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All posts by Adii Pienaar

Adii Pienaar
Co-Founder @WooThemes. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.
  • Forget funding: 5 things South African tech entrepreneurs really need to start caring about

    And it's probably not bitcoin. In the last couple of years, startups - especially within the tech sector - have (finally) been given a bit more time in the spotlight. I'd say that this has mostly coincided with endeavours like Silicon Cape and the passion of a handful of individuals (entrepreneurs, investors and geeks) to create more of an ecosystem for (tech) entrepreneurs to flourish. I've mostly been on the fence about getting overly involved or saying anything overly opinionated about this, as I've always sensed a bit of ignorance and arrogance in how we've (as South Africans and stakeholders) gone...

  • What’s stopping you from building your business?

    I recently read an article about Nasty Gal, an eBay clothing retailer with nearly US$100m in sales. Whilst those revenues are undoubtedly very impressive, it was this bit from the article that impressed me most: “Instead, she quit her job and started an eBay page to sell some of the vintage designer items she found rummaging through Goodwill bins. She bought a Chanel jacket at a Salvation Army store for $8 and sold it for $1,000. She found Yves Saint Laurent clothing online on the cheap by Googling misspellings of the designer’s name, reasoning that anyone who didn’t know how...

  • Coping as an entrepreneur

    When I wrote about being born an entrepreneur, I did so to communicate what I felt / thought in an effort to be validated. Because if I can be validated, if I can find others like me, then surely it means that I'm not crazy. Right? The various tweets and affirmations that I got subsequently made me feel like I wasn't alone. But then I read this article about entrepreneurs being soft-bipolar: “In general, though, many believe that running startups can drive people to experience intense ups and downs. While this is true, it’s often the other way around: People in...

  • Supercharge your startup’s focus with these priority optimisation tips

    Adii Pienaar is co-founder of WordPress theme shop and ecommerce platform WooThemes. A couple of months ago, I implemented a few “lifehacks” that would allow me to have better balance in my life (according to my unique set of variables & wants / needs). One of the consequences and / or requirements of these hacks were that I simply had to spend less time working / in front of my computer. I wasn't ready to compromise on my professional ambition though, because I'm passionate about what I work on. So instead, I forced myself to become better at prioritising the things...

  • Balance = Happiness = Success

    Adii Pienaar is co-founder of WordPress theme shop and ecommerce platform WooThemes. These days, my idea of success is a well-managed balance between time with people I love and a project I'm deeply passionate about. Right now, that's Campaign Monitor. Time spent with each one of these has a huge impact on how much I enjoy the other. When I get that balance right, I'm at my happiest. And in the end, isn't that what success is all about? -- Dave Greiner in the latest version version of Offscreen Magazine. This is such a lovely quote and awesome mindset, which is...

  • Some good things in business are totally unanticipated and unexpected

    Adii Pienaar is co-founder of WordPress theme shop and ecommerce platform WooThemes. I’ve come to the conclusion that some good things in business are totally unanticipated and even more so - unexpected. Regardless of how big my ego is and how I rate myself as a strategist, visionary and leader within my company, some things are the results of the unknown and not my (or anyone on my team’s) doing. At least not consciously. Here’s an example: Two weeks ago we switched WooThemes' support helpdesk to use Zendesk instead. Within a week, our support numbers, capacity and performance were under control (in stark...

  • Avoid the ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ mantra, do one thing

    Adii Pienaar is co-founder of WordPress theme shop and ecommerce platform WooThemes. We live in a time where we are always trying to work more, be more efficient, increase our productivity. We strive to do more, so we get involved in more projects & take on tasks & to do’s that aren’t that important. Heck, everyone has a side-project these days. I guess we’ve become so used to diversification. "Don’t put your eggs into one basket," says your investment manager. So instead of putting more money into AAPL (which has made you good money until now), you find lesser stocks just for...

  • Passion will make you work more

    Adii Pienaar is co-Founder of WordPress theme shop and eCommerce platform WooThemes. I used to be a firm believer of this mantra: “When you love your job, you’ll never work again.” Today, I’m not convinced that I believe it as much any more. See, in terms of that mantra I guess I’d be considered to be living the dream. I co-founded my own business, get to work with an awesome team on awesome products, we make good money, I get to travel often and I have loads of flexibility. It’s a privileged life. And all of this has been fuelled by my...

  • We’ve broken this startup thing

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how our ideals and idols are totally broken and that we needed to re-evaluate how we work on, and within online / digital / technology companies. So I was quite sad to see another idol admitting that same brokenness. I’m trying to figure out when and why it became so acceptable for us to: Leave the office at 7pm AND then go home to work some more. Not take any kind of non-working holiday. Work every single weekend. Compromise on every single aspect of our lives in favour of work. The thing is that this has really...

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