A judge in Delaware has just taken the unusual step of requiring a pedophile to wear a t-shirt that says ‘I am a registered sex offender’ in bold letters. Good job, I say. Thanks to all the publicity though, I’m wondering how long it’s going to be before that one’s available from T-Shirt Hell. (Seriously – some familiar with the TSH catalogue would consider it a tame addition).
I wish I’d realised back in the day what a huge business online t-shirt sales would become. As a product, t-shirts are ideally suited to eCommerce: they aren’t subject to the variable sizing nightmares you get with pants and shoes; they’re relatively high value by weight, so you can ship them all over the world quite inexpensively; and because they’re all pretty much the same except for the design (which you can apply after the order has been received), there’s massive scope for economies of scale.
T-Shirt Hell is the biggest shirt site out there, and much of that success is due to them being very (very) good at self-publicity and handling the media. You’d have to be good to get away with selling a shirt that says ‘I (plane) NY’ – with a big red plane crashing into the N – in September 2001.
Earlier this year, the owner of T-Shirt Hell decided that Aaron Schwarz wasn’t a cool enough handle for a successful entrepreneur, so he launched this site. People were invited to suggest a new name and then vote on the finalists he selected. Whoever suggested the wining name would get $25,000 and Aaron would change his name by deed poll.
Sorry kids, the polls are closed. Two months and 40,183 suggestions later, Aaron Schwarz is now Sunshine Megatron.