Congratulations to the QODE team, who have reached Power Elite status by making one million dollars worth of sales. Thoughtful market research, an attention to detail, the introduction of new features and the gradual expansion of the team are some of the secrets to their success.
Don’t run a race where you have a late start from the beginning. Instead, try to introduce something new, which will make others want to run your race.
QODE are definitely running their own race, and it’s working. They surprised themselves with the success of their first theme, have expanded the team and moved into a larger office, and reached Power Elite status in a little over a year. Congratulations!
Happy QODE Day!
We asked the team a few questions about the journey to the $1,000,000 milestone. Read on to discover how they decided to start creating WordPress themes, how they stay on top of their game, and how it feels to reach a million dollars worth of sales!
Happy Power Elite Day QODE! Gee, you made it fast! A little over a year? How does it feel?
Thank you very much! We feel great right now. When we first started doing this back in November 2012, we were a small web development agency. The idea of building WordPress themes came to us when we spontaneously came across one via Facebook. Design and front-end development had always been our strong points, and we were looking for a new venue to channel these qualities.ThemeForest seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so, and so we set about exploring the market.
In those first couple of weeks, our time was split between analyzing the market and building our first theme with QODE framework. We discovered that there were many strong authors on the market. We decided that we weren’t going to run a race with them; rather, we were going to build themes with specific features, and in doing so, put forth our strongest points.
Looking back on our experience in working with clients, we knew how people reacted to certain features. We had offered interactive modules, and even though people loved them, they had generally chosen straight sites which were more in line with their budgets.
Going from that experience, we decided that we were going to offer straight features with interactive elements as a plus on the side. Our first themes offered parallax as an additional module. At that time, only one-page parallax sites were offered on the market. They also offered the catalogue slider, and most importantly, AJAX transitions, which can optionally be set on pages. This feature is still unique on ThemeForest.
We love hearing about author’s workspaces. Tell us a bit about yours, and introduce the team.
At first we worked out of a small apartment. As our team expanded, we moved into a bigger place. We are currently working in a lovely antique house with modern furniture, high ceilings, and a backyard.
As mentioned, we started off as a small agency, the founders being Darko and Ivan. Our lead designer is Valentin, and our lead developer is Mladen. We are divided among teams: design, development, and support.
And what’s a typical day in the life of QODE like?
This a hard question, because there is no typical day at QODE! Usually though, we start at 9am and finish at 5pm. At the start of the day, the teams make their plans of action, and then we all get down to business.
It all started with the theme MINIMUM. What have you learnt since then?
When we were working on MINIMUM, we were new in the field and didn’t really know what to expect. We didn’t have high hopes for our first theme being successful. We were just aiming to follow through, knowing that commitment would eventually lead to one of our themes being successful.
Considering that MINIMUM was indeed a success, we had become competitive authors in a relatively short time. Since then, we have learned to have a better feel for market demand and customer needs, and of course, we are still learning.
Various people have told us that many themes on ThemeForest look alike, and a common question is why our themes do so well. We think that this is due to the final touches—paying attention to the last detail, and having a lot of experience to fall back on.
And now, of course, you have Bridge which is such a beautiful clean WP theme. How is designing/developing different now from back when you started?
Our general creative process, going back from our first theme, is to decide on a concept and then follow it through. To be honest, when we were buildingBridge, we weren’t aiming for a bestseller by competing with currently popular themes on ThemeForest (even though we secretly hope to see our themes on the weekly list!). The idea for Bridge was to follow contemporary web design trends and trends in design in general, with the goal of bringing something new and fresh to the market.
Since we started, market demand grew and the amount of design and development needed to be done in order to create a competitive theme has increased. It’s interesting that even though our team is expanding, we are still releasing themes at the same rate due to the increased amount of workload our themes require.
Any hot tips? Where does the beginner start?
Our tip is: Don’t run a race where you have a late start from the beginning. Instead, try to introduce something new, which will make others want to run your race.
What is the next big thing for QODE? Expanding?
Yes, we are always expanding, along with the growing market demand.
In the future, we are aiming to build a truly exceptional support system which will guarantee a very minimum responding time.
What do you do to keep on top of your game?
We do quality recruitment to ensure that every new team member is one of the best in their field. We are able to recognize good qualities in people.
What is your favourite thing to do to unwind?
Many of us here at QODE are soccer fans, so playing a soccer match after work is something we look forward to. Other than that, we occasionally like to go out as a team and stay up until the wee morning hours.
Anything else you’d like to share?
For people who might not know, we are happy to announce that we release two new ready-to-use Bridge demo sites every week.
And of course, congratulations on this amazing milestone!
Thank you! We would like to use this opportunity to thank Envato, who enabled us to play our strongest game, which is something we weren’t able to do in our previous ventures. Thanks to them, we were able to put forth our qualities and earn the rewards for our hard work.