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Tips for Building a Successful Crowdsourcing T-Shirt Community

Adam Fletcher has been active in the crowdsourcing community and even wrote a Master’s thesis on Threadless entitled “Do consumers want to design unique products on the Internet – a study of the Virtual Community of and their attitudes to Mass Production, Mass Customisation and Collaborative Co-creation”. You can check out his full thesis on his blog at HipHopUK. Fletcher was later hired by Spreadshirt to help organize their Open Logo Project at the end of 2007. Following the logo contest he took off to travel Asia but he has surfaced with an interesting article on tips, risks, and problems for running a crowdsourcing model and Fletcher answered the following questions.

1. What is required to make Crowdsourcing a success?
2. What are the benefits of Crowdsourcing?
3. How important is design feedback?
4. Are the most creative members ever given jobs?
5. Is fair treatment required for successful crowdsourcing?
6. What happens if crowdsource community members are treated unfair?
7. What helps crowdsourcing communities stay loyal?
8. What are the risks or problems for crowdsourcing models?

For more info check out the full article on crowdsourcing.

Written by T-Shirt Talk


  1. wizeguyztees · April 21, 2008

    I almost like the idea of making less and running it like a snorgtees or luckythreadz where you can print what you like. As long as people buy it of course but the two I mentioned I believe are making decent income. Threadless is a monster and I wonder if a new community for t shirts could come up and get big. I see design by humans try it but I dont get the feeling they are rolling in the dough.

  2. Harry Fokker · August 24, 2008

    The threadless model is a resounding success, and there are other companies quickly and happily following suit. The one problem for designers such as myself is how to introduce this kind of concept into a T company that produces all of its own designs. Of course, I can and do purchase designs from the public but when your company runs mostly on your own innovation, how would crowdsourcing and community building fit? It is essential to involve the public, possibly in a threadlessesque scenario, but how to do it successfully… big questions these.

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