Collis Ta’eed is CEO and co-founder of Envato. The business operates a number of global platforms where designers, developers and the general public can buy templates, stock footage and stock photos.
Envato was founded in 2006, and has grown to a profitable 300 person organisation with fantastic fundamentals. As Collis talks about, the business: “just grew and grew and you didn’t really have to do very much. It meant that sometimes you’d have a year where you did a lot of dumb stuff and you’d grow, and another year where you’d be really smart and on the ball and you’d still grow.” [See 17:30 in the video]
As you’ll see in this interview, Collis and his management team have made some incredibly smart strategic decisions to establish an environment where this kind of growth is possible.
This is a fun interview to watch, and there’s a lot to learn. Some of the highlights of the interview:
- Collis’ role in the culture “I’m patient zero so to speak… the problem starts with you, whatever the problem is” [See 8:26 in the video]
- The importance of the little signals in management: Why Collis holds the door open for everyone [See 9:55 in the video]
- How Envato does ‘express strategy’ [See 16:50 in the video]
- Why smart people do dumb things, and the importance of context [See 19:00 in the video]
- How Envato built a remote friendly workforce, where employees can choose to work from anywhere in the world for three months [See 21:15 in the video]
- What Collis wishes he knew on day one: “I wish I understood, especially around managing, how important it was just to be clear with people. Clear about goals, clear about feedback and clear about expectations” [See 27:35 in the video]
Steve Pell: Hi, I’m Steve Pell. I’m here with Collis Ta’eed from Envato. Today we’re going to talk about your journey, some of the lessons along the way. If I could just start by getting you to tell us about what you do and where you’ve come from?
Collis Ta’eed: Sure. Envato is a company that makes a platform, a global platform, where people get creative projects done. Mostly we cater to professionals, designers, developers, animators.
They come to Envato for templates or for stock footage, stock photos, that kind of thing. We also have website creation tools for small business users and sort of more general audience. My own background is that I was a designer. I studied math once upon a time, then became a designer, then founded Envato in 2006.