If you judged the aesthetics of the Internet by Google and Facebook, you'd think it was a very dull, very boxy place. But the Marcus brothers, aware of the market for rounded corners and pretty fonts, have taken a different approach with their two enterprises. At two-year-old Flavors.me, anyone can create an attractive personal website—incorporating feeds from cool-kid platforms like Behance, Vimeo, and the Hype Machine—in the time it takes to watch a YouTube video. And with their latest undertaking, Goodsie, which launched last April, they're applying the same prettified model to e-commerce, giving online shopping carts like Big Cartel and Shopify a run for their money. As Jonathan explains, "Anyone should be able to build a site that is J. Crew-level quality in a very reasonable amount of time—and do it just by point-and-clicking." As of November, Goodsie sellers can integrate their stores with Facebook, too, proving that the Marcus guys know how to color inside the lines when they have to.
Dealing with the whole Facebook thing: "What was important for us was doing an integration whereby the store looks and feels like it belongs in Facebook. Facebook has its own design language, and one particular challenge is that, with the size of Facebook, their design language is kind of all over. We took a lot of cues from their Timeline [interface]—we wanted to [show] most recent [activity]." —Jonathan
The projects they are not going to take on: "I get a lot of my news on Google Reader, but it's nothing to write home about." —David
"I think if we had more resources, we would probably try and tackle the RSS market. That is one that David's been pretty excited about, but we are not going to." —Jonathan
How the New York tech scene has changed: "I lived in New York from 2003 to 2008. There were no angel investors. There were no start-up, meet-up type things." —Jonathan
"Now there are cool events and get-togethers and conferences that really make it fun—you don't need to be traveling all over." —David