Spreadshirt baut Mitarbeiter ab und Gedanken über den Wirtschaftszyklus
Heuer haben wir eine Rezession, eine Finanzkrise gar. Das schafft viele Probleme und ist für viele eine schwierige Zeit. Wirtschaftszyklen sind aber ein natürlicher Prozess und man sollte ihn nicht verteufeln. Makroökonomisch gesehen ein sinnvolles Unterfangen.
Ich erkläre mir die Sache so: Es gibt einen ewigen Kampf zwischen KREATIVITÄT und EFFIZIENZ. Mutation und Selektion. In einer Hochkonjunktur hat die Kreativität (Mutation) die Oberhand. Es werden viele Dinge ausprobiert und unter (mehr oder weniger) kalkuliertem Risiko Produktivmittel eingesetzt. Dabei entstehen viele tolle Dinge. Nicht all diese Dinge sind aber sinnvoll bzw. nachhaltig. Wer viel probiert, der macht auch einmal Fehler. So auch der Wirtschaftsorganismus. Und deswegen hat sich die schlaue Natur als Gegenpol die Rezession (Selektion) ausgedacht. In diesen Zeiten hat die Effizienz die Oberhand. Dinge, die ausprobiert wurden, werden daraufhin überprüft, ob sie auch funktionieren. Nachhaltig bzw. 'self-sustainable', selbsttragend sind. Was nicht funktioniert hat, gerät unter Druck und wird am Ende weggeschnitten (leider manchmal auch das eine oder andere, welches mit ein wenig mehr Zeit funktioniert hätte...).
Phasen der Effizienz und der Kreativität wechseln im Zyklus einander ab. Wenn alles gut geht, dann schraubt sich in diesem Prozess das Gesamtniveau mit der Zeit nach oben (so in den letzten Paar Hundert Jahren geschehen - Produktivität und Wohlstand sind gestiegen. Klar gibt es hierbei natürliche Limits - z.B. die die Ausdehnung der Sonne, in welcher die Erde in schon wenigen Milliarden Jahren verglühen wird... o.k., es gibt vermutlich noch andere Limits, welche kurzfristiger greifen... aber wir wollen nicht zu sehr abschweifen - also zurück zur Effizienz vs. Kreativität und dem nach oben Schrauben des Niveaus...).
Ohne diese Antagonismen würde das nicht funktionieren. Eine Wirtschaft, die nur auf Effizienz beruht, ist eine grässliche Vorstellung. Es gäbe nichts neues, nichts könnte sich entwickeln. Aber auch eine Wirtschaft die nur auf Kreativität beruht, würde nicht funktionieren - ungebremste Kreativität könnte nichts nachhaltiges vorbringen.
Nun ist die Welt ja gerne fraktal aufgebaut (man vergleiche z.B. das Sonnensystem mit dem Bohrschen Atommodell ;), und was die Volkswirtschaft im großen macht, das vollziehen einzelne Akteure wie Unternehmen oder auch Individuen im kleineren nach.
Auch innerhalb in Unternehmen wird in Boomzeiten also mehr ausprobiert und mehr gewagt, in Zeiten rückläufiger Konjunktur das Vorhandene auf den Prüfstand gestellt.
So auch bei spreadshirt, wo wir die schwierigen Entscheidungen treffen mussten, welche einige Mitarbeiter ihre Arbeitsplätze gekostet haben. Siehe hierzu auch Andreas Milles Beitrag im spreadshirt Blog.
Für den notwenig gewordenen Abbau gibt es aus meiner Vogelperspektive zwei Gründe: der eine ist der oben erwähnte Wirtschaftszyklus und der 'ewge Widerstreit zwischen Effizienz und Kreativität' (Für die Schöngeister unter den Lesern: Siehe auch das Apollinische vs. das Dionysische... schon wieder ein Muster & ein fraktal...)
Der andere Grund liegt in zwei einfachen unternehmerischen Wahrheiten. Eine davon ist, das Kosten mit der Zeit dazu tendieren zu wachsen und sich Ineffizienz ansammelt - das kann sowohl Personal als auch andere Dinge betreffen (Materialkosten, Abfälle, unnötig gewordene oder nicht Zielführende Prozesse, etc.). Die andere einfache Wahrheit ist, dass ein unternehmerisch geführtes Unternehmen stets der Formel folgen sollte, 'Gib nicht mehr aus, als du einnimmst'.
So auch bei spreadshirt. Obwohl wir letztes Jahr mit ~40% ein stattliches Wachstum hatten, lag es hinter den Erwartungen - wir hatten mit 50% oder mehr gerechnet, und auf diese Größe waren auch die Kostenstrukturen ausgelegt (siehe wieder spreadshirt blog). Klar, dass da dann auch Anpassungen nötig werden, zumal wir ein relativ kleines Unternehmen sind, welches nach wie vor investiert (z.B. neuer Firmensitz in Leipzig) und für seine Größe auch sehr International ist. Sprich, es ist derzeit noch kein profitables Unterfangen sondern wird eher in den Regionen einen "Roten Null" geführt. Uns so versuchen wir das Unternehmen generell zu steuern, Balance zwischen Kreativität und Effizienz. Sozusagen so viel Kreativität wie möglich zu schaffen, und dabei finanziell Verantwortungsbewusst bleiben.
