Tag - Hamed Farhadian
We had an interview with Hamed Farhadian from ChimbaWeb – an Entrepreneurial Web Development & Consulting Company.
Find out how he got started, what mistakes to prevent, his top 5 tools and much more..
ChimbaWeb – What and How It Started
It all started in 2008. I had a long road of entrepreneurial experiences; I tried a lot of different stuff on the web. ChimbaWeb got created when I had the urge to put different freelancers from different places into one company that could help me with my business processes. It’s a group of talented freelancers that I have hired throughout the years that provides web services such as web development, content creation, marketing and customer support.
In short: ChimbaWeb is a web development agency with a clear focus on entrepreneurial startups. Our customers are entrepreneurs from all over the world who want to work with real pros who want to shape the future of the Web. We are there with experience and insights to deal with problems, mostly related with WordPress developmentWhat separates us from the rest is the fact that we have own projects with millions of users each month.
Find People That Truly Care
In the beginning, one of the most important aspects was that I could hire people easily, find the right talent and just get the job done. And then I realized that I have to find people who truly care about our organization, our customers, our users and about the energy within the company itself.
I hire most of my staff from oDesk and I’ve hired probably more than 250 people throughout the last 5 years. But as of now, there is only about 13 people who are hired full time and at the same time managed full time via oDesk. oDesk makes it easy for me to manage my team, review their work diary and get their work paid I’m a big oDesk fan and I highly suggest it for people who are starting out and in need of virtual assistance or a developer. oDesk helped this organizations to grow and scale quickly to 5000 employees with the tools that oDesk provides.
To make sure that employees are engaged, I think its very important for entrepreneurs to explain to the team their own situation, the vision that they have and the mission that is driving them. That is only way that people will truly understand your background and what you expect from them. The more you make your staff understand your culture and where you’re coming from, the better that they can adopt to it and the more value they can bring to the team.
Good Employees Equal To Success
It’s extremely important to have good staff. I remember the first 2 years when I was very inexperienced in managing a team. I was having 15 employees and because we had some sites that were doing good revenue, I did not really paid a lot of attention. Now, when I go over what they have been doing then and what we are doing now, I can say that those weren’t good times as a company. The reason was that people were not connected, the staffs were not having a mission and it was just getting the job done.
If you have onetime projects then you don’t have to worry about good employees, just hire the people to get the job done. But if you want to build up a great company that will last for years, then it’s essential to have people in the team that truly care about goals, processes within the company, and about their own and others team members’ performance. The more you build up this kind of culture where everyone tries to help the other and make sure that everyone else is happy, the more it will become a great company. Even if revenue wise we haven’t reached our goals yet, I’m pretty sure that performance wise, in terms of culture, were definitely on the right track. Right now ChimbaWeb is all about providing a lifelong opportunity for people who want to shape their future on the web.
3 Pieces of Advice
I have a lot of ideas in mind, but these are the top 3 advice I would give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out.
The first thing I would say to “the Hamed 5 years ago” is don’t be scared of failure. That is something I see in a lot of people. People talk about plans for months or years, they go to networking events, startup weekends and all that stuff yet they never get started. And I think the main reason is not because they don’t have the right mind set, the right tools or the right people it is because they are very scared saying “Yes, I’ll do it” and it will not work out and they will get the blame. It’s okay to fail. The more you fail, the better you become and the better you will be able to know what’s working and what is not. That’s very valuable if you want a sustainable business.
Second thing is “Just start”. Of course, you need to prepare. Invest a lot of time and energy into outlining where you are today and where you want to be and from there set up a great plan. Most people stop at that point. They would say that they have a business plan but don’t get to the execution and implementation of that plan. Everyday -even if it’s difficult- ask your self what is the next smallest thing you could do that can bring you closer to your goal or to the place where you want to be. And then just do it,don’t think about it. You have your plan, you have prepared your self, get in the mindset of just starting. You may not see good results but at least you are doing the first step. And as you do it step by step you will discover mistakes and will have the chance to change your plan along the way because things are actually different from the way it should be. You will be able to easily adopt to it, you will learn more, make more progress along the way and you will see the success that you want to reach.
