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Behind the Scenes with Template Monster’s CEO David Braun in 2010

Behind the Scenes with Template Monster’s CEO David Braun in 2010

Template Monster has really made a name for itself over the past couple of years. Growing into the leading provide for website templates, clearly the company’s CEO David Braun is doing something right. I’ve been a huge fan of Template Monster for years now and have written about their blog earlier this year.

However with 2010 kicking around, I was intrigued to hear about how Template Monster is doing and where they may be heading. I’ve got a great interview with David below, discussing future plans for TM and where the company will be growing into.

How has Template Monster been doing since 2010 has hit? Any new features or business concepts you’ve released recently on the site?

Well, we’re doing pretty good actually, especially in 2010. You know, it always seems like what’s happening now is the most fascinating and exciting period in your career. And then say in 6 months you’ll be thinking that that new period is the new most exciting one. But that’s fine with me, it’s always great to love what you’re doing.

As for the new features – yes, of course we keep working on them, Template Monster always has to remain on top, including the new updates for our audience convenience and new products. That’s a part of our official policy.

In 2010 we’ve launched Virtuemart templates – a great new product that our community really loves. Plus, recently we’ve implemented a number of website functionality updates that also mean a lot in terms of how convenient our website is for the audience.

I’m talking about the shopping cart interface update and the new searching feature enabling to search our database of templates by colors. We’re also planning additional website updates and product launches. So yes, we totally love this constant evolution and will surely keep moving forward.

VideoSmash is a relatively new launch affiliated to Template Monster. How was the site created, and what was the influence behind starting a new marketplace for digital video effects?

The guys that currently run VideoSmash project are our old friends. For a very long time they’ve been producing video effects exclusively for Template Monster purposes, and some time ago they decided to launch a website selling their collection of video effects.

We in turn are happy to help our friends and present their effects as a special offer on our website. But the best thing about this is that our customers like this offer and it’s really relevant to the products we sell. So it’s a win-win situation for all of us – Video Smash, Template Monster and our common design community.

Template Monster Updated Shopping Cart

Along with Template Monster’s great lineup, I noticed you’ve launched a new Silverlight category of Microsoft Silverlight templates. How was the concept of working with Microsoft’s Silverlight developed? Is the launch doing well?

Yes, we’ve been planning the partnership with Microsoft for a very long time, after all Microsoft does have a great deal of web products that our audience was always interested in. So when we found out that they were about to launch the Expression Web and Silverlight lines we knew it was time for us to act.

Besides, Silverlight that you’ve mentioned really is a great platform – both as an alternative to Flash and as an independent software – and since Template Monster is always the first to produce designs for the web’s most promising solutions, we started working with Microsoft very closely on this.

And I would like to thank our friends at Microsoft for their awesome approach towards working with their partners, we really enjoyed working with them and will surely keep working on Microsoft-based products in the future.

Do you see turning Template Monster into a subscription-based template service similar to Dream Template, or will you stick with single template prices? Any reason behind your choice for the marketplace’s structure?

No, actually we’re not planning to move to that subscription-based service and will definitely stick with the single template purchase model.

To be honest, first of all this is the way for us to distinguish ourselves from the rest of the players in the market – I’m sure you all know the issues with customer relations that the subscription-based template providers have. I won’t tell any names or the exact problems they have, it’s just that when they deliver a ton of products to you they don’t really care about what you think about these products then – because they’ve basically received everything they wanted from you (that’s called a transaction marketing in marketing theory, when a company only cares about selling something to you once because the product is not good enough for the customer to want to buy it again).

What we’re after is building long-term relations with our customers by providing them with a premium quality product and support services – that’s a relations marketing model in marketing theory.

But other than that, what hurts me personally about this is that once a certain customer is frustrated with one provider he/she will think twice before using some other provider’s services as well, even though that other provider uses a whole different marketing and customer relations approach. So we believe this single template purchase model to be a great way to demonstrate that we’re not like that, and to prove that we take every single transaction seriously.

