Cyan Ta'eed is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Envato. Envato is a creative eco-system, encompassing the largest digital marketplace in the world.
Envato's 5 million members buy send sell digital stock and services, and have delivered a quarter of a billion dollars of earnings to them so far. The company launched in 2006, and is still completely bootstrapped.
I LOVE THE IDEA THAT LOTS OF PEOPLE GET TO EARN MONEY DOING WHAT THEY ACTUALLY REALLY ENJOY DOING AND DO IT ON THEIR OWN TERMS.
Cyan is passionate about gender diversity in tech, entrepreneurship, and encouraging diverse people to get interested in tech and start-ups. She also founded New Day Box in 2013, an initiative that mobilises women to make gifts for women in domestic violence crisis. Each year thousands of boxes are delivered around Victoria.
WE HAD THE IDEA ONE DAY WHEN WE WERE SWIMMING AT ASHFIELD POOL.
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Blackbird: So tell us where you got the idea for Envato? Where where you when it first hit?
Cyan: We had the idea one day when we were swimming at Ashfield pool. You know, the usual, "What are we going to do with our lives?", sort of conversations that you have when you're swimming. We founded Envato about 10 years ago now. So yeah, it's been a long road.
Blackbird: So being artists yourself I guess helped you out in the begining. Having that understanding of the space would have been good?
Cyan: You know, obviously growing up around designers and photographers, being able to do something that I guess helps more people do creative work that they love is really important to us. We put together, you know, a broad idea of what the site would look like. I haven't looked at that in many, many years but probably now if I looked at it I would go, "Wow. That's pretty vague."
Blackbird: You’ve come a long way! Did you ever imagine it would get this big?
Cyan: Well, we never imagined that it would get to the size that it did. We were hopeful that it would become a solid business. You think, "Oh, well maybe 1 day we'll have a team of 10 people." I think it's very, very difficult to imagine when you start, especially considering how green we were and how not in the space we were. We very quickly became obsessed with delivering a really good solution for our sellers and a really good solution for our buyers. We wanted to be the best at doing that. We wanted to solve all their problems. What started out as a side project really became something we were incredibly passionate about delivering a great product. I love the idea that lots of people get to earn money doing what they actually really enjoy doing and do it on their own terms.
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