Comment: Hi Woodmarvels people. I really hope you can answer this question. Is it possible to make a full time income or substantial income from Ponoko?
We got a question today from Earl that I thought a blog reply would be more useful. The question is essentially, can you make money with Ponoko? Asking if you can make money with Ponoko isn’t the right question to ask, the correct question is:
Are you ambitious enough to turn the products made WITH Ponoko into income you can live off?
Ponoko: A view into the future
Ponoko is an amazing opportunity that will have a short time line for ultimate success. Right now we are in the middle of two paradigms, on the left is traditional assembly line mass production and on the right is the advent of 3D home printers. In 20 years, retailers, customers and ultimately, society will have a very different view of products. This is the same thing that is affecting the music and soon the film industry and soon, I predict in less than two decades, the products industry. The point is, the value of items is already incredibly low hence why the cheapest seems to win… right now, on-demand manufacturing is more expensive in some ways but this will soon change with decentralization. Ponoko is the START, imagine being able to go to the “mall” and instead of picking-out a toy on the shelf, you go to a kiosk, tell the computer what you want and within 5 minutes, you have the physical product made right in-front of you. THIS IS HUGE AND IS COMING!
Being ahead of the curve
Back in 1996, I decided to launch a 3D animation studio… you have to realize back then it was incredibly expensive (our dual-processor industrial workstation cost 10 000US), unknown (manufacturing companies had no clue what we where talking about) and worse, the money just wasn’t there. i3DS was WAY ahead of the curve, we where the first in the region offering these services and it was like selling cars without the advent of gas. It was tough, so tough in fact, we had to get into web site design (a hot marketplace) in order to continue funding the 3D aspect of our business… a few years later, when web site design was dying as everybody had a relative who could make a site… our 3D business began to boom! We where producing 3D animations for television shows, industrial companies around the world and to my delight, we even got something shown on QVC! Years of investment AHEAD of the curve meant we where at the front of the line, and often, the only one in line, for glorious 3D animation projects!
Answering Earl’s Question
Earl, what I am telling you now is that, absolutely you can make substantial income with Ponoko but you must realize you are way, way ahead of the curve. On-demand laser printing is an incredibly small industry like 3D was 12 years ago, but once it becomes mainstream… you will become a regular at the bank! For instance, Amazon and other retailers are now looking into on-demand production to save costs, my own book which is about to be sold through BookSurge (Amazon company) is being printed on-demand when an order comes in. This substantially reduces inventory, shipping and other associated costs that traditional manufacturing is stuck with. We don’t know when Ponoko will become mainstream but they are on the right path and an incredibly talented group of people with creative designers, my bet is they are set for great success!