Innovation That Matters

No more voting on DIY T-shirt site


Regular Springwise readers may recall Threadless, Derby and some of the other sites we’ve written about that let consumers design and sell their own T-shirts. Many of those operate as a competition–relying on the crowds to determine which shirts get produced and sold–but Yerzies is a brand-new contender that was essentially forced by its early users to adopt a different model. Launched into beta just two weeks ago, Yerzies is a design-your-own T-shirt site that allows anyone to create, purchase or sell their own customized T-shirts, hoodies and other apparel items. The Pennsylvania-based company gives users access to what it says is an unprecedented array of creative options including printing on dark garments, metallic foils, flocks, glitters, glow-in-the-dark materials and stitched processes. When they’re finished designing, users can purchase as little as one piece or sell their creations (produced on demand) to the Yerzies community, keeping the profits for themselves. And that’s where it gets interesting: whereas any designer could originally use Yerzies to sell their creations directly via their own web page, blog or page on Facebook and MySpace, getting listed in the online Yerzies store required being ranked highly enough by the Yerzies community. And that, it turned out, was a requirement early users didn’t like. Cofounder Scott Killian explains: “The initial feedback we received from users was very positive, but one reoccurring criticism was the rule we had in place that required designs to be ranked before they would appear in our store. We did this because we wanted to empower our user community to collectively decide which designs were the strongest and deserved the attention. Although our intentions were good, this approach put too many barriers in place for users to list their designs. As a result, we’ve done away with ranking completely. All designs are listed for sale in our store the moment they’re created (unless the design is private).” Yerzies aims to repurpose the ranking concept down the road, Killian added, but for now it’s no longer part of the selling process. As members of Generation C(ontent) demand to join Generation C(ash) via rewards for their creations, the logistics of how it should all work is still being figured out. Yerzies’ example is one to learn from.



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