WordPress search in native is the worst search on like the entire planet. You wanna sort one pages by typeface, like forget about it.

Jorn: To finish the story. Then the next one that's really big is localization. And so being able to translate your webpage into, into [00:15:00] different languages is a, is a big one.

Rob: Huge.

Jorn: Webflow doesn't even have it, which a lot of people have been asking for also for a long time. It's, it's hard to build it's hard to build and it's hard to make performance.

Jorn: But yeah, working on that one. And so, yeah, the, the, the idea is that, or the, the, the, the, the goal of that team is to make it really easy or as easy as possible to run a full type website on Framer. Which you can do. But yeah. Yeah, we, we are gonna spend more and more time figuring out how to make that.

Jorn: An awesome experience. The last part of that is figuring out how to get people, you know, maybe not only successful in the editor, but also in the CMS or on the live sites. And there's like other ideas of how you rob would be comfortable on the, on the canvas. But you have a couple of coworkers that you want to pull in a project, but not necessarily like, give them campus Xes.

Jorn: So, Yeah, a lot of, lot of exciting stuff. All on the, on the roadmap I think for us. And Koen and I don't really fight that [00:16:00] often about what what goes in, and that's definitely, I think like it is easier if you have product markets fit because customers will tell you, community will tell you. They will, people will tell you like, this is the most important thing to build next.

Jorn: And so that, that definitely like, makes it, makes it a lot easier.

Rob: Let's break into a final intermission. I like to call True, False, or Maybe

Jorn: False, or maybe. Okay.

Rob: All you need to do is shoot back true, false, or maybe no explanation needed at all. You got

Jorn: Okay. All right.

Rob: Figma. Expanding into a website builder is keeping you up at night.

Jorn: Maybe

Rob: The Framer website was built with Framer. AI will crush the pre-built website template industry.

Jorn: That needs more explanation, but I'm gonna go with false or maybe.

Rob: A non remote core product team is essential to ship consistent quality updates. You spend more of your day in meetings than actually designing and coding

Jorn: [00:17:00] Sometimes

Rob: The original sofa from your first company. SOFA now sits in the Framer headquarters. After a Framer launched air, you have to put your Twitter retweet finger on ice.

Jorn: False. I can see what you're saying.

Rob: And lastly, your team have a meticulous hype framework for you all to work off pre and post product launches.

Jorn: True,

Rob: Nice.

Jorn: Not meticulous, but we could talk about what framework we do have, but for sure. Yeah, we're the hype, the hype, the hype team, right.

Rob: At the top of your head, what are the three sort of core ingredients for a successful product drop? You know, like you did with inputs, site search, DoubleX speed, like what are the ingredients?

Jorn: Those are all medium sized releases for us.

Rob: But every one of them is amplified really well, in my opinion, for a release that can sort of be buried very quickly in another company.

Jorn: What, why? What do you, what do you see that makes it stand out for you?

Rob: For example, [00:18:00] like site search, the company will tweet like, Hey, this is site search. We've just released it like rad, and then it's all done at the same time, but you sort of have this teaser the week before. Then you know who, who's it? Is it Ben or Jurre, he just does this snippet where you like, you actually land up playing it like 15 times and it's got this little beat and it actually cuts a little short, which is definitely intentional. Because you're like, I actually didn't. I need to see it end properly and play it again. Play it again. Say it again. Launch day comes, you're like, oh yeah, that's exactly what it was. Then I'm reading the blog post, leads me into the other updates. There's a really good funnel.

Jorn: Yeah, you just described it.

Rob: I wish I didn't do that, but yeah.

Jorn: The thing about like doing a, a good product update is that you have to understand that you're selling something right? It, it's not just an update. You're selling how it works, how it looks, how you want people to, to perceive it. And, and so it's marketing [00:19:00] and for a small release that can be a simple, you know, the, the, the, the performance update yesterday, Ben makes a beautiful asset.

Jorn: We type up, you know, the most important things that we've improved to, to the product and Even that asset, will people get people excited, right? Like the thing, it looks good. It

Rob: It was gorgeous.

Jorn: Gorgeous. And so for, for like a mid size release, we'll do a little more, maybe do a teaser the, the, the week before, like this is what's coming.

