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Google Investors Find New Project

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the checking-the-future dept.

The Almighty Buck 206

Greg Linden writes:"According to ZDNet, the investors behind Google are at it again. John Doerr and Ram Shriram are investing in Zazzle, a company targeting mass customization by allowing shoppers and store owners to create individually tailored clothes, prints, and other items. For example, customers can choose an image from a large image library, design a T-shirt using the image with online tools, and then have the T-shirt delivered to them. Lands' End, CafePress, and other online clothing stores offer similar mass customization services on a small scale, but Doerr clearly believes that there is a substantial opportunity 'for every individual who wants to create products that are as unique as they are.'"

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206 comments

Not so unique... (1)

hedgehog2097 (688249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094823)

Doesn't this describe cafepress?

Re:Not so unique... (5, Funny)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094839)

Doesn't this describe cafepress?

Maybe in a general sort of way, but more specifically it describes the 1990s.

Re:Not so unique... (1)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095006)

While you guys are arguing about this, I'm gonna go zazzle some doritos and coffee before the next article is available.

Re:Not so unique... (2, Interesting)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094853)

Cafepress is more broad, without all the buyer customization options. You can changes anything on a customizable piece on Zazzle.

Despite the article's assurance, Zazzle [zazzle.com] has been around for 5 years, in one form or another. The Copyright on their web page confirms this. Digital Blasphemy [digitalblasphemy.com] used them for posters [zazzle.com] while they were still in beta back in 2000. While the product selection isn't as broad as CafePress, the customizability of the products is great... Most interesting (IMHO) is the ability to customize a greeting card and add your own text or pictures inside (or outside). There is a good selection of [fairly] reasonably priced options for the posters, too.

Shameless Promotion [zazzle.com]

Change anything?? (1)

kjkeefe (581605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095339)

What about the price? I would definitely shop at an e-store with that kind of customization!

Re:Not so unique... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13094854)

WWJD [cafepress.com]

Re:Not so unique... (2, Funny)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094870)

Only if CafePress also allows you to custmomizer your online experience... I wonder if Zazzle has trademarked that word yet??

Re:Not so unique... (5, Informative)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095305)

I've used both CafePress and Zazzle to have T-shirts printed up with a logo on the front and a simple graphic on the back. The Zazzle T-shirt is of much higher quality. You get a larger area in which to print your graphic with Zazzle, and the Zazzle shirt is more comfortable because it doesn't have a big iron-on patch where the artwork is. The Zazzle shirts are a bit more expensive, though: about $2 more than comparable CafePress shirts.

Compared to CafePress, Zazzle makes it much harder to sell your stuff online in a self-contained space. I think this is where the missions of the two sites diverge. CafePress is basically a site designed to help you set up your little store to sell branded schwag. It is a portal for personal sites. Nobody goes to cafepress.com to shop; they end up on a specific CafePress store that has been linked from somebody else's site.

But Zazzle wants to be an entity unto itself, and it portrays itself as a clearinghouse for all sorts of printed artwork. If you want to make the items you design on Zazzle available to the public, you have to give Zazzle resale rights to the artwork in perpetuity, with the agreement that you will receive a 10% royalty on any items that are sold. Zazzle wants you to become part of their big community.

If you go to cafepress.com, you see a pitch that basically says, "We'll help you sell it yourself." If you go to zazzle.com, you see a pitch that says, "Look at the cool stuff Zazzle sells. Why not contribute?"

I prefer the quality of the printing process (again, I only have experience with T-shirts) on Zazzle, but I wish it had the selling flexibility of CafePress.

custmomizer (1)

techmeltz (884946) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094827)

Could someone explain the term custmomizer?

It's like Spanish. You need to conjugate. :) [nt] (1)

JimTheta (115513) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094926)

As subject.

Re:It's like Spanish. You need to conjugate. :) [n (1)

Dasein (6110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095301)

I took a little Spanish and I don't get it. None of the "conjugations" of customizer as a subject results in "sodomizer".

