In February 2010, Envato posted an offer on Magento’s job board for seed submissions to ThemeForest’s forthcoming Magento themes category. GravDept was fresh off its first project (a six-month Magento engagement) and needed to maintain momentum.
After a few conversations with Collis Ta’eed (Envato founder) and Jeffrey Way (NetTuts+ Editor), GravDept was commissioned with a $1000 incentive to kickstart the category. Two months later Acumen 1.0.0 was published, and it bolted off the line.
To date, Acumen is the best-selling Magento theme by a 70% margin and its revenue tally is over $54,000 from 595 sales. Add-on services kept me busy in GravDept’s early days, which led to full-scale projects. I’ve learned a lot along the way about managing a digital product, customer support, and competing in an open marketplace. Improving Acumen has continually reshaped how I approach Magento’s eCommerce platform. I’ve iterated techniques and unique bits that simplify and extend Magento’s frontend for developers, store managers, and users alike. The experience has poured back into my client work and made GravDept a better studio.
By the numbers
A lot of designers undervalue the commitment required in maintaining commercial themes. I’ve worked diligently and cared immensely for Acumen as an exploration and venture. I’m really proud of these statistics:
- 22 months of steady development
- 14 Acumen releases (average cycle: 45 days)
- 9 stable Magento cores supported
- 41 new features
- 45 updated features
- 28 bug fixes
- 1.7:1 sales ratio vs. next best-selling theme
- 5 star average rating from 83 buyers
- 2000+ support interactions (5.1/workday)
New Release: Acumen 1.3.2
Acumen 1.3.2 was released yesterday with Magento 220.127.116.11 compatibility and fourteen new features & updates. The elapsed time between Magento’s announcement and GravDept publishing an updated/compatible Acumen release was just 29 hours. That’s a well oiled machine. Full release info is available on the changelog.
Every so often, an update gets feedback that isn’t support related:
This is great news! This is an excellent demonstration of how truly dedicated you are to this theme package. As a customer, I feel good knowing that I am being taken care of. I am certain that others will say the same.
You continue to be the first to provide an update, in parallel to the Magento releases. You always answer our questions, despite how many times you may have to repeat yourself because some people choose not to read the basic Magento manual. Most importantly, you are considerate to everyone's level of understanding. You are patient and courteous when answering questions, despite the fact that you may cringe while responding at times (While this may not be true, I can only assume…)
This level of support is what I would expect when hiring a development company thousands of dollars to develop and support my website. You are professional and so is your product.
$90 is worth every single penny for this Theme. I challenge anyone to find a better template and support.
That’s pure motivation.
I’ve accrued a lot of knowledge around design and frontend development for Magento. Stay tuned. I’ll be sharing it here and have submitted two proposals to speak about “Design Opportunities Across Magento’s Platforms” and “Mobile First, Responsive Design for Magento” at Magento Imagine 2012.