Behance Launches Prosite & Interview with Scott Belsky
ProSite is definitely a unique product that puts you in control of all the aspects of creating a professional portfolio without touching any code whatsoever. I asked Scott Belsky Founder and CEO of Behance a few questions related to their new product ProSite. You can read the interview below the introduction of ProSite.
The 99 Percent: In the olden days, creatives lugged around “The Book,” a physical portfolio that was sent around to headhunters and prospective clients whenever an opportunity presented itself. These books were expensive, heavy, and outdated from the moment they were sent.
In recent years, most creative professionals have transformed their portfolio book into a stand-alone website. The stand-alone web portfolio has offered some efficiencies, but fundamental challenges remain: As with old-school portfolio books, you still need to invite, or drive, people to view your site. As we all know, “If you build it, they will come” is not always entirely true. And what if you don’t know how to code a website in the first place?!
ProSite introduces a new concept tailored to the modern creative professional: A connected portfolio website that’s fully customizable, with no coding required.
Few Words with Scott Belsky
Welcome to Creativeoverflow Scott, most people know you, but could you please introduce yourself and tell us when the idea for ProSite started coming about and when did you guys actually initiate the start of the creation of ProSite?
Scott: My team and I at Behance are building the leading online platform for creative careers. The Behance Network (be.net) has become the largest online platform of creative professionals, and our technology now powers portfolio display for LinkedIn, AIGA, AdWeek, SVA, and other sites and galleries around the web.
Behance’s ProSite service was inspired by a big problem we observed among creatives: We spend too much time building and maintaining our own personal portfolio sites while also updating our social network portfolios and other marketing efforts around the web. We need to be more efficient in how we showcase our work and build our careers.
About one year ago we started designing and developing a revolutionary new approach to the “online portfolio.” Just launched, ProSite allows users to build completely custom portfolio websites, using their own domain name, without any coding/CSS knowledge. And the best part is that ProSite-powered websites stay in sync with Behance, allowing you to manage all of your online portfolios in one central place.
You guys have been doing a awesome job with creating online portfolios for designers through the Behance Network, but with your latest edition, you empower the average Joe to create a remarkable online portfolio without any knowledge of coding. What do you take away from helping people simplify their online portfolio needs?
Scott: We were very inspired by “firebug,” a system that developers use to mouse-over the CSS of a webpage and visually see the corresponding elements that relate to the code. We build ProSite to allow full-control over all of a website’s elements with the simple use of sliders and an intuitive interface.
Currently your pricing module for the Full version of ProSite maxes out at $11, do you guys plan on broadening that spectrum at all? Will we see additional packages for the platform in the future?
Scott: We offer UNLIMITED hosting, uploads, bandwidth, and access to all features for $11/month (or as little as $8.80/month with the annual plan). Some other sites have tiered plans that may start cheaper but become more expensive. We want a simple solution that allows people to do everything they want. The MOST important benefit of ProSite is the time saved by having your portfolio automatically in-sync with your marketing efforts online.
It’s amazing to me that some people don’t value their time spent updating their sites. Creative professionals need to spend more time on client work and marketing themselves, and less time updating their personal portfolio site that is only viewed by people they know.
ProSite is a amazing new product, but as you know the internet has a lot of copy cats and thieves around, aren’t you guys afraid of someone building something similar to ProSite within the next few months?
Scott: Anyone can copy design, but the system is one-of-a-kind. ProSite syncs with the Behance Network, as well as LinkedIn, AIGA, AdWeek, and many other sites and galleries around the web. We fundamentally believe that people will move away from isolated and expensive-to-maintain portfolio sites in favor of a more integration and powerful solution.
A lot of people look up to you for your wisdom and the amazing success Behance has had with their network and products, I’m sure a lot of people wonder. “Where does all these ideas come from?” Having read your book I know that you structure your Ideas, but were you a visionary from a young age?
Scott: Well, I think I was lucky enough to find a team of motivated visionaries to work with. My founding vision for Behance was to develop a company that organizes and empowers the creative world. But a vision means nothing without a team that is willing to research, debate, develop, and iterate products that fulfill the mission.
One thing I can say is that we have worked EXTREMELY hard over the past five years and have made many personal and professional sacrifices to make Behance happen. Only in the past couple years has Behance started to gain serious traction, and now the growth is skyrocketing. The reason is that the service is working for the community. We get testimonials every day from users that have found new collaborations, resources, and jobs as a result of the platform. This makes all of the work worthwhile.
Thank you Scott for answering these questions, we appreciate your time and wish you guys the best of luck over at Behance. Is there anything you would like to add or perhaps close on for aspiring artists, entrepreneurs or developers?
Scott: I think we often forget that creativity is not only an opportunity, it is also a responsibility. Creative careers suffer from inefficiency and disorganization. Rather than spend all of our time creating, we need to invest time in PROCESS…asking yourself: “How can I make more of an impact in what matters most to me?”
Take yourself and your creative work seriously. Not only for your own career, but for the rest of us.
Thanks Scott for your time and input
Even though ProSite has only been recently launched, things took off with a boom and there are hundreds of sites already created using the ProSite platform. Let’s see some of the beautiful outcomes that are already live.
ProSite is a awesome product and there is no better way to get your own unique portfolio online if you aren’t a coding expert. Behance has outdone themselves, so make sure you check out the product and put it to good use.