Kleiner Perkins' latest start-up: Zazzle
Zazzle.com -- Kleiner Perkins and Google board member Ram Shriram invested $16 million in the series A round of this Menlo Park, Calif. startup, which provides a marketplace for buying and selling custom goods on the Internet. Consumers can use the site to design a custom T-shirt, poster, print, or card and make money every time it sells. Zazzle was founded in 1999 and launched its service in 2003. Kleiner Perkins managing partner John Doerr and Shriram serve on the board. (From Deal Flow)
For the uninitiated: This is notable because John Doerr is arguably the most successful venture capitalist around (backed Sun, Amazon, Netscape, the list goes on). He and Shriram invested in Google together.
Well, yes, maybe. 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.
Remember when venture capital was about innovation instead of business plan plagerism?
Its all about execution...
or I hope it is....!
We're at a critical junction (again?!) where forces of consolidation in cable and telecom, petty arguments from politicians afraid of being end run by people with nothing to lose providing open light to the squalors of political sausauge making, cries of intellectual property rights trying to cast large companies as victims being enslaved by acts of individuals...(heck the notion of property rights was to reign in the powerful from usurping small owners, not to protect large owners from petty use of the lord owners manors? or wasn't it?)
sheesh...I gotta start blogging again on my Roads Routes and Rules soap box!
Is Zazzle a publically traded company? If not, any plans for an IPO? Thanks, Sharron.
the difference between zazzle and all their competitors is their back end technology. they've patented a method of making 4 color prints for literally pennies. anyone who's started a t-shirt company knows, the screen set up fees alone come up to $40-$100 PER COLOR!! you need the volume to cover the costs
at zazzle, you can get a single 4 color printed t-shirt made for pennies plus the cost of the shirt. their idea is not novel but their cost structure is so low, that margins are unbelivably fat. that's what's interested john and ram.
i'll still buy my tee shirts at walmart
Zazzle offres the best, and am ready to offer my contribution effectively.
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