Third is focus on one task at a time. A lot of entrepreneurs, myself included, we want to do everything and implement every feature that comes to our mind. It good but in the long run, it would be a wrong path to take. Focus on your key features and allow yourself to spend one full day on one task that you want accomplished and make sure that you finish it. Don’t do a little bit of everything because that won’t bring any good results. You will feel busy but you’re not actually doing the right thing. Focus on a certain task at a time and learn to say no to applicants, business partners, ideas, opportunities for the sole reason of focusing on what you have identified as being the right thing to do as of this moment.
Top 3 Skills of a Successful Entrepreneur
No 1. Skill – Be a Go-Getter
Don’t worry too much on things that are not important. Make the first step and go and get what is needed. This can be anything, whether finding the right developer to develop a project or thinking about financing and collecting money from other people. Whatever it is, as an entrepreneur you are willing to face the first step and have a go-getter attitude. You should not scared of the challenges that are ahead of you.
No. 2 Skill – Have The Mindset of Constant Learning
Learn constantly about anything. It could be technical like developer-related, sales and psychology, or team management. You need to become a better and more experienced and educated entrepreneur and you can do it through reading blogs, talking to different people of all sort of niches and having a broad overview of what’s going on in your industry and maybe with the industry that you don’t belong to.
The more you understand that learning never ends, the better your own skills will become.
People actually appreciates constant learning. Your team will actually notice that you have skills and they can benefit from it.
The biggest motivation for people who work for an entrepreneur is not usually the money but the fact that they can learn something from that person.
The more you educate your self and the more you can bring value to the table for your team, the better it is.
No. 3 Skill – Be Relentless
No matter what, entrepreneurs will experience failure. You need to have attitude that says “I failed once and I’m willing to fail again, I’m going to stand up no matter what in order to reach my goal”.
Improve your personal mindset of getting the success that you want and that the one that you have in your dreams. You have to be relentless.
The Top 5 Applications
App #1. Asana
This is very goo for project management. It has a great two-eye and helps to micromanage to a certain degree your team and give you an overview of what you need to focus
App #2. Voxer
Voxer helps me communicate easily with my team. It’s a really helpful way to get feedback to your team and at the same time know what’s going on and hear the reports, especially if I’m travelling. It’s great for assigning tasks because one feature of the app is that you can replay the message as many times as you want.
App #3. Evernote
Whenever I have an idea or I need to get something documented and I could not afford to lose it, I just put it in Evernote. During flights or whenever I don’t have Internet, I sit down and I restructure it. Evernote helps me make sure that I don’t lose any idea or thought that I have.
App # 4. Twitter
Today I’m starting to use Twitter in a more professional way. I like the idea of connecting easily with entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners without letting them know about my personal life. Twitter is a great way to reach out and connect with other people.
App #5. oDesk
For me, oDesk is the most interesting tool. Being able to get applicants within 2 to 3 hours of more than 60 people from all over the world is a real game changer. Once you harness the power of outsourcing, tools are very important and the most important tool are people whom you work with.
How can we help you?
By combining the experiences, failures, wisdom and successes of more than 15 years of being on the online space, ChimbaWeb can help you in many ways. We have a lot of experience on scaling WordPress projects from 0 to 20000 unique visitors per day. We know a lot about custom post types, Google Maps, API, customization of existing theme and plugins. We also have rapid development cycle in our team, where we take an idea and put a complete project online in less than 3 days. For those who are just starting out right now needs to have a reliable partner at the site and who truly cares about the project. ChimbaWeb is the right team and the right force for them to work on any type of WordPress project within the budget, on time and with highly documented code paste.
Successful Form of Marketing
1st Form of Marketing – B2C Marketing
SEO is my number one marketing tool. Google as the search engine is driving the most valuable leads to your company. if you truly understand content marketing, link building and writing your quality post on your blog, you can reach a great audience with relatively low amount of dollars spent.
