Interview with Daniel Fox of Skreened, Part II: Vision for Skreened.com
Yesterday I began posting the transcript of an interview with Daniel Fox, the man behind Skreened. Skreened is an online printing marketplace that lets you set up a shop with your own designs to sell on ethically-made American Apparel shirts. In Part I of our conversation, Daniel Fox explained his transition from corporate serf to design journeyman, and his willingness to embrace his own fallibility as he starts up his own enterprise. Today Daniel talks about his broader vision for where Skreened.com will go in the next few months. It doesn’t stop at shirts…
Daniel Fox:It’s been a trying couple of months to get the direct-to-fabric technology really nailed down. But it’s working now. And if there’s one thing I’m comfortable with, it’s risk. I’m kind of a risky individual.
Jim Cook: In terms of how it’s going to go, you’ve got a Beta site at which people can open up essentially one shop, with one page for designs, and then on the right hand side they can pick out the apparel they want a design on — which is men’s clothing, women’s clothing, kids’ clothing, and even baby onesies. I think that’s something none of these other printers offer — the kids’ line is something new to print on ethically.
With that said, what’s going to be new in the updated shop to be opening in February 2007?
Daniel: I’ll say this about the current design of the web shops: we’ll start with the ability of people to control their own storefronts more. People will have the ability to track views and use RSS feeds, too. Let’s say someone comes to your shop, likes what they see, and wants to see what’s new. They can get the news in their RSS newsreader, their aggregator, when you have something new.
The ability of one person to have multiple shops will be something new, too. If I have a lot of varied interests, I know they may not always fit into one category. So why not make a shop around music interests with bootleg recordings? Then maybe I’ll have a shop with t-shirt designs.
The point is a person can have multiple stores that are easy to manage, and then build brands off the little seeds of those different ideas — shirts, mp3 downloads, the gamut built around whatever the shop is about. It’s taking the seed of a creative idea and enterprising, getting into a whole brand that people can smell and touch and taste and feel. Our whole organization of product offerings will be working around the five senses. And so we will add more products — smell, taste, touch, feel — like a custom juice bottle…
Jim: Hang on! A juice bottle? All a sudden you’ve exploded from what’s on the web site, which is a statement saying, “We’re just apparel, and we do apparel well…” to juice labels! Is that where Skreened is going?
Daniel: Well, we are just apparel right now. But this is the thing: everybody’s jumping on the t-shirt wagon. But I’m not crazy about t-shirts. What I’m crazy about is offering artists and people with ideas a way to make their ideas into some form of reality. I want to monetize people’s ideas and give them the power to go for it.
I’m not going to build a business that I’m not completely crazy about doing. The whole idea of the business is based around me knowing who I am and what I am here to do in this world, and that is to support artists and to help them make money off of their expressions. So everything that I do on this site is going to be geared toward people putting themselves out there and getting rewards and feedback for their creations — be that in juice, or music downloads, or t-shirts, or video downloads, or dvd sales.
Whatever it is, it’s about supporting this greater network of people that, say, just got their Mac and just did their first recording of video. It’s about bridging the gap between these big movie studios and music studios and the people that realize they have the power to do it pretty darned well on their own. Skreened is a marketplace and an encourager for the huge gap between people making great stuff and these bloated movie, music and apparel houses dictating what popular mainstream tastes should be.
Look for Part 3 of the Skreened interview with Daniel Fox tomorrow, in which we talk about whether limits on free speech in a market are a good thing. And the answer is…