Jorn: Side search is a quite a big one, to be honest. It's not that's not medium size. Like there was. Big, big project, two to three months of work, putting it together maybe like Jan, January, February, March, mid-March. And so that needs to come with, this is how it works because even though it's dead easy, that still doesn't mean that people will understand how it works.

Jorn: So we have a little. Recording booth that we can use for, for doing a good sound or audio take. And then the team's pretty good with ScreenFlow to, to record a video. Yeah. And then it's, you know, leveraging the channels that you [00:20:00] have to, to get it in front of as many people as possible.

Jorn: And, and that takes, it takes years to build up. So that's also like, we also started with a Twitter account with zero followers. Now we have over a hundred thousands. The community, you know, we. Just switch platforms, so kind of like reset accounts, and now there's like over 5,000 people there. Over the last eight years, we built a email,

Rob: Yeah, list.

Jorn: Newsletter up to, you know, a lot of people.

Jorn: And so now if we send something out, that means it goes through all those channels and if the quality of the release is, is, is good enough, then it has a good chance of blowing up. But the really big one, Like the ma massive ones. Those you only get like once a year maybe. So last year was the sites release where it's just something new entirely that you can put on product hunts that you can make a, you know, massive trailer for.

Jorn: That's really like, gets people excited about the possibilities for us. No, no secret. But it is a secret how it's gonna work. It is going to be the, the AI release and so yeah, we're gonna do a [00:21:00] lot of like drum rolling on that one for sure.

Rob: Oh, brilliant. Yeah, I mean, that's literally my next section in a hundred. Okay. So Framer has a hundred sections. Pre-designed. Pre-built. Is your AI gonna compile them all based on an input? Think of a used case where someone's got a dog walking business. They say, I need just the right sections. Give me some place, hold a copy, throw in some furry dogs.

Rob: It, it gives them a head start. I, where do you see it going?

Jorn: In essence, yes. I, I guess like a thing to understand for the audience is that we're very far away. I think from having a true generative AI just like predicts what the website needs to look like. Like we have that for, for text ChatGPT and we have it for pictures Mid Journey. But for websites, it needs to take into account, you know, The browser layouts,

Rob: Responsive design.

Jorn: Breakpoints responsive behavior, text images, color palettes.

Jorn: Yeah, typefaces contrasts. There is like a lot of, and, and, and I don't know of any [00:22:00] company that is trying to, in a predictive manner, like chat, ChatGPT Image Journey is trying to tackle that in that way. So the way that we think this is gonna play out is like you, like you described it, it's like, it's sort of like pre-made sections that AI will combine into a website for you.

Jorn: The challenge is to make that look good, and that's a harder challenge than than you would think because like

Rob: Yeah.

Jorn: ChatGPT doesn't have taste. It doesn't have, you know, it doesn't have context or awareness of things you know, layout elements around it. Yeah. It's been sort of this journey to see, you know, what sections do we need to create And, and, and you want it to be unique, right?

Jorn: Or at least like, that's the, that's the, the dream. If we would just take. A hundred black and white sections that all look like a wire frame, all have the same style, same type, everything the same. Then it'd be much easier to feed that, to ChatGPT and say, order this based on a prompt. Because then that, that's what it is, right?

Jorn: It's, it's a [00:23:00] hundred sections and. You order it based on, you know, we're making websites for Rob Hope, Rob Hope's Yo! Podcasts includes A, B, and C. And hit, hit enter. So we're trying to, to, to get to a level where if you do, if you run that prompt five times, you're gonna have like three, five different websites.

Jorn: Two of them, which are absolutely amazing, and three of 'em that are like, okay. It's sort of like the level that we're aiming for, maybe more like six out of 10 should be pretty, pretty on point. And then four out of 10 could be like me.

Rob: It's interesting to think at this point the UX where you actually probably want to compare prompt one and five, cuz you were like, actually that version was quite cool. Can I quickly just store that, save that, bookmark that, and then it's like all of a sudden you've got 12. The one user who's just like, just done 50, I guess.

Rob: This is the product team's job right now.

Jorn: Yeah, but it's interesting. I'm very excited about what AI can do for the creative field. I think I'm more on the, I'm very much more on the optimistic [00:24:00] side and, and not so much on the, on the negative. I think it just like helps way more people succeed, getting the thing that they want, which is ultimately like that, that, that should be our goal as to.

