Do you want to know the very worst thing about running a start up? It’s not funding, it’s not hiring, it’s not releases failing to achive what you want. Its those quiet stretches when nothing is really happening. Your very worst work, your very worst ideas will surface like the bloated carcass of a roadkill thrown into a river, when things are going well.
Dissonance is the ultimate driver of creativity, desperation is the mother of invention and struggle creates genius. Still waters are far less interesting than the raging chaos of a storm. How many of the world’s greatest artists where fostered by a feeling of well being and security?
I love the times when I have twenty things going wrong and I need to make decisions, 95% of my best product choices were born out of a desperate need to solve something not working.
What am I trying to say? It’s ok to to smile in the middle of a maelstrom, those who can harness its motivation will always find a way!
I thought I would interview my co founders to give everyone an insight into the horrible dysfunction and geek in-fighting that is Clect….First Karl Roberts, ClectaKarl.
Tell us how you got involved in Clect?
I’ve been a geek, although I may not have identified that way at the time, since watching Star Wars at the cinema in 1977 at 5 years of age. Since the massive star destroyer loomed overhead and Darth Vader strode on to the Blockade Runner it set me on a path that led me to books, action figures, comics, role-playing; really anything Star Wars related, I couldn’t get enough. That passion was something I shared with Steve Brumwell when we first met 20 years ago and is still a common bond today. When Steve conceived the idea for Clect I’m proud to say I was his first call.
What is your role in Clect?
The main aspect of what I’ve been doing for Clect is being the point man for both acquiring new users as well as helping manage the growing community of collectors we have. Also, if we imagine Clect were the Fellowship of the Ring then I see myself as fulfilling a Sam Gamgee type role. I don’t mean I carry Steve up volcanoes, but rather I just try and support him with whatever challenges we currently are facing.
What are your hopes for Clect?
My hopes for Clect are that we become a true home for collectors wherein that they can both share their own and discover the collections of others, whilst also having a space to socialize, chat, trade and generally geek out, all in a single space. We’re like a small Rebellion taking on an evil Empire *cough* *Facebook* *cough*.
When did you start collecting?
There are kind of two answers to this question. Like a lot of folk my age (early 40’s, since you asked) I had a pretty great collection of stuff back in the 80’s which it kills me to remember that I “grew out of” and just plain gave away and sold them all. Although my passion for all things sci-fi and geek has always been with me, it wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I rediscovered my love for collecting and that’s still alive and well in me today.
What do you collect?
I have a pretty broad taste when it comes to collecting. I love the Marvel Select range and have a whole cabinet of those. There’s nothing better than taking a few hours to build a big Lego set so I have a bunch of those too, all Star Wars related of course. I have some Kotobukiya statues and an eclectic collection of other action figures in genres as varied as Dune and Nightmare on Elm Street. But what I really love collecting the most is comics…. I have a few hundred, Marvel mainly, but DC and independents too. I love the tactile feel of a new graphic novel in my hands maybe too much; it’s a sickness.
What frustrates you most about collecting?
Scalpers and flippers are a frustration, especially for the unwary. My biggest frustration though is the problem for which we believe Clect is the cure, namely that collectors have a fragmented and unsatisfactory online experience. We have to use certain sites to buy & sell and yet other sites to socialise and display our collections with none of them geared up specifically with collectors in mind. That changed when Clect arrived.
What do you enjoy most about collecting?
I’m a bit of a magpie so I’m not all about completing a certain range or run of figures or toys. I enjoy looking at my display cabinets with all their variety and reorganising them occasionally too. I get a buzz from knowing others are enjoying looking at my collection too, and I love browsing the amazing collections added to Clect by others.
What are your top 5 pieces and top 3 across the site and why?
Meet me….I am 43, I am the co founder of a start up called Clect, it’s a social marketplace. I built the marketplace because as a collector eBay just wasn’t showing me stuff I wanted, it was showing me stuff people wanted to sell.
I built the social aspect because of Facebook. Ok I am not stupid, no one can really try to take on Facebook, it has become a utility in our life. It is like electricity, like water, take it away and people feel deprived. However I do feel that there is a way niches, and large niches at that can be carved away from Facebook to a better place.
Facebook is amazing, it’s huge, it’s gargantuan, it is a mirror to life on Earth, and because of that its a terrible beast. Every day I see people I am connected to because of our love of collecting, our love of Star Wars, of being a geek, make statements that cause me to feel shame. Now these people aren’t my friends but I do feel a connection to them because of FB. Facebook is a mirror to life as I said, and because of that you see the very worst of humainty pressed up against the quieter voice of the intelligent, moderate and consisered aspects and further the shiny tiny beacons of the best of humanity, take Batboy for example.
I want to hang out and discuss why Boba Fett is not as badass as his reputation purports, I want to discuss why a Ghostbusters remake is a terrible idea, not because of its new gender slant but because you just don’t remake some films. I want to do this on a platform where two posts down I see some morally reprehensible spoutings from people who have a platform to do that!
I hope collectors flock to www.clect.com and we talk about collecting.