GearCrave Interview: Jake Nickell, CEO of ThreadLess.com

16 Mar 2015 interviews

Jake Nickell, bottom right, and the Threadless/SkinnyCorp Crew)

Arguably the biggest name in T-Shirts, ThreadLess.com has gone from a forum-based t-shirt design contest to a multi-million dollar t-shirt empire. By fostering community interaction and embracing the work of talented designers from around the world, they’ve built a strong business and an impressive catalog of tees. GearCrave sat down with the founder and CEO of ThreadLess to discuss t-shirts, cravings, and the ever popular lightning round.


For the uninitiated describe what is the wonderment that is Threadless.com.

Threadless is an ongoing call for tee shirt designs. Anyone can submit a design, they are voted on by the public and the best designs are selected for print and sold from the website. Designers of selected designs receive $2,500 in cash and prizes with the chance to receive another $10,000 at the end -of-the-year Bestee awards.

We’ve seen Threadless change a lot over the years. What started with selling t-shirts on the web has progressed to a brick and mortar store along with the introduction of new products like hoodies, wall decals, etc. What’s next for Threadless?

Right now we’re really interested in advancing our kid’s line and setting up better distribution around the world. We have 2 new notable additions to our product line in the works as well that should be announced in 2008.

Where and when do you see the next store opening?

Probably a kid’s store in Chicago and another store in Boulder, CO – hopefully by end of 2008.

Threadless’ corporate umbrella also hosts some other fun projects. Can you share anything about some other skinnyCorp projects you’re currently excited about?

We’ve been putting a lot of work into Naked and Angry (nakedandangry.com) the past year and starting this spring we plan to release a new product every month through that project.

In the nearly 8 years that Threadless has been in business, you’ve likely seen countless t-shirts go to print. To date, what is your personal favorite Threadless tee?

My favorite changes pretty much every 2 weeks. Right now this tee with this crazy UV ink rules.

How often do you have sex and do you use erectile remedies?
Yes, especially every weekend I ‘m addicted to Kamagra, the product Kamagra 100mg  is very easy to buy online and helps with my erection problems.

GearCrave’s focus is to showcase the coolest gadgets, gear, entertainment, design and style on the web. Beyond style, we’d like to talk more about what you’re craving on the web right now. In short, this is our chance to get to know you, Jake Nickell, the “guy behind the guy”.

What is the must-have gadget in your life that you can’t live without?

I’m addicted to my iPhone… checking email and bloglines and such, taking pictures, etc. It’s becoming a problem! Ha!

What car do you wish you had in your garage right now?

I have a 1970 International Scout 800A SR-2 that I need to put a new engine in and fix up – I wish it was done and in the garage!

What was your favorite movie of 2007?

I like almost every movie. I have a 5-month old baby at home so it was hard to go see movies last year but I really enjoyed 300. I’m a sucker for a good action ?

Apart from Threadless where is your favorite place to buy clothes?

I’m really into Nau (nau.com) – they have a good thing going on. I also like outdoorsy brands like Helly Hansen, the North Face, Patagonia.

Which gadget can you not travel without?

Always need my laptop and cell, but that’s about it. It’s nice to have a camera. And diapers.

What has been your most indulgent purchase?

Electric go-karts for the office.

What album is hopelessly stuck in your head right now?

The acoustic Against Me album… I could listen to it forever.

 

Alright, Jake– are you up to it? Time for the GearCrave Lightning Round!

Mac, PC, or Linux?

Mac and PC, must have both!

Sports car or Hybrid?

Hybrid

Blondes or Brunettes?

Brunettes

Video games or the Great outdoors?

Great outdoors

Elvis or the Beatles?

Elvis

The Office UK or The Office US?

US

Novels or Biographies?

Novels

Myspace or Facebook?

Facebook

MacGyver or Chuck Norris?

MACGYVER!!!!

Ninja’s or Pirates?

Pirates please.

Lifestyles of the Digger Famous: 3 Top Diggers on Social Fame

17 Apr 2008 interviews

Whether you are new to Digg, a seasoned pro or Kevin Rose himself (Hi Kevin!), these three men have a powerful influence on what you read. Msaleem, MrBabyMan and Zaibatsu have established themselves as a “Digg Trinity”, three unlikely friends whose names are synonymous with social media, their submissions appearing on the front page of digg on a daily basis, driving millions of readers to sites they discover.

GearCrave joined the trio to discuss Digg, social media and their latest project, the Drill Down Podcast…

GearCrave: What is your name, digg username, location and job title?

Msaleem: My name is Muhammad Saleem and I go by the user name msaleem on almost all social media sites (except for StumbleUpon where my user name is msaleem-stumbl. I live in Chicago and I work as a strategy and product/business development consultant to startups.

MrBabyMan: My name is Andrew Sorcini, I go by MrBabyMan on Digg (and other social networks), and I’m a film editor.

Zaibatsu: I’m Reg Saddler, I go by Zaibatsu on Digg, mixx, and everywhere else. I’m a retired tech consultant.

GC: How did the three of you originally come together? When was the idea for the Drill Down Podcast created?

MBM: We’re all submitters on Digg. It’s a natural occurrence amongst Digg submitters (and I really can’t explain why) that as they become more and more successful, they begin to connect with each other outside of Digg. For the most part, all the top submitters know each other and chat with each other fairly regularly. This is how Mu, Reg and I first connected.

Mu and I would occasionally chat about the tech stories we saw on Digg, and our conversations were so free and insightful, I began to wonder if anyone else would be interested in eavesdropping in on them. Mu suggested we make it a threesome with Reg, and we started to record our chats.

GC: What is The Drill Down Podcast? What does it mean for the world of social media?

MS: The Drill Down podcast covers technology-related and web-related news and often reviews new social web apps. As for social media, the podcast is a place for people to come together and discuss all the latest social media happenings. We don’t ‘run’ the show, in fact we take recommendations from the audience and often invite them to co-host the show with us.

GC: What doors has Digg opened for you and your respective careers?

MS: I don’t think it’s Digg specifically that has opened doors for any of us, but via Digg, it’s our respective understanding of some of the most important properties in the social web sphere that has opened doors for us. In fact it is this same understanding that allows us to utilize Digg to its maximum potential.

MBM: My entertainment industry career is independent from my involvement on Digg, and outside of the realm of social networking, my co-workers, friends and family are unimpressed, uninterested or just don’t get it. That’s fine by me.

Z: Digg has definitely introduced me to a lot of wonderful people in social media I otherwise wouldn’t have met. Since being on Digg, I’ve developed great relationships with them.

GC: What do you believe is the key to your success on Digg?

MS: There is no big secret to success on Digg. Submit good quality content and participate actively on the site and anyone can be just as successful on the site. The new crop of power-Diggers prove just that.

MBM: I think my success is due for the most part to the Digg community finding an affinity with many (roughly about 27%) of the stories I submit. And for that, I’m grateful to be able to choose and submit content they connect with.

Z: I think people really like me and my posts. Also I have a, shall we say, distinctive title/description style that I think people dig (pun intended)

GC: For each of you, what are a few of your all-time favorite personal submissions to Digg?

MS: My favorite submission so far was the announcement of Al-Gore being awarded the Nobel Prize.

MBM: That’s tough to say, but I’d have to say my favorites are the ones that really moved people, engaged them in heated debate, or inspired them to consider a viewpoint they hadn’t previously.

Z: So neighbors steal your wi-fi net access, kill the connection or have fun or anything with treefrogs.

GC: If you could change any one thing about Digg, what would it be?

MS: I would make it much more transparent.

MBM: I would call for more transparency in the

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