Jorn: Get you the website that you want, get you the audio for the podcast that you want, get you the video material that you want, get you the picture that you want, like for, for anyone, not just like, for a select few people that have made it, you know, their, their, the, the only thing that they, that they do or that they produce.

Jorn: I'm excited about that part for

Rob: Speeding up a workflow, there's always gonna be value with that. And it's value for everyone. Everyone wins. So where do you see inspiration going? You know, my life is curating inspiration, trying to fill certain categories that people are trying to get. App one page websites. It's like I'm just trying to list the best app ones.

Rob: But now with, you know, AI training over a long time, just. Scraping all the inspiration galleries out there, you know, that you could almost go to an inspiration AI and go, I would like to know what a good app landing page would look [00:25:00] like, and then they would just sort of create one for you. But it's not an actual work.

Rob: And this is the problem I have with trouble is that, you know, most of the concepts never ship with one page love. It's like, I want to see what actually the end user interacted with.

Jorn: For sure.

Rob: So everything on one page Love was a shipped website. And I feel like that's more true to what people will use and that's why I feel like the resources value.

Rob: So do you feel AI and inspiration will clash heads?

Jorn: No, I think like, if anything, it's just gonna amplify. Right? But this is true for, for, for dribble too. Like there's nothing wrong with making something pretty that, that you like, but that is very different from solving problem for a group of people. And so as long as we don't confuse one with the other.

Jorn: It's fine. You can like put all the pretty pictures that that you want on Dribble. But you know, they're pretty pictures of, could be products, but they never became real products. And so it's inspiration and for, for AI or for Mid Journey you know, mid, Mid Journey's, [00:26:00] ability to give me pictures ba like I love it.

Jorn: It's awesome. Right? So you can just play with it and see what it shoots back. It's amazing. Now I can stick it on the website. I could send it in a text, I could do something with it. But it's not automatically gonna make me a successful product or build me a business that generates money or make, make people happy because it's, it's, it doesn't solve anything by itself.

Jorn: And so can I get to that place? I'm not an AI expert by any means. To make a prediction of where it will go, you gotta have to like invite some people from open AI and Mid Journey to, to, to, to talk about that. But from what I can see as a, I'm a, I'm a user still, right? I'm a designer. I'm a, I'm a user of AI tools.

Jorn: Yeah. I'm almost like empowered to, to, to try more new things, which is which I think is, is, is awesome. I'm not dependent on can I draw this thing? From scratch. I was doing a, a silly thing the other day. I drew a lot of I icons and app, I icons in the first part of my career, like [00:27:00] a week ago, I was annoyed with the Discord app.

Jorn: I icon on my, on my Mac. So I start, I'm like, ah, fine, fuck it. I'll redraw it in Figma.

Rob: As you do.

Jorn: That takes so much work. It takes so much time. I'm like drawing the thing, like even just putting like the, the rectangle with the right border radius and now need the SVG on top. You need to like style it. Before, you know, you're, you're, you're 30 to 60 minutes in just, and then you need to get like an ic n s out of fig miles.

Jorn: So you need to install a plugin. It's like all these steps. In the meantime, I'm in, in Discord. I'm chatting with the Mid Journey bot, and like every 10 seconds, like boom, new image, boom, new image. I'm like, these two workflows. This feels very old. That feels very new. How long until that thing will give me what I want, like a hundred percent.

Jorn: And that's, that's another like take I have on ai. It's not at the level yet where it will, it can give you a hundred percent what you want. Right? It's still it. It will get very close and it will be extremely impressive. Everything Mid Journey [00:28:00] produces if EX is extremely impressive. Yet it is not a hundred percent what I want.

Jorn: Because if I want, you know, if I want full 100% creative control, fire up Cinema 4d, and you know, Position all the, all the stuff yourself and get all the lighting right, and even then you, you probably can't get it to a hundred percent of what you want. And so, I don't know, I think there's still a place for both for quite some time, but who knows?

Jorn: We'll, we'll, we'll see how fast it

Rob: Quickly back on the template industry, and here are the people pre-design, pre-building templates. Do you feel that they need to. Come up with way more comprehensive template bundles to be able to compete with what can be pre-com compos with ai.