Well.... (2, Funny)

DietCoke (139072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095023)

Last time I checked it stood for "testing to see if any mods are awake behind the wheel"...

At least we got the results in quickly.

Already trademarked? (2, Funny)

Afecks (899057) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094829)

Won't they have trademark issues with Zazzle.com [zazzle.com]?

Re:Already trademarked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13094939)

Mod parent (-1) Stupid

Is this really new? (4, Informative)

OctaneZ (73357) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094830)

Is it just me, or does the idea for Zazzle [zazzle.com] seem remarkably close to the idea behind Cafe Press [cafepress.com]?

Re:Is this really new? (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094915)

Sure, but the big difference is that these folks are funded by VC.

So, you know, in a couple months when they figure out that there isn't a very big market for this stuff, they'll really really really tank, from the overhead they've, no doubt, incurred.

Re:Is this really new? (4, Informative)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095061)

CafePress [bascially] lets anyone sell stuff through them for royalties (you design, they sell/make/ship it). So does Zazzle. Zazzle also allows you to let buyers add/change your designs.

Like the T-Shirt, but want the message on the pocket, instead? No problem. Want to tag your items with your name on the back? Done. Don't like the color of the font on that postcard? Change it. Want that poster to be a little shorter? Crop it.

True, however (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095092)

Google was also remarkably close to the idea behind lots of early search engines but it ended up giving them the smackdown on market share.

Meh (1)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094840)

Doesn't really sound all that interesting compared to some other things I've heard about.

On the CBC a little while ago there was an interesting feature on a company that has a local online setup for Ottawa that allows sellers and buyers to haggle. Anyone as cheap as I am can see the obvious benefits in such a system.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13094845)

*yawn*

Names (4, Funny)

MrNonchalant (767683) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094851)

First Google.

Now Zazzle.

What next? Gejujwh[NO CARRIER]

Could work, but i doubt it... (4, Interesting)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094856)

Not that this has anything directly to do with google, but think about how many companies have cropped up with new search "technologies" that will be better and more popular than google. How many people here can name any of them that have een covered by /. off the top of their heads? This, i believe, is one of those kinda of industries that is so engrained that everyone likes how it's being done and doesn't want it to change... Amazon and Ebay work great. why will anyone want to go to Zazzle instead? People like to stick with things they know and trust... My prediction is that it will fail. but maybe that's just me. :-)

Re:Could work, but i doubt it... (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094980)

"Not that this has anything directly to do with google".

I know this sounds remote, but could some of google's money be involved with this? Really I could see google buying, or investing in this company, except it would probably piss off some of "partner" companies. I know.. not very likely but you never know right?

Re:Could work, but i doubt it... (1)

Sububer (887134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094982)

Sounds familiar...

/enter time machine, go back 6 years

Why would anyone want to use Google when AltaVista and Yahoo! are perfectly fine and people are used to using them?

/back to today

Of course there is room for a new online seller. Ebay could certainly use a challenger, and who better to step up to the plate?

Re:Could work, but i doubt it... (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095041)

on the contrary, as soon as i discovered google i started using it and i haven't gone back since... Google offered something better than anyone else and every attempt at doing something better by other companies has proved fruitless... I tried yahoo for curiosity a couple days ago and it tok me 10 minutes to find what i wanted... took about 15 seconds to find the same thing on google...

Re:Could work, but i doubt it... (1)

Sububer (887134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095119)

On the contrary to what?

Re:Could work, but i doubt it... (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095174)

to the fact that no one cared about google.... Pretty much all of my friends loved it right away.... the previous post implys that not many people wanted to go for it...

Zazzle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13094857)

You know some guys were in a gay bar somewhere and said:

Oh, jeez, you know what would be fun? A shopping site! We could call it Zazzle or something.

I can hear Carson from Queer Eye saying that now.

Word of the day? (1)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094859)

This startup company, named Zazzle allows both shoppers and store owners to fully custmomizer their online experience.

Is it Zazzle or custmomizer? Anyone?

