The new new commerce

The new breed of e-commerce sites offers consumers ways to socialize and be entertained. But as Rags Gupta of Brightcove points out, these new new commerce sites are taking advantage of old principles. Their innovation comes from introducing them online.

Fashion4Home: Designer Furniture Gets an On-demand Model

Now here’s an idea that could be really cool: applying the Threadless buy-on-demand, customer-voted online store model to something much more high-end and design-oriented: home furniture. That’s what Fashion4Home, a Berlin-based startup launching in the U.S. today, is doing.

Minted Invites Stationery To Crowdsourcing Party

Life has a way of knocking on your door and reminding you of your age. Yesterday turned out to be one of those days, prompted by a visit from Mariam Naficy, CEO & founder of San Francisco-based Minted, a startup that is using crowdsourced designs for stationery items.

Last time I saw Naficy, I still had no gray hair, and the Internet madness (version 1.0) was still in full swing. She and her co-founder stopped by the Forbes.com offices to pitch Eve.com, their beauty online retailer. Eventually Eve.com would raise $26 million, and like all its dot-com peers run into heavy weather before selling out to a much larger rival (It is now part of Sephora).

Since then, we stayed in touch from a distance -– she was involved with Movielink, then The Body Shop’s online operation before she decided to build her latest startup, Minted, last August. She has raised $2.2 million in funding from angels, many of them her contemporaries from the Web 1.0 days.

Minted, to put it bluntly, is a Threadless for stationery goods. I have been a big fan of the crowdsourced business model and said so in a column back in 2005. My view was that the future of consumer businesses was making consumers part of their business and allowing them to profit from the business themselves. Read More about Minted Invites Stationery To Crowdsourcing Party