Collis Ta'eed, Ask Me Anything AMA Part 2

Collis is Envato’s wise and fearless CEO.

He's answering questions from our community, and beyond in this short series.

Here's what you wanted to know:

What car do you drive?
A few months ago Cyan and I bought our very first car, it's a VW Golf and his name is Winston! It's an awesome car, we bought it because it won some awards and frankly I don't know the first thing about cars, so seemed like a safe bet.
Are you ever going to make a transition from "just design" to "design as a tool to change the world"?

Interesting question. I certainly think design is a tool to change the world, though I'm not sure I'd ever be bold enough to say that's what we're doing! I prefer to think of ourselves as a little cog in the big engine that is progress.

Will Envato ever have a Tuts+ site devoted game development in general?

Actually this has come up a few times in our suggestion list for future Tuts+ sites, so there is a possibility. But no plans at the moment.

What does it take to become a member of staff at Envato, and if I tick all the boxes how do i apply?

Be active on the site that you're interested in, and keep on the lookout!

Is there any chance that Envato will some day have something like an "EnvatoCon," where marketplace authors, tutorial writers, and frequent readers can get together and have a get together?

Yes! But I have no idea when. It would be so cool though, Bbt a ton of organization and quite expensive to do. Cyan and I talk about it sometimes, so after some more plotting and planning it's definitely possible.

Have you considered publishing an Android.AppStorm?

We sure have. In a recent survey it was the second most requested new AppStorm site after an iPad site (though I think that's a reflection of our current audience).

In your experience, have you noticed if it's more beneficial to have three ads on three different sites with 100,000 impressions combined, or to have one ad on a single site whose impressions alone are 100,000?

When you are buying ads, not all advertising is the same. Some sites might have 100,000 impressions but miserable conversions, say just 100 clickthroughs. On the other hand you might find a site where you get 10,000 impressions but 200 people clickthrough.

So in my experience the most important factor is to test ads on different sites to find which ones work for your product and market. Also you want to optimize the banner graphics you use to see which converts best (this is something we hardly ever do, but I always mean to do).

So if it was a choice, I would take three ads on three different sites, because there's a greater chance that one of them would be really great and then the following month you could buy more advertising there and less on the ones that didn't work out so well - in other words, you start optimizing.

How can I contact you to give some feedback and suggestions on Envato Market?

You can send suggestions through our support, or if you want to let me know something directly you can email me - collis at I try to get back to most emails, but I must admit I don't always manage all of them. But I do see and read everything that comes through!

Currently, I'm developing a job portal. I'm not quite an experienced web designer and would like your input about whether you think the web user interface is most important to end users, or the content?

I think you need to have at least an OK interface, but it doesn't need to be stunning. It's more important to have lots of great content and an OK interface, than to have very little content but a great interface. Of course if you have an awful interface, then people might not stick around to see the content...

Are you a happy man?

I think so! In the mornings and day time I tend to be a lot more excitable and happy than in the evening when I get tired. That's why these days I only really work in the day time because then it's very fun for me, but at night time I get stressed and I see more problems. In the day time though I see only potential and problems always seem solvable.

I think that mood is something that can be controlled to some extent. I read a quote from the Dalai Lama a long time ago that the best way to be happy is to figure out the things that make you unhappy and slowly try to remove those, and find the things that do make you happy and do more of those.

The funny thing is often the things that really make you happy involve more effort. So for example I find it so easy to watch TV and not go out, but usually getting off my butt and doing stuff makes me a lot more long term happy.

Similarly I used to be a bit of a slacker when I was younger. I always tried to avoid working and studying. It was only after a while that I started to realize that it didn't actually make me feel particularly good, so it didn't seem very worthwhile. So instead I thought I would try working hard and see where that took me. And eventually that yielded a much better result.

I certainly am very lucky, and am very thankful for everything I have. So yes, I'd say I'm happy!