Alternative Title: A Ramble on How to Turn a Hobby into a Business.
OK, maybe not that serious. But I have learned that "High Priced Exclusives" isn't really a sustainable business model for me. Even Ferrari makes more than million-dollar supercars! Personally if I could make and sell one or two supercars, I'd be set for life. But what else does Ferrari make, you might ask?
Farm equipment. No, seriously! They make tractors, mowers and stuff like that. Stuff that they can sell more of to a larger market.
Lets face it, I'm no Ferrari. I'm an artist and a gamer. I also doubt that anyone has a poster of something I've made on their walls. So while I enjoy the few people that can drop hundreds on a 3D mesh, most people don't really want to get into that kind of commitment. What I need to do is somehow set up a Multiplayer Special.
See the videogame industry has a number of modes of financing. The AAA Budget where a company invests ass-loads of cash into a single product. There are Pre-orders which shows demand for a product. Then the Indie market which works on "Early Access" which is basically paying for in-development titles with the promise of completion. And the micro-transactions market which rely on a lot of people to pay a little bit to bring in funds. Right now when I agree to a project, I get a lump sum from a single customer. I do art, they pay and can do whatever they like with the end result. I on the other hand am done with it. When they drop a lot of cash, I think it's only fair that I limit myself in that regard. I mean, they paid for it, right? Could I continue to sell my models to other people? It doesn't feel very ethical to me to do so.
So that's where the Multiplayer Special comes in! OK, it isn't a new idea in business. I just like using that phrase. When it comes to 3D printed models, it also cuts down on the extra cost of having a design printed out. OK, let me clarify: Say someone pays $300 for a 3D print file. Unless they have their own printer, it'll cost more to have a master copy printed out from another source. I can hardly afford an $800 3D filament printer, much less a high quality laser or U/V resin printer that costs $50,000. So that means I can't really provide a 3D print along with or instead of the *.STL files for just one person (even then, I'd tack on print material and shipping fees). Much less do it for multiple people. If a couple dozen people chip in like...$15 each for one of my models, I can get paid about the same as before. Except more people get the digital files and they can print and cast as many of their own models as they like.
Plus I feel like I can continue to sell that art project for as long as people are interested. Most people call that a "pre-order". So yeah, not a new concept at all. I've done the Online Store thing years ago, so I have an idea how to use an online service to sell my art. I can see myself doing something similar with ShapeWays or some other online print company. Or just sell digital files directly to people and let them chose how they want a print made.
The problem? I don't know if there are enough people willing to buy into it. I don't even know how I'd set it up! Do I take a request and ask everyone else if they want in? Have the person making a request see if they can lower their stake by bringing in others? Risk making something on my own that might not sell at all?
There's a lot to consider.
I like doing personal commission requests. Everyone that's come to me for that are awesome people, and those who come back are the best of all! (Seriously, you guys keep me going!) I'm also looking to make myself more available to more people. In the meantime, I'm gearing up for the next commission request.
Listening to: Cry Little Sister - Blutengel cover
Reading: Mosspaca Advertising Department
Watching: Stranger Things
Playing: Fallout Shelter
Eating: Peanut butter cup chocolate Cookies
Drinking: Peach Mango Tea