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From Microlancer To Envato Studio In 12 Months

Our not-so-micro freelancer marketplace was in urgent need of a facelift just one year into its life!

Posted 2 Apr 2014
Inside Envato

Just over a year ago, our CEO, Collis asked me to gather up a crack team to create a new Envato website where people could get small digital jobs, done really quickly. The product’s focus was to be pre-packaged design services with upfront pricing and delivery, and it was to be called Microlancer. We used Lean Startup Principles and iterated quickly on the concept. We officially launched on April 3rd 2013. Now, exactly one year later we’re evolving the product, changing the name, and setting the stage for a very big future.

Envato Studio, 12 months after Microlancer launched

Fast And Iterative Learning

The pace since our launch has been breathtaking. In the last six months, we’ve almost tripled our sales from the first six months! We’ve rolled out features, interviewed customers, redesigned the site, improved our pricing, messaging, conversations, sharing of files. We’ve created tools for our Talent Community to better manage their jobs, and added trust signals so that buyers can find the right Talent.

In one year, we’ve launched Graphic & DesignWeb Development and added hundreds of new features. More importantly, our Talent Community has sold over $1,000,000 worth of jobs so far and delivered more than 6,500 jobs to buyers in 147 Countries.

We learned, we adapted and we harnessed the growth. And along the way the product has emerged and unfolded and one day we woke up to realize the name Microlancer just didn’t fit any more.

So today we’re renaming our nascent site. We’d like to introduce you to Envato Studio.

Envato Studio logo

A Change Of Name For A Big Future

It’s a tough thing realizing you’re using the wrong name. For a whole year we’ve been investing in brand building, SEO, mindshare and more. Ultimately however we’re only a year in. Yes, we’ve got a heck of a lot bigger than we were in April one year ago. But think how big this thing is going to be in five years. 99% of Envato Studio’s customers haven’t even arrived yet. If there was ever a time to make a name switch, this is it.

Here’s why we felt we should rebrand:

  • Micro no more Microlancer is a great memorable name and we love our old logo – it is fun and helps us express our personality. However, it just doesn’t fit, now we’ve found our product and market fit. We’re not small (Micro) and we’re broader than the ‘techie’ name suggests. Long term we’re aiming for a mass market, so we want a name that’s going to suit.
  • Envato is already awesome Envato has been running for almost eight years, has millions of members and is a powerful community of creatives. Adopting the parent name helps us leverage and reference the family. And it fits with our company’s vision of building a huge global creative ecosystem. The new name clearly highlights the connection with Envato, it’s community, values and credibility.
  • Another made up name We thought about making something else up and owning it, anything from Stoodio to DooDah. This can be a great approach, in fact it’s what Envato itself is. Instead we saw an opportunity to give some insight into what our product does, while leveraging Envato. And we didn’t want two made up names to explain – Envato and the new one. “Made up + Made up = Confused.com”!
  • Practical matters We thought about just Studio or The Studio, but there are thousands of registered trademarks around the world for variations on Studio it would be really hard for us to own. Getting ownership of a name is important, so you can protect it in future from people trying to pass off or spoof your site. Domain names are also tricky , and expensive, to get hold of. We just want to build great products and not spend our time in lawyers offices (as nice as they are!). So we took a simpler approach.
  • Wrapping into .envato.com While we’ll have some short-term drawback from moving domain, ultimately we’ll be able to better leverage a single family domain name for everything from SEO to technical benefits for our single sign on system. This is an investment in the future of the site, and our ability to deliver value to our Talent Community.

Envato Studio – Where Beautiful Things Are Made

A studio is a place where people come together to create things. Envato Studio already has a broad range of services we offer, from logo design to building entire websites. As more great people join our Talent Community we’re looking forward to enabling a greater and greater range of things to be created.

As it is our birthday, we’re taking the opportunity to not only change our name, but to add a few amazing things too:

Envato Studio is where beautiful things are made by our talented community of hand picked designers, developers and producers. Creating all kinds of packaged and tailored services from Logo Design to Business Cards, WordPress customisation to eCommerce development and Mobile Applications.

Studio Liaison

We have an amazing community of Talent on Envato Studio, and here at HQ we’ve got a great team of people to help and grow that community. We’re rebooting the team, currently called ‘Support and Review’, to be refreshed and reenergized as the Studio Ops Team, including Studio Liaisons. This reflects the evolution of the team. We want them to be more closely aligned to our amazing community. They are responsible for finding great talent, and then helping them do their best work through practical advice and feedback, helping them to effectively deal with complaints and disputes, and supporting our buyers to ensure they’re getting the work and services promised.

What’s Next For Envato Studio?

As part of the changes we’re making, you might notice we’ve taken off the Beta badge. Though we’re always testing and learning, we want buyers to feel confident that this is a fully functional operation backed by Envato.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our Talent Community and buyers for supporting us so far. We hope you will love Envato Studio as much as we loved Microlancer.

Farewell Microlancer, you were fun, but I’ve moved on. It wasn’t you, it was me. Actually, it was you 🙂

This article was originally written by Layla Foord, Envato Studio General Manager.

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