Threadless Design Campaigns Become Popular With Fans was founded in 2000 by Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart after winning a t-shirt design contest.  When their website was created there were no social networks to promote their site, they did not exist. In order to get their new store out to the people they created their own social network where they run design competitions that allow artists to submit designs to be printed on a t-shirt and sold on their website.  The website itself was a social network where people blogged, chatted about designs, and socialized with fellow artists.

Artists from all around the world jumped at the opportunity to have their design printed on a shirt then sold on the website.  Each week there are about 1,500 designs submitted that compete against one another.  During the duration of that week the public is able to vote on their favorite designs.  At the end of the week a team from Threadless finds the 10 designs with the most votes and prints them to be sold.

The lucky artists that win the most votes receive a cash prize of $2,500 and a $500 gift certificate for Threadless.  Each time a design is asked to be reprinted, that artist  receives another $500.

Despite the fact the company has never advertised, employs no professional designers, uses no modeling agencies or professional photographers, has no sales force or retail distribution, they have never produced a flop.  Annual sales are up to $5 million.  They keep their costs low and because the community chooses which shirts are to be made, every product is eventually sold out, the customers are the company.

“Threadless completely blurs that line of who is a producer and who is a consumer,” says Karim Lakhani, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “The customers end up playing a critical role across all its operations: idea generation, marketing, sales forecasting. All that has been distributed.”

Once social networks started to form, Threadless would also use those to gain even more customers.  They started to come up with themes for the artists to design.  Earlier this year in February Threadless ran The Zombie Rights Campaign, where artists could compete in designing the best zombie picture they could.  Also when Twitter started to become more popular, Threadless ran a competition having designers come up with the best tweets to put on a t-shirt.

Due to the success of the design campaigns, Threadless was able to open up a retail store located in Chicago in 2007.  Sold from the store are the same designs that are submitted on their website.  Because new designs are submitted weekly, the online store and the retail store products change every Friday.  As the products are always changing to something new, this keeps customers coming back each week to check out all the new designs.

The idea of running these design campaigns created sudden success for Threadless.  Jake Nickell has built this entire business around the idea that an online community can drive innovation.

Intuit-Creating Your Website In Three Easy to Follow Steps

Creating a website that appeals to users can be very important when running an online business.  You want to attract your target audience’s attention to get them to want to look more into your website.  Designing your very own website can be an easy task as long as you have the right tools and guidance to help you along the way.  Intuit offers an easy three step process that will help you to create your website, the way you want it.

After picking a design template that best suits your type of company you have the ability to fully customize it to look how you want.  Out of 2,000 different designs to choose from for 100 different industries, not one website will look similar to another.  When choosing your design, if you can not find one that best fits your company style, Intuit’s website building software offers editing tools that help you to redesign any of the templates.  After you have the perfect design chosen you then get to use your creativity to completely customize your new web page with all of your company’s information.  You can download images of your own to add to the page or you can even choose from Intuit’s free library of 250,000 images to find one that works best with your company.  Next you can edit all text on the page, changing the colors, size and fonts.  The last step to fully customizing your new web page is adding in your logo and you are ready to go live.

When you are ready to go live all it takes is one click and your customers will begin to see your newly created website.  Hosted by Intuit, at anytime you have the opportunity to go back to make any new changes to the website.  To make it easier for people looking at the site to contact you, Intuit helps you to create your own personalized web address including a matching e-mail address.  Using your business name as your web address also makes it easier for people to find you on the web.  In the case that the domain name you want is already taken, members of Intuit help you find a new name that will easily be remembered by your customers.

Every step of the process of creating your site there are always Web Advisors available to help you when you need it. What makes Intuit so unique from other competing companies, is they make the process of creating a website so simple, you do not need any computer skills in order to do so.  Their process makes it easy for anyone to create a well designed website.