I interview Adii from Woothemes

This is one of the first posts to be ported over from Floobe.com, I’ll be posting shortly about the reasons I’m moving everything to here so keep an eye out. The original post went live on the 15th December 2008, I’m looking forward to doing a follow up interview with Adii in the future.

Hey Adii thanks ever so much for taking the time out for this!

1. Full Name and Age please.

Adriaan Pienaar, 24.

2. Favourite Biscuit and Drink.

Shortbread biscuits & Cream Soda.

3. Last Book you read and last movie you saw.

Getting Real by 37Signals & last movie I saw (on the big screen anyway) was Eagle Eye.

4. Where and when did your career start?

I started freelancing at the start of 2007 and basically worked out of my 1 bedroom apartment whilst still studying.

5. Is there anyone in the industry who you look up to?

Yup – and there’s too many to mention… 🙂 From a business perspective, I really like the way Ryan Carson & Jason Calacanis run their respective businesses and how they’ve almost established a new way of running one’s business. It’s really their progressive ideas that have turned them into amazing role models in the online, business world. And from a design perspective, I really love Jason Santa Maria’s work – the guys is an absolute genius!

6. What was a key factor in your professional growth and development?

I think my own ambitious attitude is the major driving force in this regard, as I’m always looking to improve myself and my skills. I would not have been where I am today without challenging myself on a daily basis and continuously try new ways of doing daily tasks.

7. Where does your heart lie, with woothemes, your blog or radiiate and why?

Neither of them specifically. My heart lies there where I’m being challenged and at the moment the challenge is maintaining 3 established web properties, whilst also sustaining their respective growth. I see all 3 of these properties as part of my online presence and thus invest an equal amount of energy in each.

8. Out of these 3, WordPress, Light CMS and Expression Engine, which do you like the most and why?

It’s gotta be WordPress, simply because I’ve built my reputation and my business around it. I love the ease of use thereof, whilst the increasing ability to use it as a fully-fledged CMS excites me immensely. That said however, I also look forward to expanding my skills to EE once they release version 2.0 early next year.

9. Do you see WooThemes as work or just a way of life?

It’s probably more a way of life at this stage, because working on WooThemes has become part of my daily routine. That said, it most definitely feels like a job at times; especially when I have to spend hours on yet doing e-mail and other nasty admin stuff.

10. What is the biggest project you’ve worked on so far?

Probably the design & development for Fairlady Magazine. It’s got to be the most complex WP site I have ever developed…

11. Throughout your entire career to date, is there any particular problem you’ve ran in to more than once? Clients, Jobs, Work, Family?

I think there’s a recurring theme in every problem: a dodgy client… 🙂 Some clients don’t pay, pretend that they know everything and delay the project for weeks on end, because they couldn’t care about your schedule… But that’s just the standard problems that web professionals deal with on a daily basis, right?

12. What do you consider to be the biggest contributing factor to your success?

Hard work and not being afraid of trying new things.

13. Where do you get your inspiration from and where do feel most inspirational?

Anywhere & every where… I get ideas at the most random of times in the most random places! 🙂

14. What are your 3 favourite apps?

Currently: Things, 1Password & Versions App. All on Mac obviously…

15. Premium themes are exceptionally good, do you think that type of work will become over populated and the profit will disappear?

Maybe. I think many designers (especially) would never get involved with template work, as they feel it devalues their creativity and reputation. But more and more designers / developers will get involved and I believe that instead of decreasing the profit, the increased supply will simply increase the size of the market.

16. How do you balance your time between family, radiate, WooThemes and your blog?

Chaos Management. 🙂 Nah, I think it’s all about having priorities, re-evaluating them on a daily basis and making sure that you go to bed at the end of the day feeling happy about how you spent your time during the day. I can’t go to bed if I feel that I haven’t done enough work or spent enough time with my fiance for example – so it’s all about deciding what you want to get out of the day.

17. Where do you see the future being?

Dunno. Things move to fast for me to even attempt at planning too far ahead… My immediate future lies with growing both {radiiate} and WooThemes into even more sustainable businesses, whereafter I don’t know what kind of ideas I’ll pursue in 2009… 🙂

18. You’re a well known individual, do you class yourself as famous?

Not at all. I’m only a little avatar in a very, very big pond. I do however appreciate my following and I do believe that I’ve got enough of a backing base to launch new ideas of.

19. Do you see yourself doing speaking engagements in the near future to talk about the industry?

I’ve done a few locally before and I absolutely love doing public speaking – so I wouldn’t mind to get a few international gigs in 2009. But I also think that there’s still a lot of hard work that needs to be done, before I can consider myself as a well-known international speaker and industry expert. This is however something that I hope I can achieve in my lifetime! 🙂

20. If you had one goal to reach (anything) within 3 years, what would it be?

This might sound arrogant, but what I’ve achieved in the last year, was probably 3 years’ worth of goals… 🙂 So I don’t really know how to answer that question, as I haven’t really thought about it. As mentioned in #17, I’d really like to continue growing {radiiate} and WooThemes and this compromises most of my strategy and goals for 2009.

21. If you had one piece of advice for anyone wanting to venture in to your industry, what would it be?

Make friends and be as transparent as possible during your journey.

Adii’s Blog: http://www.adii.co.za

Woothemes: http://www.woothemes.com
Radiiate: http://www.radiiate.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/adii

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Head of Interaction and Service Design at DigitalDWP.

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