WooThemes has a new home

Today marks a significant day in my journey as a business owner. From New York, we can now announce that WooThemes has joined the Automattic family!

It’s the end of a chapter I’m hugely proud of, that began all the way back in 2007, and the start of an exciting new chapter aligned with our dream partner and the ultimate home for our open source platform, WooCommerce.

The past twelve months have been ones of immense hard work at WooThemes and much personal reflection for me as a co-founder. Our team has grown to 55 talented, fun and remote working individuals, our flagship product WooCommerce currently powers close to 25% of all online stores, we have monthly events being organised by our evangelical community in cities around the world, we have eCommerce service providers from all avenues knocking at our door, and our revenues and profit margins continue to grow.

We’ve watched and engaged with massive eCommerce, payment and tech companies – as well as venture capitalists – on an ever-changing backdrop of significant IPO and acquisition announcements, strategic partnerships and tech investments in competitors and allies. It’s an exciting jungle out there.

And we’ve been in a privileged position, in terms of being approached and woo-ed by potential partners.

What to do with such opportunities, and which ones to seize, has involved a weighty sense of responsibility and valuable lessons in negotiation, growth, change management, risk assessment, leadership, empathy and communication. All the while we’ve been surrounded by a strong and diverse advisory team that have helped ask all the important questions.

It’s been a year I’m thankful to have been able to share with a co-founder I appreciate greatly, as a friend and colleague. Magnus and myself have spent a bordering on disturbing amount of time together over the years, in many cities, sharing hotel rooms, surfboard meetings, Skype calls, Slack convos, Snapchats and thousands of email threads. Through and beyond Adii’s exit from WooThemes in late 2013, Magnus and I have remained aligned in our goals, objectives, and ambitions for our company.

Hard work doesn’t come without sacrifice. Late night cross-Atlantic phone calls and hangouts, constant entrepreneurial mind games, and the 24/7 responsibilities of a business owner make for a challenging work-life balance. I’d like to thank my supportive wife for being a steady source of perspective as well as for love that she and my three year old boy bring.

I look forward to sharing more of the valuable experiences and lessons learned as we’ve navigated this period of fantastic business and personal growth.

I’m excited about where we can now take WooThemes, with the expertise and resources Automattic can provide and with full peace of mind as to our alignment in values, culture and work ethic. Together, we’re going to be able to make huge inroads into proving the platform abilities of WordPress.

The future starts this week, as we discuss and celebrate what is possible with the Automattic leadership team here in New York.

Thank you to our team, and our extended community of partners, developers and customers. 

Further reading: 

WooLove

I have a folder on my desktop called “WooLove”.

As the name suggest it includes screen grabs of sometimes momentous, sometimes funny, sometimes not so funny, Hipchat conversations, photos of the team as we grow and do crazy things, interesting Skype calls we’ve found ourselves on and noteworthy submissions on our internal P2 site.

My “WooLove” folder is to ensure I remember all the little moments and moving parts that make up our business. It’s for my personal enjoyment and reflection (which is hugely important when looking forward) and something I hope I can one day print and plaster on my home office walls – showing the great ride WooThemes continues to take us on.

Anomaly

Great to see what is possible today thanks to the Vimeo and Kickstarter communities. Modern day filmmaking at it’s best. Well done to Salomon Ligthelm.

Surfing business lessons

I’ve been frequenting Surfer’s Corner at Muizenberg beach since late last year as my surfing addiction reaches new levels. Luckily, my Norwegian business partner, Magnus, shares my enthusiasm and over the past couple months (on his extended Cape Town visit) we’ve had many “strategy” sessions in the most scenic and inspiring office environment available.

muizenberg-surf Continue reading Surfing business lessons

The evolution of a blog

December is known as the “Blogging for Benjamin”month at WooThemes. An initiative of Daniel Espinoza, one of our talented WooCommerce support ninjas, encouraging our team to represent WooThemes better through our personal publishing, and more importantly develop our writing and communication skills. The blogger with the most posts at the end of the month is the winner of a Benjamin (a $100 note).

My blog has been a ghost town for the past couple years and this initiative has really got me thinking about attempting to re-ignite my previous passion for blogging, All the while I’m very weary of over committing having a long and winding road with this site that started way back in October 2005. A post about a VOIP product called Skype and how I’d been experimenting with it on an internet connection of 90kbps. Continue reading The evolution of a blog

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabuntu

In 2010 my wife and I made the big decision to move back to South Africa from the UK, where we’d been living for 4 years. We set ourselves the goal of being back home in Cape Town for the kickoff of South Africa’s FIFA World Cup 2010.

We made it home one day later than planned, but came home to one of South Africa’s most exciting, energetic, and happy periods of it’s recent history. It was a very memorable and significant life moment for us, and great reassurance we’d made the right decision. Continue reading Umuntu ngumuntu ngabuntu