I consider Adii one of the most successful local web entrepreneurs I have ever met. He‘s also a close friend of mine – we met when I used to own a night club in Stellenbosch (don‘t ask), he was studying there at the time and owned a website that showcased Stellenbosch‘s hottest girls from the University. (no brainer)
Since then I have watched him discover WordPress, build his very first premium WordPress theme – Premium News – and later co-found one of the top global theme companies – WooThemes.
WooThemes has had great success – in an international sense – with over 85 themes in their library, millions of dollars in revenue annually and have contributed code to the WordPress core. Like using WordPress menus? I do too – it used to be called “˜Woonav‘ and was so good that Matt (creator of WordPress) and his team decided to include it in their next release.
Adii has travelled the world speaking at design conferences (he also owns a design agency called Radiiate – look for the adii in Radiiate) and has setup a charitable organisation – The Rockstar Foundation – which helps fund educational projects.
Together with his co-founders (Magnus Jepson and Mark Forrester) they are navigating through an interesting period in premium themes. Besides lots of competition from theme makers, theme markets have opened, “˜aggregating‘ themes into a central market place. ThemeForest have done this with great success, considered to be a big Woo rival even though their store features themes from the Woo collection (other top theme companies are also on board like another local player Obox Themes). WordPress have also setup a premium theme market with selected theme providers on board. So what’s in the interview? I asked Adii about their current growth, what their future plans are, which types of themes are most popular, how much revenue they generate, what‘s behind his “˜rockstar‘ tag, how is the charitable organisation is doing and how his first book, Rockstar Business, has done.
Premium themes is big international business, and SA web entrepreneurs seem to be really good at it – WooThemes have lead the way globally defining this market with a few big players and Obox Themes, also based in Cape Town, have international rep for their work in the theme business. I think we should be proud of what our local theme companies have done and continue to celebrate them.
Interview below – click play and please share.
Disclaimer: I‘m personal friends with the founders of WooThemes and Obox Themes.
Adii photo by Christine Meintjes