Most Innovative Small Company in America?

by | Jun 4, 2008 | Observations, Tecknowledgy

I was flipping through the June issue of Inc. Magazine over Memorial Day weekend, the cover story caught my eye. It’s about the most innovative small company in America, Threadless, an online t-shirt company.

I’ll have to admit I’m a bit perplexed and surprised this is the most innovative small company in America. I’m not saying they haven’t been successful or don’t deserve all the accolades, they’ve received. They do, Threadless sold roughly $30 million in t-shirts last year, sales in 2006 hit $18 million with profits of nearly $6 million. For a company that started in 2000, those are great numbers.

I can’t help but wonder though, what am I missing? The article makes the point that Threadless has almost wholly and effectively used social media and Web 2.0 vision to their advantage, soliciting t-shirt designs from the visitors of the website, who then vote on their favorites to be produced and sold.

Can the Next Gen readers educate me? What makes this company so innovative? What differentiates it from others like cafepress.com?

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