Re:Word of the day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13095155)

Custmomizer is a perfectly cromulent word. It's an application that lets you custmomize grammer and spellign to suit your testes.

A unique online shopping experience.... (2, Funny)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094863)

Wow, I can't wait. I soooo love to shop online.

Re:A unique online shopping experience.... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094887)

Yes, because 160x160 pictures of the box shit comes in with tiny captions which are poorly transcribed copies of what is on the box... that's enough to make a sale from...

hehehe

Though to be honest I've been lucky and only been burned once [was a screen protector for my Ipaq, the one I ordered, labeled for my ipaq didn't fit and within 30 mins was peeling off].

Tom

I've used Zazzle... (4, Informative)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094865)

...and its pretty cool. As an artist, you can use it to get your artwork printed onto say archival-quality paper, or a big canvas, or whatever. As a shopper you can get artwork you like on objects of various sorts.

Dunno if its something I'd bet a large amount of money on as an investor, since I'm not sure how much money they'd expect a site like that to make, but its a pretty friendly and good site for what it does. Maybe that's enough...

Sounds neet...but... (1)

J Barnes (838165) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094963)

The ability to print archivally is pretty cool, but I wonder who's paper it really is. Zazzle "GOLD MATTE" isn't a paper I've seen on the shelves anywhere.

Land of the free (2, Funny)

hhg (200613) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094868)

Didn't Amazon already patent e-shopping? By the way, didn't Amazon also patent "Land of the free"?

So? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094871)

So the guys who got lucky and invested their money in the right place decide to throw money at something else. This is sort of the whole idea behind being a venture capitalist.

Now, if the brains behind Google decided to start another company, that would be news, but VCs invest in new companies all the time. The only notable thing about this one is that the company they're investing in sounds just as shaky as the crap VCs used to throw money at in the 90s.

Re:So? (1)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095253)

I agree. I think it will be hard for them to be profitable with all of the customization they allow. People will be willing to pay for the novelty at first, but will they sustain a steady flow of business at prices that allow them to make a decent profit?

What? (4, Informative)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094873)

"Fully customize their online experience" doesn't describe at all what Zazzle is. The customization comes in the GOODS that are made, not in the experience itself.

It's basically a glorified Cafepress.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13095060)

Except that customizing is *so* passe. This company is clearly at the forefront of the new online custmomizer-ing wave. Let's hope they patent it quick.

Interesting (1)

aftk2 (556992) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094875)

Hmm...like another poster mentioned, it's kind of like Cafepress, with the important difference that the item is customized by the person buying it. So, rather than me being able to choose from various items that the vendor has created, using his or her artwork, I get to place the artwork of one or more people on any number of items.
Zazzle draws on the creative works of community members and more than 10,000 contributing artists, along with images from partners like Walt Disney, the Library of Congress and others. People can search for and choose an image and then augment it with online design tools before ordering it as a T-shirt, framed canvas, or other item. In turn, Zazzle pays a royalty fee to the artist or content partner.
I like this: in the past, I've seen shirts for sale through Cafepress that I mostly like, but wish I could tweak to a degree.

Re:My thoughts exactly (2, Insightful)

HCIdivision17 (899510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095170)

Cafepress is cool, but there are some jokes/phases/logos that would be especially fun if noone else had it. I would see this site catering to not only the got-my-kid's-name-on-a-tshirt bunch but also the geeky inside-joke group - where maybe five of your friends are the only ones who will get understand the t-shirt. It's the ultimate insider wear.

Clothing from the US? (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094880)

It seems like they are a true, domestic manufacturer. They are very well known (not necessarily to everyone, but to a lot of people) for their custom image clothing. They say that they can get it to your house in 3-4 days [zazzle.com]. If they can do this, it sounds like it is not coming on the slow boat from some Chinese sweatshop (Nike, hint hint), but rather good ol' Made in the USA.

