Episode 27

Creating Dracula PRO with Blood, Sweat, and Tears with Zeno Rocha


March 6th, 2020

45 mins 35 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

Sponsored By:


Richard Littauer | Justin Dorfman | Eric Berry


Zeno Rocha
Liferay Cloud | Dracula Pro

Show Notes

In this episode we talk with Zeno Rocha. He is the Chief Product Officer at Liferay Cloud, a newly created Liferay, Inc division. He is responsible for crafting the product strategy, shaping the features, and defining the future of DXP Cloud. Zeno also created the popular Dracula theme. We talk about the success of clipboard.js, Dracula theme, and the importance not just creating the code, but promoting is as well.

2:38 Zeno talks about how he started out as an Open Source developer. He also explains what the developer scene is like in Brazil.

05:15 Zeno has spoken at over 110 conferences now and Richard is interested to know why he has this drive to get more views and work on social problems.

9:54 Zeno explains how he got involved in Dracula Theme and clipboard.js. Let’s just say there are 28,000 stars.

11:54 Zeno gets into the importance of promoting libraries that we create. If you want to reach and help more people. We as a group need to promote! He discusses what he did to promote his stuff.

15:45 One of the guys asked Zeno how did he get from zero to 5,000 stars overnight. He explains it’s not because of Hacker News but from something else.

18:20 Zeno talks about his design capabilities with Dracula. He says he’s not a designer or a marketeer.

20:18 Justin mentions about how he founded a project called BootstrapCDN and how an influencer helped shoot the usage up in one night.

22:54 Richard wonders how Zeno chooses his projects and how does he plan to have projects live beyond him, in terms of Dracula, which is a theming project that has grown beyond him. Zeno explains a hospital stay and a stolen computer is involved in this, so listen on.

30:34 Richard is curious about Dracula Pro and that it’s monetized but how does it work. Zeno answers this talking about dark mode and a keyboard that was crated for Dracula that had record sales.

32:57 Zeno reaches a point where he says he needs to learn about sales to make money. He finds a book that he reads that taught his some very interesting lessons.


07:14 “If you really want to learn something you have to teach it.”

08:10 “If I learn that one framework and learn that one language, then I am going to be successful.”

12:07 “If you want to get traction, if you want to reach more people…then you have to spend time promoting to others.

22:36 “Teach first, be welcoming first, communicate 10 times more than you code.”

30:56 “Typically I never monetize my work.”

39:49 “Email is not dead. Whoever says that never sent a newsletter. It works.”


  • 41:07 Justin’s spotlight this week is SHML.xyz (shell markup language)
  • 41:49 Eric’s spotlight is Thoughtbot. Go on github.com/thoughtbot/laptop also a subscription to Dracula Pro, found on Draculatheme.com.
  • 43:41 Richard’s spotlight is Caigmod.com (a newsletter).
  • 44:30 Zeno’s spotlight is HTML5 Boilerplate.


Zeno Rocha

Zeno Rocha Twitter

Zeno Rocha Linkedin

Zeno Rocha GitHub

Dracula Theme

GitHub/Alfred Workflows

Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula TO Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams.




HTML5 Boilerplate

GitHub: How did the repo get 5000 stars in a few days?

Hacker News-Modern Copy to Clipboard

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