The real story about “Why Ohm Force has never sold some Ohm T-Shirts”

We have found in an old 20GB hard disk the original post written by Grey Force some years ago in our old Melohman blog, where he tells the real story about “Why Ohm Force have never sold some Ohm T-Shirts?”, a question that drops in our mailboxes several times each month. Here’s why:

“Funny story to tell, the Ohm Force T-Shirts …
It somehow represents the thought process and decision-making at Ohm Force, yet not in its best light.

The initial idea
Hanging around at NAMM, we’ve had a few people asking for an Ohm Force T-Shirt. While we enjoyed that kind of moment, we secretly knew that would happen … Such a great logo representing such a great company, people would fight for it. So we toyed with the idea a few month (at least a year).
Deciding on the road
Moving all the OhmMen to Messe in 2006 was a good moment. We piled in a minivan, and off to Frankfurt. During the road trip, we held many meetings, one of them would be to decide on the tshirts. We had several points of view :
* Ivory Force : “They have to be the coolest tshirts ever” (he has the coolest collection of shirts)
* Grey Force : “Let’s rip the hell out of them and make profit” (yeah I can be a greedy bastard)
* Plum Force : “Let’s post on the website hi-res files for users to download and do their own” (Let’s not make a profit at all)
* Orange Force : “I’ll do the code” (he wrote most of the code of the store)
* Yellow Force : “Don’t spend too much time on this non-essential thing that won’t bring any money back” (The clever greedy bastard of project management)
* Red Force : had a very specific idea which led to a troll about international relations
Other points of view were expressed from other OhmMen, but basically you get the camps.
Finally we decided that :
* they have to be eco-friendly (grown and done in France at best, in Europe at least, and no cotton)
* they had to be ethical
* they had be of great quality, very thick
* we would sell them with no profit, basically just enough overhead to make the pictures, adapt the store and manage handling (by Mauve Force, of course)
Executing the plan
Last year, we had an intern, France, whose mission was in part to actually bring the tshirts into existence and hopefully into sales.
The website code was ready sometimes before, Orange Force having suffered from insomnia.
She had to find the best tshirts given the requirements during her three month internship. Which she did. TShirts from Germany, half cotton, half hemp, the printer for the logo was near our office, France could go fetch the test batch using the subway.
We needed Fuschia Force to do the pictures (he is a very talented photographer, with expert gear), and put the process in place.
That’s basically where the story stops.
A year later
You did not buy your t-shirt did you ?
The plan failed. I did ask several times Fuschia Force about the pictures, but he cleverly tackled me by using technical photographer speak.
Ivory Force did not like the t-shirts and found the cut not to be fit enough.
The price even stopped us. We bought each tshirts 50 Euros ($65), so we could not sell them for less than 60 Euros. Kind of steep, for carrying a brand on your nicely proportionned torso.
The code was finally not finished anyway, Orange Force was on leave for a while, and I did not want to delve into his code.
The tshirts have been stashed in the office kitchen for a year. Finally after a meeting we decided to keep them to ourselves. (Perks google-style !)
I am wearing one of those ethical and expensive tshirts right one, funneling the idea of this blog post.
It is sad that those tshirts did not make it. Maybe it was a bad idea. Or a good idea, but the compromise was not good enough. I like to think that bad ideas die by themselves at Ohm Force. However I am sure we did kill a few good ideas with this thought process.
Usually a project finishes when one of the OhmMen gets motivated enough to whip the others into actually doing something on a specific project. That’s a very loose organisation and it kinda works. I’ll tell you someday about our previous decision making. You’ll enjoy it.”

3 Responses to “The real story about “Why Ohm Force has never sold some Ohm T-Shirts””

  1. 1 stiff
    November 14, 2008 at 11:01

    €50/t-shirt? Seriously guys, you need to shop around a little!

    Would be wicked with Ohm-shirts though, I would carry them with my head held high. I’d like to see the singing-monkey-professor-by-the-synth-pic from Symptohm on t-shirt myself. That pciture always makes me happy.

  2. 2 Artales
    June 8, 2012 at 14:39

    Cotton/hemp? Nice mix.

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