Re:Clothing from the US? (4, Informative)

mattdm (1931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095004)

It seems like they are a true, domestic manufacturer. They are very well known (not necessarily to everyone, but to a lot of people) for their custom image clothing. They say that they can get it to your house in 3-4 days. If they can do this, it sounds like it is not coming on the slow boat from some Chinese sweatshop (Nike, hint hint), but rather good ol' Made in the USA.

I doubt it. They're probably *printed on* in the US, but the blank t-shirts come from whereever. Their "Premium" [zazzle.com] shirts are Hanes (which is Sara Lee, one of the worst multinationals for fair trade and labor practices -- way worse than Nike. Ask Google.) They don't mention a brand for their "Basic" shirts, probably so they can change it up with whatever is cheapest at the time.

Re:Clothing from the US? (2, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095108)

This may be slightly off topic, but I have to say that most of the clothing that I get from the good ol' US of A, seems to be lacking in quality. Yes I get tons of crap from overseas as well. But when it comes to paying $20+ for a T-Shirt, the 'crap' I get from overseas seems way better than the Made in America shirts of the same price (Look at the crap coming from places like ThinkGeek). And at the end of the day, I don't care where it's made, so long as I get the best bang for my buck.

Now whether this is simply the end retailer jacking up the price of cheap shirts to maximize profits, or if there is just no demand for relatively inexpensive high quality when it comes to American made clothing (I'm talking average, not top of the line designer stuff), I'd take my chances waiting for something to ship from overseas.

I'm all for not supporting child labour, etc. But I'm also for not being screwed over, and when I pay more for something that's of worse quality, I know I wouldn't feel to patriotic if I was an American. I think the auto industry was seeing the same sort of trend, cheaper better imports... they seem to have started to adapt, but I don't see clothing manufacturers following their path...

press release spam (5, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094894)

I get this kind of thing in my inbox every day -- excited superlatives pumping up some penny stock or other, in the hopes that the gullible masses will get excited and throw away some of their money. This is the *exact* same thing, except the people behind it are bigger fish and so know how to write a press release that ZDNet will pick up and republish as news -- and then they hit the jackpot when sites like Slashdot republish it as legitimate. Yippie.

Re:press release spam (3, Insightful)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095065)

Hype for Nerds. Stuff that doesn't matter.

I mean, really. We've posted an article not about Google or what Google is up to next, but about the guys that gave Google money and the next project they are funding. This is pure hype, guys. I hope Slashdot got a kickback on this.

Re:press release spam (1)

Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095126)

- excited superlatives pumping up...

You mean like this: Zazzle represents a significant breakthrough in e-commerce and is the ideal advocate for every individual who wants to create products that are as unique as they are," Doerr said in a statement.

And what really kills me is that Doerr and the others will sell their stake for billions. I just wish I had the ability to think of shit like this so I could cash out big.

Not that easy (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095338)

It's not coming up with the ideas that lets you cash out. People come up with ideas like this and better every second of every day. The trick is to be able to use all of the lingo, talk to the right people, jump through the right hoops, and figure out how to get people give you millions for a silly idea, and how you can personally walk away with a pile of cash, even if (when) the idea flops. If you know any venture capitalists personally, and you know how to talk to them, and what kind of bullshit they expect, you've gotten past your first hurdle.

Spell (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13094901)

store owners to fully custmomizer their

Customizer. I suppose that's how a German Jar-Jar Binks would say it.

What about Froogle? (1, Offtopic)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094910)

Froogle [google.com]

Aside from the looks, how does Zazzle differ from what Google already has?

Re:What about Froogle? (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094979)

It's completely different.

It's not at all alike.

In fact, in posting this, you make it obvious that you didn't follow any of the important links.

You wrote:
Aside from the looks, how does Zazzle differ from what Google already has?

You should have written:
Aside from the looks, how does Zazzle differ from what CafePress already has?

See the difference?

