Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Contest Rules – Give us your feedback!

We’ve started receiving some very good feedback through our Foldees Designer Survey, and we’ve come up with a few ideas on how to cater to your requests. Most of you are quite happy with the current system, except for a few things, and here are our findings from the survey.


  • The primary motivation for submitting is the prize money, with feedback and seeing your cards on sale coming in second and third.
  • Almost all of you would like to split between user-votes and Foldees Team votes for ratings to decide winners
  • Most of you would like more opportunities to win (surprisingly, even many of our previous winners)


  • Almost all of you spend most of your time on the Main Gallery, which was very surprising to us.
  • Most of you keep up with what’s going on through our newsletters (both regular member and Designer)
  • Surprisingly, Word of Mouth is first as a method of promoting your design, while Blogs come 2nd, and the design widget third. (hardly anyone promotes on twitter!?)

Also, here’s some feedback that we’ve received so far.

“I actually like all of these ideas. I am sure alot of us submit to many contests and never win. So maybe a method similar to threadless would be nice, getting feedback from the community until its perfect and foldees buys it. This might result in more sales too, since most cards are good, but just not quite there. “

“One thing I noticed once the new cards for the current contest are loaded is that most raters have good suggestions about changing the wording or color of something. I think that after the contest, designers should have the option of making those changes users suggested. Foldees can then accept or reject the changes.”

”I think the right way to pick the winners could be if every challenger can pick the 5 winners (in order of 1 to 5) buuuutttt, they can't pick their owns designs, by example, if i sent a design I must to pick 5 cards that I think must be the winners but I can't pick My Card.”

“Less server errors or even better, no server error”

As a result, we are throwing around a few new rules that we’re thinking of implementing in our next contest. The reason we’re doing this now (before even the end of the survey) is because we need time to implement these things on the site. Please Please PLEASE give us your feedback on whether you think these things are good or bad ideas.

  1. We Vote First! – Foldees staff votes contribute 35% to the total score for all cards. However, to ensure that our votes don’t play with the competition, we will place our votes in private before we allow the public to come in and rate.
  2. Designers Matter! – Designers votes count based on the number of designs successfully moderated and on sale at Foldees. E.g. mdavidct’s vote will be worth alot because he has submitted 11 designs. The exact algorithm will be decided later, but the catch is, the designer does not get to vote for his own design(s).
  3. Tweak your designs – All cards can be tweaked at any point. However, all tweaks will be monitored and moderated by us.
  4. More Prizes! – The new split will be US$800, US$600, and US$400 for the top three, and everyone else in the top ten gets US$100. Total remains the same cos we aren’t rich just yet.

Please let us know your thoughts on these potential changes in the comments below or any other suggestions you might have. In the meantime, we still have 15 days for both our Survey and coincidentally, our Zodiac Zoo contest!

Don’t wait… participate :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Announcing the winners of "Zodiac Zoo”

Wow. I can’t believe this is the first blog post of 2010. Serious apologies to our designers and users for neglecting you recently :( We have been rather busy bees, and as such, we’ve kinda slowed down our contests and our interactions with you guys to get the business going.

As such, as some of our designers will already know, we’ve had a very good run in the past 3 months (please check your Royalties page, if you haven’t already). We’ve also been expanding our retail locations, with our current 15 and we’re in talks to double that by mid-year. All with our teeny tiny team. Aren’t you proud of us?

However, leave that for now. Let’s get down to the business at hand. We have 5 winners (this number might increase in our next competition *wink*) that have entirely validated our voting system, since these were some of the top-selling cards of the season. One of the designers was a very early adopter for Foldees that finally gets a long-deserved place on our podium with a truly stellar effort.

5. Anacleto Avarro – Lovely Strike (Prize: US$100)


Welcome to the winners’ circle! This would definitely be our first prize if it was a T-shirt! The design is very very striking (thus the appropriate name) and many people had to get a double take to understand its true brilliance (including us!). Alot of effort was obviously put into this design, and that makes you a deserving winner. Nice one Anacleto!

4. seafishyi – Happy Tiger Year (Prize: US$100)


Another new winner! Awesomeness! Louise Yap (yes, it’s a girl) has a very polished style, similar to that of other previous winners like Kokuzo, and the depth of detail, especially on the inside of the card shows talent that could easily bring her to the top step of the podium next time around. This time though, it’s an impressive 4th place. Don’t forget that in his first contest, Kokuzo ‘only’ placed 4th as well.

3. Fox – The Animals (Prize: US$300)


Not to be biased, but we really wanted this design to win. Not only is it so darned adorable with a frankly brilliant idea, but it’s also by one of our most loyal designers, Terence (a.k.a. Fox a.k.a. terryisdafox) who has participated in all of our contests, and only won once (Xmas 2008!). He’s not the most polished designer, having picked the talent up just for Foldees, but his style and his ideas have improved by leaps and bounds since our first contest, and we’re proud to have grown up together with him. Finally, Terry… we get to give you money. Awesome idea.

PS: Oh, and great seller too. Check your royalties mate ;)

2. salchipunk – How to Celebrate the New Year (Prize: US$600)


y’know… we seriously have to start giving this guy a challenge. Since the day he swept our Christmas awards in 2008, he has won a prize in EVERY contest except for one. Honestly, we’d be afraid that the Spanish might think the rest of the designers in the world were pushovers if it wasn’t for the fact that many other Spanish designers haven’t had the same fortune on our site.

