Exceptional Magazine : 2016 Exceptional Magazine
21 Exceptional Australia 2016 Services category Q What gave you the idea to start Envato? Cyan: Envato was a little idea that we hoped might enable us to work online while we travelled. After we got married we freelanced for a time but it was a business that was very location dependent. Collis: I am forever experimenting with new ideas and found that you could sell content online on marketplaces and platforms. We took that experience and decided we could be the platform, and we could make it exactly the way we wanted it. Q You’ve mentioned that you felt ‘imposter syndrome’ when you experienced rapid growth in the business. What did you mean? Cyan: Scaling a company quickly when you haven’t seen it before is both liberating and stressful. We used to question if we were really meant to be running a company. Collis: Prior to freelancing, Cyan had worked a total of three months at another business and I had just two years’ experience at two small design agencies. Many things that others might have taken for granted were a complete mystery to us. What exactly is HR? Why do you need to have annual budgeting? Q Part of being an entrepreneur is taking risks. Have you taken many risks? Cyan: As a couple, we’re both comfortable taking risks and work to mitigate them. When we decided to start a new business we worked hard during the day to freelance so that we could sustain ourselves. That’s the way we’ve always grown — calculated risks with backup plans and fallbacks. Collis: You have to be open to taking risks to be an entrepreneur, but if you’re a bootstrapped one you also need to be cautious and careful. entrepreneurs Bootstrapping Q How do you sustain your competitive advantage? Collis: Our competitive advantages have always been our community and the marketplace dynamic of our business. From day one we have fostered a community spirit, particularly with the independent creatives who sell with us. Over time, our community has bought into what we’ve been doing and become evangelists and advocates. Cyan: While our competitors spend bucketloads on advertising and acquisition, we’ve relied on organic growth and put the money we would have spent on ads into the hands of our contributors. Q Cyan, you are a big advocate for women in the technology industry. Tell us more about that? The number of women choosing to pursue a career in technology in Australia is shrinking; this is a big problem and something that needs to change. It is crucial that women see successful founders in technology and gender diversity in the workplace. We actively work with women in and outside of the business to address the issue and champion technology as a career choice for women. Q What does the future look like for Envato? Cyan: Our vision is for our creative ecosystem to extend beyond the DIY/ professional markets we currently serve and have offerings from our community be accessible to anyone. Collis: We measure ourselves by tracking the total accumulated earnings of our community; to date, this has passed $300 million. We started doing this in 2012 when we were just shy of $50 million and have set ourselves the target of hitting $1 billion.
2015 Exceptional Magazine
2017 Exceptional Magazine