Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 32

way. They see it as the next multibillion dollar market they can disrupt. VC money in our industry isn't new. Some was directed to companies like CafePress and Zazzle as far back the late '90s. Some of those investments made during the first dot-com bubble didn't make sense, but they laid the foundation for the current generation of investors. What's different this time around is the size of the players. They are toptier VC firms like Andreessen Horowitz, a $4-billion company founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen (inventor of Netscape) and Ben Horowitz. The investors entering our market are the same ones behind companies like eBay, PayPal, Facebook, Google, Uber, Netflix, and other household names. We're talking about the big guns. These VC firms are placing chips on decorated apparel because they smell opportunity. They realized what I have been saying for years - that the printed T-shirt is a media of personal expression - and immediately recognized that matching demographics and data on personal interests had unlimited potential for connecting to apparel buyers. In a social media-obsessed world where everyone expresses their opinions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and beyond, there could not be a better fit. When you combine this with the ability to connect all the associated data behind each and every user, you have the equivalent of X-ray vision. You have the ability to know more about buyers than they know about themselves. The VC business is all about two things: market disruption and customer migration. The firms want to show that they've changed the status quo in an industry and caused a massive shift to their platform. Here's the scary part: They are betting tens to hundreds of millions on their investment and they don't care if they make a profit. This has huge implications. It means these firms can set up a new state-of-the-art factory that none of us could ever compete with, losing a ton of money on every job they run, and it doesn't matter. The only thing they care about is the size of the market they are disrupting and how much of it they own. They're focused entirely on driving new customers. In the world of technology speculation, it's all about valuation. Through some crazy, illogical formula, disrupting companies are valued at ridiculous multiples of their sales volume, not their profitability. Every VC firm has an eye on the initial public offering (IPO), where the company issues public stock and the investors hope for a hundredfold payout. Cafepress founded Océ Arizona 1997 1999 Not every investment pays out at such a multiple, but we all have heard about people like Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg, who became instant billionaires when their stock went public. Venture capitalists cash out and leave the messy business of making the company profitable to someone else. Often, the disruption and lack of profitability continues for years after the IPO. It took Amazon nine years to show its first full year of profit in 2003. For what amounted to a penny a share of profit, they completely decimated the online retail space and continue to do so today. Their model is to starve the competition out of the market, and this time their sights are set on us - the small, independent apparel graphics producers. What This Means to You Right now, Teespring is the company to watch. Investments from Khosla Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz amounted to $55 million in 2014, and it's showing incredible growth. They have figured out how to create a platform for independent marketers who think up a design and want to market it on Facebook and Instagram. They do everything - create the webpage, do the artwork, print the shirts, collect the money, ship the Customink founded 2000 2004 Early Dtg machines 32 screenprinting

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - August/September 2016

Contents
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - Cover1
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - Cover2
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 1
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - Contents
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 3
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 4
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 5
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 6
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 7
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 8
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 9
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 10
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 11
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 12
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 13
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Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 15
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 16
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 17
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 18
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 19
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 20
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 21
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 22
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 23
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 24
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 25
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 26
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 27
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 28
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 29
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 30
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 31
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 32
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 33
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 34
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 35
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 36
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 37
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 38
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 39
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 40
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 41
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 42
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 43
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - 44
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - Cover3
Screen Printing - August/September 2016 - Cover4
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