John Doerr Gets Dizzy with Zazzle

I don’t begrudge John Doerr & KP the right to invest in Zazzle, a distant second to CafePress in the custom-product market, but I wish he’d be upfront (in this BusinessWeek interview) about what his strategy is rather than pretending it is about distinctive differences:

Q: CafePress has offered custom goods online since 1999. How is Zazzle different?
A:
CafePress doesn’t offer custom postage, just for starters. There are just not many people approved by the U.S. Postal Service to make custom postage. I don’t think CafePress has the same collection, the same range of library tools. I’ve looked at the user interfaces, and I think Zazzle is way more convenient, way more easy to use.

Support for a dying communications medium plus having a better interface now qualifies you for a Kleiner investment? Rather than pretending such a bizarre thing is true, I’d rather Doerr said the obvious: This is a nascent market and a well-capitalized fast-follower could still supplant an incumbent like CafePress. Pretending otherwise is silly.

[Update] As many (many) readers noticed, in the first iteration of this article it was me that was dizzy. I called Zazzle “Dazzle” which, while providing me with an alliterative title, was wrong. I could argue that I was actually going to rotate through a whole series of -azzle company names, from Dazzle, to Eazzle, and so on, eventually ending up at Zazzle, all as a way of making a complex alliterative punning statement about unmemorable company names, but that would be incorrect. I just forgot Zazzle’s name. Sorry.

Related posts:

  1. John Doerr: We’re Goooood!
  2. John Doerr Name Dealmaker of the Year
  3. The Perils of 1999 Venture Funds
  4. Ray Lane & the Doerr Effect
  5. Burnham Makes Barron’s; Doerr Says Happy Holidays

Comments

  1. Charlie Wood says:

    That would be Zazzle, not Dazzle. (Confusingly, there also exist Bazzle, Fazzle, Kazzle, Quazzle, and Yazzle. What, no Jazzle? Outrageous!)

  2. On top of the lame response, he was wrong. Cafe Press does have stamps:
    http://www.cafepress.com/content/new/stamps.html

  3. Abby Vigneron says:

    I haven’t considered it as an investment vehicle, but as a consumer I believe that Zazzle’s T-shirts are better.

  4. ON GOOGLE THE COOLER THAN APPLE?

    BMOC From ZDNet (via Inside Google), comes this piece titled Buzz tools reveal Google, Apple twice as popular than Microsoft. Specifically, they note:If you had to guess which companies get the most attention on our news sites (News.com and ZDNet News)…

  5. Raghav Gupta says:

    My bet is they tried for Cafepress but Sequioa beat them to the punch, so they went for the next best thing.

  6. Mark says:

    First of all the stamp thing was wrong, just like Adam noticed and I also have a huge doubt about the interface – I compared it recently with spreadshirt.com and THIS is easy – you cannot compare it with zazzle, which is just too much hassle. This might not be the best investement – I switched recently to spreadshirt and in my opinion more and more people will do that when they will know the possibility…