Sam Potts


Originally a Gumroad alternative, evolving to a Shopify-lite, then acquired by Amazon. I miss it.

I had been working at Community Engine for around a year as a designer, when after an audit by investors, the decision was made to scale down operations and start over on something new with the remaining funding. Those of us who remained were tasked with coming up with an idea for the new direction. After some research of our various ideas, we eventually settled on building a platform for selling products online, taking care of payment processing and basic inventory management. One of CEOs (We had two, initally!) came up with the name “Selz”, bought the .com and we were off and running.

My role

I was initially going to look after just the design for Selz, as I had done at Community Engine. However, in the first few weeks of our new project, our front end engineer decided instead to move on to another role and we were left without a front end engineer. I offered to fill in this role, given I’d been flip-flopping between a designer and developer over the years. This actually suited me a lot more since I could also “design in the browser” and iterate on the UI quickly. Perfect for a small company.

As the company grew, I was able to hire other UI engineers and eventually another designer. My role then included mentoring and developing those other team members.