Reaching the Top – Our Interview with ThemeFusion
“When you put the focus on your customers, you gain invaluable information from them about what they want, how they use your product, what they would expect this feature to do – we evolve around our customers and we strive to form long lasting relationships with them.”Luke, ThemeFusion
Our latest interview features ThemeFusion, who recently made Envato history by reaching the Final Frontier of the Elite program: $25 million in item sales! ??
To celebrate this extraordinary milestone, we interviewed Luke, Founder of ThemeFusion to share the Avada story, their valuable learnings and author insights from it early beginnings, to $25 million today and all their important milestones along the way.
What has the journey been like to get to where you are now?
Absolutely incredible, thinking back on it is surreal. At the same time, it was also extremely hectic with a bit of chaos thrown in here and there. We’d never be where we are at without extremely hard work from every team member week in and out.
To think back on all we’ve been through and accomplished is humbling to say the least.
What was it like hitting the 25 Million milestone?
Unexpected, literally! We didn’t know we had hit the milestone until we received the email from Envato, which truly makes me happy because it shows our teams priority is working towards our goals.
It’s such an incredible, unbelievable accomplishment in 6 years and something our team will celebrate.
How did you learn to be an entrepreneur/learn business development skills?
On the job, without a doubt. I started out as a Designer, and I still help direct our design team but through the years my role as the ‘Designer’ had to evolve into more of an Entrepreneur. I’ve made many mistakes along the way, but there is no better way to learn. And of course, our amazing team helped with every aspect along the way. We’ve all grown together.
What have been your greatest personal and professional lessons learned?
Professionally, I’ve learned to let go and trust in your team to get things done. It’s very easy to try and control every aspect of what we do day in and out, especially since that’s pretty much how it started out with just two of us. It’s not an easy lesson to learn depending on your personality type, but we’ve always put a focus on hiring people with variety of skill sets and opinions who are passionate about the role they play, the work we do and their individual growth which ultimately helps everyone on the team.
Delegating becomes much easier with a dedicated team. Personally, I’ve learned that working remotely is a massive challenge. It has major benefits in so many ways, but nothing in the work world is all good or bad, it’s a mix. This is something that not only I have had to master, but our entire team.
Tell us about your most memorable and meaningful customer experience selling on Envato.
Oh man, there are so many! However, I’d have to choose the community that was built on Facebook which was started by one of our repeat customers.
The Avada Users Group started back in June 2013 and now has over 16K members and is 100% run and operated by our customer community. Incredible.
What are the ways you measure success in your workplace, and for Avada?
Happy customers, plain and simple. When you put the focus on your customers, you gain invaluable information from them about what they want, how they use your product, what they would expect this feature to do. We evolve around our customers and we strive to form long lasting relationships with them.
What advice do you have for building a strong team in the technology space?
In my opinion, this is all about the hiring process, which ensures you are bringing on the right person to help you. The saying goes … “hire people smarter than you”, and there is definite truth to that and we have always spent extra time during the hiring process to ensure we bring on the right team members.
What do you consider your biggest development achievements? ie. what put Avada on the map?
I’d have to say our advanced option system along with our development with Fusion Builder. It is really rewarding to speak to a customer who has never used WordPress before and shares how amazing and easy it was to build their site using Avada, something they never thought they could do.
Creating and maintaining a design tool that people use to help their business or personal life or whatever it may be is a really good feeling for everyone on our team.
Do you actively connect with others in the technology space and share your insights?
Yes we do, and in various ways from various team members. We have close contact with many popular companies in the industry like WPML, Yoast and WooCommerce. We ensure our mutual customers have the best experience possible and continually work with them to resolve anything that comes up. We also have several members on our team who visit WordCamps throughout the year.
How do you balance work and life?
With much difficulty! Family will always be my number one priority, at the same time working from a home office naturally brings a new dimension to home life. The first 2-3 years we were evolving, I can say finding balance was more difficult than expected. It can be challenging to let work go when you walk by your office several times a night after work or on the weekend.. Once you learn how best to balance working from home, things get much easier and you get into a routine.
What are your interests outside of work?
My family. I have 2 wonderful girls (8 and 10) and the most understanding wife anyone could ever ask for. We love to be outdoors at the beach and local parks, take bike rides, watch movies – overall just being together. Helping others in whatever form needed is something we focus on and teach our children. I am also an avid reader and previously a photographer who still gets the photo bug now and then.
Any plans to develop or release more items in other content types?
Yes absolutely, although we have to keep a lid on the details 🙂 Overall, it is a very exciting time in the industry and we see a lot of opportunities in various areas. Looking forward to digging in and seeing what comes of it.
How do you want to be remembered?
As a helper, provider and friend. Regardless of what is going on at work, work is work. Life is too short, nothing can compare to helping others, whether it be family or friends, team members or customers.
What excites you in the future?
For work, most definitely the main goal we are working towards for our customers! While I don’t want to go into detail at this time, our full team is all in and working towards getting it final and released. It is by far our largest project we’ve worked on and the progress being made is awesome to see.
In addition, all the advancements with the WordPress platform and the direction it is heading is very cool to watch unfold. Change is good, we embrace it and will always be on top of it and ready for it.