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Pixel art stickers (stickaz.com)
89 points by Youpinadi on Sept 30, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 49 comments

I tried this out. I think it is really good idea, but really bad implementation. I wanted to draw something, and save it. But I had to login first. If you log in, you lost your drawing. Then I redraw it from scratch, then clicked on the save, and the server went down, so again, lost everything. Sometimes the cursor draws without any click, and ruins all your previous work, and you can't turn it off (maybe a bug). Then I tried other way. What if I just draw a small part, and save it? Before save it automatically cropped my pic for best fit (if you resize your drawing area, you lost everything).

So, for about the tenth time, I finally finished my "nyan cat", and published it, to see what's gonna happen? Some time after, I got an email, that they refused to publish it, and gave me some bullsh*t (one or more of the following) reasons. So one, or more? Why don't they tell me specifically? And some of the reasons were hurtful for someone, who tried so hard to finish something.

Anyway... As I sad before, I like the idea, but the implementation is pretty flawed, and painfully slow.

So are the 'classic' sprites public domain? I'm sure the other characters are some minor variation of the original - but it leaves me wondering if copyright has a lower threshold/bound in terms of resolution?

In a 7x7 grid theres still a lot of variations (2^49?) - ranging down to the 'single pixel' works of early 20th century avant-garde monochromatic paintings.

Anyhow, neat product and I'm sure even a lawsuit from Midway/Atari would be good press.

There's one case I recall that's close enough. A couple years ago there was a chiptune cover album of the Miles Davis classic Kind of Blue, complete with a pixel-art version of the cover. The photographer of the original cover art sued over the pixelized version. You can read the whole story here: http://waxy.org/2011/06/kind_of_screwed/

It's very pretty, and I'll likely buy some.

But oh-my-gosh is your server slow! Having to wait 60s between page loads is stopping me from exploring your collection and buying stuff. You need to fix the speed issue, because it's costing you money, right now.

Could be that they are in France :)

It shouldn't take so long to get from the UK to France though, eh? ;-)

Currently in Paris : on average ~5s to load a page.

Or the Hacker News effect strikes again.

So I guess you are familiar with the french street art artist Invader (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Invader)

it seems so! :)

You might want to know that in Italian the name of your startup reads (and sounds) quite badly.

I think they know, otherwise they wouldn't have this:

"It all starts with the kaz" prominently featured here


Explanation for those who don't speak Italian?

Kaz sounds a lot like cazzo which means dick.

'Sti cazzi' is a common phrase that is used to express lack of interest in central Italy (who gives a flying fuck!) or amazement in northern Italy (holy shit!).

We are sorry if we have offended he italians (especially the ones from the center). It's pretty hard to come up with a name that has no meaning anywhere. If we have enough success, maybe Stickaz will mean "pixel art stickers" in Italy later! Like the Nintendo Wii ;)

Italian here (living in Paris BTW): I don't think you've offended anybody, it's just that the name sounds really bad in Italian.

Naming products for an international market is quite difficult: in the 90s Sega tried to sell their game consoles into the Italian market and failed miserably because (my interpretation) nobody wanted to publicize that he bought a product whose name means "masturbation". The Nissan Pajero is another example, they had to rename it Montero in some Spanish-speaking countries.

Good comment, although the Pajero is from Mitsubishi, not Nissan.

Fun fact: The law firm Morrison Foerster often shortens its name to MoFo and is located at www.mofo.com.

They say it's good for business.

(For those who don't know, mofo is English shorthand for "motherfucker".)

Your model is excellent. I love it. It's simple, it looks good, and contrary to what others said, you actually have a pretty innovative business model with the possibility to sell crowdsourced designs. But if I were you, I'd make it more interesting for graphics guys. The real innovation would be to do a 70-30 cut like for iPhone apps. If it worked economically, even if it merely covered your costs, it would attract much better designers and many more buyers that would also buy your own designs on which you could make more profit. You're solving a real problem here: geek decoration. Be more ambitious about it!

Careful -- Atlus got sued for their game 3D Dot Game Heroes (which was fantastic) over copyright-infringing user-generated avatars. This seems eerily similar.

Something random I wanted over the weekend: drop-shipping stickers. Let me set up an account and order stickers via an API given a customer address.

Do you have some really LARGE ones ? I just want to restart some post-it war with more modern ammo ;-)

We have some large ones! Also you can choose the size of your pixels (up to 5cm), which can make even models with few pixels pretty big!

