Howzit! I’m Mark 👋🏻
An English born South African. A husband and a dad. A keen photographer and family documentarian. A terrible surfer and football fanatic. A blogger since 2005.
Professionally, I’m a designer turned entrepreneur. A bootstrapper turned early stage business investor (irony). And in a previous chapter, the Co-Founder of WooCommerce (acquired by Automattic, 2015).
I fortunately discovered this quite soon after school. (Delivering pizzas provides more freedoms than waitering in a restaurant). This is my journey of self-employment.
- 2001-2003 ~ Whilst studying at the University of Cape Town I decided to spend a Christmas holiday working as a sales temp at Selfridges in London. On returning home, with some rand-denominated pounds, I purchased sound equipment. Disc jockeying at birthdays and weddings helped to fund my rent and social life over the next few years. The entrepreneurial bug bit.
- 2004-2005 ~ After graduating from university I founded my first business, with two fellow graduates. Gravit8 – an I.T business solutions company. Whilst we focussed on networking solutions I explored our web design arm of the business. An exploration that eventually steered us down different paths. Gravit8 is still going strong today.
- 2007-2008 ~ Whilst freelancing as a web designer (and blogging about it) I was asked to work on the design of an African social media aggregator called Afrigator. Instead of charging for my services I requested equity. After a successful first year we were acquired by MIH Print Africa. (Hat-tip: If it excites you, shoot for equity)
- 2008 ~ I helped my wife launch African Cartel. Helping traffic light artists sell their work online in a curated marketplace. Our short film featured on the CNN home page.
- 2008-2015 ~ 🚀 WooThemes. A hugely significant chapter worthy of it’s own page.
- 2016-Present ~ A new season of rewirement. Being more present at home with the family, whilst immersing myself in new ecosystems and making some exciting early stage startup investments.
- Growing humans and being a dad.
- Spending time with early stage startups.
- I ❤️ taking photos.
- Landrover Defenders + utilitarian design.
- I’m a Newcastle United football fan. Howay the lads!
- I’m learning to surf. The ocean is my zen.
‘mwas an experimental beer brewer.
- This site is powered by the woonderful WordPress.
- I’ve experimented with numerous hosts over the years. Most recently, my site resides on a WordPress.com business plan.
- My logo was designed by the talented, Cape Town based illustrator, Alex Latimer.
- Whilst I’m not particularly proud of my early archive of blog posts it encapsulates my journey and maturity as a designer, entrepreneur and human.
- Disrupt Africa – Meet the Investor: Mark Forrester
- Cape Talk – Meet the co-founder of a true South African Cinderella story
- Ventureburn – Q&A: WooTheme’s Mark Forrester talks hacking, investment tips & more
- Fin24 – SA company wins the internet
- Ventureburn – WooThemes’ Mark Forrester on how an SA startup sprouted a global success story
Find me elsewhere: