The next influencer to stop by the ManageWP AMA stage is Collis Ta’eed, co-founder of Envato, the company behind ThemeForest, CodeCanyon, and Tuts+. You can find him on Twitter @Collis!
Ta’eed found WordPress in 2007 and got heavily into theme development, even writing a book on the subject. Today, Ta’eed is running his company and working on personal projects in his free time.
People presented a lot of questions about what it’s like to run a company, Envato’s relationship with the community, and as always, the future of WordPress.
Here are five takeaways.
There’s More To Starting A WordPress Business Than Knowing How To Code.
A few people asked Ta’eed about his challenges with starting a company and then growing it to where it is now. Surprisingly, Ta’eed’s answer was that the day-to-day aspects of running a business were really something he had to get used to. While the focus was still on the product, time had to be spent thinking about finances, managing people, and legal matters. It took a few mistakes and a little bit of time to really understand the workings of a business, but it seems to have worked, Envato now has more than 300 employees.
Another challenge for Ta’eed was learning how to delegate. Letting some control go and finding people you really trust is a huge part of running a successful company. As much as you would like, you can’t have your hands in everything, so you need to work on finding a group of people that will do a better job than you could.
At The End Of The Day, Determination Will Get You Where You Want To Go.
Envato started incredibly small but has grown substantially. There are a few differences on how you run a company of 30 versus 300. According to Ta’eed, when you have 30 people, the focus is on making a product that is suitable for the market. Before you can grow, you must have a sturdy product. Then as you need a bigger team, the focus changes a bit to how you can continue to grow.
Throughout all the phases of his company, Ta’eed said the thing that made it possible was determination. It takes a lot of hours, worry, and stress but if you are doing something you really love it is worth all that.
“I think it’s important to figure out what sustains you because growing a business needs a lot of sustenance,” Ta’eed said.
The Reason Ta’eed Rarely Goes To Meetups Is Because He’s An Introvert.
Over the years, some people have noticed that Envato has seemed a bit isolated from the community, especially WordCamps. Ta’eed explained that because he is an introvert, going to meetups is a bit hard. This is something that Ta’eed is aware of and he wants the company to be more involved in the community. In fact, he’s looking for someone who can really engage and create a presence.
To Move Forward, WordPress Needs To Make Things Easier.
While WordPress is one of the easiest CMS options on the market, there are still things that can make it even more easy for the user. According to Ta’eed, one way to do this would be to combine WordPress with SaaS, which is something Envato is working on doing.
Ta’eed said the WordPress REST API is a huge step in the right direction, but there are always ways to improve.
“There’s still lots of the web to conquer, and it needs an experience that is a lot simpler than it sometimes currently is,” Ta’eed said.
Managing A Team Of Remote Workers Isn’t Always Easy.
With our jobs being on the Internet, working from home is actually doable, however as a manager it isn’t always easy. Ta’eed talked about how communicating with remote workers can be difficult logistically and administratively, but Envato has a good amount of people who work from home. The company is getting better at managing a team that is half remote, half not.
Tune in for next week’s AMA on Tuesday, Nov. 24 with Matt Danner, the Chief Operating Officer at iThemes!
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