Auch wenn das Verfehlen eigener Ziele frustrierend und das Entlassen von Mitarbeitern aus Kostengründen schmerzhaft ist, konnten wir insgesamt aber auf ein sehr erfolgreiches Jahr zurückblicken. So haben wir mehr als 1 Mio T-shirts verkauft, den Marktplatz für Motive erfolgreich etabliert (Designer können da ernsthaft Geld verdienen :) und kriegen konstant sehr gutes Feedback von unseren Endkunden (ca. 70% empfehlen uns nach der Net-Promoter Definition weiter) - nur um einige Beisiele zu nennen.
Vielen Dank an das gesamte Spreadshirt Team und bin gespannt und freue mich auf 2009!
jana eggers on cnn
jana was on cnn last week - in the tech-talk series.
jana answers questions about spreadshirt in general as well as about why she joined us. pretty cool video. I especially like the zoom from the us to leipzig :)
don't know how to embed it, so here comes the link:
spreadshirt party on the 22nd sep in berlin
hi, we will have a spreadshirt party on the 22nd september in berlin. Eike from spread just asked me who to invite.... er, good question. since party is in berlin I'v send her a list of ppl. I'm connected via xing and who are in berlin. If you happen to be in Berlin at that time or want an invitation for whatever reason, pls. send me a mail (& feel generally invited when you know me personally...). merci! & best regards from turkey!
EU Anarchie T-Shirt
Uwe ist ja sonst recht Kamerascheu, sein EU-Anarchie T-Shirt präsentierte er aber dann doch ganz gerne... :)
hands per peice video
when people visit one of spreadshirts manufacturing sites, they are often surprised. they expected a big machine, somebody pressing a few buttons and a customized shirts to emerge. instead they find real manufacturing. real people taking real apparel from shelves (hard till impossible to replace with robots at a competitive price with nowadays tech), real people prepering the designs, real people pressing the shirts, real people doing quality control and packaging.
to show the people how much real work & dedication is involved to make a t-shirt we created a small video (in cooperation with zucker communication. cooperation means, that they did most of the work, creative as well as the video craftmansship).
here it is, our all hands video... pls. enjoy!
pittsburgh office tour
a brief tour around the spreadshirt sales & mktg office in pittsburgh
flying spaghetti monster
apparently some kid in the US got sacked from school because of wearing tlying spaghetti monster stuff. hmmm, wwjd? via mark seremet.
market research position
we opened a position for market research at spreadshirt... I like amis style of writing these :)
We cant sleep. We are haunted by not knowing exactly what our millions of direct consumers, hundreds of thousands of opinionated shop partners, and tens of thousands of cool designers want from us...
8 hours sleep a night (for us, you'll be too busy)
Full post here.
Jana, CEO spreadshirt Inc., launched her blog 'life on a shirt' early december. Missed the launch and was reading it only today. Like it a lot. And: Jana, welcome to the blogosphere :) Direct link to the about page (I like her tagcloud there).
some welcome to jana eggers
A brif welcome lto a new person at spreadshirt: I & we are very proud that jana eggers decided to join our team.
She is president & CEO for our US operations and will be also member of the exec. board.
Threadless with venture financing
So, finally threadless joined the club of venture backed online-Tee companies. After Cafepress, Zazzle and spreadshirt the last one of the biggies. Although they are very different when compared to CP or zazzle, so maybe the comparison is irrelevant.
I know Kobie from insight since we have been talking with him about spreadshirt, too. Hope I had him sign an NDA back then... I guess I have, we never disclosed our numbers without having an NDA.
However, cngrats to threadless! I think they found an excellent partner with insight.
Interview Carsten Petzold - COO spreadshirt USA
So, I'm touring the US since mid last week. Have been to Greensburg and Pittsburgh (Spreadshirts US locations) then to Chicago (saing hallo to threadless) and now in the valley (accel CEO day on Tuesday, Webmontag on Monday).
While being in Greensburg I also interviewed Carsten Petzold, spreadshirts US COO. Find it below. Expect more interviews from the trip, although most of them I will probably post in Gruenderszene, my German blog (the interviews will be mainly in english, though).
YASOV - yet another spreadshirt office video...
spreadshirt among europe's 500
cool, spreadshirt was selected to be no. 5 of europes fastest growing companies:
update: here is a link to a business week story about spreadshirt:
some customer feedback (german)
(sorry, german only).
FÃ¼r unseren spreadshirt newsletter kriegen wir eigentlich jedesmal sehr positives feedback von den empfÃ¤ngern, da er meist ganz witzig geschrieben ist. manchmal gibt es auch negatives feedback, wie z.B. heute. im newsletter tauchte folgdender Satz auf:
> Du sollst Deinen NÃ¤chsten lieben wie einen Truthahn!
