Oct 19

Author Interview: SimplyDo

Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:21 — julie

Today we meet Moe Haydar (SimplyDo) from ActiveDen.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

Hi everybody. I am Moe Haydar, known as SimplyDo or iplus on ActiveDen. I live in a small country that falls on the Mediterranean sea, known as Lebanon. I’m 18 years old, and am studying ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) in the Lebanese American University.

I spend most of my time programming and developing Flash applications and websites for Envato and clients. With what I have left I create mobile games and personal projects.

Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?

I’ve been an active member on ActiveDen from it’s early days. I officially joined in December 2008.

I sell XML Flash files, mainly XML-driven templates. My newest template will bring a whole new level of customization and social integration. I will be releasing it at the end of September. [The file doesn't appear to be in the marketplace as yet.]

How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?

It was really a coincidence. At the age of 10, while browsing a nearby DVD shop, I found an Adobe Flash training DVD that claimed it could teach you how to become a great programmer. I bought the DVD and stayed up all night watching it.

From then on I’ve spent my free times reading tutorials and experimenting with personal projects. Today I can proudly say that I am a self-taught programmer who never received any formal or professional training from anyone.

Do you think the DVD worked?

Describe your home workspace.

I do all my work on my laptop, Qosmio x305 from Toshiba. Nothing fancy. Sometimes I connect my laptop to my Sony TV for a bigger and better screen.

Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?

Basically I come up with new ideas before I go to sleep, so I keep a piece of paper beside my bed. When I wake up I read all the notes I’ve taken. Most of them are nonsense. When I find a good concept I elaborate on it (mind work) then I draw some designs and write a list of features I want to include. When I am happy with what I’ve got I open Flash and start programming. When the product is finished I test and debug it.

What is your goal or future plans?

My main goal is to raise the quality bar of my files. I am also working on launching my own web development studio: iPlus Studio.

I also have plans to release a couple of mobile and computer games. I’ll be quiet about that, but ActiveDen’s game category will see a boost.

What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?

Creating a successful portfolio doesn’t depend on the number of files you have, it depends on the quality of files you supply. It’s really important to pay attention to small details and make sure the product functions correctly. I also noticed that the more flexible and feature-rich the file is, the better it will sell.

One last piece of advice: Don’t sell you file just to collect a profit – sell it to attract the buyer. When a buyer buys one of your files and sees how much a good job you’ve done he’ll return to buy new products. In my opinion that’s why top authors sell more than others. That is my new strategy.

What do you do to market your files?

That is really a huge topic.

Usually I spread the word about my new file on Twitter. For my new file I’ll be using Envato’s Creattica, Twitter, Facebook and Flash-related blogs and forums. I also have plans to open a blog to market my files. (I have a bunch coming.)

But I am convinced that if the file is high quality it will market itself. Good products sell.

What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?

Here are three of my own files I like:

My favorite file is my upcoming XML Flash template that will be released at the end of September. [It doesn't seem to be in the marketplace as yet.] Its really a piece of art. I’ve been developing it from scratch and made sure it covers all the buyer’s needs. I have huge hopes for it. (Watch out for New Standard Template.)

My other favorite file is my plus Template. It uses a smart widget system so that the user can build each page the way he likes.

And of course I can’t forget my music player. I’ve never had a complaint about it.

And here are three files from other authors that I like:

Flash XML Editor Version 2 by michaelhejja

AS2 XML Black Gold Website Template by ParkerAndKent

Elite Xml Website by triworks

Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?

ActiveDen is full of great authors, but i have to say that ParkerAndKent are a favorite of mine. Their files are amazing. They work out every detail and make sure they provide a high quality working file. Moreover, they are active on the forums and never have a problem offering help and advice. They inspire me.

What do you do in your spare time?

I am a huge football (soccer) fan. I spend most of my free time playing with my friends and family. I am also part of the varsity team.

You will also find me hanging around the city, visiting new places and having fun using Envato’s money. :D

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