2nd Form of Marketing – Reach Out To People In Your Network
As an entrepreneur you have to call people, go to events or even in a taxicab you could tell the taxi driver about your project. Getting in touch with people and talking to them is the highest form of engagement that you can have with other people. Look at them in their eyes while talking to them. Doing this is sometimes worth more than a thousand unique visitors per day if you just have that one right contact.
Find one or two company or people who have the audience or connection customers that you want and you get in touch with them and explain why their customers would benefit from your services . set up a joint venture with that other person or that company and provide those kind of services to their customers. their customers are happy , they make some money and you get more business going on. finding leads or company to work with and building up an affiliate relationship, make a strategic partnership that is highly valuable. we have done this over and over again and sometimes its worth it to focus on this 2 big customer sources than finding the customers your self.
I hope you learned a lot in this article. For questions, you can go to www.ChimbaWeb.com or you can post your comments below.
We would like to share with you an insightful interview by Hamed Farhadian with the WordPress co-founder, Matt Mullenweg.
During the interview, Matt shared his perception of WordPress, the top 5 apps he’s using on a daily basis, his hopes for WordPress in 5 years, and much more.
Transcript of Interview
Hamed: Hi everyone. This is Hamed from WebEntrepreneur.WS and today I am very, very happy to have Matt Mullenweg with us, the creator and founder of WordPress.
Matt: Co founder.
Hamed: Co founder. Alright. Actually, the audience who is interested in this video are usually entrepreneurs who are trying to launch a web startup, a web app or maybe a mobile app. Why is WordPress relevant to them and how does it help them to grow their ideas into a real business?
Matt: I think that one of the nice things about WordPress is that without any cost or even if they didn’t know a lot, you can piece together, even Prototypes, like something that can really fully functional. Example is that range from even the multi billion dollar companies, Groupon. The First Experiement. Andrew Basins started in WordPress. And of course, we need a custom platform and something on the line because what you’re doing doesn’t really look like blogging… but for testing an idea, because that’s really one of the hardest things. That’s sort of Zero to One. That’s one of my favorite entrepreneurship books by Peter Thiel.
You can go to zero to one which is WordPress with some plugins instead of spending hundreds of dollars and see if it catches and if it does, reinvest it.
Hamed: It’s amazing how easy nowadays with the power of WordPress just set up a site. And there’s payment modules, there’s gateways for everything.
Matt: Membership system.
Hamed: Exactly. There is a tendency nowadays in the industry or in the ecosystem of WordPress with all these premium themes and all these plugins, how do you perceive that? Is this something that annoys you or is this something that you’re happy about?
Matt: I think it’s great to see businesses is being built on top of WordPress. I do have a neutral way of seeing things. Some of them costs money but are arent nessararly better than some of the free ones and some of them are fantastic. To me the quality doesn’t have to do with whether it costs money or not and that’s one thing I ask people to remember as WordPress itself demonstrates. Sometimes, “The best things in life are free.”
Hamed: Exactly. And there is something also in my mind and maybe I am little bit too much in that business sphere instead of an open source, but I have to tell you that even myself changed a lot through WordPress in terms of how I think with quality and pricing and value and giving back to the community and it’s amazing. So the ideology is very important there. But my question here is, when you released WordPress in the first versions, what made you not think like me but rather like yourself? Why didn’t you sell it, but gave it out as an open source? What was the motivation there?
Matt: It never even occurred to me to sell it. It was just one of these things that… Oh, WordPress was, you have to remember was built on an existing open source software.
Hamed: What was the name?
Matt: B2/Cafelog. And so, the same thing that allowed us to build WordPress on top of that, I thought that we should pass along and pay it forward. Give other people the benefit to do the same on top of WordPress. Luckily with plugin and themes system, they’re able to do it on WordPress versus having to create something new like we did.
Hamed: If I will be asking Steve Jobs, rest in peace, why did you create the App Store? You could have done of maybe an open source or having the open system like Android. It’s more like the tradition of the existing framework.
Matt: The App store has lots of free apps in it. I don’t know what the breakdown is but it’s just have so many free ones vs paids.
