When it comes to design and functionality, the Perel brothers are doing it right. We chatted to Dave Perel, co-founder of Obox, about their sibling start-up, the advantages of a small business, and the difference between mobile-friendly sites and mobile apps.
Hey Dave. So how did Obox start and what is it about?
We started Obox when we were twenty and twenty-one. We did it out of the need to do our own thing. At the time we were working for our dad but felt that we needed to do our own thing, paint our own picture. It started with us putting printed pamphlets in post boxes, advertising websites. Eventually we created a blog and then a video blog and that is when things took off for us. Now Obox is a premium WordPress Theme company and we haven’t looked back since.
How do you utilise mobile? And how does one choose whether to have a mobile compatible site or a separate mobile app?
We share offices with two mobile companies so we are always reminded of how important it is for us. We do sell a plugin called Obox Mobile. It basically renders your WordPress site into a mobile friendly layout when someone visits your site with their phone. It’s been a great success so far and I would confidently say that it’s definitely one of the best Mobile Plugins around. Definitely the best looking.
What would you say is the most common mistake that many businesses make when it comes to website development and design?
In South Africa I would say the biggest fail is execution. I feel that the finer details are often missed and the end result is a great idea which doesn’t look hundreds. That really frustrates me the most. We also need to realise how important design is and that it should not be a small part of the budget. We strongly believe that design must match a development budget Rand for Rand. If your design is bad, people won’t trust you from the get go.
What are the advantages of having a small business?
We can be super nimble and our costs are very small. There are so many benefits to running a small operation but it also means that you have to make choices when resources are stretched. We made that choice when we did Obox Mobile. We had a choice between going mobile or making a killer eCommerce plugin. We decided to go with Mobile which wasn’t a bad choice but I felt that we could have benefitted more if we had aimed for eCommerce. If we had more resources at the time we could have nailed both aspects.
Lastly, we know that Obox was founded by both you and your brother. How would you describe him in one word, and what one word do you think he would use to describe you?
Marc would definitely describe me as stubborn. I’d describe Marc as calm. Literally nothing fazes the guy. The day we were going to launch Obox Themes we discovered we had to re-write the checkout process. This was after 52hrs of no sleep. Marc didn’t even bat an eyelid and just got down to it. Few people have that quality.
Thanks for enlightening us some more on Obox, Dave. We look forward to seeing it grow and achieve even greater success in the future. Follow Dave on Twitter here.