Pixelgrade Transparency Report #4


In the pre­vi­ous trans­paren­cy report, we said that the first six months of 2016 were pret­ty eye-open­ing from so many points of view. Ladies and gents, please fas­ten your seat­belts because you are going to wit­ness a roller­coast­er-jour­ney. Before kick­ing off to the core of it, we’d like to express our grat­i­tude towards how far we’ve head­ed.

We start­ed with an intense process of busi­ness strat­e­gy with Mar­ius (our men­tor) on board. He helped us draw a more con­sis­tent approach in many regards: cus­tomers, costs, mar­ket, and all the things in between. On top of that, he intro­duced us to the OKRs method (Google is the promi­nent user here), in order to get our ducks in a row. In just a few words, we real­ized how cru­cial is to have a team that works well togeth­er and have a com­mon des­ti­na­tion.

The next smart move was the begin­ning of a long-term part­ner­ship with Lau­ra, our psy­chol­o­gist and team coach. She led us towards a more pow­er­ful and con­nect­ed team. Thanks to her approach we shaped a set of val­ues and prin­ci­ples that ful­ly rep­re­sent our cre­ative tribe.

We’ve learned to dance on dif­fer­ent tem­pos, and we know that there will always be moments when we will need to adjust the sound to our val­ues and per­son­al­i­ty.

We were brave enough to dri­ve things even fur­ther and start a chal­leng­ing brand­ing adven­ture along­side the love­ly crew of Namogo. Togeth­er we launched a new Pix­el­grade brand sto­ry and a stun­ning shop that hosts a grow­ing col­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful Word­Press themes.

The final end­ing (even though it’s just the begin­ning) was our five-year-old par­ty. The per­fect tim­ing to cel­e­brate the entire chain of vic­to­ries with our crew, friends, and fam­i­ly. Cheers!


Facts or it didn’t hap­pen, right? Oh well, here’s a spe­cif­ic list of small and big wins that we are proud of. We deeply believe that each and every one of them will make a sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment, no mat­ter the nature of it: emo­tion­al, finan­cial, moral and so on.

Let’s take it one at a time:
— two new mem­bers joined the team: Andrei and Alexan­dra 👏
— a new Objec­tive & Key Results orga­ni­za­tion­al sys­tem for bet­ter team align­ment towards a com­mon goal

— a new and human–centered Pix­el­grade brand­ing
— a new and catchy Word­Press themes’ shop
a new pho­tog­ra­phy theme: Noah

— over 40 theme updates fol­low­ing a con­sis­tent Theme Updates Cal­en­dar
— an enhanced user expe­ri­ence through Pix­el­grade Care plu­g­in
— a free plu­g­in for cre­at­ing grids inside the Word­Press Edi­tor: Grid­able
— an in-depth Cus­tomer Ser­vice Guide eBook


Three months behind we raised the prices on the themes list­ed on Enva­to with almost 30% — from $59 to $75. The excep­tion is PILE ($225) which is aligned to the new pric­ing scheme avail­able on our shop.

Even though we faced a down­size in month­ly rev­enues of -11.5%, the great thing is that the num­ber of clients decreased almost with a quar­ter. We see this change as a perk since it allows us to invest more ener­gy into a bet­ter under­stand­ing of their par­tic­u­lar needs. More­over, it’s a strate­gic gate­way to shape a mean­ing­ful cus­tomer sup­port expe­ri­ence.

—$50,423 month­ly aver­age (–11.5% down from $57,933)
— 5,243 sales (–23.5% down from 6,861)
— $58 aver­age theme rev­enue (+14% up from $51)


Run­ning a healthy busi­ness implies not only prof­it and rev­enue but also invest­ing mon­ey in areas that mat­ter and can make a huge dif­fer­ence in the short and long run.

The aver­age month­ly expens­es hov­ered on $42,360 (+25% — up from $33,750). How­ev­er, this time our expens­es includ­ed even wider costs, as fol­lows:

— 61% salaries
— 12,5% main­te­nance (rent, account­ing fees, sup­plies, gar­den­ing, etc.)
— 9,5% occa­sion­al expens­es (like hard­ware, office improve­ments)
— 10% Brand­ing and Shop
— 7% Strat­e­gy and Team

Average price on themes closer to what we aim for

Let us take an insight­ful exam­ple to show you why we’re hap­py with our bold move regard­ing the price of PILE. Long sto­ry short: this theme ben­e­fits of the biggest raise regard­ing pric­ing. The gap is gen­er­ous, from $59 to $225, right? Even so, after three months we’re excit­ed to let you know that the rev­enues are even high­er than before. Few­er headaches, more joy.

Pile at $225 per­formed even bet­ter in terms of rev­enues.

A new digital path awaits us (shop and branding FTW)

We’re still learn­ing the baby-steps regard­ing how we can play around with the new brand and shop, so we’re eager to see how things will work out. How­ev­er, we can­not wait to exper­i­ment with both of them since they have so much cre­ative poten­tial to explore.

We will def­i­nite­ly con­tin­ue to have the same focus into main­tain­ing and improv­ing the themes (regard­ing updates and sup­port) list­ed on the oth­er two mar­ket­places, The­me­For­est and WordPress.com.

We’ll not make a sin­gle dif­fer­ence in how we treat one client or anoth­er, nor we will direct our ener­gy only on the new shop. We’re the full oppo­site of let­ting peo­ple down, so stay tuned to see us per­form.

Where we’re going next?

We could say a lot about our coura­geous expec­ta­tions, but I guess it’s wis­er to stick to a con­crete set of direc­tions that will fuel our cre­ative engines for 2017. We’ve summed up the main areas in this list:

  • We will expand our port­fo­lio with themes that solve even more spe­cif­ic dig­i­tal prob­lems and are in tune with our brand­ing approach
  • We will con­tin­ue to improve the expe­ri­ence of our cus­tomers (from the buy­ing flow of actions till the resources they get or the tools they have to make the most out of our themes)
  • We will offer a bet­ter cus­tomer ser­vice expe­ri­ence along­side with an updat­ed and reli­able doc­u­men­ta­tion (with a spe­cial focus on video con­tent)
  • We will con­sol­i­date a stronger com­mu­ni­ty of clients who trust and love our work

We’re keen to enjoy a well-deserved Christ­mas hol­i­day and catch up with the loved ones, but we’re also excit­ed to con­tin­ue our dig­i­tal jour­ney. We’ve learned to dance on dif­fer­ent tem­pos, and we know that there will always be moments when we will need to adjust the sound to our val­ues and per­son­al­i­ty. Let the music play, mates!

That is all for this fourth trans­paren­cy report. Don’t hes­i­tate to reach out to us if you need to tell how great, stu­pid or crazy we are. We can take it.


I'm a daydreaming designer with a desire to improve the world, to be a good and a meaningful person. I value calm but easily get excited by the next challenge.