Dream Heels: A Threadless for High Heels

Dream_heels 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.

Some examples of Dream Heels submissions “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.

By | 2018-06-14T11:09:30+00:00 Juli 27th, 2009|Crowdsourcing, Footwear, MC Alternatives|

About the Author:

Frank T. Piller is a Co-Director of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and a chair professor of management at the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (2004-2007) and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School, Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week, amongst others, Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customization, personalization, and innovation co-creation. His recent analysis of the crowdsourcing business model “Threadless” (co-authored with Susumu Ogawa), an innovative crowdsourcing business model in the fashion industry, has been elected as one of the Top-20 articles in MIT Sloan Management Review.