Und die Reaktion eines Lesers:
"...ihr Ossis seit die geschmacklosesten Idioten die ich kenne!!!
Wenn euch die Kommunisten zum Atheismus gezwungen haben, dann behaltet doch eure gequirlte ScheiÃŸe fÃ¼r euch!!!
Kolger Huster" (anm. der red.: name geÃ¤ndert).
Achja, was freue ich mich immer wieder Ã¼ber christliche NÃ¤hctenliebe und Toleranz... da hat das Leben noch einen Sinn. Danke!
Some VC help
Our VC did send us some help; today Avid, associate at Accel visited our office and challanged us with our current product dev efforts as well as helped to sketch an org chart for product dev:
Avid's sketch about a potential org structure for product dev
Thank's a lot to Avid an Harry from Accel! And to Meli for arranging the VIP-transfer :)
- Our product dev efforts will soon be covered on the OLP-Blog.
- we are looking for product managers as well as project managers - contact me if you know any interested people here...
spreadshirt's level 3 core values
I'v shared spreadshirt's core values today with two different people (one was john mullins from the london business school, and one other was Daniel C., one of the first shoppartners we had at spreadshirt US. John currently is preparing a case about spreadshirt for the LBS, Daniel just gave me some feedback about cafepress). I thought when I shared them with two people they might be important and I can just blog them... ;)
so here it comes:
We have three levels of values, on the 1st level we have the underlying ethics - fancy stuff not really very important in everyday live, but defining what we believe in and what we like to support (not really connected to our business).
On the level two we have a set of values that we follow when it comes to the behavior within the organization. Very important to have such a set of values/ rulez, makes managing a company much easier.
On the third level we have 'Values for customer interaction and product design' - things that guide us when it comes to product design as well as all sorts of communication with our customers. These are the values that I like to share with you today. Of course they are goals to some extent, the ideal that we strive for. It's not always easy to live up to them, but we try hard. The value about 'chaotic' was not planned, by the way. we included it since it's somehow reality. With a fast growing company you have a lot of chaos (unclear responsibilities, not filled positions, grown structures, etc.). We try to navigate it as efficeint as possible :)
Level 3: Values for customer interaction and product design
* IndividualitÃ¤t / Individuality
We enable our clients and partners to express their individuality. We are remarkable in our communication.
* Einfachheit / Simplicity
Our activities are simple: easy to use, to understand and to manage. Our services (websites) shall have the reputation of being very easy to use.
* Schnelligkeit / rapidity/quickness
We act quick and flexible. Our customers appreciate a quick delivery our employees and business partners quick response and decision times.
* Hochwertigkeit / high value / top quality
Our products are top quality. We strive to create value for our customers and are long term oriented.
* Ehrlichkeit / honesty
We are honest and authentic. In all our activities and communication.
* Chaotisch/ sympathisch aber trotzdem Professionell/ A bit chaotic but still acting professionell... ying & yang...
* Unterhaltung, Spass / Entertainment, fun
Our customers have fun & enjoy our products and the interaction with spreadshirt.
we love our competition
we love our competition. when you have a good service and provide good products and compete with spreadshirt: we still like to be your friends. we even wear your shirts in our office.
in the end all is about execution anyway. I alreqady met the people at cafepress (there I went without having an appointment, I just showed up and they saw me) and zazzle. threadless is on the list. in germany I knew the people from epresso and equisto as well as one of the shirtcity guys for a long time. most of the competitors are very open as well. that's how opportunities arise (for example we got to know patrice from lafraise this way end he ended up selling us his business - now we will do more projects together). also a very frindly competitor: matthias from cajong (competes with thederby/ lafraise).
Cafepress seems not as open... they declined to admit our US COO to one of their events. what do they fear?
Here the mail carsten just forwarded me:
From: Community Team [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 5:28 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: CafePress Connect Registration Cancellation
October 5, 2006
911 South Main Street
Greensburg, PA 15601-4140
Dear Mr. Petzold:
Thank you for your interest in attending CafePress Connect. Respectfully, we have declined your request for registration, and have refunded your order (#26679121). You should see a credit to your credit card on your next statement.
As I am sure you can understand, your attendance creates a competitive conflict, and takes away from the undivided attention we reserve for our customers.
Our conference disclaimer (http://www.cafepress.com/cpconnect.58695052) clearly states our right to â€œwithdraw any invitation to attend the conference.â€ We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
CafePress Connect Team
spreadshirt the coolest place in the world to work at ;)
This farewell mail reached me today from Anders:
It's time for me to leave Spreadshirt now. I had a great internship, and I will recommend it to anyone. The company rocks and I wish it, and especially all the people who make it so cool, the best of luck for the future. I will certainly follow the development, what with the 25 blogs about Spreadshirt that should not be a problem. Take care and drink WieÃŸen - it's good for you.
Have a great weekend!
Anders, thank you very much for your contribution to work and the spreadshirt party landscape :) I hope our paths will cross again :)
last weeks article about spreadshirt
sorry, german only...
