Talks + Press

  • AGIA "The Business of Design"

    Chicago, IL - The Business of Design series brings together Chicago’s business thought leaders in design, marketing, communications, strategy and research. We’ll tap the genius and the lessons learned from inspiring business leaders who understand the value of design and integrate design throughout their organization.

  • Future of Web Design (FOWD)

    New York, NY - “The Future of Web Design brings together some of the biggest names in contemporary web design for a series of presentations on ideas and creativity as well as the tools and techniques we use to design beautiful sites.”

    I presented about “Design for Community” and centered my talk around questions submitted by the Threadless design community.

  • Double-Click/Performics Client Summit

    Chicago, IL - Panelist on “The Age of Ingenuity” keynote panel for the 2007 Double-Click/Performics Client Summit.

    Side note: Dr. Steven D. Levitt, co-author of “Freakonomics”, keynoted this event and I got to speak to him for a little while, which was pretty awesome.

  • O'Reilly Radar Executive Briefing - From Manufacturing to The Attention Economy

    San Diego, CA - “Tim O'Reilly and the Radar team will lead an interactive, all-day event that brings clarity to the business side of emerging technology. The Briefing uses insider interviews with movers and shakers, and conversations with under-the-radar innovators to bring to light to the markers of success so that participants can navigate the new opportunities and disruptions ahead.”

    With Seth Goldstein (CEO,, Jacob DeHart (CTO, skinnyCorp) & Jeffrey Kalmikoff (CCO, skinnyCorp), Jeff Jonas (Distinguished Engineer and Chief Scientist, IBM Entity Analytics)

  • Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN - "On The Rise"

    Chicago, IL / Television - Jake Nickell, Jacob Dehart, and I were featured on Anderson Cooper 360’s “On The Rise” segment covering Threadless.

    Side note: The interview was pre-taped at our office, but we had to start and restart the interview multiple times. The business above us at the time was a jewelry maker, and the noise of him working was being picked up by the mics. He wasn’t too happy to be told to stop working, and the segment producers wasn’t too happy to have to deal with it.  It was pretty amusing.

  • CustomerMade Conference

    Copenhagen, DK - Jake Nickell, Jacob DeHart and I gave a talk about Threadless and the other customer co-creation* projects we had going on.

    Other speakers at this conference included: Paul Gerhardt (Director of BBC Creative Archive - UK), Jean K. Min (International editor, Ohmynews - SK), Lars Bo Jeppesen (Associate Professor, Copenhagen Business School and guest researcher, MIT Sloan School of Management - DK), Søren Lund (Project director, LEGO Mindstorm NXT robots - DK), and Teo Härén (founder and CEO, - SE)

    * Jeff Howe didn’t officially coin the term crowdsourcing until two months later in June of 2006, so up until that point it had been called either ‘user innovation’ or 'customer co-creation’. 

  • SXSWi Panel - "Zero-Advertising Brands: Threadless"

    Austin, TX - This panel ended up being an interview with Jake Nickell, Jacob DeHart and myself conducted by Maggie Mason. Interestingly, a number of things I said ended up on a few “quotables” websites (such as this one).   There’s a transcript of the conversation here thanks to Josh Knowles of Auscillate.

    Side note: My friend Derek Powazek wrote a short post about this panel which nicely outlines the points we tried to get across. Funny that I don’t think we knew each other at the time!

  • Attack of the Show

    Los Angeles, CA / Television - I was a guest on the awesome Attack of the Show on G4. This was my first time doing a live TV interview, but Kevin does a great job of making you forget that there’s cameras everywhere.

    Side note: As it turned out, Mila Jovovich was also supposed to be on that day, but scheduling conflicts pushed her to the day after. Bummer!

  • "The Minds Behind Threadless" at UCLA

    Los Angeles, CA - Jake Nickell, Jacob DeHart and I gave a talk to a small group of students in a gigantic auditorium (I guess they expected more people to show up!). There ended up being a lot of active Threadless community members there, so it was fun interacting with them.

  • "How The Heck Did They Do That?" at DePaul University

    Chicago, IL - Jake Nickell, Jacob DeHart, and I did an informal long Q&A session with a large group of business students at DePaul University.  I really enjoy events in this formal where it’s all Q&A. I prefer this to traditional speaker/audience setups.

  • Parsons School of Design

    New York, NY - “Apparel and Identity in the City” panel at Tishman Auditorium along with panelists Jake Nickell, Jacob DeHart, Julia Mandle, Maggie Norris, and moderator Gwynne Keathly. “The purpose of the panel discussion is to explore the perspective of a cross section of careers and professionals in the art and design community whose work has touched upon the subject of fashion and the concept of identity within the city.”

  • MIT

    Cambridge, MA - Jake Nickell, Jacob DeHart and I spoke at “Community and User Innovation” at MIT Innovation Lab hosted by Eric Von Hippel. I think this small conference/forum at MIT was pivotal for us.  We learned there was actually a name for what we were doing, “customer co-creation” - later to be renamed “crowdsourcing”.

  • Semi-Permanent Conference

    New York, NY - Jake Nickell, Jacob DeHart and I gave a talk at the first Semi-Permanent conference in the US.  This was a crazy experience because we’d not only never given a real talk with all three of us, it was in front of a lot of people. Plus, fellow speakers were artists I really looked up to such as The Orphanage, Joshua Davis and Charlie White. It was especially nerve racking that the front row was reserved for speakers.