Archive for Business – Page 3

Score One for Web Freedom

The good news is … SOPA and PIPA have been delayed by the House and Senate.

The bad news is … they will come back with brand new clothes, a shiny new name, and more teeth soon. In fact, they could come back with a venegeance because of the forces behind them.

Millions of people rallied together to tell those who represent us that we will fight to protect our freedom on the Web — the greatest communications tool ever invented.

These are historic times. People coming together to present a unified voice. I am inspired. I think we all are.

The protests were billed as the largest online protests in history with sites blacking out. WOW!

I know this for a fact though: People will come together only when something seeks to destroy what they hold dear.

SOPA and PIPA did that for those of us who enjoy, respect and cherish our web freedom. It rallied us all together.

But the fight is not over.

YOU, like us, must be ready to let your voice be heard …. and the power of your vote known to those who represent us. The message must be clear:

Seek to take away our web freedoms by legislating crappy bills, and we’re going to put you on the unemployment line.

Looking at these numbers … I think some people in Washington started to take notice.

We can and we will vote them straight out of office. So I hope the lobbyists helping to create these flawed bills have a job open for them when that happens.

So this week is an epic week, a historic week … one we cannot forget. They will simply wait for our fervor to die down, and sneak something sleazy in again.

We must be ready for the next wave.

In the meantime, here’s a quick thought for the industries who have sought to buy (I mean “lobby”) the votes to get this legislation created and passed:

Instead of protecting your once cash cow, now withering business models and spending millions of dollars to legislate it back to relevance … HOW ABOUT REINVENTING IT INSTEAD?!

Make [whatever you produce] BETTER for the world. Not just your pocketbook.

Think about value instead of how fat your vault is.

For examples, please look to iTunes for the music industry. Netflix for the video rental industry. And Google for the entire advertising industry.

If you don’t … we’ll continue to vote you out of business with our pocketbooks … and as you recently saw, the people who represent you.

The Entrepreneurial Adventure Book is Here!

In 2008 I started my entrepreneurial journey with the founding of iThemes. This month, in fact, is my four year anniversary of becoming a full-time entrepreneur and living my lifelong dream.

Throughout the years as we’ve enjoyed our definition of success and others have seen it, I’ve been increasingly asked by friends and acquaintances about how they can get started in entrepreneurship.

Thus, I started StartupSofa to be an online resource for budding entrepreneurs, done talks, webinars and workshops, and now am proud to release a short book called “The Entrepreneurial Adventure: Is It For You?”

Entrepreneurship is an adventure — a long, arduous journey like climbing one of the world’s highest mountains. As such budding entrepreneurs should know the risks involved, what an entrepreneur does for the world and ask themselves some tough questions before starting on the journey.

In this book I share my experiences as a startup entrepreneur and offer advice on aligning your life’s passions and purpose, and how to prepare for the entrepreneurial climb.

It’s short enough to read in less than an hour, but I’ve packed with lessons I’ve learned and resources I’ve found extremely helpful for starting a business.

In this book, you’ll …

  • Learn how a compelling vision of the future helps keep the right motivations aligned
  • Realize the risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur
  • Be challenged with essential questions to unearth your life’s passions and purpose
  • Understand what an entrepreneurship does for the world
  • Get tips for starting a business without risking everything
  • Find a blueprint of essential books and resources to prepare you for your entrepreneurial journey

If you’re an aspiring or budding entrepreneur, this book is for you.

Here’s how to get the book:

Here’s to those daring and ready for the entrepreneurial journey!

Creative Services to Offer Custom WordPress Design

I’m pleased to announce our new web design services division named Creative Services by iThemes and led by our newest team member Ty Carlson.

I began my entrepreneurial journey first as a freelance web designer in WordPress before I started iThemes full-time in January 2008 (and still get random requests for custom work which I don’t do anymore).

As such we’ve endeavored to build tools and offer training to help others become web designers and build high-quality sites for their clients.

I continue to be amazed at the opportunities for good, quality web designers all over the world, but none of us should be amazed at it. (Google with over 30,000 people and almost $30 billion in revenue didn’t even exist 15 years ago!)

Dependable and able designers and developers are hot commodities right now. There is more work than able and/or available people to do it!

Through our Creative Services division, we want to serve a different and unique kind of client who doesn’t fit our iThemes “ideal” customer, but wants more custom, hands-on consulting and design services.

Often I say that iThemes is like the Home Depot of web design. You come to our store, pick out the tools and templates you want to use and you do-it-yourself. We offer a great support forum backed by knowledgable and helpful moderators, but ultimately, you build your sites yourself.

Made by Wheat will serve customers who want to pay someone else to just do it for them.

So with this introduction, I wanted to offer some details about Made by Wheat and what you can expect.


It is a team (or company within a company) we started to offer custom, high-quality web design services using and showcasing all of our products — from iThemes Builder to BackupBuddy and everything in between.

It is led by Ty Carlson, a veteran web designer / developer from Oklahoma City.

This is our custom services division. We will work hard to keep the brands separate, except for showing off work done through it that illustrate what you can do with our products. Made by Wheat will market and find its own clients.


We decided to push forward with this for a number of reasons, including:

1. To give our customers what they have been asking for — which is custom services for our products, primarily, iThemes Builder. We’ve long had a services page on iThemes and have gotten an increasingly large volume of requests, but to date have been referring to other outlets. We will continue to refer most of those services out to others, but this will give us an outlet for custom sites. And we’ve actually done client services before. Almost two years ago, we were doing all client work through before we unveiled our training membership. We ultimately shut that down as it was bad timing on our part.