Letzte Woche war ein netter artikel Ã¼ber spreadshirt in der FAS (Sowas wie die FAZ aber nur fÃ¼r sonntags ;).
Der artikel hatte aber auch ein paar irrtÃ¼mer, zum einen Ã¼ber eine angebliche billig-eigenmarke (siehe auch spreadshirt blog) und zum anderen Ã¼ber eine angebliche Kicker-Nicht-Benutzung. Falsch! Als grosser wahrheitsfan mÃ¶chte ich diese errata (des ansonsten hervorragend recherchierten und geschriebenenen artikels ;) in dem folgenden (schonungslosen) enthÃ¼llungsvideo richtigstellen. Danke fÃ¼r die aufmerksamkeit.
Spreadshirt Goes OMD
Spreadshirt will be on the OMD - which is Germany`s biggest Online Marketing
Trade Show. We have an own booth and the Online marketing team created a
microsite for people interested in meeting us at the show. Of course it's
web2.0 style. You can enter your name in a guestbook wiki (and be eligible
for a free shirt :-) and also sign up for an appointment with one of the spreaders at the site.
Burning Derby businesscards
here come the latest derby winners with their respective business cards. will blog them more regulary in the future (Fr. Budesheim2.0 is kind enough to always support me with the latest cards, and norbert to support me with the art direction - he's on fire :)
thank you note to the us
hi, there are more news from spreadshirt. one is, that we acquired la fraise. I'll write more about it later. only very briefly: I'm extremly proud and feel honored of the trust and faith that patrice is having in us handing his baby over to spreadshirt.
one more news which is not really new but which I have not blogged about yet: mark seremet, our us ceo, will leave us soon. in fact, he already stepped down as a ceo and is doing some consulting for us (dealmaking, helping with teambuilding, interimsmanagement).
(mark and carsten on a fishing trip mark invited us on one of my last trips to pittsburgh)
we worked around 15 months together and he leaves since he is to entrepreneurial and decided to start an own business (cyoob, read 'cube', find his blog here). of course I'm not too happy about having mark from spreadshirts board, but I understand his motivation and respect it. In fact, we openly discussed this decision and took it together.
so, i like to take the opportunity and thank mark for all what he did for us. when he joind the us operation there have been 8 or so people at spreadshirt us and we just started, today we are aroudn 40 and firmly established in our market presence. not only that mark was killing himself for spreadshirt, he also leveraged his network (and in fact family) to get us up and running. his wife ginny was doing most of our acccounting and together with carsten she got us through an audit. also she was the one helping us relocating from louisville to pittsburgh. remember, as cafepress apporached on the scene in louisville we decided to move and in only 2 weeks time (!) everything was up and running in Pittsburgh. This was possible only with the help of one other of Marks buddies: Paul (and Roberta), who set up the production facilities and who hired the first workers (via their network again, so commited people and people who we could trust). ever organized a company with around 10 people starting with close to nil within 2 weeks? yes? than you know what I sepak about...
(mark getting me into the game - here as a sponsor of an softball team. the kid with the blue hat is matthew, marks son)
everybody will miss mark at spreadshirt who is a real character, very passionate and an inspiring leader. I guess the most we will miss his 'we are sooooo coooool' battle-cry after closing some other nice deal... and also lying around on the floor for no apparent reason... ;)
it was a great time working with mark and spreadshirt us would not be where it is today without his relentless efforts (like getting too many orders and then pressing shirts by himself...;).
so, thank you mark and thank you all the other early us people (including denise, cfo as well as the pittsbrgh sales team)!
ps: mark will stick around at spreadshirt for another roughly 60 days, with attention shiftig gradually more and more to his new business.
spreadshirt takes VC capital
so, we (=spreadshirt) took some capital from accel partners (london office). that's a big step for a bootstrapped company... the deal was closed last week and will be announced today or tomorrow officially. Accel invested a few millions and Harry Nelis from the London office will join our board.
Accel (or rather Accels agency) prepared a nice press release, but they ignored my briefing and suggested quotations. Probably it was not serious enough for them. don't know, but since I like the quotes, I'll publishe them here (like most of press quotes they are fake btw, michael and matthias never said something like this. I made it all up...
Founder & CEO Lukasz Gadowski: "We plan to spend the funds on things that are funny while increasing the valueation of the company at the same time - like our flagship offline store in berlin or throwing some more money at google." (laughs) "We also hope to prevent wasting money for getting overpaid senior management that will leave us after six months with no effect but hefty severence payments. Please wish us luck."
Founder & CTO Matthias Spiess adds: "I might buy a new server with the additional funds. But not sure yet, so far we rent servers at hosting companies instead of buying them. Maybe we'll stick to this strategy. As well as to that one, using open source software whereever we can."
Michael Petersen, Founder & CFO: "I'm happy to announce this round. To make it happen required some serious number crunching at our accounting department. I like to thank Mirko for his great work as well as Linda, my wife, for allowing me a few extra hours at the office'"
spreadshirt goes offline - retail
Man, you can not imagine how excited I am! spreadshirt went offline today in opening it's first retail store. It's in Berlin Friedrichshain and for a start we'll sell designs from the derby there. We will also add stuff from spreadshirt shoppartners to the mix but first we have to figure out what the selection criteria will be, if spreadshirt takes the whole inventory risks and costs and more details of such nature.