Hamed: Yeah, that’s true.
Matt: So there’s nothing… I think that you can have that sort of an app store model but not necessarily needing to be commercial. In fact, my favorite apps are free. Think Google maps, Calm.com and all that and they’re free.
Hamed: Which leads me to my next question, what are your top 5 apps that you use on a daily basis?
Matt: Good question. Let me see.
Hamed: What do you have on your home screen?
Matt: Slack.The Company switched over Slack quite a bit. Google Voice. TripIt, because I travel all the time. I love the Path Social Network. SimpleNote… Telegram for messaging, I’m wearing my upband.
Hamed: Me too.
Matt: Yeah. RunKeeper, I started running.TweetBuff for Twitter, WordPress, of course. Spotify, Google Chrome.
Hamed: Very similar, I like that. You didn’t mention any or you maybe you did, Project Management tool. How do you keep your business with… How many employees you have in all?
Hamed: How do you manage that with your phone?
Matt: It’s a combination of Slack and WordPress. So we use P2 and we usually front it with WordPress theme and we use those extensively. We have hundreds of them actually for all our different projects and that’s how we do our communications. So we use that as an email.
Hamed: So you don’t have any tools like Asana or Basecamp.
Matt: We’re not using Asana or Basecamp. We use Bugtrackers of course. So we track Trellos or P2 .. and we use all those different tools. We like the teams to choose on their own. Some might just have to choose P2 that has some unresolved post button some have tracks…
Hamed: Doesn’t that costs like too many different systems around and not being able to see the whole picture?
Matt: It does cause the systems to be running but it also allows teams to work however they think its best.
Hamed: I like that.
Matt: The only responsibility is the team to accept bugs from anywhere. Where they found them, it’s up to them. So it’s kind of a tree house thing. So I can drop a bug on the team with P2. They might not use P2 but they can move that into the system. So it kind of put the owner sometimes to whatever they think most efficient.
Hamed: I think you mentioned in the Q&A before something like, ‘Output is more important than input.”
Hamed: Can you elaborate more on that a little bit like how do you implement this on your business?
Matt: I think that sometimes input is easy to imagine. It’s like what time of days and what shows up. Someone who dress well is someone who appears busy. But that doesn’t really matter to your business. Output matters.
Hamed: Let’s talk a little bit about WordPress as a framework. I already tried asking you the question yesterday and I know it’s very broad. But when you close your eyes and I know it’s very difficult, where do you think WordPress will be in 5 years and where do you want it to be?
Matt: In 5 years I want WordPress to be vigorous. So I’d love to power the majority with WordPress and I am pretty confident because that would mean the majority of websites will be running an open source software which I think enables a lot of interesting things if you build on top of WordPress platform. In terms of where I will be in 5 years I think, I have hope I’d figured out the internalization better then we have today. I hope that the plugin directory are much more robust and glue a lot more and mobile with the creation, consumption, everything on mobile. Luckily this gets bigger every year.
Hamed: To be honest, the WordPress apps though it’s just beginning, I’m sure it’s going to improve a lot. And you also mentioned WordPress is not made for mobile yes.
Matt: Not yet.
Hamed: How do you work on this? What has to change in outlookers?
Matt: It’s a lot of outlookers but I’m thankful to them. When you think about it the mobile apps… If only what I’m doing is one of those… it’s actually perfectly fine. But WordPress is so much more than that. Exchanging themes, customizing themes, adding a movie, users, managing pages. All these stuffs you can’t do in mobile right now. So right now, the mobile app store is like an accessory meaning that if you use your computer to run WordPress, mobile app is nice when you’re on the go. But we want it to be able to do everything from that including a blog from a mobile.
