This week, I caught up with Envato’s CEO, Collis Ta’eed to ask him a few questions about Envato and WordPress!
– How did you come up with the original idea of FlashDen, and then the other marketplaces which followed?
Back in 2006 I used to sell little Flash preloaders and files on iStockPhoto. The site was mostly for photographers and illustrators, but they had a little Flash section. I always felt like a bit of a second-class citizen, so decided to build a marketplace dedicated to people like me! They say in entrepreneurship it’s good to scratch your own itch, and that’s exactly what I did!
– What is it about starting a new site which you love so much?
I love making things, whether it’s designing, writing or starting new websites. I think there’s a great feeling of satisfaction when you bring something into the world that wasn’t there before. The more you do it, the more exciting new ideas become, because you know you’re capable of actually seeing them through.
– There is a really great community throughout the whole Envato ecosystem – how did you manage to form this so successfully?
I think as a company we decided long ago that it was important. And something we’d spend lots of time on. From the early days of making sure the forums were chatty and alive, to these days where we have a whole team dedicated to the community. I don’t think you can fake community, you kind of have to actually want to be part of one and create it with your own two hands.
– How has WordPress positively, or negatively affected the Envato network? Are there certain limitations you’ve always disliked?
WordPress has been a huge blessing to Envato. Not only because our largest marketplace helps people sell WordPress themes, but because we built all of Tuts+, FreelanceSwitch and AppStorm on WordPress. And I wrote my most successful eBook about making WordPress themes. It’s been a huge part of the company!
– How does it feel to be moving away from such a large network of WordPress sites with the new Tuts+ Hub?
It’s really interesting, I think we outgrew our WordPress infrastructure and setup and it was starting to be a hindrance. Our devs at Envato are actually Ruby devs mostly, so it was a constant struggle finding good PHP devs, we had a weird set up of many WP installs instead of just one big one, and it was hard to do things like build out the new search engine. Ultimately I think having our own from-scratch app gives us much more flexibility.
– Is there anything you’re working on at the moment which you can tell us about?
I have a few ideas boiling away behind the scenes, but they’re not quite ready for prime time!
– Finally, have you got any advice for entrepreneurs thinking about starting their own businesses online?
Absolutely, start small and jump in! There’s a ton to learn, and lots of ways you can go wrong. But the best way to learn entrepreneurship is by doing it, so you may as well get started.
We’d like to thanks Collis once again for his great answers! If you have any more questions you’d like to ask Collis, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to pass them on to him. For more info about Envato, visit their website.