November is only a day old and that means it’s time to announce October’s Community Superstar winner. October’s winner does a bang-up job over on the Marketplace forums. Congratulations to Enabled!
Who is Enabled?
When I contacted Paul (Enabled) informing him that he was our Community Superstar winner, you could almost feel the excitement rushing through the Internet’s tubes. Paul actually offered to let us interview him for this piece. So instead of me telling you who Enabled is, why don’t I just let him?
Who are you and what makes you tick?
I graduated from Universitatea Aurel Vlaicu, Applied Informatics And Automatics, but it had nothing to do with what I’m doing now! Web Design was just love at first sight! A big special thanks goes out to Cosmin Cotor who had the immense patience to teach me a few tricks here and there! Thanks mate!
My favorite activities outside work are going swimming with my girlfriend (this summer I kind of skipped out, too much work), and taking long drives! Anywhere. I just take a knife and stick in the map, and I’ll go there! I just love driving! I also enjoy learning new things, whatever strikes me as being nice, I’ll try to learn it and perfect myself! Being a fulltime freelancer gives me the time I need to learn new stuff and enjoy time with my girlfriend…
What Marketplace are you big on?
How did you get your start and did you take any special training?
I had no formal training whatsoever. I loved programming since I modified my Sony Ericsson k800i. It was quite complicated, you needed to HEX code everything in it, and that’s where I fell in love with programming. But didn’t quite know where to go from there. That’s why I chose the Informatics college, where I met Cosmin Cotor. He showed me some rocket animation made in Flash using Tweener (at that time it was rocket science for me!). So slowly and painfully I learned Flash, but by the time I’d finished (or became more proficient), Flash was already going downhill. But still, it was the start that I needed to advance into other programming languages!
Show us how you work!
Ooohhh yes! This is what I take great pleasure in showing! I have 2 BENQ 22” LED displays, 1 iPad, 1 HP Mini laptop (both are great for testing sites on smaller resolutions and of course tablet compatibility, touch screen and what not), a Cyborg Rat 9 5600DPI laser mouse, and a Apple Keyboard, both were quite the investment, but they help. I can’t imagine my life without the fast low profile keyboard and the ergonomic hand shaping mouse! As for the hardware specs, I have 12 Gigabytes of DD3 at 1600Mhz, a AMD QUAD Core Phenom X6 3.3 GHZ Black Edition, Dual(2x) Sli 2GB DDR5 256 Bit 4GHZ nVidia GTX560. And last but not least, about 3 terabytes of storage!
Also, I needed a custom made desk for all of that. So, on a nice Sunday, my Dad and I solved that problem really fast! No need to pay for a custom desk that’s just a designer’s fashion. A few wood planks and some screws, and voila, the masterpiece is in the picture bellow!
To be honest, this was my first upgrade. The first thing I purchased with the money that I made from developing. I used to have an old laptop Acer Aspire 5315, a great machine, but that just didn’t cut it anymore!
What’s your creative process? Do you put on funny hats and dance around the house like the rest of us?
Hehe, well, the first ThemeForest file I made, I just opened Photoshop and made a sketch, then started polishing stuff up. Of course, PremiumPixels, DailyPSD, Creattica were of HUGE help! And I don’t mean copying stuff! I am highly against that. I just mean referring to ideas, corners, borders, styles etc. As for the code, I am a great fan of W3C School. That’s where I learned everything from and that’s where I go for help. Rarely, a forum message is required, but that is usually after a night of not sleeping and trying to figure it out myself.
Once the design is mostly done, I have a very good friend Stefan (a.k.a PixelCloth) which, has a million tons of patience with my noobish design skills and he’s good at criticizing my work! I extend my immense gratitude to Stefan! His design skills are just AMAZING! Thanks mate!
Once the design is complete and Stefan likes it I start coding, commenting, creating the documentation and thumbnail, and off to the rejection note… aaa upload! I’m actually the only guy who is happy to get rejected. I always get the chance to perfect more and more and more. And Ivor and Sid always comment a LOT in the rejection notes. So their help is more than invaluable! Thanks guys!
As for Flash files, some of my files are unique, and the social networks trend gave me a few unique ideas! The Flash Like button (NOT FACEBOOK RELATED) is my best selling file! Just woke up with the idea! Hey, a like button that has a counter mechanism with a cookie would work wonders! And there you have it! TheFlyingTinMan had a lot of patience with me on that file! It was the moment when ActiveDen requested previews to be hosted on Envato servers and the preview faked… oh boy… Thanks Steve!
Any advice for authors on putting together a successful portfolio?
Well, this I learned the hard way with my first files! Polish, polish, polish, polish some more. Take all possible aspects into consideration. Ask yourself if you would buy it? Is it easy to install? Will the buyer have trouble using this part, or that part, or is the documentation well built? Giving support is a nightmare when you have LOT of files, but mandatory in my opinion! Sales are directly related to ratings, and comments, and not giving support is a massive mistake! So making the file as stable, easy to use, customize and install will guarantee sales, good ratings and happy customers! Most of my freelance work comes from customers that purchased files from me! And that makes me quite happy! I usually spend a lot of time freelancing, 90% of the working time! 10% is dedicated to Envato (sadly I am still trying to learn WordPress now so soon the percentages will flip! )
What do you do to market your files?
To be perfectly and 100% honest with you? Nothing! Maybe a tweet, a post on Facebook, but that’s pretty much it! A good file sells itself.
Apart from yourself (you egomaniac!), who is your favorite Marketplace author and why?
I must say I have 2 favorite authors, CosminCotor, and PixelCloth. I love their determination! Both have put in great effort to get where they are at the moment, plus they are quite good friends of mine! Keep up the good work guys! Both of them helped me in situations where other people would have just turned their back and said “I don’t know!”, there aren’t a lot of decent people out there, so I appreciate their kindness and help! Thanks a million mates!
Along with the ultra-cool gold superstar community badge (that only lasts for 12 months!), the prize this month is a 6 month Tuts+ premium subscription, a $30 Rockable ebook voucher and a $20 marketplace credit. Congratulations Enabled!
My mouse has 5700 DPI . You’re close, but no cigar.
P.S: Nice interview and desk
P.S: Noticed the second link in the article (Paul, a.k.a Enabled) is broken.
Congrats – and great to read the interview. I’m already thinking about building speaker stands! Well done!
I start coding, commenting, creating the documentation and thumbnail, and off to the rejection note… aaa upload! I’m actually the only guy who is happy to get rejected. I always get the chance to perfect more and more and more. And Ivor and Sid always comment a LOT in the rejection notes. So their help is more than invaluable! Thanks guys!
Love this attitude!
Well deserved, Paul! Congrats!