Yesterday I read a piece from Marc Lefton in AG Beat, entitled “How to Take Advantage of Print Media While They Still Exist.” I was struck by a number of thoughts. First, I thought how inflamatory the title would have been even a couple of years ago. Second, as I read into it, found myself questioning Mr. Lefton’s assertion that businesses can get a better rate of return by advertising in local newspapers than online – been there tried that, and didn’t like the result.
The biggest chord struck for me in the article though, was his explanation of the “Newspaper Business Plan.” It imagines someone pitching the concept and current process of publishing and distributing a newspaper to venture capital.
“Our plan is to take yesterday’s news, quickly create a beautiful “layout” with computer software and designers working day and night, then print millions of copies overnight in a huge printing plant using millions of dollars in equipment. We’ll then send these “newspapers” to distribution points all around the city. From there, we will utilize an army thirteen-year-old boys on bicycles who will distribute the newspapers door to door in their neighborhood after school in exchange for gratuities from our customers so they can go buy Topps baseball cards, Silly String, and Now-N-Laters. And we’ll support the whole thing with advertising. We think printing last week’s help wanted ads and apartment listings will be a surefire revenue driver!”
Don’t to forget yesterday’s sports box scores and winning lottery numbers, right?
Then I started thinking, how would this script look in another scenario? Maybe statement billing?
Shapeways will be hiring engineers (AKA pre-press technicians), machine operators, and fulfillment staff to support a new 3D print shop in New York City that can produce up to 5 million objects yearly. At a low-ball estimate of $10 each that’s a $50 Million business. We’re guessing each object we’ll probably sell for closer to $20.
To learn more about the new factory, check out this article on Fast Company. It reminds us of 2D digital print facility. The equipment even looks like a production digital print device (Indigo or Xeikon maybe?)
Seems like there is too much money on the table for traditional printing companies to ignore this market much longer.
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