Competition is healthy, it pushes you stay at the top of your game and encourages you to continue learning and building on your skill sets.

Sam Brown, explains the reasons for building Endorse.

Having never been overly worried about the competition, I absolutely love the ideas behind Endorse and I salute Sam + Mike for creating something really cool.

I think that it takes big balls to be able to recommend similarly talented people to yourself and I also think that this is an amazing character trait that more people should learn to indulge.

But there’s one thing we have now that The Beatles didn’t have…

Ladies and gentlemen, we have the internet – the biggest no-experience-required open mic night ever created. It connects us all, whether we’ve put in 10,000 hours or ten.

Derek Powazek, elaborates on Malcolm Gladwell’s 10 000 hour theory in explaining Why Everything Sucks, Why That’s Awesome & How That is Changing Us.
And then, at some point, you realize you’re spending your best energy on optimization, not on creation.

Seth Godin, The non-optimized life (via 9-bits)

Mmmm… Had to re-read this a few times before it started to make some sense - to me anyway.

Recently we’ve (Woo) been *very* busy trying to figure out how we can streamline our business, increase value for our users and as a result we have probably created a little less than we usually do.

If Seth is however correct, we probably need to find a great balance between optimization & creation. And he may even be suggesting a fully focused strategy on creation, yet I don’t think that this would be entirely viable…

A lot to ponder.

Just some inspiration.

Ambition & hard work goes hand-in-hand. One of the main reasons for my success thus far (and also for WooThemes), is the fact that we’ve never been afraid to work hard.

Anyone disagree?

This is how we’ve evolved & revolutionized the WooTeam, whilst all the time growing organically and growing from within our own company. In my opinion this definitely shows that it is even possible to bootstrap and grow your team organically; no expensive headhunting or massive teams needed.

This strategy also ties in nicely with WooThemes’ general strategy to bootstrapping the business to profitability.

Moral of the story: don’t laugh at others ideas, as you never know how great it may turn out to be… :)

When building a business: add value as much as you can, give your customers an incredible experience with your company & brand, be sincere in your marketing efforts and authentic about earning a profit off of their willingness to spend money with you.

Solving Problems & Revenue Models

I wanted to elaborate on my thoughts about creating a business model by firstly solving a problem for yourself. Whilst this is an incredible way of building a business, there’s a few thoughts that I’d like to share on the matter:

  • If you are solving a problem, it is likely that someone else may have that problem as well (and subsequently they may opt for your solution). If your problem is however very unique to yourself, the likelihood of widespread adoption of your solution becomes much less likely.
  • The bigger and more generic your problem; the more potential profit & significance your business may have.
  • The problem you’re solving may be more unique / niche / specific, but your solution needs to be simpler and more generic.
  • Your idea has a greater chance of success if you are being sincere in solving the problem i.e. solve the problem first & foremost and then figure out whether it’s possible to commoditize & monetize that solution.
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.