The initial idea we had was to offer shirts to TextMarks’ users as a way of promoting their keywords. The idea for focusing on the shirts as a standalone product came in a meeting I had with my friend Joe Greenstein (CEO of Flixster). We thought: why limit this product to people who already had a TextMark? Why not make an “interactive shirt” that anyone can use? Most people are still not very familiar with SMS short codes, but everybody knows what a t-shirt is. Most t-shirts carry a message. But the message is static. How cool would it be if we could keep shirts’ messages relevant by introducing a dynamic element to them?
So we set out to design shirts that would look & feel really nice, so that people would wear them, and that incorporated the interactive functionality that TextMarks enabled. As we built the web site, selected designs and colors, and got ready for launch, we got more and more excited with how Reactee was turning out, but we also discovered that producing the shirts with the quality that we wanted was a lot harder than we anticipated. It took us several weeks and hundreds of wasted samples to get our production system ready.
The response that we’ve gotten since we launched a month ago has been phenomenal. People understand the concept and are leveraging it in lots of ways. The best way to appreciate this is to go to our gallery (http://reactee.com/shirt/gallery/) to see the shirts people are making. Uses run the gamut from individuals having fun, to corporations doing promotions. Probably one of the most receptive markets has been small businesses and service professionals and we are also getting great traction with non profits. Some examples:
- Individuals: “Think I Am Hot”, “Love Movies”, “Need a hug”, “How is my running?”
- Small business/individual professionals: “Need a Realtor”, “French Lessons”, “Fitness Max”, “I Design Websites”, “I give good PR”
- Non profits:”Peace Now”, “Santa Barbara Symphony”, “Change the World with Tech”, “Thompson for President”
- Corporations: we’ve gotten a number of large orders from corporations for promotions, internal events, and as gifts for employees.
It is really fun to see the creative uses that our customers are finding for the shirts. We are now working on new features to make the product more interactive and on partnerships with existing communities. We are also exploring several international markets, as we have gotten a lot of interest from several countries.