TM’s blog has also been doing very well recently, do you see a future for growing Template Monster’s blog into a large design blog for more potential revenue?

Yes, I’m very happy to see the way our blog has moved from a corporate communications tool to a really informative resource for all kinds of web designers and developers. The initial idea of design blog has appeared because the Template Monster team has this huge experience and priceless expertise in web design and general web trends. And sharing what we know and have to say is also an exciting way for us to communicate with the community.

We’re very happy that this people love what we have to say and find our thoughts interesting.

As for the revenue – that’s not the primary goal of the blog. I mean, yes, we’re happy that other websites are now interested in advertising on our blog and that the blog content hits Digg’s frontpage on a regular basis, but first of all the blog is a platform that we intend to build the big community around and use it for communicating with our audience. Communication is the key, that’s our official goal.

Where do you see Template Monster growing over the next couple of months? Any new features you have in the works you can share?

As I’ve said, we actually are working on new features and products, I’m sure people familiar with Template Monster know that and do expect some new goodies from us. So that’s the first part of what we plan for the next couple of months.

Another thing I can share right now is that we’ll keep working hard on building even better relations with our audience – that includes social media networks, design blogs, etc. We really do take this direction very seriously, so make sure you all keep an eye on this. There will be tons of interesting things to watch and to take part in.

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14 Comments

  1. Andy @ FirstFound

    I’m glad to see Template Monster doing well. Anyone fighting the good fight against terrible, boring web design is fine by me!

    Reply
  2. Michael Woo

    greetings there, i just saw your web portal via yahoo, and i must say that you write awesomely well via your web portal. i am really impressed by the method that you express yourself, and the subject is excellent. anyhow, i would also love to know whether you would love to exchange links with my website? i will be to the great extent than willing to reciprocate and insert your link on in the blogroll. looking for your response, i give my sincere thanks and enjoy your day!

    Reply
  3. Gail from GrowMap

    What is really needed are posts with basic information about what templates are good for and how a site owner would use them. People who develop and use them already rarely explain their benefits in ways that someone new to Web design or who owns a business and wants to have site built can understand.
    .-= Gail from GrowMap´s last blog ..How CommentLuv Grows Businesses and Blogs =-.

    Reply
  4. Snerdey

    Great post! We’ve worked closely with David since 2003 promoting the templates and services. Love the fact that we can take a template and modify it to be unique to each clients needs.

    Happy Editing!
    Snerdey

    Reply
  5. Cheree Centorino

    Assessing the cash flow is one more essential element in the company technique format, so as to sustain a regular cash flow to meet the essential capital requirements. Probability of monetary crisis and also the ways of crisis management should be mentioned within the structure. The business strategy must consist from the marketing plans and strategy leading towards the expansion from the organization.

    Reply
  6. Sandro

    Always a pleasure to read what David Braun has to say. He inspires us always with the team of TM. We partner Template Monster is
    years and have made many excellent designs based on templates.

    Reply
  7. Norris Dostie

    I enjoy what you’ve accomplished with this web-site, it is great on the eyes 🙂

    Reply
  8. Shantell Ackerley

    Boredom is the respectable kingdom of the altruistic.

    Reply
  9. André Lelis Braga

    Great article – I’m only now getting access (2011). The site remains a success

    Reply
  10. Patricia

    I think this site great, beautiful templates

    Reply
  11. Alexandre

    Templates that always end up inspiring me

    Reply
  12. Desenvolvimento de Sites

    Good post. I knew the site today and realized that he is in the air for some time. Cool.

    Reply
  13. Martijn

    Template Monster always stays on top of the market. Their product range is increasing and increasing, although unfortunately the Silverlight Templates weren’t quite the success we all hoped for. I am now patiently waiting for them to release Drupal Commerce themes, which will be a great eCommerce solution for many online entrepeneurs.

    Reply

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