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Charlie Corr Discusses Some of the Changes at Mimeo

Published on August 26, 2011

Cary Sherburne and Chief Strategist Charlie Corr sit down and discuss recent changes for Mimeo.

 

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Charlie Corr who is the Chief Strategist for Mimeo.

Charlie Corr:  Good to see you.

Cary Sherburne:  Good to see you too.  You remember many years ago we talked to those guys at Mimeo they were going to call it Easy Copy.

Charlie Corr:  They still have the name right in their bag of tricks it was going to be Easy Copy.

Cary Sherburne:  Easy Copy. Glad they changed to Mimeo.  Much better.

Charlie Corr:   Yes, I think it was a good decision.

Cary Sherburne:  And I’m not sure that we thought that it was going to really be successful but.

Charlie Corr:  I think we thought it was cool technology, right, and it was an easier way to do things and the proofing thing and the experience was neat and that it was an early web to print implementation.  But, you know, that was 11 years ago, so.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, we’re getting old.

Charlie Corr:  Yeah, experienced.

Cary Sherburne:  And so, you know, for a long time Mimeo really kind of developed everything in-house and maybe that slowed time to market on some things but since you’ve been there what, two years now?

Charlie Corr:  Oh no, three-and-a-half.  

Cary Sherburne:  No?  

Charlie Corr: Yes.

Cary Sherburne:  Oh my goodness.

Charlie Corr:  Yeah.

Cary Sherburne:  Three-and-a-half years.  There’s been a lot of changes particularly in the last six to twelve months as I’ve sort of watch the announcements.  Why don’t you tell us a little bit about what’s driving that change and what are some of the changes you made.

Charlie Corr:  I think one of the big changes we made was the realization that the opportunity was much bigger than what we would ever do on our own.  And that if you think about the first many years it was a, really a black box solution.   A neat black box solution but it’s what it was.  And there was more opportunity if you opened it up and you allowed other people to use it and you allowed other channels to leverage it.  That that’s a bigger opportunity and delighting our own customers remains a piece of it, right, which was the original thing but now its power in print, right.  And that’s  a much more expansive view and it took a lot of work to re-architect it to put the new underlying code, the API’s and the SVK’s were significant investments, right, to enable to this to happen.  So you had to have both the willingness to do it and then you had to put the investment in to open it up and then you have to put the investment into support those partners and those new business initiatives.  So it’s been a major undertaking.

Cary Sherburne:  Well I remember earlier on, a lot Mimeo was approached by a lot of different companies and the answer always was “well we have to replicate the whole platform including the print” but that’s not true anymore.

Charlie Corr:  Right, no, so you break it apart and that’s the conceptual change, right, led to the other changes in the platform and seeing that broader opportunity.  So in that sense it’s an interesting maturation, right, and the side benefit of re-architecting the code and having it modularized, right, is that we can deploy things much more quickly and more efficiently than we could in the past.

Cary Sherburne:  For yourself and for partners.

Charlie Corr:  For yourselves and for partners, right.  I mean it’s the advantage of having more open code, right, than what we had previously.  So it’s sort of a rebirth, right, although much of it may look the same although we now have photorealistic proofs and stuff but it’s a real big re-architecting effort.

Cary Sherburne:  And so you started out with the one plant.  Was that the old Donnelly digital plant, right?

Charlie Corr:  It was right, yes,

Cary Sherburne: It was the foot of the FedEx runway in Memphis.  Now you’ve got, what, three, four?

Charlie Corr:  We have three.  We’re in Hayward in the Bay Area, yeah, and then we’re in Newark and we’re always close to a hub, right, either a main hub which is in Memphis or the regional hubs on the east and west coast.

Cary Sherburne:  For FedEx.

Charlie Corr:  Yeah for FedEx.  See if you think about it we’re kind of within two days ground of probably 85-90 percent of the US, you know.  And then overnight, obviously, we can do that as well.

Cary Sherburne:  And I know we talked a while back about the international aspect of your business being kind of surprising growth area.

Charlie Corr:  Yeah, over like 11 percent of our shipments are international.  Some of those are people here, right, who use us a lot to send things there.  We do have a UK website that we produce things here and send things there.  So, yeah, it was a surprising thing.  And then there are people who are there like, we don’t even know how some of them find us like a customer in Australia who’s wanting to print things in the United States and distribute them here.  And the reality is it’s less expensive and quicker for them to send us the job.  So they send it to Memphis, right, and it ends up in Chicago.  They produce it there.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah and they don’t have to deal with customs and all that, you know.  

Charlie Corr:  Yeah, it’s very simple, right, and it’s probably less expensive than this particular thing there in a reasonable amount of time than international priority or something.  So it was interesting people found us, right.  

Cary Sherburne:   And then what about expanding – you’ve got a UK website but what about expanding internationally for production facilities.

Charlie Corr:  Yeah, that’s certainly what we’re planning on doing in the short term is to have production facilities probably start in the UK and then perhaps the longer term plan would be to probably have one in the UK, probably have one in Germany or Benelux and then after that you’d probably look at something in Asia Pacific, right, in maybe a couple years out.  

Cary Sherburne:  Singapore.

Charlie Corr:  Yeah, Singapore is certainly one of the areas we’re looking at.  Good distribution hub.

Cary Sherburne:  Great.  Thanks.

Charlie Corr:  Great.

 

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