2. To be a showcase for our products — We want to show what’s possible with our products through our services division, in particular, iThemes Builder. You can see Ty’s work on my personal site here at, built with iThemes Builder.

3. To be a shining example of how a custom web design shop can be run — I anticipate us using the things we’re learning, almost every day, with this team through our training division and other venues. As such, it will serve to be an actual R&D lab. My hope is we can share tips, tricks, ideas, trends and more to our community.

4. To give input to our dev teams on how to make our products better — having a custom shop in our company allows our dev teams from iThemes and PluginBuddy to hear from and see how the Made by Wheat team is using it, what needs to be improved, and what gaps we have in our product offering.


There’s a little bit about Creative Services by iThemes.


Wanna Start a Business? Check Out our Pre-Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Dec. 17

Since I started my business full-time in 2008, achieving a lifelong dream, I’ve had numerous people, most of whom are friends and family, ask me what it takes to become an entrepreneur.

Helping others start the adventure of entrepreneurship is a passion of mine, so I’ve teamed with a couple of veteran entrepreneurs to do the Pre-Entrepreneurship Bootcamp: What You Need to Know and Do Before Starting a Business on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. in Oklahoma City at our nonprofit foundation, The Div.

This event is designed for aspiring or budding entrepreneurs – those who have an idea, itch or passion to run your own business, but need some direction and help getting started.

We want to provide basic training where entrepreneurs find answers, tools and help to start and grow great businesses that change the world.


Here are the people who will be sharing their experience and expertise in entrepreneurship for this event:

* Michael S. Smith — ran Gemini Industries in El Reno for a number of years and took it from $8 million to $35 million in sales before eventually selling the company. He now leads Oxygen for Organizations, mentoring entrepreneurs.

* Christian Brim – is a CPA who founded and runs Core Group, an accounting and financial services firm with locations throughout Oklahoma, and a member of Entrepreneurship Organization.

* Cory Miller – that’s me. I co-founded iThemes in 2008 and since starting our business in my home we now have 23+ team members scattered throughout the world, three primary brands (and more coming), an office in Edmond, Oklahoma, and this summer started The Div, our nonprofit tech foundation where the bootcamp will be held.

* We also have a couple of local attorneys who are going to be on hand to present and be available during the event for those who need direction on how to get legal help for your business.


I believe you’ve got to have a deep level of commitment, drive and passion to be an entrepreneur, so we’re asking for a donation of $50 per registrant for this special bootcamp, with all proceeds going to support The Div and our work through this nonprofit foundation, including lunch for the day.

We are also offering an online version of the bootcamp via webinar for those not in Oklahoma. The donation for this will be $40 a person.

If you have any questions about the bootcamp, please contact The Div through our contact form.



8a.m. – Registration and Coffee
8:30 — Welcome and Intros

9 a.m. – SESSION 1: IS IT FOR YOU? (Cory Miller) — We’ll weigh the costs and benefits of entrepreneurship, talk about the purpose and role of an entrepreneur and what they do for the world and ask some hard questions.

9:50 a.m. – SESSION 2: MONEY (Cory Miller) – We’ll talk about the role of your personal finances in becoming a full-time entrepreneur, along with the role of money and how to get your financial house in order.

10:30 a.m. — SESSION 3 (Michael Smith): PERSONAL & TEAM ASSET INVENTORY – Taking inventory of your skills, strengths, experiences, expertise will help you on the journey.

11:15 a.m. – SESSION 4: THE COMPELLING VISION (Michael Smith) — Knowing where you want to go will help keep you on the right path.

Noon – Working Lunch (Lunch is provided)

1:00 p.m. – SESSION 5: SUPPORT (Cory Miller) — Getting the right support system in place before you start is key to your continued success. We’ll talk about the key people you need on your team.

1:50 p.m. – SESSION 6: YOUR ONE-PAGE BIZ PLAN (Michael Smith) — you need an initial game plan for your business idea. We’ll talk about the basics of a good plan and how to start one.

2:30 p.m. – SESSION 7: ACCOUNTING (Christian Brim) — Without money, and good accounting practices, your business is dead. Get nuts and bolts tips for vital aspect of running a business.

3:15 p.m. – SESSION 8: LEGAL (TBA) — Things you need to know about getting your business legal and how to find the right help.

4 p.m. — SESSION 9: RECRUITING & RESOURCES (Cory Miller) — How to gather the right resources and recruit the right people to your team.

4:45 p.m. — SESSION 10: WORK-LIFE INTEGRATION (Cory Miller) — The work of an entrepreneur almost never stops. Here are some do’s and don’ts, including personal stories, pitfalls and experiences.

5:30 p.m. – FINAL WORD & CHALLENGE & Q&A

* Please note times will vary. We want to provide practical help for those eager to start their entrepreneurial adventure.


On Giving $100K in Free WordPress Resources to Educators

One of our core values at iThemes (and my personal life) is … Learn and Grow, then Teach and Share.

Our commitment has always to helping individuals on our teams grow and push themselves to do more.

We started a nonprofit web tech foundation to help individuals in Oklahoma aspire to make careers in web design and development.

Today, we just announced our Education Program with another example of how we live this core value — we’re giving away about $100K in free web design resources to educators.

Learn more about our new Education Program here … and if you’re an Educator, see if you qualify and submit an application!