Interview David Braun – CEO TemplateMonster

Online business presence rules! If you’ve been thinking about joining this huge community of businesses online and start a website, you may have got several questions about how you could do this the easiest way. The good news is this – you can use ready-made templates without dealing with any unknown programmers or obstinate designers. There is no trick. You simply buy a template from a template provider, you customize it and you go live. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

After doing some research on the Web, you may discover that there are several biggest template providers. You may choose any which is up to you. In the meantime, we suggest that you get acquainted with one of the founders of these providers, David Brown, TemplateMonster’s CEO, because this is exactly who we are going to interview right now.

Interview David Braun
Interviewer: Hello David, it is a great pleasure to talk to you. I won’t beat around the bush, so I will just ask the first question which could give any customers, even those who are not familiar with TemplateMonster, the general idea of your company. Could you please describe TemplateMonster in numbers?

David: Sure. Hundreds of thousands of templates have been transformed into websites and are live at this very moment. We’ve served over several million customers by this time. Considering the fact, that we have been established in 2004 as a template providing company, that number may seem big, but we plan to reach even bigger milestones. There are several hundreds of people working at TemplateMonster. We have over a thousand of WordPress templates, almost 2 thousands of MotoCMS HTML5 templates, over a thousand of Joomla template and hundreds of Drupal, Magento, JigoShop, OpenCart, WooCommerce, Shopify themes. And this is still not the full list.

Interviewer: Wow, that is impressive! How did you manage to reach this scale? How did TemplateMonster start?

David: I mentioned 2004 as a year when TemplateMonster was launched, but before, it had been a web design agency, quite a successful one. We used to create custom websites for people. That was just the very beginning of web design, but many business owners already realized that it was something really promising and brand new. A part of them came to us and we created websites for them, but the other part wasn’t happy with the price which custom design had. We couldn’t cut the price artificially, so I was looking for a solution which would be a win-win situation both for customers and for us. And I found it. Once I saw our designer working with templates. He was always the fastest in creating web designs, and it turned out he managed to do this using templates. That was the minute when I found the solution. Not long after that, we turned our web design studio into a template-producing company, which we named TemplateMonster.

Interviewer: Why did you choose this particular name?

David: Again, one of our designers was fond of a monster concept. He used to draw different cute and scary monsters everywhere, so he came up with this idea. Afterwards, we realized that we could change the word position, as MonsterTemplate would sound more appropriate, but we were already set up and running, so we left this name.

Interviewer: So, by this time you have been carrying this name for… 15 years already, right?
David: Almost. It’s 14, but in May 2017 we’re going to turn 15. Our third Anniversary. And, looking back, I realize how much work had been done and how lucky we all are to have a team like that.

 

Interviewer: This all sounds like a great inspiring success story. I assume it wasn’t that smooth. What were the obstacles on your way?
David: You are absolutely right. The very beginning of TemplateMonster was dark times – the Web was developing, and there were wild laws. Back then, we faced frauds, blackmailing, all kinds of obstacles preventing us from developing. Right now, the Web is a much safer place.

 

Interviewer: That sounds tough. However, you managed to go through it and to become one of the leading templates producing company in the world.
David: We do our best to keep the pace. Luckily, our team consists of the most inspiring and bright people who always come up with innovative ideas. We keep to the principle of open-mindedness.
Interviewer: What was the company’s biggest failure so far?
David: It happened a couple years ago. We lost the track of what our customers needed, and we started losing our audience with a lightning speed. That was a really hard time when we needed to re-think and re-make the plan, tactics and strategy. Even today, you can still find the negative comments on our website of the customers. For us, this is a reminder that when in business, you need to be as flexible as possible and always listen to your customers.

 

Interviewer: What was the biggest achievement in your company last year?
David: In 2016 we created several multipurpose themes, which are literally screwdrivers for all platforms. For WordPress themes it was Monstroid, for PrestaShop themes it is Everprest and so on.

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Interviewer: Your first customer when you became TemplateMonster company. Do you remember who this person was?
David: That’s an easy question. This was a guy from Brazil who came into my ICQ (that was an instant messenger at the time) and asked if he could have a template for free. We were a newborn company, and I felt that saying “Yes” in this case would be a right decision. So I did. A month later, he again messaged me, but this time he actually offered us money. His customer liked the website, paid him and he realized that these templates were really worthy and returned to give us our share. That was really nice of him, and he’s still our client by this time. As far as I know, he’s made several hundreds of projects with our templates.
Interviewer: What was your best lesson during these years?
David: Never, ever give up and continue what you’re doing. This sounds like a usual phrase, but it has the power which creates miracles, if you follow this rule. We’ve faced so many problems, that only a belief of the team that we could solve them would lead us to the right solution. With time, we realized that it was an inevitable part of business, so we started taking a problem as something exciting which only makes our company stronger, delivering satisfaction to our customers.
Interviewer: Thank you for sharing your story with us. It’s been really inspiring and, hopefully, our readers may get inspired by some facts from a TemplateMonster company life.

David: My pleasure. It was great to talk to you.

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