We believe everyone who is somehow related to the web design industry has heard about TemplateMonster. Today, we would like to get to know the company even better. That’s why, we have reached CEO and co-founder of TemplateMonster David Braun for an interview. So, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the read!
Could you please give our readers a short explanation who you are and what TemplateMonster is?
I am happy to be one of the co-founders of TemplateMonster.com, the company with over 14 years of experience of design and development of ready-made website themes. Currently, the inventory features more than 60,000 themes for every web platform and purpose one can think of. TemplateMonster is all about constant development, reaching new heights, and new achievements.
Where you always an entrepreneurial child who would one day dreamed of owning a company?
I always knew that I can do something big and valuable in my life. Even when we were playing with other kids in the yard, I was a true leader. Back then, I was also dreaming about becoming Santa because I enjoyed giving presents to other kids. To some degree, my dream has come true.
It happened so that my family had to leave Georgia as a result of attacks on my hometown. You know, when you need to leave the place where you were born without any idea where the live will take you to, you get stronger and realize that’s not the future that you want your own kids to have. This only made me stronger. This is possibly one of the traits of my character that people who know me value. Due to this, I was strong enough to join a team of several web developers who took a risk of launching a startup.
When and how did you decide to start TemplateMonster?
Initially, TemplateMonster didn’t bare this name. We started as a small web design studio providing services or foreign companies. We helped them build sites from scratch, run all design and development job.
Once I met an American investor who was looking for young and talented young men for a company helping American customers build sites. That was back in 1998. The popularity of the Internet only started to grow. Back then, people didn’t know about web development as much as they do today. Our first order was commissioned for $7,000, which was quite a lot for those times. Inspired and enthusiastic for our achievements, we decided that we want to grow bigger.
As the number of orders started to grow, we started looking for the ways to automate our work yet provide our customers with quality web products. That’s when the idea of using website templates came to our mind. Frankly speaking, this was one of our designers who gave a push to this idea. Back at those times, he managed to create up to 4 sites per day while using multiple templates of design elements and other components of future sites.
It was in 2002 when TemplateMonster officially appeared.
How did you manage to grow the company to the size that it is today?
There were only several of us in the very beginning. Today, there are more than 400 people in our team. We keep on growing all the time. Throughout the history of our company, we follow the latest trends, teach our stuff to master up-to-date techniques, and welcome new skillful professionals to join us. During the last 14+ years, we saw a growing demand of ready-made web design stuff. The web community realized all benefits of creating sites on the basis of pre-designed products. So, we needed to expand our team with new specialists.
More than 1/2 of the team is made up of those guys who are involved into the production process. The second half is made up of those working in customer support, programming, marketing, and other segments. Everyone who works at templatemonster.com is a true master of his craft.
What where the biggest challenges that you encountered and how did you overcame these challenges?
There were quite many… One of such challenges is the moment when Steve Jobs announced that Flash is dead. And it really died within some mere two years. Why do I call it a challenge? Back then more than 70% of all TemplateMonster sales were generated from Flash-based themes. That was the time when we had to learn new skills and deepen our coding knowledge. We spent two years learning and missed quite a lot of things. However, we grow with new potential over time, and now we are one of the leading template providers on the web.
What makes TemplateMonster unique?
TemplateMonster has a unique approach to building each and every product. We have a unique customer care team that our clients enjoy dealing with so much. We are unique because we keep on transforming into a bigger and a more powerful “monster” all the time. We have the biggest collection of ready-made designs ever found on the web. 60K unique themes is not the limit!
Where will you focus on in the next years?
We will keep on surprising you with more innovations. There lot of plans that we want to achieve in the nearest future. Let it be a surprise to you 😉 To uplift the veil of mystery, I will only say that TemplateMonster is soon to become a marketplace and the number of page builders will keep on growing.
What do you think that are the top 3 characteristics of business leaders?
A leader is a person who sets a goal and knows how to achieve it. This is a person who is not afraid of challenges. He is confident in every step taken.
What advice do you have for people who would like to start their own company?
Just do it. Do not be afraid to try something new. In the beginning, your company may not be that big and the team that numerous. Step-by-step, you will become more experienced in what you are doing. Do not be afraid to set big goals, and be persistent on the way to achieving them. Build relationship with customers through communication. Listen and hear to every word they tell you. All this taken together will help you build a company with a world’s known name.
David Braun : CEO and Co-founder of TemplateMonster