I'm talking about cups because I don't want to keep naming different types of packaging, and the hot cup market has particularly high minimums for custom prints (250,000). Ultimately this technology will apply to bags, wraps, boxes, everything.
The DAC's monetization is operating a market for services between groups that have not been able to conduct commerce on this scale before (Artists, Venues and Advertisers) in a market that historically has been almost entirely unserved. The fundraiser that initiates the DAC will generate the initial money supply of tokens that will be the token of reference that operates the market and basically can buy you targeted advertising space on packaging in real time with this coin.
On the platform, Artists essentially create art that fits into the defined printable areas of various specifications and products. They sell their work/collections either outright or per piece printed, Custom or as-you-will, exclusively or to all comers, whatever model they want to follow.
Venues have pieces of packaging that now have the ability to have a design that differs per piece for no meaningful additional cost. For some this will be an opportunity to turn a cost (cups, which you have to buy) into a profit center (cost-per-cup advertising), while others will take the opportunity to make their cups a differentiating factor with awesome unique art or something cultural and iconic from a respected name, the opportunity is there not just to have a really cool print but to have an ever morphing plethora of them for the same price as not doing that. These venues will pay artists for their work as described previously.
And advertisers advertise. They have message they're trying to reach with eyeballs, and this platform gives them access to some interesting and extremely local, yet anonymous data. Individual venues can be selected to advertise with during certain hours of the day to certain types of customers, say only Latte Drinkers on Tuesdays at the coffee shop on the corner of main and 3rd. Only men drinking beer at sports bars in minneapolis for four hours after the football game. This is possible because the initial bootstrapping phase basically uses the receipt feed as a guide with pre-set line-items as triggers.
Take a look at this diagram. What I want to build is what should be the last step, a custom printed bag that details the contents of the custom ordered burger. Who it's for, when it was ordered, what the specific allergens and health information is etc.
I envision several different types of usershttps://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AoPQ9D7Ob3GDdDhucWRCOUVCbmUtY0NpdDNCVzV1R2c&usp=sharing
A "Venue" like a nightclub that goes through enough stock to warrant owning one or multiple machines to meet their needs. This user goes from paying $20,000+ for 250,000 cups of a single size with a single design that they have to pay for in advance and store until they've used them all, to paying $5,000 for the machine, buying bulk stock (plain, unprinted) cups at any supply store by the case (500-1,000) as needed, in the sizes you want and printing as many designs as neccesary, not to mention the new market features mentioned above.
This is our prototypical speculative startup scenario - We assume all orders must be delivered, and the volume for the average customer will overwhelm the "Misc Costs" like Ink, electricity. In this one, we assume there is a small delivery fee and that deliveries are made daily to customers in a geographically small area. We also assume that larger orders will garner free delivery, but I've only represented that as a percentage of total business where the fee is waived. We can assume this user will have higher costs due to small volume purchasing, and that they will have a moderate sell price.
Also note: Delivery fee could simply be built into the per sleeve cost, so long as volume allows.
A "Minufacturist", basically a one man business with bootstrapping costs below $10,000. This type of user takes local venues who don't want to buy their own machine as clients and pre-prints their packaging daily to weekly. This is a market that doesn't exist right now, so prices even 2x the market would be accepted by businesses looking to differentiate, that is not however required and this chart demonstrates the prices can be very competitive to the market rate even with this value add. Minufacturists do not exist yet, I registered the domain a year or two ago with the intent of centering development of that initial community there.
is one of the biggest players in packaging and restaurant supply, a multi-billion dollar company. This technology would represent a chance for Sysco to offer a class of margin-heavy value-add services to a larger market than they currently offer it to, and because it's an entirely new market there is no cannibalization of their other business. This is a rare industry wide win-win situation. These companies have local and regional offices, distribution infrastructions and local sales organizations. They'd start out as a pilot program in a couple of small offices, buying a few machines and offering low volume (as few as a quarter sleeve of 25) custom print items at 150% of the cost of unprinted cups to be delivered with their normal order.
Buying 250,000 custom cups in the current paradigm, gets you cups at a 15-50% premium depending on the print, timeframe (do you want that in 10 weeks or 6?) etc. This solution will be able to deliver it on a per piece basis for just slightly higher, with no minimums or lead time. This was the most underserved customer I came across in five years of selling environmentally friendly foodservice packaging, successful establishments who were big enough to want to grow and build their brand but too small to make a minimum order. It will be popular. It will also be wildly profitable for existing distribution companies which already have the complete sales and distribution infrastructure to integrate this into their offering with a customer facing website and a couple machines in each local warehouse.
While all the other use-cases talk about b2b, a Party store is a B2C. The other type of customer who really had no good option was the mom, or the school or the wedding that wants a couple hundred items one time only. Maybe a few times a year for fundraisers. The party store is really a minufacturing center in disguise! These customers usually have very high budgets and low price sensitivity by packaging-world standards, they think in terms of dollars for their budget rather than cost per piece so this type of operation usually has no minimum order for on-demand production and costs in the dollar range per piece (about 4x "high" prices for similar)
And it's fun, but it takes time so it's work. I've been talking with James Jones over at Cubespawn about making this project the first proof-of-concept developed on their Cubespawn modular manufacturing platform http://www.cubespawn.com/
, he gave me a ballpark budget of 65-100k, I'm waiting for the proposal.