Getting a Taste of Mimeo’s Secret Sauce
I consider Mimeo to be one of the most interesting companies in our industry because of how successfully the company has executed its business model. Not only does it hit the sweet spot of where the growth and money is in our industry, it also speaks directly to the reality of how print is changing.
Mimeo brands itself as a “technology company that prints” and has uniquely been doing so since 1998. As an innovator of online digital printing services, the company set out on the mission to power the world of print. I think everyone can learn a thing or two from what Mimeo is doing, so it’s a pleasure to welcome Chuck Gehman, vice president of Product Platforms at Mimeo, to my blog.
Nick: When Mimeo started in 1998, it was a very early online printing company. Looking back on that original vision, what do you think are the biggest differences or surprises compared to where the company is today?
Chuck: In today’s startup world, where companies often change their business models, or “pivoting” to find success, perhaps the biggest surprise is that Mimeo is still executing something really close to our original vision. And we’re still innovating. We’re a 14-year-old startup company in many ways, albeit one with hundreds of employees and three major factories!
Nick: The level of workflow automation that makes Mimeo possible is driven by the company’s own proprietary system. Do you think it would have been possible to achieve the same results if Mimeo had instead entirely purchased from a workflow solution provider?
Chuck: It would not have been possible back in 1998 when Mimeo was founded. You simply could not buy any off the shelf Web-to-print solution, nor had anyone conceived of some of the things we do on the backend. Print production workflow had not anticipated what we are doing. Our CTO David Uyttendaele went out and bought a Xerox Docutech and connected it to a website he and the team built, and that was only the beginning.