The Emirates first class experience

In November 2014, from Cape Town to San Francisco, I was miraculously upgraded to fly first class. For free. On not one, but two long haul flights via Dubai. A total of over 20 hours in a flying palace. It was an incredibly surreal and scarily opulent experience.

It was my first (and only) time flying Emirates business class, that I only just managed to justify pocketing – celebrating a crazy few months at WooThemes. Presumably Emirates were keen to impress and win some business travellers over, with a surplus of first class seats available. Only at check-in did I realise I had been upgraded.

I wish I’d documented the flight better, but only managed a handful of pictures.

A year and a half later my favorite vlogger, Casey Neistat, got the same VIP Emirates treatment and did a fantastic job of documenting the experience. The video has gone completely viral with over 20 million views in 7 days. I think Emirates can justify Casey’s upgrade a lot better than mine….

I still can’t believe I took that flight and can only imagine how much that ticket would cost today. (An absurdly, unjustifiable amount…)

Grand Meetup 2016

The craziness of the Automattic Grand Meetup is now behind us. An action packed week of workshops, classes, town halls, flash talks, team building activities and tasty meals over good conversation with new work colleagues.

It really is a surreal week. Throughout it you are completely overwhelmed by the scale of it all – borderline burned out by the constantly busy schedule. Burnout likely influenced by the 30 hour commute to Canada and a 9 hour time difference… Looking back at it you realise how special and unique this diverse team, distributed company and unforgettable experience is.

I lugged about 10kgs of camera equipment from Cape Town to Whistler, Canada for the trip. Very excited about being in such a photogenic part of the world. I ended up taking a measly about of photos ūüôĀ Below are a few of them.

Thanks to Donncha for the company photo. Some more of my snaps on Instagram.

From commercial themes to the fastest growing eCommerce platform

In late May I got to travel to Seville, Spain to attend and speak at WordCamp Europe 2015.

It was a boiling hot few days filled with lots of WordPress learnings, tasty Spanish food, and meeting many new community folk and colleagues at Automattic.

In my talk I spoke quite candidly about our journey as WooThemes and some insight into our more recent decision around the Automattic acquisition.

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. Continue reading WooThemes has a new home

Distributed, with a twist

From day one, WooThemes has been a distributed company with a remote-working team. ‘Based on the internet’, we say, but¬†with a¬†brick and mortar office in Cape Town, South Africa (where we’re registered). What’s the point of an office for a team spread far and wide? A fair question and to answer¬†it, here’s the story of WooHQ. Continue reading Distributed, with a twist

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.