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I've come up with a patent-pending software-enabled clock that lends itself to static customized images on t-shirts for birthdays, anniversaries, retirement parties, etc. My original idea was just to get revenue from downloads of the invention, and perhaps selling the design to Swatch. But then my wife came up with the t-shirts idea, which is how I got here.
;-)

So here is my "problem": how do I use marketing of t-shirts as a way of making famous my invention -- in such a way as I make some money on t-shirts, while enabling folks like you entrepreneurs to make lots of money on these customized images too?
 

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From what I've understood, this is my opinion:

These are two very distinct businesses and as such, if I were you, I'd keep them seperate. Two websites with different looks. You need to cater to your markets and entrepreneurs are certainly not your 'happy birthday tshirt' buyers! But one can still aid the other - you link them!
On the software website, you can use the tshirts website as your portfolio. On the tshirt website, you can refer to the software, maybe by inputting a link from every tshirt page saying somethign like 'Created using software name', or singing it's praises (subtly) in the FAQ.

Those are my initial thoughts anyway... Good luck!

Annie
 

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FTWear said:
From what I've understood, this is my opinion:

These are two very distinct businesses and as such, if I were you, I'd keep them seperate. Two websites with different looks. You need to cater to your markets and entrepreneurs are certainly not your 'happy birthday tshirt' buyers! But one can still aid the other - you link them!
On the software website, you can use the tshirts website as your portfolio. On the tshirt website, you can refer to the software, maybe by inputting a link from every tshirt page saying somethign like 'Created using software name', or singing it's praises (subtly) in the FAQ.

Those are my initial thoughts anyway... Good luck!

Annie
That is very helpful! Much thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hongkongdmz said:
Are you asking for advice or trying to sell your idea to us? I'm a lil confused..
The first. Plus, I'm not sure where on this forum to propose the second when and if I am ever ready to make any such proposition (assuming such propositions are allowed.)
 

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SynclecronicsMan said:
I've come up with a patent-pending software-enabled clock that lends itself to static customized images on t-shirts for birthdays, anniversaries, retirement parties, etc.
I don't really understand what it is that you have... Is it like a countdown clock that you can take screen shots of to put on T-shirts? Do you have any pics/examples?

Sorry for being dense, BTW. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
RAHchills said:
I don't really understand what it is that you have... Is it like a countdown clock that you can take screen shots of to put on T-shirts? Do you have any pics/examples?

Sorry for being dense, BTW. ;)
The customer enters his or her place of birth, and time and date of birth, and gets a personaized image having both pre-historic and post-modern qualities. Sort of a combination of Stonehenge meets Salvatore Dali. :)

And per your new site and your cool tag-line, it might well appeal to "light" anti-establishment sentiments -- the kind of feelings that college kids have before they move on and move up in the corp. world.
 

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Let's try to focus on the t-shirt side of the question to keep it relevant :)

how do I use marketing of t-shirts as a way of making famous my invention -- in such a way as I make some money on t-shirts, while enabling folks like you entrepreneurs to make lots of money on these customized images too?
I agree with Annie that you may want to keep the market's separate.

One thing you'll find out after you launch the invention side of things, is your customers will often tell you that they want MORE. They will say "can I get this on a coffee mug", "can I get this on a t-shirt". That will let you know the next logical step is to start making merchandise.

Another option would be to wait until you've built up a customer base, make sure you have an opt-in newsletter that you customers can signup to and then send out a newsletter asking your customers directly what they think about the idea of that customized image on a t-shirt. That way you are getting feedback directly from your potential buyers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rodney said:
I agree with Annie that you may want to keep the market's separate.

One thing you'll find out after you launch the invention side of things, is your customers will often tell you that they want MORE. They will say "can I get this on a coffee mug", "can I get this on a t-shirt". That will let you know the next logical step is to start making merchandise.

