Meet Our Authors: Ninja Team
Power Elite Author, Ninja Team, helps people navigate the complicated world of WordPress with their user-friendly plugins and themes.
In this interview, we talk to Ninja Team to discover what they love about the tech industry, their inspirations, and the challenges they face and get the inside scoop on how they became a Power Elite Author on Envato.
Tell us about Ninja Team and what you do?
Ninja Team is a talented group that helps people navigate the complicated world of WordPress by creating user-friendly future-proof plugins and themes.
Where do you live and work from?
I’m the Growth Manager at Ninja Team and I live in a small town in the center of Japan. Unfortunately, my town isn’t a big tech hub; however, Ninja Team works across a variety of countries like Vietnam and Australia.
We love the name. What’s the inspiration behind it?
We are big fans of Japanese culture, so that’s why we chose the name Ninja Team. I am a huge fan of the cute little warriors and all of those hypes.
Tell us about the team behind you. How many people do you work with?
The team currently has 12 full-time members and half of them work remotely. We have programmers and customer support agents in Vietnam, Japan, and Nigeria to make sure we can respond to users’ queries as soon as possible. Despite working remotely, I want the team to experience the bond that comes from an ‘office’ environment, so we use tools like Slack, Trello, Ticksy, HelpScout, and chatbox to communicate.
Tell us about how you got started creating with Envato
At first, we were doing a lot of outsourcing work, such as producing websites for clients and helping them to define, launch and manage their products and digital services. In 2017, we decided to switch the business model and focus on producing products. We joined Envato by submitting our initial addons for Contact Form 7 plugin to Codecanyon, and it still remains a must-have feature on a WordPress website.
You’re now a Power Elite Author, what led to this success?
When we were just creating Contact Form 7 plugins we were not so popular, but since we made a fiber plugin, our popularity increased. People really like this feature —I think it’s because we solved an issue that people face as WordPress users.
What do you love about working in tech and why?
I love solving problems and crafting aesthetics. I’m not a developer at heart. I actually enjoy UI/UX. I love plugins and tools that help people who don’t work in code. When we release a new feature or software, we make sure that it’s user-friendly and that people who are WordPress beginners can navigate it easily. FileBird is a good example of this.
We want to make it as easy as possible for beginners to start building with WordPress. We aim to help more people to get the right insights and ideas for building a website so they can start their own business.
What’s the most challenging thing about your work?
We build a lot of products, so monitoring and auditing can take a long time and we need the budget to keep it growing. We’ve also had to close some of our plugins as the source platform no longer provides the room for customization necessary to build satisfying and advanced functional tools.
How has Envato helped you grow your career?
Envato has really helped our brand to reach customers and provides us with a great platform to sell our products. I think being featured on the Envato blog and in campaigns has really helped us a lot.
Which Envato Authors do you take inspiration from?
On Themeforest, WPCharming is our guide and gatekeeper when it comes to developing new templates or plugins. Another great source of energy and passion comes from the InspireUI team. They are now the big player in the WooCommerce app, e-commerce on mobile, and on-demand services.
What’s your most memorable client/customer story on Envato?
I received a message on Twitter a few months ago saying “Thanks for the Gravity add-on”, I thought to myself “Wait, what’s that?” I checked with my team and it turned out that our developer had gone to great lengths to support a FileBird user who needed help with Gravity Forms and Gravity Wiz plugins. The team made an on-demand plugin to help him get submitted images automatically categorized in a selected folder and then displayed on a showcase page. We’ve received over 500 reviews so far, which I am very grateful for.
What is your advice to other Authors who want to be successful on Envato?
I would encourage our fellow Authors to give and share more. When it comes to competing with larger businesses in the world of WordPress and web design, it would be great if smaller businesses like us could team up to work and grow together. I will continue sharing both established items and newly-released ones on our blogs, newsletters, and in conversations whenever I have the chance to recommend products.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I feel like I have to do something worthwhile while I’m recharging. That usually means doing research or reading more about what’s going on in my niche. At weekends I enjoy dining out with my family and friends and once in a while, going on a trip with my team to somewhere chilled and exotic.
What’s next for Ninja Team?
Thanks to a variety of website builders and online store providers, it’s becoming easier to create and build your own website, and the decentralized peer-to-peer model is also taking dominance. So, we would have to figure out how to provide an all-in-one solution, one-stop-shop, but still capable of going cross-platform or hand-in-hand with third-party integrations.