“All of the people who are trying to make a difference with everything they do, instead of just living – inspires me.”
Our latest interview features Power Elite Author, Bojan Petrovic a.k.a meks and their experiences as they navigate the changing world of WordPress and it’s future opportunities.
Meks is currently a team of 8 people, born and raised in Serbia, a beautiful small country in the Southeastern part of Europe. ThemeForest is our core business, so we help people around the world to have beautiful, fast and always up-to-date websites by using our WordPress themes.
To what do you attribute your success – how is your business unique?
There are many pieces of the ‘success puzzle’, however, I assume that one of the most important reasons for us is reliability. We never give up and we never repeat mistakes. Listening to our customers’ feedback is what we are really obsessed with – it also helps us keep going in the right direction.
In terms of product development, we try to find the sweet spot between niche and multipurpose themes. Based on what our customers say, our themes are highly configurable, yet not bloated with unnecessary options.
At what moment did you decide to pursue your business?
Meks started as a team of two, back in 2013. Dušan and I were working together as developers at ManageWP for a couple of years prior to Meks, so we knew each other really well. At one moment, we just felt that we had enough experience and knowledge with WordPress business to start one that is 100% our own.
What do you love about your work and why?
I think that being the captain of your own ship is the most satisfying thing. Having full control and responsibility over your work and life, in general, is what really makes us happy. Back in the days, we weren’t satisfied with the existing job offerings and common work conditions, so we decided to build our own jobs and also reserve spots for more people like us to join.
What’s the most challenging thing about your work?
Coding is easy, deciding what to do next is the real challenge. There are many other theme authors and companies doing the similar thing, so it is really important to know how you will differentiate, how to market the theme later and whom you will offer your products. Talking to our customers really helps on this one.
What’s your most memorable client/customer story on Envato?
There were several occasions on WP Meetups and WordCamps when we had the chance to meet some of our customers in person and buy them a drink.
What are some of the biggest lessons that have impacted your work?
We’ve learned that marketing is far more important that we thought when we started. The time when you were only supposed to have a great product to be successful is long gone. Also, we’ve learned that we should really focus on the long-term goals as we saw many businesses falling apart because of the short-term point of view.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?
1. Write clean and documented code, it will save you plenty of time later.
2. If you have a feature that cannot be shown on your demo website, it’s like you don’t
have it at all.
3. When having a new feature idea, ask yourself at least twice if you really need it. Perfection is not when there isn’t anything else to add, it is when there’s nothing else to remove
What tools and resources (online or offline) do you use?
We use ManageWP for managing our demo websites, this way we can save a lot of time on updates, backups, spam comments etc… Also, BrowserStack really helps us with debugging small glitches across various devices and platforms.
Regarding team collaboration tools, we use Trello for project management and Slack for daily communication. The last but not the least, we use HelpScout as the customer support platform, it really helped us in customer relationship management since we found it.
Is where you live a good place to be a creative professional and why?
Yes, definitely. Living in Serbia is not expensive as in many western countries, so, being able to work internationally is a real pleasure. We can do what we love while still being close to our friends and families.
How do you balance work and family life?
Our wives and friends are beta testers of our themes, that’s how we do it! :) Joke aside, we are all allowed to work remotely and with flexible working hours too, so, there’s always enough time to get all the things done properly as long as you are well organized.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
Some of us are musicians, some are gamers, and some of us have weird hobbies – that are not quite appropriate to mention publicly! :)
Tell us one thing about you no one else knows?
We are currently the top rated author among top-selling authors in the WordPress category on ThemeForest, with the average customer rating of 4.87.
What are your plans for the future?
I guess we are good for now, and we’ll always strive to become better in what we do. We cannot wait to tackle the latest trends in the WordPress ecosystem!