eHub Interviews Reactee

Posted by Emily Chang on Tuesday, August 14th, 2007. Filed under: eHub Interviews

Thanks to Ariel Poler, CEO of Reactee for this email interview.

eHub: What is your web application/service about?

Reactee: We make shirts that text back. Customers choose a slogan and optional image for their shirts, as well as a color and size, and we custom make a shirt for them which people can text to and receive a text response from. Customers are using Reactee shirts to promote small businesses, non-profits and large media brands. Individuals are also having fun with them using them to engage with the people around them.

eHub: Why did you start this project?

Reactee: We felt shirts could become more interesting and fun if they leveraged the latest text messaging functionality combined with the possibility of printing one-off shirts cost-effectively. We had already developed the text messaging platform with TextMarks and Reactee shirts allowed us to make our product more mainstream. Everyone understands what a t-shirt is.

eHub: How much time do you devote to its growth?  Do you have a day job?

Reactee: I split my time between Reactee and TextMarks. I also spend a bit of time with a few start-ups where I am an investor and/or board member.

eHub: How large is your team and what are your backgrounds?

Reactee: Ariel Poler, CEO: Founder of IPRO & Topica. Former Chairman of
LinkExchange & StumbleUpon. Former board member at Kana Software, Odeo & Silicon Investor. Current board member at Bills.com and Papilia.
Investor at Flixster, RockYou, AdMob, Kongragate, Brightroll, and others.

Dan Kamins, CTO: co-founder of BITMO.

Chris Gorog, CEO of Revel Industries, production and design partner.

Three other team members have experience with graphic design, PR, operations and customer support.

eHub: What is your design philosophy?

Reactee: Our goal with Reactee shirts is to balance two (somewhat competing) goals: to make the shirts look really nice and trendy, and to make the call to action, for the interactivity, be as clear as possible. It has been a challenge to find the right balance, but we believe we are close. We are also trying to provide a framework for the shirt design, in terms of layout and colors, that enable customers to customize the shirts, while retaining a consistent identity and look for all Reactee shirts.

eHub: What technologies are you currently using?

Reactee: Flash, LAMP, Direct to Garment (DTG) printing.

eHub: What are the most requested features from your users/community?

Reactee:

- Lots of request from abroad, particularly UK, Australia and Canada.
- Additional shirt styles.
- Additional images.

eHub: Does your user base reside in a primary geographic location or is it distributed?

Reactee: We are a US only. Within the US, it is quite distributed.

eHub: Where do you see the project heading in the next 6 months?  The next 2 years?

imageReactee: We plan to provide additional mechanism for interactivity. For example, we recently launched a Facebook app to do virtual shirts that you can “expose”. We are working to partner with other social networks so that a Reactee shirt can become an offline extension of an online network. We will also add more interactivity to reactee.com. Will also add more styles, designs and expand internationally.

eHub: What is the greatest challenge to your success?

Reactee: Getting the word out. We are getting a terrific response from visitors to our site. Now we need more people to know about our product.

eHub: What is the one thing you need to get to the next phase of the project?

Reactee: Can’t really think of “one thing”. Just keep growing our customer base and improving the product.

eHub: Do you have a business model?  If so, what is it?

Reactee: Very simple: we sell the shirts for more than they cost us to make :-)

eHub: If you’re able to disclose this information, how much traffic or usage do you see on an average day?

Reactee: We are not disclosing traffic information at this point.

eHub: What is the one thing you’re most proud of about the project?

Reactee: I love seeing all the great shirts our customers are creating every day. I think we were able to take a fairly complex product and offer it with a simple and clear enough experience to allow people to create great shirts in minutes. I am also very excited about the organization, both for profit and non profits that are leveraging our product to engage their communities and promote themselves.

eHub: How would you describe the shift that’s occurring with the web right now to future generations?

Reactee: Hmmm… Not sure I can provide a short and concise answer to this. A few trends I am seeing:

- it is becoming a lot cheaper and faster to build truly interactive and engaging web experiences.
- user participation and user generated content is being integrated into a larger and larger percentage of web site.
- the line is bluring between the “web”, the “mobile”, and the “tv” experience. We are trying to take this further to the offline world.
- the lines are also often bluring between various web applications, thanks to mashups, start-pages and other such collages of applications.

eHub: What site(s) do you visit everyday other than your own?

Reactee: Ehub :-). StumbleUpon, Mashable, textually.org, Gizmodo, and LOTS of other RSS feeds…

eHub: How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Reactee: Try to get 7, but sometime only get 6.

Thanks to Ariel Poler, CEO of Reactee for this email interview.

Visit Reactee
Originally added to eHub on Jun 11, 07