Still, there’s no denying that this guy is seriously talented. While his art style never runs far, it’s so darn appealing (and selling well to boot) that we should just bloody hire him and pay him less than the prize money he’s earning already!

Just kidding, Mauricio… congrats again *hands over cheque begrudgingly*.

1. Kokuzo – God of Wealth is Coming (Prize: US$1000)


It’s a hat-trick for this designer from Indonesia. We honestly don’t know how he does it. When we first saw this card, we thought…”Oh… finally, Franz got tired of his ridiculously intricate yet beautiful artwork!”

And then we saw the inside.


We don’t know how much time he spends on one design. Seriously. It’s so perfectly composed with an amazing attention to detail. On top of that, it’s also been a top seller at retail, and to some of our corporate clients. You might begrudge him for being a constant winner on Foldees, but no one would begrudge this design winning.

It’s absolutely stunning. (Oh and just to add to the woes of other designers, his not untalented little brother has joined us as well.)

Check out our previous interview with Franz after his first win a few months back!


Once again, THANK YOU to all of you who participated in Zodiac Zoo!

We’ll be making some very interesting announcements next week, in particular to do with our next contest, which is going to be something totally different from what we’ve done before, so be sure to check up on us next week, and keep an eye on those inboxes.

PS: If you want to know your final position in the rankings, do drop me a mail :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MOL acquires Friendster – a sign of things to come? (Think PayPal acquiring Facebook)


We don’t usually comment too much on web trends (aside from posting up videos of cute babies every so often), but this particular topic is close to home simply because…

A. we’re Malaysian and …

B. We believe commerce via social networking is the way of the future.

Anyways, I just got back from the official launch (Thanks to Cheryl for the invites) and I’m still reeling at the possibilities that this acquisition can offer. Aside from the instant international brand recognition that MOL gets, and the momentum of Asian companies acquiring well-known international brands, there is one other big undercurrent that most people today seemed to have forgotten in the hoo-ha. And it’s called the Friendster Wallet.

I just revisited my Friendster account recently, after receiving an email notification that some things have changed. The interface is a cross between Facebook and MySpace – sparse and interactive, but with room for customization. However, the interesting thing is the Friendster Wallet.


Powered by MOL e-Points (duh), the Friendster wallet enables you to purchase Friendster Coins, which at the moment can be used to buy little virtual gifts, and that sorta chintzy stuff. If you’ve used Facebook before, they have similar features, and at least a gazillion apps that let you do the same thing. But….

Anyone care to play spot the difference here?

The difference is that Friendster has a common currency. That might not seem like such a big deal, until you realise that the main reason you don’t buy so much stuff online is because keying in your credit card information to pay for a US$1.00 flash game is so damned troublesome, with the forms, the redirects, the security confirmations, your codes, and not least of all, your 16 digit (count em) CC number.

It’s a problem that we ourselves face as well. Take that barrier away, and you make every transaction a one-click impulse.

Buy a box of virtual chocolates for Pete’s birthday? hmmmm… yea sure… why not. *click*


Buy a box of virtual chocolates for Pete’s birthday? hmmmm… ok, lemme just get my credit card out… and see … hmm… yea 5434, 8832…. and full name? Ok…. expiry date… check… ok redirecting…redirecting….full name and birthdate again? WTF?!

One of the biggest challenges is ease-of-use, and by having a common currency, MOL has made buying stuff on Friendster as easy as buying stuff off the iTunes App store. Now THAT’s powerful. It’s a strategy MOL has already put to good use in MMORPGs, where their players are already buying up some US$20 in virtual good a month.

By buying out Friendster instead of simply working with them, MOL can now call the direction of the website to encourage more types of interactions that could involve gifts (like the Birthday gift trigger when you write on a friend’s wall if it’s their birthday). 

If MOL can get the same sort of returns (that they currently get from MMORPGs) on even 10% of Friendster’s 115 million users (half of which visit at least once a month), that’s some serious money.

Social networking sites should listen and learn. After all these years – your site might actually have come across a business model that works.

We’ll see.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Edge is never dull

We love the Edge. We’ve been buying it ever since we came out on the cover of Personal Money (which is under the same team)! Some of the people there are familiar cos I used to be with the media in a different life a while back.

Innotech-Netvalue-1Anyways, this time, we didn’t even get a call. The Edge was covering an event called Innotech, organised by our benefactors at MDeC, which we attended to look for potential investors.

Even though we weren’t expecting much interest (cos our company is still very early stage), we still popped together one heck of a Powerpoint, and gave away some of your cards to the nice people in suits.

And guess what? The investors really liked us! Here are some of the quotes off their interviews with (who else?) The Edge.

“For early stage companies, the only thing we can look at is the management. I just  innotech-netvalue -2met this young guy with this online greeting cards portal. He is very interestin, very driven. We like the management and will find out more about the company” – Augustine Ow, JAIC Asia Capital Pte. Ltd from Singapore.

Apart from these two companies, (William Liu, chairman and managing partner of Stream Global Pte. Ltd.) felt that energon, which basically sells online greeting cards, had very good ideas.

Click on the pictures to read the entire article!

A short week later, we were also invited onto the netV@lue segment of EdgeTV, a web-based business channel for The Edge. Here’s the two-part interview, hosted by the lovely Aishah Mustapha.




Thank you to all the lovely people at The Edge (we love you love us love you!) and the investors who saw enough promise to mention us in the interviews :)

Oh, and really sorry for showing up in shorts for the interview. We thought it was a podcast. The secret is now out! *gasp*