I think that's kind of a real big big revolution. can you imagaine, a retail store with items designed by the internet community! It's user generated content brought offline. The internet augmented into the real world. I'm really excited and feel that we entered a new era at spreadshirt with this.
Of course it's only a small store so far and we even don't know if it will work. Maybe we'll lose money on it, and than it will stay just an experiment. But if everything goes well we'll expand the concept and the number of the locations - can you imagine how cool that would be, spreadshirt stores in Paris, London, New York, Kassel and Tokyo? All stockt with designs created by the spreadshirt community?
I'm really very excited. Hope you check out the store when you are in berlin, just get out at "samariterstr" from the U5 and then you are already there.
Did I mention that I'm excited? It's soooo cool!
via derby blog.
partnering with aol: nice job by spreadshirt france
I mentioned that there are cool things going on at spreadshirt france when I
visited them recently. Today one of these cool things went live, which is a
spreadshirt-designer cooperation with AOL france.
A lot of thanks to Fabrice, Bertrand and Julia who worked on the deal!
derby launched today
today we launched the derby, which is a design competition for shirt designs. people submit their stuff and rate and comment each others work. based on user rating once a week a winner is determined. the winner gets rewarded with EUR 500 while his design will be printed on a limited edition shirt.
we (silent) launched a first version of this concept today for germany, UK & France.
I'm very excited about the derby and already turned in my first submission.
the derby concept is nothing really new, its spearheaded by threadless in the usa. in europe la fraise is sucessfull (france). In germany there are non sucessfull representatives yet, but an early player would be cyroline.
So how spreadshirt will be different as a late mover?
One thing is a differnt regional focus which will be on europe.
One other is, that we think we can execute well (see the threadless founders opinion about copycats at a recent entry at exciting commerce).
And last but most important the derby concept will have some interesting aspects that can not be found with the already existing players. This is not too visble yet at the first basic version of the derby, but stay tuned...
visual buying guide
I'm really fired up about the visual buying guide. the first version will be released, soon.
today I discoverd somnething very cool: they tweaked the comment function and when I place a comment, the bubble containing it has a small purple "founder" beneath it... classy! :)
see one of the products I commented for an example...
mario korb with spreadshirt e-mail
proudly anouncing: mario korb who does freelance work for spreadshirt obtained his own spreadshirt e-mail adress today: firstname.lastname@example.org
don't ask me why he picked a .fr domain - this guy simply is crazy. and kicks ass in flash & user interfaces. looking forward to him allowing me to blog some of his work (when he proclaims it finished)... stay tuned... tuned... tuned...
spreadshirt looks for a product manager
spreadshirt looks for a product manager. here is the job post.
- zentrale Schnittstellenfunktion zwischen IT, Marketing und Grafik
- Gestaltung, Planung, Weiter- und Neuentwicklung von Features und deren Integration
- Konzepterstellung und Briefing
- Erarbeitung von Analysen und Entscheidungsvorlagen
- 3jÃ¤hrige einschlÃ¤gige Berufserfahrung im IT-Umfeld, idealerweise im Anschluss an ein FH-/ TH- Studium (z.B. Wirtschaftsinformatik)
- umfassende Erfahrung mit Inernetprodukten im aktuellen E-commerce
- ausgeprÃ¤gtes, analytisches DenkvermÃ¶gen & schnelle Einarbeitung in komplexe Aufgabenstellungen
- selbstÃ¤ndiges & strukturiertes Arbeiten mit hoher strategischer Kompetenz
- Durchsetzungskraft, TeamfÃ¤higkeit & sicheres Auftreten
- Erfahrung im Projektmanagement
- sehr gute Englischkenntnisse sowie eine ergebnisorientierte Kommunikation
our new HQ is online!
lakattack.com proudly presents: the first & unofficial video of the new spreadshirt HQ! it's sooo cool, enjoy!
Direct youtube link to the video. http://youtube.com/watch?v=rHKohIwaLk4
If you have some hints about furnitiure, decoration, gadgets for the office, etc. usw. pls let us know!
visual buying guide
the visual buying guide, also called the uebershop is online.
it's not really finished yet but already pretty cool. the vbg was devloped in the USA and the idea is to have a spreadshirt shop containing all the best designs by the top artists. everyone can submit designes and the visitors of the vbg can rate them. the best will end up on top and being bought.
