Envato To Re-Focus On Community After Lifetime Earnings Reach $140M

Envato LogoCollis Ta’eed, CEO of Envato, has published a wrap up of what the company accomplished during 2013. Alongside some big numbers, Collis reflects on the past seven years of Envato’s existence. “When I look back at the seven years of Envato’s life so far, I certainly underestimated what this company and community was capable of achieving. This in turn makes me wonder how much more we can do in the next seven.” Envato is the parent company of a number of successful marketplaces such as ThemeForest and CodeCanyon.

Some of their impressive stats for 2013 include:

  • Their community of authors, affiliates, freelancers and instructors took their lifetime earnings with Envato past $140,000,000.
  • There are over 720 hours of educational video content and 16,000 free tutorials and articles
  • The company sponsored a number of community events such as WordCamps, as well as open source projects like Ghost
  • Envato continued to give to charitable organizations with a total lifetime contribution of over half a million dollars.

Communities Can Turn Against You In A Flash

The marketplaces have provided a number of opportunities for developers to make money that otherwise, didn’t exist. Their community has played a large role in Envato’s success. After reading the Envato wrap up post, it’s clear that Collis and team realize this.

Now that we know who we want to be, we have to live up to it. That’s why I believe that we are now entering a new phase of Envato’s life, that I would call Community-Building.

It’s awesome to see the company embracing their community and watching it pay off for both parties. However, a word of caution: A community can be a fickle thing. Envato has proven that a community can be forgiving if large changes are discussed before their implementation. A great example is when Envato changed the licensing options for theme and plugin authors on ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. While everyone didn’t agree with the decisions made, members had a chance to voice their opinions and participate in the discussion. Envato needs to continue giving their community the opportunity to decide which direction the ship travels.

Collis, as acting ship captain of Envato, will continue to be faced with the challenges of making decisions that the community disagrees with. It’s at these moments Envato can see what type of community they really have surrounding them. Will they stand by the company? Or line up outside the walls with pitchforks? The one thing that helped Envato become so successful is the same thing that can destroy the company.


6 responses to “Envato To Re-Focus On Community After Lifetime Earnings Reach $140M”

  1. Thanks for the write up, Jeff!

    One of our core values at Envato is that when the community succeeds, we succeed. Our renewed push on Community-Building will, I think, be exactly what helps us and the community work together through the challenges that we come up against.

    It’s going to be an exciting next 7 years!

  2. Congrats to Envato on its success. And congrats on the steps they are taking to increase the quality of their WordPress themes, etc.

    I did want to clarify one thing that the headline makes a bit misleading. The headline makes it sound like Envato made $140 million in 2013 as in that’s what their yearly revenue was.

    The $140 million is actually the amount paid out to its authors, etc. over its history. NOT just 2013. Big difference, but still very impressive when you consider that’s author payouts.

    Japh or someone else at Envato can correct me if I’m wrong, but that is what I got out of the Envato blog post.

  3. @Japh – As long as the community has a strong nucleus of people with the culture instilled upon them by those at the top of the company, I think Envato will do great.

    What I don’t want to see happen is all of a sudden, the loyal community turns into a evil gang with a mob like mentality that goes against everything Envato. This almost happened with WooThemes when they made drastic changes to their pricing structure.

    By the way, how do I get in touch with you as I’d love to chat with you and Collis on a future episode of WordPress Weekly.

    @Carl Hancock – Well, if the past is anything to go on, their continual improvement of their marketplace guidelines as well as their enforcement ought to make your job easier when it comes to support. I know you’ve routinely been vocal about how much support you’ve had to provide to customers using poorly coded themes purchased on ThemeForest.

    I’ve changed the post title which I hope clarifies things a bit. Sorry about that.


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