Last time we sat down with Mojo Marketplace Co-Founder J.R Farr, we talked about the formation of Mojo Themes, Mojo Code, and Mojo Marketplace (say that three times fast). We also talked about the difficulties of launching a marketplace, which Mojo seems to have a leg up in given its name recognition and brand awareness. This week, we’ll talk about a potpourri of topics including what’s driving Mojo’s growth, who the other co-founder of Mojo is, and how one-click technology has helped define the business.
WPHub:What’s driving the growth at Mojo?
J.R.: Even today, we’re in Year 4 and I am still doing the design and blogging. That’s the thing we don’t want to let go of as co-founders. A lot of our sellers have our Skype names and e-mail addresses. They can call us and say, “We don’t like this or that.” We’ll bend over backwards for our buyers and sellers. Having that homegrown, mom-and-pop shop is important. That personal touch and being hands-on help really help us grow.
WPHub: What aspects of your life before Mojo have helped you ascend in the business and develop it to where it is today?
J.R.: Ten years ago, I worked at an interactive agency and started managing seven-figure campaigns for affiliate marketing. I had to build a lot of sites and drive traffic to them. It was cool to work with an ad agency and I learned a lot about brand management. I started using WordPress in 2006 and it was like Version 1.7 then. I fell in love with WordPress, kept using it with my affiliate stuff, and learned more and more about it.
I got to be the Director of Paid Search and Marketing, but quit my job and teamed up with Brady, the other Co-Founder of Mojo. The only way to do this was to go all-in and not do it half-ass. I came up with the Mojo theme idea. It took me two years to quit my job. I kept trying to launch it and decided to stop what I was doing and go for it.
I am 28-years-old right now. We had just bought a home and had a little boy and then had twins. I went to my wife and said, “I quit my job and Brady and I are starting Mojo.” She said she trusted me, and three years later, she still does!
WPHub: What is Brady’s background?
J.R.: We have known each other since we were kids. He was doing project management for custom development. He did a lot of stuff for hotels and boutiques. He studied Arabic at UCLA and ended up leaving for Jordan for five months. He came back, we met back up, and we started talking about this. He was going to be in the CIA.
WPHub: That’s quite a story about Brady. Talk about the emphasis on one-click install technology that Mojo offers. Tell us how that process works.
J.R.: Our issue with Mojo Themes was that it’s 2013 and people are coming to our site to buy themes. They see the live demo and say they want it on their site. Then, they get a .zip file and have no idea what to do. SimpleScripts does one-click installs for open-source scripts. SimpleScripts was part of EIG, so when we got bought out by EIG, that team joined the Mojo Themes team. We used that technology inside the new marketplace. It works not just for scripts, but also for themes.
How it works is that when you log in and sign on from your account, you click the WordPress icon and you’ll have all of your domain names listed. You click “Install” and it’s done. When you find a theme you want to buy, it bills your hosting account. Everything is done from one place with just a few clicks.
WPHub: Next time out, we’ll talk about the dramatic integration that Mojo has undergone after EIG bought the company out. Preview: there’s a lot going on!