Tom Ryan – Story 2011

September 15, 2011

Tom, CEO of Threadless, a community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp of Chicago.

Threadless started in 2000.
Anyone in the world can submit any type of visual artwork then design is voted on by the community for one week, and then those designs are used on their products.
$2000 + $500 credit is then given to the designer.

Ways to build community in an organization or business.

  1. An authentic community. Not forced together.
  2. It takes time.
  3. Be very experimental
  4. Step outside your own community.

Where is Threadless going in the future.

  • Provide most artists with the benefit of their designs being used. 99 out of 100 don’t get chosen. So how can we use those other 99?
  • Launched Threadless Causes
  • Consumer products – Designs then can go beyond just T-shirts.

300,000 designs have been submitted, while only a couple thousand have been selected.