What means: 'Der Umzug findet am Freitag statt und erfolgt in drei Wellen'
.. it is German for "We are moving our office on Friday in three waves...". I like the wording, sounds like serious action (is a citation from an internal mail...) :)
So far the spreadshirt headquarter is located in a business innovation center in leipzig. We have a nice office here and an advantage within the business center is, that you can add rooms on an as needed basis. so you never pay for empty capacity.
downside is, that spreadshirt is a little dispersed in several rooms so it's not an optimal environment for teamwork. the service and our bulk order divisions are even in an other buikding - office door to office door close to 5 minutes walk.
this friday we move in a new office space where everything will be clusterd centralized and dense. the place we move to is right next door of the innovation center in an bulding called "garage" - nice worldplay :)
In the garage we will have more then 1000 sqm and can bring all departments together and have team spaces there.
office space in leipzig is reasonably priced. you can expect to pay 5 EUR a square meter ("warm" - that is includung heating and water, but excluding electricity and other costs like garbage, maintanance, etc).
In the city center you pay up to 8, and if you get a deal you can pay as little 3 EUR. If you look for space using a mediator (realtor) the landlord pays the provisions.
I shot a video of our current office, hope I find some time to castthe new one, soon.
Enbedding does not work? direct link to video on you tube:
spreadshirt academy - managerial guide
I seldom blog and after the recent whining & trivial entry about my cheekbone I feel obliged to share a little bit of stuff that REALLY matters, too.
So, at spreadshirt we have a 'spreadshirt academy'.
We launched the academy long ago as a framework for internal rules as well as a frame for our onboarding guides. I like the academy and think it's pretty cool and important. As spreadshirt grows, it will be the label for internal training, management training, etc. as well. currently we even have english lessons in small classes sponsored by the company. I think that's cool.
however, today I like to write about one particular part/ document within the spreadshirt academy, which is the 'managerial guide'. this guide is a set of rules, that applies to every manager at spreadshirt. a manager being defined as a person with hiring responsibilities or a person other employees report to.
this guide consisted of 10 or 11 rules, and I just reviewed it to make it more compact and simple - now it's down to 5 points (thanks for Nele and MCS for their input!). At an officers meeting we had on friday we agreed on the guide as well as on the fact, that every manager has to memorize it and be able to recite the rules when asked to. This is to promote it and to emphasize the importance.
The rules a very very simple and there are only a few. Most of them might seem to you as a 'hey, that's obvious anyway' kind of thing, ecspecially if you have some experience in management yourself.
But believe me, they are not obvious and really essential. It's often that really a few simple rules matter and change the picture. Think of General Electric 'Being the leader or the second in every market we compete' rules or googles '80:20 rule for innovation'. very simple, very powerfull. in my unterdtanding, these kind of things make the differnece between good and great. Think of comparing companies like Samsung to Siemens. Or Samsung and Sony. Samsung is a real outperformer, and I guess this stems from their culture.
So, long words, here come the rules. If you are a spreadshirt manager, pls. memorize them (as well as the 5 HR-Management rules that you find on the wiki - I might blog on them on one other day, too):
General rules for Spreadshirt Management
Be results oriented
It's all about the results, not about the actions. Remember to Focus on a few important tasks - to be successful, you have to focus on a few tasks only. Since you have only a few fields that you can play simultanously, focus on the important ones.
Know your numbers by heart. Communicate key numbers to your staff and the team on a regular basis without being asked to. When somebody wakes you up at night and asks for your key metrics, you should be able to reply without a millisecond of hesitation!
Put your employees first!
When prioritizing your work, always put your employees with their requests and concerns first. Spreadshirt expects a lot from his employees, so our employees should be allowed to expect the same. Lead your team by example. The most important rule is to be always reliable.
Hire ahead of the game!
Donâ€™t wait till the work is too much. Anticipate your human resource need, remember long lead times for hiring, and anticipate not only the current but possible future requirements to your staff.
Remember, management is about planning, controlling, structuring and staffing. If you spend most of your time with other tasks, you are not a manager. Reserve time to step out of daily operational tasks focussing on the big picture and thinking of new business opportunities. Work towards making yourself dispensable in your position - then you'll be able to advance to new responsibilities.
Would be curious to see, if other start ups use these kinds of frameworks as well. so if you are employed at one or if you run one yourself, pls. comment!
Spreadshirt Derby coming Up
So, we have a nice new thing in the pipe, it's the spreadshirt derby.
Designers can submit their top designs and be awarded cash when their design win a 'derby'. the winner will also go into a limited edition.
The Derby is supposed to start end of March, but early birds can already start to submit.
check it out!
Mesattack pointed me to this cool shop hosted at spreadshirt.com:
I say: wow!
Surprise I - spreadshirt causual Thursday
Last week I started the institution of a 'formal Thursday' at spreadshirt.
This is a day, where everybody comes dressed formally, that is, suit, shirt and tie instead of the usual casual waer. This week it was meant to be rolled out more broadly than just me participating.
But - surprise - some very clever marketing people started a palace revolt and promoted a 'formal Wedensday' instead, telling everybody but me about it. So, I was very surprised to see formal dressed people already on Wednesday.
To my luck the insurgents have been pretty bad organized and so only two people took part in the revolt (their evil leader did not remind the other wannabes one day before about the whole thing, so pretty everybody has forgotten it, hehe).