This is just CafePress, right? (3, Insightful)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094923)

Sure, it's a good idea. And I really don't mind there being more competition in the market, but isn't CafePress [cafepress.com] already doing this with all sorts of apparel and other easily printable goods? In addition, isn't Stamps.com [stamps.com] already doing this with stamps. And aren't there a number [ofoto.com] of [flicker.com] sites [shutterfly.com] that do this with photographs?

Yeah, printing customized materials cheaply is a great service... and combining the best features of all the currently available sites can only benefit us as a whole, but it's not unique and I'd be surprised if it were a big success.

Re:This is just CafePress, right? (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095072)

Sure, it's a good idea. And I really don't mind there being more competition in the market, but isn't CafePress already doing this with all sorts of apparel and other easily printable goods? In addition, isn't Stamps.com already doing this with stamps. And aren't there a number of sites that do this with photographs?

Yes, yes, but Amazon.com already patented that and doing business on the Internet in general.

New success formula for web sites... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13094947)

Name them...

[constanant][vowel][double constanant]le

I think Snoop Dog had prior art years ago, fo' shizzle.

Re:New success formula for web sites... (1)

TooncesTheCat (900528) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095055)

[constanant][vowel][double constanant]le

Did Snoop Dogg teach you English? Its consonant you insensitive clod. ;o

Re:New success formula for web sites... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13095099)

We've got a newborn in the house, so I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night.

Brain no my function well without sleep. :)

Re:New success formula for web sites... (1)

TooncesTheCat (900528) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095295)

We've got a elitist commenting on someone just because of their UserId. Gogo gadget assumptions!!

Nice, but not really news (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094991)

The investors behind google did it again: Can somebody provide stats that they are always right?

Zazzle (1)

Fiver- (169605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094994)

Wasn't Zazzle like a fairy or something that taught you how to read in some lame Apple II game?

Customised stamps? (1)

RamboIII (899894) | more than 8 years ago | (#13094998)

On Monday, the company will announce a partnership with Pitney Bowes that allows members to buy customized stamps.

I can see a lot of uses for this, especially in the t-shirt market. Also, they don't have to stop there, they could very easily become the main source for personal customization. Other stores could just use them as a frontline, and do the work themselves. Just like they're going to do with Pitney Bowes.

Fully Customize? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13095047)

does that mean that I can have naked Swedish girls give me a massage during my online experience, or does fully customize mean, not really "fully" customizeable. We just allow you to set some preferences around..

I hope they fail... (1)

Stankatz (846709) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095063)

...just for picking such a stupid name. I'm going to start a fast-food chain, but I can't decide whether to call it Flurger Fling, McZozzalds, or Glarglee's.

Amazon (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095105)

Are they going to have enough money to pay off amazon or its patent lawyers for all the obvious business practice patents bezos has been granted?

Bet on the Green Tennis Shoes Principle (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095107)

The Green Tennis Shoes Principle [blogspot.com] is (roughly) that the Internet brings makes it efficient to market niche products.

Zazzle looks to allow you to customize your selling experience. It's hoping to let folks like flea market vendors (and they are legion) sell their wares in a custom-looking environment. If it's easy enough, it shoud work really well.

Ebay, Yahoo!, AOL, et al will probably copy the idea.

Awesome! (3, Funny)

Jakeypants (860350) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095180)

I can't wait to customizer my Zazzle!

I'd also appreciate being able to conflaggle my blunker, but I'll take what I can get.

Well, yes, maybe. (4, Insightful)

Andrew Tanenbaum (896883) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095186)

I just went to register on the site. I don't see how it is really different to a lot of established create your own product sites. Maybe they will just market better. I agree that there is a lot of variation on what you can create. As they say: "Lots of places offer apparel, posters, and cards - and we do too. But no one else offers the range of sizes, colors or media that you find at Zazzle. And no one else utilizes our state-of-the-art reproduction techniques that deliver exceptional color, feel and resolution. " Hmm, maybe. Maybe. But, what's in it for the punter? If you use CafePress, you can set your own prices and make money. At Zazzle, you get a flat 10%. That's a in anyone's money. The users will make the site, they are effectively selling their creativity - and yet the return is pathetic. Despite the brilliance of the investors, I suggest this company will . And even if it doesn't, it isn't adding anything of interest to the world.