Another option would be to wait until you've built up a customer base, make sure you have an opt-in newsletter that you customers can signup to and then send out a newsletter asking your customers directly what they think about the idea of that customized image on a t-shirt. That way you are getting feedback directly from your potential buyers.
Much thanks, Rodney! BTW, one of the suggestions I've gotten recently is tying dates and times to famous birthdays and passings. And other famous events, everything from the date and time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence to that aweful day and moment in Hiroshima.
 

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Rodney said:
Let's try to focus on the t-shirt side of the question to keep it relevant :)
If customers can utilize the software online to create custom images based on pertinent information to themselves, and then transfer that image onto a t-shirt or a coffee mug then that might be something.

I'm still trying to understand what exactly would be on the shirts and/or what the biz model would be in order to understand the original question...

I guess I'm just not getting it. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
RAHchills said:
If customers can utilize the software online to create custom images based on pertinent information to themselves, and then transfer that image onto a t-shirt or a coffee mug then that might be something.

I'm still trying to understand what exactly would be on the shirts and/or what the biz model would be in order to understand the original question...

I guess I'm just not getting it. ;)
In time. :) And hopefully soon (as long as it's ok with Rodney!) But your question does raise a question I have about something I am quite curious about.

When my grandson was born I soon after ordered a mug from SnapFish with his baby picture on it. And two years later I bought a HUGE poster of a picture of him and my wife for her birthday. What's the difference from a fulfillment point of view between a customer using one of his or her self-stored pictures on t-shirts (and mugs) vs. using an uploaded variable image produced by a program? I'd think practically nothing. And yet it seems to me from other feedback here that CafeExpress , etc. cannot easily handle the latter. I see that is a big part of revenue from sales of t-shirts at booths in malls.
 

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What's the difference from a fulfillment point of view between a customer using one of his or her self-stored pictures on t-shirts (and mugs) vs. using an uploaded variable image produced by a program? I'd think practically nothing.
I think the difference is that the first is done manually by a customer at the point of sale. They want a design that's on their computer, they upload that design and buy a product with that design printed on it.

The second is a bit more automated, with a "chance" at a purchase. So they would have to have the server capacity to handle potentially hundreds of thousands of input requests from automated graphics creation programs on the chance that a customer *might* purchase one of those products that they had to crunch graphics for.

Sometimes things that "seem" like nothing from the outside, actually have a lot more work required than one would imagine.

I can't speak for cafepress, but you may want to try starting up a dialog with them to see if they can work something out with you. You never know unless you ask :) You may want to make sure you call them cafepress and not cafeExpress when you call though :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It's 4 in the morning here. So I'm kind of waking up and thinking even slower than usual.

In any case, the other factor in what I'm talkng about relative to your cool insights about server capacity vs. the customer certainly buying an image on their computer or maybe buying one that is computer generated is resolved in my "paradigm" in favor of cafepress's needs and goals, thusly... my server is the one that shows the customer what he or she would get by placing the order. Once he or she decides that, the image would be sent as part of the order to cafepress no differently than a onesy picture would be uploaded to snapfish for a t-shirt or mug. Indeed, there would be less load on cafepress's servers than on snapfish's (which usually have customers making choices about which of many images to do what with.)
 

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my server is the one that shows the customer what he or she would get by placing the order. Once he or she decides that, the image would be sent as part of the order to cafepress no differently than a onesy picture would be uploaded to snapfish for a t-shirt or mug
Good point!

Still, cafepress would need to be "sold" on the idea and its logistics.

I could be totally out of the loop and it could be possible now. Let me ask around at CP and see if I can dig up anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rodney said:
Good point!

Still, cafepress would need to be "sold" on the idea and its logistics.

I could be totally out of the loop and it could be possible now. Let me ask around at CP and see if I can dig up anything.
Much thanks. If my approach is followed, I cannot imagine them not being up up to doing it if they don't already. OTOH, there may be reasons why they don't and won't if as of now they can't. Regards!
 
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