You don’t always get a 1099-MISC from Automattic, now do you?
Last year was the first year where we started selling our flagship product on WordPress.com and it was a great first year and we hope to make this year even better. It’s hard to imagine that we were partner #5 with Automattic, especially now that it’s grown much, much bigger.
We’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be successful in a commercial theme marketplace like WordPress.com and what works and what doesn’t and at some point I’d love to share some of those learnings.
What I can tell you is that our decision to deeply focus on one particular product with an insane amount of passion has actually worked out well for us. Almost a year ago I wrote these words:
Late last year we determined as a team that we’d rather be unbelievably good at one thing than diluted across many different things – so we took a risk and began selling our other themes and intellectual property with the hope that our customers (and future customers) would see our insane dedication to digital publishers and their unique needs, focusing on becoming the absolute best at our craft.
It was a very difficult decision, especially since these other product lines actually were making us revenue, and it was incredibly risky – we had only really begun looking into moving the startup into full-business swing and supporting a growing staff in addition to the core partners was a huge fiscal challenge.
But we made the move and it turned out to be the best decision we’ve ever made – our laser focus on one product only helped us learn more about our customer’s unique needs and helped us refine our unique market play. And of course, it attracted the attention of Automattic shortly thereafter.
We haven’t released a second theme into the WordPress.com marketplace since then which has befuddled many of the Automatticians even as they’ve requested that we seriously look into it since our first product has performed well. We’ve rolled this idea around many, many times, and we’re still not 100% sure of where we’ll land, but we’ve found it easier to say “No” than “Yes” when you’re clear on the core mission and strategy of your business.
This isn’t to say that the other theme companies are doing it wrong by any stretch – they are doing it right based on their particular market and overall vision for their business; we’ve just chosen to do it differently.
Thanks for the 1099-MISC Automattic, we’ll take it and we hope to make it a much larger one for 2013 tax season!