What is Zazzle? (1)

h2d2 (876356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095244)

CafePress + Customized Stamps + Google Investers = Zazzle

(Oh, and add slashdotted to the list too!)

This year's tulip bubble... (1)

infochuck (468115) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095245)

Sweet. This could usher in a whole new era of irrational exuberance for investors. Startups by soon-to-be Stanford grads! Who cares if nobody wants what they're selling? They could be the next company trading at levels well beyond their capcity for earning! Call now for your very own castle in the sky.

Oh, from TFA: "The name Zazzle means 'to embellish something' from the root word 'zazz.'"

It does? Since when do campanies get to decide their nonsense name means something, much less that the nonsense root word means something, too? Lewis Carroll they ain't.

Apologies if 'zazz' is a real word.

Whoop-de-do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13095269)

Considering these investors think it is wise to invest in broadband over powerline [com.com] (BPL), you have to wonder about how competent they are at picking technologies in which to invest.

Success! (1)

smileyy (11535) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095271)

Because we all know it was the VC company that was truly responsible for Google's success!

Copyediting by Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13095281)

Hoo boy, this one needs some cleaning up. The list of offenses includes: wrong capitalization, commas where there shouldn't be commas, no commas where there should be, wrong choice of word (customize/customizer), and no ending punctuation. Following is a corrected version:

Andrew writes "According to ZDNet, the investors behind the successful search engine Google are at it again. This time, the venture capitalists are investing in a company that promises to provide a unique online shopping experience. This startup company, named Zazzle, allows both shoppers and store owners to fully custmomize their online experience. The full story can be found here."

Time tested business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13095300)

1. Associate yourself with a good name.
2. ???
3. Profit!

It works great if you sell out before people realize that you have nothing to do with the "good name".

Mispelled. Should be "ZazzOL" (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095336)

Obviously these investors made the foolish mistake of investing in a mispelled version of Zazzol.

Cafepress difference(s) (1)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13095341)

The primary difference I can see between other sites (cafepress, etc) and zazzle is that zazzle will simply allow you to contribute creative without requiring you to actually sell the end product (mugs, shirts, etc). This could become a clearinghouse for artists who want to make their stuff available to others for 'mixing' (or mashup, or whatever the term is today).

If cafepress cut a deal to allow people to search through flickr, for example, use those pics on a mug, then cut the original flickr uploader a piece of the sale, I think you'd have something close to zazzle. This would also make flickr much more valuable (imo) as it would be a triple purpose site (share my fotos, share my portfolio and make money selling my work).

Anyway, not saying it will or won't work. With enough money behind them, it might. Obviously getting Disney and others to contribute stuff is a big boon. I think this MAY work out in the long run (whether zazzle themselves or someone else) because it encourages the 'mash up' idea people are all excited about these days. Long term it will just be seen as normal to take multiple images and do things with them that they weren't intended for. This is a stepping stone in that direction. Check out a recent wired magazine on the whole 'remix' generation stuff - I think it was July '05 issue (gorillaz on the cover?)

Maybe Google will smarten them up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13095357)

They were incredibly stupid. For years, they ordered their artworks by average ratings... guess what happened... that's right, some artists spent all day giving themselves 10's and their competitors 1's... It was a troll's paradise. You could leave comments on artworks and there's no way to get rid of them except by asking an admin... "Nah, I don't like this one!" Want to piss someone off? Give them a 1! Artist cliques formed, where members praised up each others works and downrated outsiders. A few art spammers generated thousands of fractals to drown out other digital artists. Zazzle advertised their lists, so in effect, whoever was at the top got free advertising. And the solution was so obvious. Just use a ranking formula combining sales and a few other factors. They could have put capitalism to work for them! Now, you see mostly garbage. There are some outstanding works but they are very hard to find. The new investors have some serious ass kicking to do.
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