How GreatSimple Earned Over $10,000 in Their First Month on Designmodo Market
Hey, readers! Today we want tell the story of some guys that made $10,000 in the first month on Designmodo Market. It’s a great milestone for a small studio from Russia. They are GreatSimple and have some brilliant products on the market, take look here.
Here’s an interview with the founder of GreatSimple, Alexey Rybin.
– First off, we would like to congratulate you on your one-month anniversary at Designmodo Market and your first $10,000! Can you tell us a bit about your impressions regarding the first month and how satisfied you are with the results?
– Thank you, we are very happy about our membership at Designmodo Market, not to mention how significant of a member we have become. On any given platform, the first month is always associated with uncertainty and to be frank, we didn’t really anticipate anything and we tried as not to think too much about the potential volume of sales we could see. This is exactly why it was such a pleasant surprise to see such large figures right after the first week on the Market.
– So you will continue to sell your products on the Market?
– Yes, of course :)
– Could you compare the revenue that you see on Designmodo Market vs. other markets?
– For the moment, we can confidently say that our revenue numbers from Designmodo Market are comparable with that from other marketplaces. But we are very confident that Designmodo can become the market leader.
– We will talk about the Market again in a bit, but first tell us a little about your studio, how you started in the industry and how you founded Great Simple.
– I was 13 years old when I started working in design, so a long time ago. I mostly did freelance work in combination with work at small web-boutiques. Office-work never felt right to me, I always yearned change, wanted more freedom and to work on cool projects, so eventually all of this lead to founding Great Simple in 2012.
Back then, we only did web design and so we very quickly turned into a small web-boutique and ran into the same problems as before. In order to stay financially stable, we often needed to make compromises to quickly finish projects. With time we realized that this was not our objective when we started our studio, so we moved on to developing digital products for designers and developers.
We are now totally independent and constantly challenging ourselves with new projects and we work to the best of our abilities. I believe this is exactly what every designer is striving for – to do cool and useful things.
– How many people work currently at the studio?
– Are all of them designers?
– When we first started to work on digital products there were four of us including me, all designers. Now, in addition, we have a junior designer and a business development manager working with us. But actually we all wear many hats and do all sorts of other work that is essential for the existence of the studio.
– Is your current revenue higher than when you worked for clients?
– Yes, despite the fact that we are operating in a small market. Within a short period of time we have managed to establish ourselves as leaders on many marketplaces and have significantly increased our revenue. Furthermore, there is a degree of stability that enables us to plan ahead, and this is something that we couldn’t do in the past.
– Do you have any sales tactics for your products that you could share?
– We’ve been on the market for 6 months so far but we’ve managed to put out 10 products. In the beginning we participated in only a few marketplaces and had a small following, so we needed to work a lot to release a couple of new products every month. Now we can concentrate on our backlog and other things. For example, we are heavily focused on increasing our follower base and extending the longevity of our products. We are devoting more and more of our attention to sales analytics, feedback and quality. In any case, marketplaces are still our primary sales channels.
– Is your future plan to remove all of your products from marketplaces and sell them directly?
– No, we do not plan anything of that sort. It is practically impossible to scale to the same degree as all of the marketplaces combined. Furthermore, our interest is to collaborate with the marketplaces and to exchange our experiences.
One of the big advantages of Designmodo Market is that Great Simple gets to keep the copyrights for its products, and if the marketplace grows, our brand loyalty also grows. We find this very appealing.
– We think that crediting the creators of the products is the right thing to do.
– We think so too.
– Where do you get the ideas for products?
– There are no secrets here, really. I browse everyday through Behance and Dribbble, read blogs and magazines about technology, start-ups, UI/UX.
How important is the presentation of a product and how does it affect sales?
Presentation is half the battle. It’s the classic case of the packaging of a product in a supermarket. I find that the presentations are more entertaining when there is more freedom and no strict necessity to adhere to rules and guides, like we do with our UI products.
– To compare, how long did it take you to create Ink UI vs. Baikal UI?
– Baikal UI was our first product so it took quite a lot of time. I worked on it for about two months. I spent a lot of time on the development of the concept, the structure and the first two categories; all the subsequent stages were significantly easier.
Ink UI is our latest product and our whole team worked on its development, which took around two months as well, but the result is a much bigger, well thought-out and clean product.
– Sketch or Photoshop? What are the arguments in favor of either tool? Most of your kits are done in Photoshop and Sketch. How hard is it to create a kit in one program and then convert it into the format of the other? How much time does this take up?
– Definitely Sketch. We first draw in Sketch and then re-draw everything in Photoshop. Some of us, including me, are used to working in Fireworks, I drew the very first kits in it and converted them to PS and corrected some glitches. Finally, we re-draw everything from scratch in Sketch. We’ve all switched to Sketch and we all agree that it’s a very convenient and cool thing. It is much more intuitive and user-friendly than PS, though there is some room for improvement. In any case, the Bohemian Coding team regularly updates the software.
Sketch is the ideal instrument for creating UI kits. The possibility to work with art boards, vector shapes, text styles, symbols, dynamic guides, easy export options – all these are huge plus points for us as UI designers and end-users. Of course, re-drawing is a laborious and repetitive task but it is necessary because we want our products to be useful to users of Photoshop and Sketch.
– Are you obliged to use free fonts in your kits and to what extent does it limit creativity?
– Yes, it does limit creativity, but on the other hand it also stimulates one to come up with new combinations of different free fonts, which, in some cases, can also generate trends around the usage of specific free fonts.
– Have you ever thought about downshifting and moving to an inexpensive location where you could pursue your passion?
We have been all working together in our office in Novosibirsk but now we are thinking about doing remote work, without being tied to any specific place. In June, our whole team moved to St. Petersburg for a month, everyone but me is now back in Novosibirsk, I stayed behind. One of the guys wants to move to Europe for a few months and work from there. Now that we are developing our own products, these sort of remote working structures have become easier.
– I hear that you were at a Dribbble Meetup in Moscow not long ago, and apparently it had a record number of participants. How did you like it? What were the main questions that came up after the meetup?
– This was the first time I spoke in front of such a huge audience and I’m sure I’m not going to forget it anytime soon. I was very nervous. I wanted to get the idea across that the development of products like UI kits is a wonderful opportunity to create something useful on your own without any significant cost and to try to sell it. There are a lot of designers that work with customers and web-shops, but haven’t sold anything in their lives. I think it is important to go through this experience and venture out on your own. There are other added benefits, for example, you could earn some extra income and develop your portfolio.
Video from Dribbble Meetup (Russian)
Based on the questions I received during and after my presentation, I saw that there is a great interest in this. The questions were wide-ranging. There were potential clients that were interested in the use of the UI kits and designers that enquired about the design process behind our products. I am very pleased to receive emails from designers that have started to create their own kits after having listened to my presentation – it feels really nice.
– I see that there are many designers that would like to do what you’re doing, but don’t know where to start. What advice would you give them?
– Download a few kits, have a look at how they’re done and come up with something better. But the most important thing is to think about the end-user, how he will use your product and how will your product help him. If your product solves a problem that a lot of people face then you are all set for success.
– What’s next? What’s in the product pipeline?
– We’ve been working for only six months so far and currently have more ideas than time to get everything done. Almost every month we release a new product and we will do so this month, too.
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