My assets are huge.

Elon Musk, goes on record saying that he’s broke, but his “assets” are huge.

And this is just another reason why the world is in recession and people are struggling to pay off debts. Cash is king.

The idea for selling our own software really came out of frustration more than anything else.

David Greiner, on how they came to the idea of building Campaign Monitor.

I know this is something that many VC’s & startup founders have spoken about, but Campaign Monitor’s story again highlights that if you’re building something to solve a problem that you have, you are most likely also solving a problem that others may have.

WooThemes - for example - grew out of our frustration of managing multiple client design & development projects at the same time and we wanted to give ourselves an easier & more efficient way of earning a salary as web designers. Now, we see many designers & developers building their businesses using our themes for their client projects; so the process & theory of solving problems almost goes full circle.

Facebook is the market leader for sure. But its not winner takes all because its just too big of a category for innovation & creativity. Right now my social network for music isn’t on facebook (instead it’s on hypemachine and tumblr). My photo social net is on tumblr and flickr. My social net for television is Boxee. My information social net is Twitter. FourSquare and Twitter are my social net for places & events. The list goes on.

Bijan Sabet, Thoughts about “the winner takes it all”

Interesting take on social networking and the power of Facebook. I tend to agree though, as there will also be power & viability when a bunch of niche users (doesn’t matter exactly how niche) comes together and shares around a mutual interest.

It really comes down to the question: How many users do you need to make your business / project / social network etc. viable, sustainable and hopefully profitable?

Just because some companies struggle with freemium doesn’t mean the model doesn’t work. In my mind that would be like writing off the entire search space because pre-google it wasn’t a big business or writing off ecommerce because a bunch of startups aren’t successful in the category or writing off any category frankly.

Bijan Sabet, questioning the negativity around the freemium model after Ning reduced their staff by 40% and removed their free services.

I fully understand the negativity though, because not many people have been able to make this model work for them. It is high-risk (due to the volumes needed to make it work) and it is thus an extremely tricky model to execute properly.

Personally, I’m just glad my business doesn’t rely on a freemium model

Don’t be discouraged if what you produce initially is something other people dismiss as a toy. In fact, that’s a good sign. That’s probably why everyone else has been overlooking the idea. The first microcomputers were dismissed as toys. And the first planes, and the first cars. At this point, when someone comes to us with something that users like but that we could envision forum trolls dismissing as a toy, it makes us especially likely to invest.
What he said.
Paul Graham - Organic Startup Ideas (via nabeel)

WOW - powerful words these, but I tend to want to throw my whole weight behind this: before we started WooThemes, everyone questioned the viability of selling (supposedly) premium themes, when users could already download thousands of different themes for free.

Well, 2+ years down the line (and some serious revenue to boot), I’d say that those initial naysayers have been proven wrong quite nicely…

Developing countries are becoming hotbeds of business innovation in much the same way as Japan did from the 1950s onwards. They are coming up with new products and services that are dramatically cheaper than their Western equivalents: $3,000 cars, $300 computers and $30 mobile phones that provide nationwide service for just 2 cents a minute. They are reinventing systems of production and distribution, and they are experimenting with entirely new business models.

Why are countries that were until recently associated with cheap hands now becoming leaders in innovation? The most obvious reason is that the local companies are dreaming bigger dreams.

The Economist, The world turned upside down - A special report on innovation in emerging markets.

I believe that the buzz word in this article either has to go to dreaming or innovating, with the innovating most probably a result of the dreaming that takes place before. As simple as that: Dream up a new business model that adds value at the right price and go about implementing that in an innovative way and you should have yourself a business kind sir.

I also couldn’t be happier with the path we’ve taken with developing Dribbble: a slow one. Building the community one member at time. Worrying about details. Iterating constantly. Listening to feedback. We’ve never been in a rush.

Dan Cederholm, in his (official) introduction of Dribbble to the public world.

Having been a beta tester at Dribbble for the last couple of months, I’ve been very impressed by what Dan & Rich have built and the above paragraph illustrates perfectly (in my opinion anyway) why Dribbble has been such a success.

Client Work (Part 1)

Ever since WooThemes established itself to such an extent that I could earn enough money from it to make a living thereof, I (Magnus & Mark made similar decisions with regards to their freelance activities) decided to call it a day for doing client work (which is why more than a year later, radiiate - a boutique web design agency before - is only making a comeback now).

As a result, we have a pretty strict “no custom design or development work” policy at WooThemes, since we choose to rather focus our attention on internal projects / ventures / activities that furthers & growths the business / brand. Yet, we still get a bucketload of e-mails from people (I’d assumed they’re fans of our work) requesting a custom quote for a designing / developing a site with X, Y & Z specifications. The answer is always the same however: "Sorry, but we don’t do custom design & development work."

Considering the sheer amount of requests we get for client work though, has lead me to at least re-think our approach & more important our mindset in this regard. I mean - are we just ignoring the cash that is being put on the table right in front of us?

Read More