David Braun, CEO Templatemonster.com

1. Tell me something about yourself and your position in the company. What were you doing before starting Templatemonster.com? What were the milestones in your life?

Since childhood I have been interested in interpersonal relationships between people. I have always been slightly shocked when observing people, how one is successful and another is a failure. As a teenager, I understood that communication is the key factor which distinguishes one person from another. A man with adequate communication skills is accepted by others exactly as he wishes to be perceived. These observations led me to begin my studies in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): The Science of How the Brain Codes Learning. At that time I wanted to become a psychologist. However, life changed when as a student I began to study marketing as well. When I was reading a book written by Philip Cotler, I understood that marketing was the thing for me. This was the first milestone in my life. Since that time I have covered fairly quickly a sufficiently long path in my career. In the beginning, I worked with analysts conducting national marketing research, and then while working as a junior expert in a large management consulting agency, I helped develop and implement   marketing plans for FFMG companies. Then I began working as a creative director in an advertising agency full time, for clients. And finally, in 2000, with the advent of the coming of the new millennium, I attended a conference on Web technology and became aware of the versatility, the power and the perspective of the WEB. This was the second milestone in my life, which turned everything up-side-down. As a young man, ambitious and aggressive, I threw caution to the wind, left my previous occupation, turned away from alluring career plans and went to the Web, in particular - to become a partner in a custom design studio www.inverse-logic.com. 
We worked about 18 hours a day, with the goal of becoming the most successful company in the web design sphere. However, competition in the design market was quite fierce; we were forced to battle with fat firms which had the best designers. Nevertheless, for 2 years we found moderate yet definite success and completed a sufficient number of well-paid projects. Still while doing one project, we received requests from approximately 100 other companies seeking low-budget solutions and were unable to afford to order our services. Once I looked through our company e-mail and was simply shocked by the number of such requests. Apparently over the course of a year, we turned away 3000 customers. This made me so uneasy I couldn't sleep. Once when sitting in a studio I saw how quickly and efficiently our lead designer completed his work. He drew a design for a site for a telecommunications' site. I watched his monitor and was surprised. Upon closer inspection I understood that he had several open documents from which he was taking elements, including buttons, prepared collages, lines, bullets, gradient fills. I asked him where he was getting everything. To which he answered that all elements which were not accepted in past designs, by our previous clients were sorted and saved in individual files - templates - and later used during the creation of other projects. When it seemed to me that this was simply an idea of genius, I went to my computer and opened Google and began to search for Web templates and their uses. It turns out that several companies were already selling website templates a few people were using them. At that moment there were about 5 successful players on the market which were regularly refreshing their assortment (now there are approximately 500). Although while looking at their products, I saw that we could do much more attractive, usable and professional ones. So the idea of TemplateMonster.com was born. And, perhaps, this was the third milestone in my life. We had to invest, because we found private investors, and I began working on this project as the Head of Marketing department (being simultaneously all employees in this department). Two and a half years have passed and I can say with pride that we have attained stunning success. Nowadays we employee more than 100 people, and our site attracts more than 10 million visitors monthly. We have more than 40,000 partners around the world. We passed through some tough times, for example our site became the object of DDoS attacks initiated by hackers in the Internet, trying to take control of the entire Industry. But we withstood them and now are the biggest worldwide resource in this area. We are not planning to stop, I am only 25 and I can still work about 18 hours a day, but not for the sake of money, instead for the sake of expansion and for the sake of imprinting ourselves in the collective conscience of every person who has ever been associated in any small way with the Internet. Getting hundreds of testimonials every day, boundless gratitude for our products, I receive such a charge of energy that I am ready to move mountains. 

2. What are the products offered by TemplateMonster?

When we just started out we offered very simple 1- or 2-page templates with easy layouts and without any Flash or other effects.

We had a collection of about 300 templates only.

Over the years, we have improved our project in two ways: 1) by increasing the number of our templates and 2) by improving their quality and assortment.

Now the Template Monster collection consists of more than 7,000 templates divided in 6 main categories (website templates, flash templates, logo templates, corporate identity packages, and php-nuke themes), whereby we are able to satisfy the tastes of most of our website visitors.

Besides templates, we offer some other web design and web templates related services:
- Template Tuning (www.templatetuning.com) offers affordable customization of templates purchased from Template Monster. We launched it for those who don't have enough time or skills to customize their template and want us to do this.
- Site2You (www.site2you.com) is an advanced online website builder that allows even a child to create and manage a website.

And of course, we're always in the process of discussing new ideas and developing new projects, products and services. I consider any company which fails to constantly improve its products every day, every hour doomed to lose its market position. In our product policy, we are somewhat comparable to the Japanese management system; considering memoirs of the founders of Toyota, I find we have much in common. Only such an approach is capable of making people not only to pay you money but also to thank you for your services, as well as to recommend you to their acquaintances and at the same time to buy something from you simply because it is pleasant, though their purchase is not necessarily something which is necessary for them.

I will not disclose all facts, but will give a hint that in several months Template Monster will surprise its customers and fans with several new production lines, as well as with several new projects.

3. What are the advantages of your affiliate programs?

Our programs are considered one of the most successful in the Internet, primarily for the following reasons:

1. Completely private brand. This means that by spending 1-2 hours, you can open your own e-commerce shop selling website templates, in which there will be the largest and most diverse assortment of products available. You'll have the highest quality products in the field. Besides which, you will have 24/7 online support, everything that you need. All you need to do is to register a domain name and get a hosting services provider.

2. The second reason for our popularity lies in the fact that all the marvelous things described in the first point are absolutely free. Notice this is not "Try and Buy". This is completely free; people often call our office to verify that they're not mistaken, that they've clearly understood the print, and that we aren't playing some dirty tricks. Frequently this leads to the thought that we should create some symbolic payment, to avoid breaking illusions of our customers who believe that free cheese can be found only in a mousetrap. Here there's no secret; we make it free because it's profitable for us. Becoming an affiliate, you sell our products, receiving commission, and we grow our sales, our popularity and more and more people know if not about our brand then at least about our products themselves. We are interested in making public the fact that templates are an excellent alternative to custom design. It is insignificant that half of these people go and buy products from our competitors. I am immovably convinced that once they've bought from our competitors, they will come to us. This is not simply boasting; several months ago we launched onsite trade-in campaign. According to this campaign, people who bought templates from our competitors could exchange theirs for ours with a 50% discount. For one week we exchanged more than 1500 templates and received more than 200 testimonials. Many people were surprised with our bold endeavor, and asked us if we were not afraid to tell our customers that we had competition. This is a fact: we are not afraid of the competition, inasmuch as from the beginning we have taken the lead and are prepared to dedicate unlimited resources to continue to stay on the top of the industry.

3. We have a 2-tiered program. I have always been delighted by the concept of MLM, seeing how fanatically people take part in various pyramids, often meeting with fraudulent individuals and companies, but at the same time not losing their enthusiasm. For this reason we decided to implement something similar in our program also. Making it a 2 tiered program, we gave people the opportunity to increase their profits without limitations for attracting new affiliates to their level and thereby receive 25% of their profits.

And finally, there remains yet another advantage of our affiliate program, which is it constant development. Practically every week we introduce new features, creating new ways to help our affiliates that actively participate in our forum.