Jorn: Yeah, so the tricky question, because I don't know what this will look like yet. Yeah. What I think it will get towards is that templates today are kind of like, it's just a, you know, it's a sites that you duplicate and then now you modify it, which is. Not really a true template, right? A truer template would be, here's a bunch of building blocks, put them together any way you like.

Jorn: [00:29:00] And so, yeah, I'm imagining that the role of a template creator in the future would be more, you would design sections

Rob: Hmm.

Jorn: that the AI can put in on a page for the end user. And so maybe you design 20, 30, 40, 50 sections, you know, 10 different heroes. 50 different text configurations, 10 footers, 10 dividers, and you put those together in a way that they are responsive and they follow a certain style, but maybe you expose some styl stylistic elements as as variable so that the AI can set a set of value for maybe border radius or background color.

Jorn: And then your customer or the end user of your template would type in, you know, I, I would use the, the Rob Hope. Section template and to generate a website for the YO podcast. And so I would say, Hey, I need a website for yo podcast. It needs to include a header, an audio [00:30:00] player a Beck catalog

Rob: Episode last.

Jorn: list.

Jorn: And I want it to be ka and mean. Whatever it enter.

Rob: I mean

Jorn: Whatever, and now it's, now it's using the sections that you've designed to compile that page. For me, that's not what we have built today, but that is what I think this could move towards.

Rob: and, and we haven't really covered how, you know, design is also subjective. Where, you know, the AI said, Hey, this is an elegant wedding sites, and you're thinking. Nah, this is, doesn't look appealing at all. You know, and that's, that's your taste. So yeah, I'd need train on your taste. Maybe input a few sites you like.

Rob: Yeah, there's lots to do on, yo, it is exciting though. Like, I think the industry, you know, we'll look back in 10 years and go, wow, remember we talking about templates? Like it blew up.

Jorn: For sure.

Rob: Okay, your final question. You know there are designers listing now who still haven't opened ChatGPT. They feel they're scared.

Rob: Should they run to a different industry? Maybe they're feeling like they're [00:31:00] late and they're like, oh, I've already lost out an opportunity. What advice do you have for any designer listing now who is scared that they're not gonna be relevant in the next few years?

Jorn: I wouldn't worried about it so much.

Rob: Answer,

Jorn: Yeah. I.

Rob: Have you? We'll be fine.

Jorn: Know, I think good advice is to design something that has your interest and if that's ai, good for you and you know, that that tends to be the, the hype this year, which is, which is fine, but try to make something that you would enjoy using yourself would be good advice.

Jorn: That's how I got started. I, I fell in love with the aesthetic of the Mac and I wanted to work at a company at least that made software as aspirational as what I thought was like the best software which was on the Mac. If you, if you can do that for long enough. What's the, there's a saying here, like it won't feel as if you're actually working.

Jorn: If you're just doing something that you love. And so if you, if you, if you really enjoy working with ai, that's great, but if you don't enjoy it's, yeah, don't force it on yourself. Go do [00:32:00] something else that you do like, right? Like because it's more important to not feel that you're working because you're just having a lot of fun than forcing your career in some way.

Jorn: That's, ah, who knows how it's gonna shake out. Maybe, maybe the hype's over in 12 months, you dunno. And maybe it's over in two months, maybe we tap out with this level. Probably not, but it doesn't matter. It's just like, okay, maybe yes, maybe no. But it's better to bet on your own interests. Like what do you, what do you wanna do?

Jorn: Like what, what, what interests you? What, what do you wanna work for? What do you wanna do more of that. That is that'd be my advice. F figure that out. You'll never work.

Rob: Never work another day in your life.

Jorn: Yeah. It'll just feel like fun.

Rob: That was great man. It was so good to chat to you. So amazing to hear where Framer is going.

Jorn: But it was a pleasure being on your podcast.

Rob: Where can people follow your journey online?

Jorn: First and foremost, Most important. Euro URL to put in description below, but just Vandyke is where I am most active. I'm not that big on LinkedIn or Instagram, but Twitter is [00:33:00] my still my thing, even, even through all the ups and downs over the last years.

Jorn: I like it.

Rob: Thanks for being on the show Jorn.

Jorn: Thanks for having me. It was good fun.