I interview Magnus Jepson

Magnus shot to online fame being one of the founding three partners of Woothemes. I got to chat to Magnus about where it all started, where its going and all things Woo!

Full name and Age please

Magnus Jepson, 30 in a few days.

Favourite Biscuit and Drink?

Stratos (Norwegian choc-bar) and Coke Zero

Last book your read and last movie you saw?

“Anvil! The story of Anvil” and “Angels & Demons”

Where and when did it all start?

For me it started with web design as a hobby, next to my full-time job as a programmer. It evolved to a passion, and eventually I stumbled into WordPress and started making WordPress themes, which led to co-founding WooThemes.

Is there anyone in the industry you look up to?

Since I’ve only been in the web industry for a short time, I never really got to know who the “leaders” in the industry were. But I have a great deal of respect for designers like Liam (www.wefunction.com), Collis (www.envato.com) and obviously Adii (www.adii.co.za) which was the guy I looked up to from the start of my WordPress venture. We are now business partners which is kinda cool.

You’re one of the 3 original Woo members, how did you become Woo?

I started out by myself, creating a few free WP themes, then eventually selling a few of them. I then got in contact with Adii, who was also in the market for “premium” WP themes, and did a collaboration with him. That progressed into another couple of  themes and soon after that we decided to re-brand to WooThemes, together with Mark Forrester.

What does a general day consist of for you?

Mostly coding, support, admin on WooThemes. I’m pretty used to working 8-4 from my old job, so it hasn’t been that hard for me to go freelance, and I really enjoy my daily tasks, which make it a lot easier to get up in the morning. I try to sneak in a few minutes of Guitar Hero every now and again too.

You live out in Norway and have only met your co-founders once, does it get lonely not having the other guys around?

Not really… we have our weekly skype chats, and also text chat on skype every day, so I feel as though I’m part of an office, although we don’t have the physical contact with each other. It’s also a lot easier to get work done when you don’t have distractions around you.

Where does your heart lie, with design or development?

Though question. I think if I had to choose I would go for design, since a web page is something that is so much more visible to others. It’s so much more rewarding when somebody gives you credit for a great design, contra having solid code…

Do you prefer being woo rather than what you were doing?

I wouldn’t trade it for anything… Working at WooThemes is a dream job, as you get to do work on your strong points, and you don’t have to design a theme specifically for a client. It is also so much more satisfying to be in direct control over how much you earn.

What do you consider to be the biggest contributing factor to Woo’s success?

I think it is a mix of perfect timing, good partnership, hard work and great designs.

You’re known for working on a PC, do you think you’ll ever change to mac?

I dig my iPhone, but I could never get used to the one button mouse on the Mac. I’ve also been running Windows 7 for a while now which is a big step up. And I can never get used to the font smoothing on Mac’s 😉

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Things change very fast online, but I hope that I will be in a similar position as today. I doubt I’ll ever go back to corporate work… Once you see the light, there is no turning back.

Will you be heading to anymore conferences in the near future?

Surely to FOWD again next year, but nothing other than that planned. Conferences are great for inspiration and networking, but I don’t see the benefit of going to multiple conferences every year. The best part of FOWD was meeting the Woo gang.

Thanks to Magnus for taking part!