Adii Rockstar is the irrepressible designer-founder of WooThemes, and the philanthropist behind The Rockstar Foundation for underprivileged girls. Adii is Schnitzelconf-licious because: He grew one premium theme into a 3-person, million dollar business — and he's giving back.
WooThemes, how and what it means to sell design, branding, comes from great design, Engineered function = combined design + functionality, Sharing Great Design + Passive Income, The web can be an awesome experience - if presented properly
Selling Design, As an artform, as an engineered function, as a problem solving process
The major flaws of selling design, cookie cutter, design has become a commodity, Customer Subjectivity, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, everyone has an opinion, educated or not, Design by community, people will always critique you, feature requests, "This is not merely an aesthetic consideration - but also one of product value and usefulness" - Kris Viesselman & Stephen Komives, Marketing and Persuasion, "Persuading decision makers to buy good design is essential. But it's rarely taught in school, and not every design organization has a culture that values it. As a result, you can toil in this field for a long time without knowing how to sell your work." - Jeffrey Zeldman, Never enough time to educate the users
The Woo-way of selling design, We're a designer startup, "Design and marketing are way more important than engineering for consumer Internet companies." - Dave McClure, Every decision you make needs to be influenced by great design, We value great design, Working with the best designers out there, refreshing our own ideas, not too proud to ask outsiders for collaboration, want to pay designers for their vision, Balancing Act, Customizability, minimalist style, Considerations (KISS), Saying no to features, Having to support thousands of users, We do "Design by community", feedback on concepts, continually tweak and enhance = improvement, Expanding User Choice, Bigger and more diverse theme collection across many niches, things that are both blue and red, adding choice and value for users, Out of the box awesomeness, Users want something that works and looks great without any tweaks, people rarely customize purchased themes, making it easy for them., Balancing act between customizers and non, Team Spirit and Workflow, Many hands on the same deck, sharing of the 'crap' work, allows for creativity and vision from all, very open with company status, which themes work, which dont, why, As a cofounder, I can't be involved in every little thing, every day
Questions for Adii, How has your attitude towards charging and pricing changed over time?, The willingness to charge more, we've grown reluctant to give away free stuff, support can run amok, Add value to product instead of dropping price, If you had a time machine - what is the one piece of advice you'd tell the younger you?, I'd chill out more., I didn't always enjoy the journey as much, Nothing on the internet happens so fast that you need to run at 200 mph, Like happens while everyone else is fixing bugs