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Growing up in Papua New Guinea, a funny story about meeting Collis for the first time, a significant walk from Bondi to Coogee, and the joy and risks of startups. In this series of interviews we meet those who are at the wheel steering Envato’s course—the directors. Today we meet Jun Rung.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What part of the world are you from? What type of work were you doing before Envato?
I was born in China (Guangzhou), then when I was ten my family migrated to a South Pacific nation called Papua New Guinea. (That’s where I met Collis). In short you can say I’m a Chinese who grew up in the Pacific.
Before Envato, I worked at a small web design company who hired me at a result of my internship/work experience during my last year of university. After that I partnered with a friend (not Collis) and started a web and graphic design business. I did all the designs while he did all the programming. The funny thing was that my business partner was actually studying as a doctor at uni, and coding was only his hobby. Till this day it still amazes me how he managed to do both.
Besides being a director, what other roles do you play in Envato? How has your role changed over time?
Besides my director role, I cover a wide range of areas from Financial Control to Human Resources, and anything in between where jobs needs to be done.
I think the biggest difference compared to when we first started Envato is that I am now more behind the scenes, and have less day-to-day interaction with the Envato community.
When did you meet Collis, and what are some of your earliest memories of him?
I met Collis in my first year of high school while growing up in PNG. We didn’t actually become friends until Second Year (Year 8), and from there we decided to travel to Australia for university, so there is a long long history between us. If you ask me who my best friend is, my answer would be Collis.
The older I get the less I can remember. However I do remember when Collis and I first met. I tried to sit next to him in class, but Collis told me to go sit somewhere else, because he was saving that seat for another friend. LOL. Its ironic we became best buddies.
How did Collis and Cyan initially explain their “website business” to you? What was your initial reaction, and what convinced you to get involved?
I remember the day well. The conversation came up during a coastal walk (Bondi to Coogee Beach). It must have something to do with the sea breeze that got our entrepreneurial minds thinking. We started talking about Collis’s iStockphoto account, where he was selling some Flash files. He was making some good sales on it, but was not happy on how the Flash marketplace was structured and run. We thought we could do a lot better, and that’s how FlashDen was born.
It has always been my dream to start a business with my best friend, so it didn’t take much convincing to get me involved. Advice to others: You do need to do your research and prepare to go the hard yards before quitting your day job and start a business. 90% of startups fail! Do your research! We knew there was a market for Flash based on the data from Collis’s iStockphoto account.
When you think about the potential Envato has in the future, what excites you most?
For those who don’t know, our motto is “Envato helps people to learn and earn.” I personally would like to see in the future—no matter what country your are from or what education level you have, as long as you have the drive to learn and work hard—Envato being there to help you to learn more skills and in return earn more money for yourself.
How do you spend your time once you stop working?
I presume you mean what I do in my free time, rather what I’ll do after retirement.
In my free time I try my best not to use a computer, as I stare at a monitor the whole day and that can’t be good for my eyes. I love watching movies and got into playing my PlayStation 3 recently. I also try my best to do anything that’s active, because I am so unfit nowadays, so I need to do more besides sitting in front of the computer. Meeting with family and friends for lunch/dinner is also great fun.
Do you have any interesting Envato-related photos?
Unfortunately no. I wish I took more photos back then, or even a video for a documentary!
Is there anything else you would like to say or include?
I personally believe to have a meaningful and happy life you need to work towards something that benefits society. Therefore I sincerely hope that Envato continues to enrich people one way or another in years to come.
To finish off, I would like to thank all the people out there who have supported Envato all these years, and best of luck with all your endeavors!