Derby Preview #731: Teenage Dirtbag

Full on proportional, no, but I feel there has been less egregious errors. Some have also taken the extra time to come up with different ideas and do multiple entries.

Right. I can agree with that. I think the designs might be more intellectual now, maybe more refined in some cases… But the art based designs are not categorically better when the time allotment is considered. I know I have more time to step back from my work. I am better able to catch design flaws now…


I must have just been buying shirts in the 800-era. This was definitely one of my early tries.

800 era should be early 2012. By the end of 2012, it was down to the 300s.

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Help a forgetful person out–what was the panic in 2012?

@Narfcake this one’s for you!

Needing 800 votes to get a print eliminated several ways of rigging the system. Now it’s pretty much the opposite. When f-off printed a year ago, it slowly crawled into the fog then got 2nd place. It sold over 1000 during the next year. My point: The derbies aren’t as strong an indicator of sales success as we want to believe. It’s time to do some soul searching and solid research on what both artists and customers want. I believe there is a creative solution to the problem but I feel we are band-aiding a mortal wound. I think a large part of that solution is confident woot management willing to stand behind art they believe in regardless of pure sales numbers. A decade ago people flocked to woot for unique work and solid designs. Now it’s just a face in the crowd. Differentiate yourselves. Take some chances.

The most major shifts in 2012 are:

  • Woot itself shifted away from a deal-a-day with some minor side sale events to offering many many more items. What used to be ‘look at the main site for one minute, then check out shirt.woot and the derby for the next five’ turned into ‘look through the main site for five minutes and check out the shirt.woot derby for one’.

  • Shirt.woot changed the blanks from AA to Anvil. Wooters didn’t mind the price increase (6k sellout), but not a price increase and switching to a cheaper blank. It didn’t help that the women’s shirt sizes dramatically changed too – and shirt.woot’s audience has a much higher female customer base than the rest of Woot. Guess how well the suggestion of “have you tried the kid’s sizes?” went to some of the (former) customers?

  • In what I’ll say is a most subtle way to say “no sir, I don’t like it”, shirt.woot’s volume selling artist set up his own shop. You can read some of that from the write up here. If you want some other aspects to see how things have gone since, here’s what Google Trends has to show.

It didn’t stop the critics and their accusations during that era, though! :stuck_out_tongue:

(Disclaimer: I was one who thought there was cheating involved too. Then I tracked the numbers. Every day. For over a year.)

Funny. I never knew about the meh site. The beauty of “the old” woot derbies was the community above all else. Doing your own thing or striving for financial success was never as much of the calling for me.

Snapster had a non-compete clause, so the week that it was up …

Ramy didn’t plan on TT taking off like it did. He was just starting med school in 2012, but between that, derbies that helped pay for tuition, and a side business, it’s clear which one of the three he went with.