I like the idea, and the website looks good.

However, the website is very slow, I don't know much about your tech team, but IMHO this is something you should investigate if you want to increase your conversion rate.

Good Luck.

We built an app thats scarily similar in spirit to this. its at http://tiny.by Pretty cool coincidence

I noticed some problems with English version (e.g. each is singular), you might want to have a professional check that for you.

Thanks for the input, we will fix it!

That's pretty cool. I like it.

So...if I start selling stuff on ebay, does that make me a "start-up"?

I'm pretty sure you are a couple of guys who setup a wordpress site with a generic theme on a shared server. Also it seems to be having trouble handling the small amount of traffic that comes from 5am hacker news.

Well we are really 4 french guys, we are located in Paris in a small office. This is not a wordpress, but a prestashop and the theme is not generic. And the stuff that is innovative is that all the products are created by the community using the studio (http://www.stickaz.com/en/studio). Have a look at http://www.stickaz.com/en/info for more infos about the Stickaz concept. Tell me if you find similar businesses (appart from sites that let's you decline an image on mugs or t-shirts). Hope you look at it with a different angle :)

PS: we know puxxle, we existed before them and there's no user generated content on puxxle.

What pfisch is saying, selling stuff on the Internet is not a startup. E.g. if I'm starting a flower shop business, that's not a startup, that's just starting a business.

The difference between a startup and a business is that a startup is usually trying to solve a problem (often through the use of technology, a.k.a. hi-tech) in the hope that the "invention" pays off. These sorts of high risk businesses often don't get loans from banks. That's where investors come in.

So, as pfisch is saying, selling stickers on the Internet is not a startup.

I hope you guys do well. It looks like a well executed project.

It definitely looks like wordpress, and it says it is wordpress and prestashop on the bottom. Also prestashop looks like it is just an ecommerce plugin.

Did you guys take VC money or something? This just looks like a normal business to me. I mean I run a small business that makes mobile apps. Is that a start up as well? Is any kind of business with a website that sells something a start up?

As much as I agree with the whole discussion surrounding the definition of a startup, your arguments are weak and pointless to say the least.

Would this company be more of a startup if their website was powered with a custom made app written in Erlang on the backend and Haxe on the frontend? ...

Would this company be more of a startup if they could lure some VCs to invest in them? ...

Please come back to earth and provide constructive comments, or better arguments, like pan69 did [1].

[1]: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4592559

This is pointless. Why are you arguing about such a moot point? We should be giving constructive feedback, not arguing about politics.

Awesome stuff - I write for Wired.com and would love to do a post on this - I sent you an email, let me know if you're interested.

Sure! I received your email and will answer very soon!

At least they have a business model. How many "start-ups" on HN are just a fancy landing page with an email sign-up box?

Customer acquisition to juicy exit is still a business model. Might not be as easy to grasp as pay me X for Y, but It's still a business model.

It really depends on how you define "start-up".

eric ries, in his book The Lean Startup, defines it as follows:

"A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty."

so lets see. Is this website a human institution? Probably. If its not, it certainly passed the Turing test.

Is it designed to create a new product or service? not really. Its selling stickers that the user has the ability to customize. This isn't all that new or original of a concept.

Is it doing so under extreme uncertainty? I would say not. This is selling a product that there is already known demand for. It is not extremely uncertain if there is a market for their product.

So my 2 cents is that this is not a "start up" but rather merely a new web business. Still, good for them! May the Force be with them, and may they find beautiful solutions to their problems.

Hehe nice analysis! Basically i just used the word "startup" because for me it just means having great ambitions and try to do them with a few people (in a web world).

What do you think?

Pretty Nice designs, but i find the price a little bit too high considering that your designs are so minimalistic that you are competing with 5mins of Photoshop(to recreate an image) and 3$ of sticker printing paper.

Nonetheless i'll probably order a few for our glass doors in the office.

We propose 40 colors, which is pretty hard to find when you try to do a DYI pixel art with photoshop. Also the stickers we propose are high quality vinyl (which is repositionnable). I often see guys do home made pixel arts and Stickaz is just here to make their life easier and their designs cooler!

At least it's not made in China, think a bit about that! ;)

I like it! Pretty awesome designs. I like the spiderman sticker in the homepage.


The name in italian sounds hilarious. Awesome

Exit through the gift shop...


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