I was for long wondering what may be the next big product exploiting Threadless' spin of crowdsourcing ... and perhaps Matt Francois found a perfect match. While the majority of Threadless' customers are young male men, Francois is offering the female equivalent: High Heels.
His new website, Dream Heels, lets anyone design printed high heels and earn cash when their design is winning a competition, Artists submit their designs to an ongoing shoe design competition. Winners are rewarded with $250 upfront, and $0.50 for each pair sold.
“Dream Heels lets you design printed pumps that are completely unique; Wild patterns, colorful designs, you name it.” Founder and owner of Dream Heels, Matt Francois, is quoted in a press release, “I’ve designed one-of-a-kind custom shoes for years, and I know that given the chance others will enjoy designing unique shoes as much as I do. The extra cash is just the icing on the cake.”
For more information, or to begin designing shoes now, head to http://www.dreamheels.com
There is a rather simple template to use and a very nice 3D viewer to get an idea of the shows.
Will this work? I am curious to see .. Being a critical German and not part of the target group, I would say no, as the product's price point may be to high for a spontaneous purchase (there is no price quoted yet, however). Also, production runs for such a shoe should be considerable longer than the few days it takes Threadless to produce a shirt, allowing them to cash into the moment of excitement that a design wins for which you just have voted.
Also, with shoes of this kind you have a fitting problem, and returns of more than 50% may kill you if you are a small company with little cash. And, finally bit most importantly, will their be a community of shoe enthusiasts that both submit shoes and participates in the voting -- and finally purchases the shoes?
But I hope that I am wrong, as the idea and product itself is great ... and it really is time for a successful and scalable transfer of the Threadless idea into another product category.