Well 2012 flew by, it’s been six months since my last blog post and I’ve been planning on writing this one for about a month now. So here we are, 2013, and I’m talking about the past. Who cares, right?
A lot of things happened to me and Design Crumbs in 2012. The funny thing is that they were so gradual and so I didn’t really notice. Anywho, let’s dive in.
No More Clients. Ever. Okay, Maybe Not Ever.
This is a pretty simple one. I’m no longer doing client work. I took my last client job back around February and completed the job in April. Of course, this isn’t to say I won’t do client work again; I just have the luxury of being picky. This goes right into my next accomplishment.
Elite Author and Full Time WordPress Themer
My WordPress themes, sold mainly on ThemeForest, have proven lucrative enough to focus nearly 100% of my time on them. A few months after making the move to WordPress themes full time I reached the status of Elite on ThemeForest. I love creating themes and hope to be able to continue doing this for a long time. I added 9 themes and templates to the marketplace last year, and hope to continue with just as many this year.
Edit: I forgot to mention that I also hired Bryan Farris (@bryanfarris) to handle my theme support. He’s an all around awesome guy who likes Star Wars and zombies and has a dog named Shorty.
Mike McAlister, Chris Molitor, and I started a live podcast last year called Please Advise. We just kind of talk about whatever we want but it usually relates to WordPress, Apple, Sci-Fi, or the Envato marketplaces since those things are generally what we’re all interested in. Our live listeners can tweet the show to join the discussion or even call in on Skype (our username is PleaseAdvise.fm) and join us on air. As of the time of writing, we have 8 shows under our collective belt. Although we have no schedule, we typically do the shows on random Thursday afternoons. So pop on over and give the shows a listen or signup for our newsletter to be alerted of upcoming shows.
I launched ThemeThrift.com towards the middle of 2012. It’s a site that lets you choose what you want to pay (from a few choices) for a WordPress Theme. WPCandy had a few good articles about it here and here.
A few months after launch, Hurricane Sandy hit the US. I scrambled and collected a group of WP guys (Pippin Williamson of pippinsplugins.com, Jason Schuller of press75.com, Adam Pickering of mintthemes.com, Mike McAlister of okaythemes.com, Brian Richards of wpstartbox.com, and myself) to submit themes and plugins to a bundle which we sold on ThemeThrift and gave 100% of the money to the American Red Cross.
Over the course of seven days, we the WordPress community came together and raised $2,095 for The American Red Cross and victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Take My Money, HBO!
On a whim and in a few hours one evening, I kicked out a little site called TakeMyMoneyHBO.com. The idea was to generate tweets telling @HBO how much money people would be willing to pay for a standalone HBOGO service, rather than needing to subscribe to cable or satellite and then pay more money to subscribe to HBO. The site went viral almost instantly and I started receiving emails and phone calls from the worlds biggest news outlets. Within the first 48 hours, the site had 163,673 visits. Not bad for two hours of work, eh? The morning after the site launched, @HBO tweeted a single tweet that shot us down. But in the end at least we know we were heard.
— HBO (@HBO) June 6, 2012
I attended three WordCamps this year; San Francisco, Chicago, and Grand Rapids. I spoke at both Chicago and Grand Rapids. My presentation was called “No, I Didn’t Read The Instructions. Just Do It For Me.” Supposedly, there will be a video up sooner than later of the talk in Chicago, but until then you can find the slides here.
I also got a sweet hoodie from Grand Rapids:
— Jake Caputo (@jakecaputo) October 12, 2012
CareBooker.com is a startup of which I am the designer, front-end developer, and founding member. We soft launched in November and, as of time of writing, have about 800 profiles created. Think of it as the Expedia of the care sectors. We help pet care providers, tutors, babysitters, etc. fill their vacant time slots. We’re currently in our first round of fundraising. Check out CareBooker.com or our AngelList profile to learn more.
So What’s Next?
I have a few things up my sleeve, starting with more WordPress themes. 2013 is already looking pretty exciting. I may be joining another startup (shhhhhh), designing some things for WordCamp Chicago, launching a few more website ideas that I have on the ole’ back burner, and hopefully within the next few months my wife and I will buy and move-in to our dream house. Stay tuned.