Three weeks ago, Chad Collins, the creator the LEGO Fan Convention Philly Brick Fest and touring LEGO experience Brick Fest Live, quietly launched a new web show called “Stay Creative”. The name of show, is the tagline Chad and his daughter Jordyn used in each of their videos on their YouTube channel, Your Creative Friends (YCF).
I have gotten to know Chad and his team, and have attended Philly Brick Fest each of the last two years. My blog, and YCF started around the same time, and each have had their share of success. But when Chad recently declared on his show that he wanted to buy BrickLink, it caught me off guard. His show, and new mission to buy the popular LEGO marketplace, are sure to get major attention. It seems like Chad is up for answering any question posted to social media using #AskStayCreative, and was gracious enough to answer these follow up questions from me on this topic. Here we go!
TBF: What makes you qualified to take over BrickLink?
CC: Before answering that question, it is important to recognize the late Dan Jezek, his mother Eliska (whom I briefly met two years ago at BrickWorld), for her willingness to keep BrickLink running as Dan’s legacy, and to Jay Kim for bringing stability and scalability to the ever growing popularity of the marketplace. Jay came to Philly Brick Fest in 2014, and it was great to meet him them. I am looking forward to our next conversation.
I think a lot of people are qualified to run websites. High-volume websites with a rabid fan-bases take extra special care. I meet a lot of LEGO fans every year at our events. These fans range from casual to superfan. You would be shocked if you knew how many of these fans have no idea what BrickLink is. This is a hot item for me, because as a child I wished everyday for a site like BrickLink to exist. By the time BrickBay launched, I was well into my dark age.
While The LEGO Group will never openly promote BrickLink to the masses, our Brick Fest Live events are a wonderful platform to educate the public about it.
TBF: What about the tech?
CC: My first job out of school was as a network engineer for Lockheed Martin. I built my first computer at age 13, and was building websites for companies at age 20. While I have a solid IT background and understanding, I am more interested in scaling BrickLink in ways that have not yet been imagined.
There is way too much friction on BrickLink. Yes, there have been some recent improvements to checkout, but it is not remotely close to where it should be at this juncture. Checkout it just one example. There are dozens of patterns and habits from both buyers and sellers that can be automated or improved that could lead to a better user experience.
TBF: What would you change first about BrickLink?
CC: The MOC Shop was one of the first major things implemented after the sale of BrickLink and it was a mistake. While I genuinely believe it was implemented with good intentions, it should have been tabled. The did nothing this make the user experience better. That is where ALL of the focus needs to be.
I briefly discussed the checkout process above, and it would likely be my number priority as well. Frictionless checkout. Period.
A close second would be robust search functionality. I get it… BrickLink was build for the AFOL community. A community that has LEGO part numbers committed to memory. While this works well for AFOLs, casual and intermediate fans still struggle.
These things should happen regardless of who is in charge. I would just ensure they got done first over other pet projects.
TBF: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and provide more information about why you want to buy BrickLink.
I’m sure Chad would love you hear your questions about this too. Let us know what you think in the comments.