Hamed: That would be difficult but it’s also very valuable I guess. I just came from Tehran, I’m a Tehranian myself and I really love the entrepreneurial scene over there. And I was also trying to move this whole idea of using WordPress for developing the MVP , the Minimum Value Product. You mentioned the mobile aspect of it. Connections are very slow in Tehran still. A lot of people want to create a blog and they have this iPhone with a 3G connection. And we’re also developing a star in Iran which is basically the idea of using the slow connection in order to give the information they need. For example instead of actually going and searching for that, they are going to email that sort of information so that they can use the wireless and when they are on the go, they’re just going to read that information as an email created by WordPress. So what would you do to help people, for example in Iran, use the slow connections but still has all the features and all the benefits of WordPress?
Matt: So I mentioned Simple Note. Simple Note if you haven’t tried it out.. But the nice thing about it is that it synchronizing everything with all the notes.
Hamed: I am using Evernote.
Matt: It’s better than Evernote in terms of the synchronizing although sometimes you get complex. The nice thing about it is that it works perfectly offline. So when you’re offline, you can add, change, edit and when you go back online it get sync to that. So for example, the Notification and Android and iOS that’s coming up uses the Superium Technology. So what it allows is that when you are in Wifi or whenever you have the connection, it helps synchronize everything. So when you’re using this, it actually appears at an instant because it’s all just local operations.
Hamed: It’s like Google Docs that has an online, offline kind of thing that you can use. Write text and later it will sync?
Matt: I call it Opportunistic Syncing. So when like you approve a comment, it appears to have it instantly but what happened is that it’s cued in the background and then whenever you have the connection, it actually does it.
Hamed: When do you think this feature will be available?
Matt: Within the next month actually.
Hamed: So good news there.
Matt: Yeah. To both Android and iOS and it looks really good too.
Hamed: Can you show us something? The newest version sneak preview.
Matt: See this different notifications, it goes super-fast.
Hamed: Now you have the internet connection.
Matt: But it’s not a good one. I will find a comment. That is a comment. I can approve it.
Hamed: Nice. Cool. The last question that I would like to ask you, for people who are just starting out and are not very familiar with open source. How do you explain to them that going open source, I mean, most entrepreneurs are also driven to the idea that changing the world but also make some money on the side or maybe sometimes vice versa. But how can you explain to them that going source is actually the best way to reach those 2 goals?
Matt: It’s tough because it might not always be the best way. I believe it’s the best way for most things.
Hamed: WordPress will also work with automatic with .com or org.
Matt: Yes but one thing to keep in mind is that most things fail whether its proprietary or open source. Regardless of red licensing sort of a … Most things don’t ever find the attraction. They don’t ever find users, they don’t ever do something that’s interesting. So it’s really good to optimize because they can try lots of things and see what it sticks and then building up versus just putting all your eggs in just one basket. It’s very long time you do, it’s very expensive and very analytic because the chance is that it’s not going to be much.
Hamed: Yeah. We have in Germany the saying that successful are those who stands up once more than they fall in the ground. I don’t know if that reckon the same saying.
Matt: Yeah, we have a variation of that.
Hamed: So I think that what WordPress really helped me a lot is and I’ve got a lot of crazy ideas and 99 percent is crazy and finding out the 1 percent, that’s when WordPress comes in and it just allows me to implement it and show it and see the effects. So that’s really great. So I wanted to share that knowledge also and give back to the community. And I think one thing that I really have to say is to you again and I appreciate your efforts here. Building up this mindset and the software. I remember the son of my sister is 14 years old. And I remember when we were going to school and we got to build a presentation or write some essay. We don’t want to do it with some paper or if we’re very good, we do a PowerPoint presentation. Nowadays, they create websites and they use WordPress. 13 year old boys that write about atomics and launch some topics and they use Worpress. That’s just wonderful. I think the mindset in here is so valuable. Again, thank you for giving this to the world.
Hamed: It was a pleasure. Wish you all the best. And hope to see you soon again. And hopefully in Germany, Hamburg.
Matt: Thank you.
Hamed: Goodbye everyone. We just met with Matt Mullenweg from WordPress and hopefully we’ll be seeing him in another episode. Thanks.
We hope you enjoyed the interview with WordPress co-founder, Matt Mullenweg. What do you love about WordPress? Got questions to Matt?
Feel free to leave a comment or get a discussion going.