Bootstrapped:Threadless-Crowdsourcing T-Shirt Design

Bootstrapped:Threadless-Crowdsourcing T-Shirt Design


Threadless was founded in 2000, after Jake Nickell, then a 20-year-old web developer, won a t-shirt-design contest. With an investment of $1000, he built a website to which people submitted t-shirt designs, and the favorites were printed in limited-edition runs. Today threadless is a $40 million business and profitable.

In an interview with the founder, Jake Nickel conducted by techcrunch, he shared this with the public when he was asked- “Would you have taken a VC investment if you could have, when you started?”

Definitely not, as I was starting a hobby and not a business. It’s kind of like asking if I would consider a VC investment to help me start learning to skateboard. Sure, I’d spend a couple hundred bucks on a board, some pads and maybe some materials to build a ramp, but I’m not looking for millions or even hundreds or tens of thousands to just create something for fun. Even if I was starting a business, I don’t think I was raised that way or have that type of personality. I didn’t even have my first credit card until I was maybe 23, so I really just don’t do well with spending money I don’t have.

I like what he said to close the interview;

If you want your life to be fun as an entrepreneur, I suggest going into it with realistic expectations and to measure your success in different ways than financially.

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    • Thomas Oppong

      @Amado. You can use the rss icon at the sidebar or the email icon. If you use Google reader, you can copy the feed url and paste it at the add subscription field. You can also type alltopstartups in the field and follow procedure to subscribe

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    With everything which seems to be developing within this specific subject matter, all your perspectives tend to be relatively refreshing. On the other hand, I am sorry, but I can not give credence to your entire plan, all be it refreshing none the less. It appears to everyone that your remarks are actually not totally justified and in reality you are your self not really fully certain of the point. In any case I did appreciate looking at it.

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    Wow, did Threadless really only start with $1,000? That's incredible given how huge they've become. I guess crowd-sourcing really is a good way to go.

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