The insurgents trying to make it a formal Wedenday
So, the force hit them hard the next day, when the one and only formal day at spreadshirt - the formal _Thursday_ took place. So, I hope that they recognized the defeat and will join the Thursday crowd the next week. ;)
The brave crowd at the formal Thursday- note, this picture is posed!
The brave crowd at the formal Thursday- note, this picture is under real working conditions! (I think we are just reviewing a bunch of documents... probably financial statements).
Surprise II: Spreadshirt Trigema Mesh up
Proudly anouncing a Trigema-Spreadshirt mesh up today.
Trigema is one very known (sports)fashion brand in Germany. They are particularly famous for producing all of their garment in Germany. So, no offshoring, no outsourcing. Real German people in Burladingen (that's close to Stuttgart) produce all the goods.
+ they very well known for their marketing campaign using a chimp. The campaign was not changed since 20 years or so. And their CEO, Wolfgang Grupp, is like all over the place emphasizing their German production & quality.
Spreadshirt just launched a mesh-up with Trigema featuring their products. That was expected, what the marketing department has hidden from me, is the cool new spreadshirt hompage design that comes with it. The Famous Trigema Chimp on our (German version) homepage --> Spreadshirt.net. I think that's pretty cool :)
Why this entry is called surprise II? More on surprise I, soon. Stay tuned...
prize: entrepreneur of the year in saxonia
Â© U. Bumann/New Project Bildagentur
Alas, the prize comes without any cash but a lot of glory instead... in fact, hendrik schubert (the left guy on the picture) gave a very very nice speech about it in front of aorund 300 entreprenuers from all over mitteldeutschland. He praised me as being very intelligent and all this and what I liked the most: he described me as endowed with fit genes. Yeah, I think that's cool! The guy left to me is somebody from the Goertz-Clan... one of the biggest Shoe-retailers in Germany. They have around 3000 employees and according to old mr goertz they are very innovative. They have even been the first clients of Springer & Jacobi, an ad agency quite well known in Germany.
The person on the right is Christian Haase, the BJU chef for Leipzig. He's an electricity broker in Leipzig - by the way, did you know that the German power Exchange is located in Leipzig? Now you know it...
However, thank you Christian, thank you Hendrik, & thank you BJU/ ASU... :)
shirt usage: campaign case study justus
Hi, to show you how versatile shirts can be used in political or freedom of account campaigns, I designed a 'Justus muss bleiben' shirt referring to this post (beware of the german... use google translator, sometimes it makes sense... ;). 'Justus muss blieben' means 'Justus shall stay'.
This is a German freedom of account campaign, that's why the shirt is in german, too. Also, the shirt is available only in my european spreadshop. If you like to campaign for justus from the us, pls. tell me and I will set up an US-version as well... or simply go to the US spreadshirt designer and create your own...
nice interface for shirt shopping coming up...
something cool is coming up at barrysfarm...
spreadshirt open logo project update
The openlogo project is moving... a lot of submissions are coming in. I like this one particulary, mainly for the 4c mesh up with RGB & white... yeah :)
Soon I will to have strike back there with the krakelei2.0... wuuuuuaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
open logo project: i participate!
so I'm participating in the open logo project.
Check my submission
Pls. visit the site and giv my idea a 5-star vorting! Thank you!
so, soon we are a global player :) the latest news in this realm are, that we launched our japanese site yesterday. so spreadshirt can be enjoyed by japanese as well. for now we dip our feet only a little bit into the water, so the start is with the consumer frontend only.
check it at http://designer.spreadshirt.jp
nihon seiha and special thanks to asuka & rolf!
open logo project at spreadshirt
today we launched the spreadshirt open logo project. After our current logo is almost 3 years old and mark from the us is using it only quite reluctantly, we decided it would be time to have a new one or to refresh it at least a little bit.
since spreadshirt is pretty much shaped buy it's users (shoppartners) who bring us to live with their creativity, we decided not to craft a logo internally or giving it to some agency (which would be to expensive for our mindset anyways), but to let our users design the logo. so, there the open logo project was born. at olp.spreadshirt.com everybody can submit suggestions and discuss the submissions as well as the process. I think that's pretty cool :)
Most importantly the process is meant to be fun, but we alsoÂ´have dedicated some cash as well as some designer related hardware to compensate the participants for their efforts.
if you happen to be a designer or know interested people, feel free to participate or spread the word!
new shops at spreadshirt
hmmm, i started to blog shirts from cool partners recently, and it seems to be addictive since there is SOOO much cool stuff going on.
so see here some of the spreadshirt shops that launched yesterday/ today/ tomorrow... it's incredible!
who knows the fukkets? those are some puppets celebrating 'The Fukketts celebrates the funny side of sex." as their homepage reads... now they also celebrate this on shirts in the brand new spreadshop launched yesterday...
