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Link Worthy Personal Ramblings

SME.Africa podcast

Last week I sat down with a good friend doing fantastic work in the SME space in South Africa, Marnus Broodryk.

Marnus convinced me to join him on his SME.Africa podcast. 4 years since our acquisition I enjoyed reminiscing over our journey and the learnings, however distant and fuzzy some parts feel. We also spoke about what keeps me busy these days.

Despite having a voice for print I enjoyed the interview.

Listen to “The Founder of WooThemes & WooCommerce [EP10 S2]” on Spreaker.

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Personal Ramblings Photos

InstaFamous

Last week we got featured on Apple’s official @instagram account! “We” actually referring to my son – I just snapped the photo. He choreographed it.

It’s kind of mind bending to quantify a feature like this. The world’s largest company featuring a photo I took. On a social account they only post one photo a day. To an audience of 13,5 million followers. 🤯

It was a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into how these monster media accounts are managed. And of course the lives of InstaCelebs and social behaviour. So far the photo has had nearly 250k likes.

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Personal Ramblings

Cape Cycle Tour 2019

A howling south easter made this year’s 109km cycle tour a rather challenging one.

It was however a much more enjoyable one having done a little more training than for previous attempts. Less focus on cramping muscles, and more on the beautiful peninsula views.

A road bike, and cleats were also game changing additions…

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Personal Ramblings Photos

Supercars in the Dolomites

What a month August was. Driving Audi R8 spyders around the South Tyrol region. An Audi experience tour that included German autobahn, the Italian Dolomites and some of the most beautiful Austrian Alps mountain passes.

A trip I shall never forget, and roads I hope to return to… in a more family friendly wagon.

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Personal Ramblings

10 year “overnight” success

On July 9th 2008 we launched @WooThemes.

With the benefit of youthful business naivety, the serendipity of meeting co-founders online, the scale of open source and through the power of sequence & hard graft we found our 10 year “overnight” success!

Happy Birthday @WooCommerce 💌

via Twitter
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Personal Ramblings Photos

My little documentarian

  • I 😍 that he shares my passion for photography.
  • I 😨 that he is holding my @leica_camera.
  • I 🤯 that this is an auto-edit film, created by the @djiglobal app!
Taken with my iPhone X using the DJI Osmo Mobile 2. Video made auto-magically with the DJI Go app auto-edit feature.

Taken by my talented six year old ↓

Categories
Design Personal Ramblings

The best way to predict your future is to create it

With Gutenberg being touted as the future of WordPress it’s time to give it a thorough test drive on my personal blog. For years I’ve used this space as a test bed for personal theme developments and woonderful plugin explorations. A test bed that’s laid dormant for a while…

First up is installing a new theme that provides me with a clean and minimal canvas, leaving the creative workflow to the flexibility of the Gutenberg tools, blocks and elements.

The Twenty Fifteen theme had served me well for over a couple years now, but it’s a little too rigid for some of the new display controls.

Previous manifestations

Version 2018

After a thorough search, I discovered a theme that ticks all the boxes. Boxes that seem to be less elaborate, playful and colorful as previous ones. ꜛ

Tabor by ThemeBeans.

We like to push the boundaries of what makes a WordPress theme capable. And with the pending release of WordPress 5.0 and Gutenberg, the new WordPress block editor, we couldn’t be more excited for the evolution of creating rich content in WordPress.

ThemeBeans

I look forward to seeing how closely this theme tracks Gutenberg’s development and release cycles. 🤞🏻

Whilst Gutenberg provides a completely new publishing experience, with a moderate learning curve, even for someone well versed in WordPress, it’s refreshing to experiment with something that finally feels like it questions the WordPress status quo. More of this…

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Personal Ramblings

Twenty Seventeen

It feels like it’s been a significant year, worthy of etching in this sparsely populated digital memory bank.

A challenging personal year embarking on re-invention, with little daily structure or operational responsibilities. A year sans a professional title and many coffee meetings explaining why… A year of much envy and privilege.

A year of many learnings, pursuing back burner passions, and traversing family adventures with young children…

The catalyst

In February, Magnus and myself made the humongous decision to hand over the reins to a team lead better equipped for this next chapter of WooCommerce’s growth. Free from our founder biases. Nearly 10 years since our first explorations with commercial WordPress themes, and 2 years since Woo’s acquisition by Automattic.

An acquisition is an emotional process to navigate. Your DNA, as a founder, is so intertwined with that of your business, and the culture and reputation that grows and matures within your business becomes so engrained in your identity. As people, beliefs and cultures merge, change naturally results from it. You need to be open to it and adapt your ways.

I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on all these hugely valuable business experiences, dissecting our journey, understanding the magnitude of serendipity, and trying to recall many of those aha moments lost in the blur of our hyper growth years.

Initiating 2.0

Now with the fortune of time and capital to re-invest I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in relationships, businesses and investments outside of my immediate bubble.

It’s been humbling to meet smart, passionate people with innovative ideas in the early stages of their startup journeys. Their entrepreneurial optimism is contagious, and welcomed against the backdrop of so much political and economic turmoil in South Africa.

Twenty seventeen has also been dedicated to re-connecting with my right brain. Taking photos, making videos, listening to podcasts, attempting to read more books, and pushing pixels around.

Most importantly, I’ve been very fortunate to be present at home. To cherish a very different kind of hyper growth – the physical growth of little humans.

Trying my best to avoid applying business logic to hormonal, irrational, sleep depriving situations. To practice patience and act deliberately slower. To disconnect from devices, and connect more genuinely. (I think my wife will attest that I’ve still got a very long way to go…)

So thank you twenty seventeen, for the gift of time. I look forward to being more purposeful with our next orbit of the sun.

Categories
Design Personal Ramblings

Selati

The Selati Game Reserve is a 27 000 ha private reserve we’re fortunate to regularly visit. This lush green trip was with some good friends in late March.

P.S. Loved discovering a serendipitous moment shared between an elephant and a butterfly in my footage!

Categories
Personal Ramblings Photos

Mataffin

Last week we celebrated the life of my grandpa on the farm where he was born and died 93 years later. Seeing the farm from high above highlights the changing landscape of Nelspruit. It’s amazing to see how the farm has shaped the city’s growth.

Being on the farm brought back wonderful childhood memories of adventurous, outdoor holidays. As one mighty tree fell, we planted another in remembrance.