Napster: Napster just (re)launched today in Germany, two spreaders are just enjoing the party while me is writing this... the shop will launch officially tomorrow, hope nobody minds the scoop: http://napster.spreadshirt.net/
district-tees: Marcos will launch districttees in the next days... he uses the spreadshirt api in a very innovative and unusual way. I ike it. + very innovative designs (i like the syphilicious the most, although it could use one or two . within the word ;)
hope he does not mind the scoop, either...
an one more very cool will start soon, starts with H but I can't scoop on this at this pont... there has to stay some spannung ;)
shop up your karma with karmarocket
a new shop opened at spreadshirt, EU version only but the concept is funny: you can increase your karma by buying the shirts there.
so, shop up your karma at karmarocket.
by the way, it's probably the most colorfull shop having opend this week (I found it in our internal newsletter that is mailed like every two weeks to our employees. We started this a few months ago to improve the communication. Once you exceed 100 people you have to do things like these...).
CEO Blog from the USA
So, Mark finally did it and launched an CEO blog on the us spreadshirt site.
I think it's cool and mark is a great writer. He even wrote a book before being at spreadshirt.... (christs path, you can obtain it at his own pubklishing company bema publishing).
Re the CEO blog: so now there are kind of two CEO blogs at spreadshirt, lakattack by me, the global ceo, as well as marks blogs. Eventually I'll join him at his blog, well see how it works...
But I'll not be able to meet his quality standards there, having english not as mother language prevents me being that quick with funny stories... will see, maybe I"ll do something in german and have it translated.
Waiting to get fired for your blog...
Cool shirt at 'bastardshirts' spreadshirt shop:
'I'm waiting to get fired for my Blog' :)
finally we have a weblog for spreadshirt. ami. took the lead on this.
the blog is available at: http://spreadblog.typepad.com/
not much going on there yet, but stay tuned...
what's going on here...
what all these people are doing in the office?
I mean, it's 1.30 am... kolja, o.k. ehssan, o.k., they just got up at like 3 p.m. but carsten, what the heck is he doing?
stop the insanity!
New US Video
spreadshirt USA submitted their next video last week.
It's linked to the .com homepage.
A video archive is available in the .com forum, here is the video thread.
Spreadshirt Inc. and US and NYC rocks!
oh man, a shop cluster by some NYC artists just rocked me away!
is zazzle competition?
One of our competitors is zazzle. The biggest asset they have is an investment by Kleiner Perkins.
On alarm:clock there is a nice entry about zazzle really getting the point: it was KP's second choice only and now they try to hype them,
Check the entry out here.
What bothers me today?
Today I found out that one of our competitors - they are called zazzle.com and we are better - is funded by KP. KP stands for Kleiner Perkins. Every child knows, what this means, man, they are the best, they are a legend! They funded netscape, google, microsoft, oracle, HP, IBM, PARC, Los Alamos... o.k., I just listed big stuff here that came to my min', but - no kidding - they are really good and netscape and google is probably even a true story here.
But, the really interesting thing here is, that our second competitor - they are called cafepress - and guess what, we are better - is funded by sequoia capital. Sequoia what? They are the ALSO the best or at least the second best! No kidding! Every child knows! Or at least every person interested in business & start-ups...
Please note: Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia capital are like McKinsey and Bain (hehe, Boston will hate me! It's the fate of the east coast :), like Kellogs and some other cereal company, like Procter and L'Oreal, like Legend and Dell, like HHL and WHU, like Michael Jackson and Scooter, like... ah, whatever, they are just the best!
And now imagine, us little poor non funded spreadshirt vs. all this guys stuffed with capital till a stack-overflow in the database fields that store the balance in their bank accounts, us sitting here and wondering: what will happen now? are we competitive? will they buy us and fire me? Why these guys do need capital, it's a profitable business without! What are they up to, probably it's dangereous, it must be dangerous. I mean, these top notch VC's and no clue for me, so what now to do?
o.k., I don't understand it therefore I fear it and I fear it so I should do something about it an since I have no clue - genius - I'll just copy them!
So what to do now? o.k., they are top notch, I should be top notch, too. So if Kleiner Perkins are the best and sequioa is, so there is probably more best stuff around. Let's ask Google. Best VC? Awwww, makes no sense at all. LinkedIn! Thats it! So let's see, let's go east coast, Zazzle and Cafepress are west, this'll beat them, harhar! ZIP for NY? Take 10001 (these arrogants! I'll never forgive them they have the oo1 code, they shall feel my wrath!), let's see, let's combine the LinkedIn search with VC's or entreprenuers. ClackCklackClack. Oh, Ashley Heather, 808 connections, nice. She'll know the best VC's. Let's look for her company, City Trax. Google. Not found? Broken links!? Arrrgh, she'll not be credible. Damn, I need this VC quickly! Let's ask Reid, he created LinkedIn (and before this, PayPal!) and I visted him a few days ago. He knew Zazzle and cafepress, is financed with Sequoia himself and has an 33% response rate to E-Mails.
Clackclackclack and wait some 2 hours (waitwaitwait)- Success! The other best VC's are Greylock, Benchmark, Mayfield, Accel, Matrix. Quick look at their portfolios - looks nice, some of them are interesting, we are still in the game.
So, that was eeeasy. One more problem solved today. I love it to be CEO.
p.s.: Don't worry the noise to signal ratio. You'll read here more focused stuff, too. Stay tuned.