Experiments in capitalism


Several weeks ago, I was walking around with Josh and came up with a few pithy quotes, something I am constantly doing (along with the rest of this disaffected, camp and irony aware generation).

He said, “you should put those on a t-shirt or something”, and I laughed.

But then I found this site, and became intrigued by the idea.

The internet has clearly put publishing into far more hands than ever before. It used to be that you needed some pretty hefty capital investments to be able to publish anything to a large audience. You needed to own expensive printing presses or TV or radio stations and equipment. With the web, the cost of entry is approaching zero, even for people who don’t own a computer. While it is of course true that those who have a lot of money to invest will have an easier time attracting the most eyes, it is also true that billions of people can get to anything you publish on the web if they can be made aware of it. This kind of reach is unprecedented and highly democratizing.

The site I found also benefits from a number of technological advances that allow the upfront costs to be reduced significantly. Because this site will only produce items “on demand”, a tiny entrepreneur with a stupid idea (read: me) can test out all manner of idea at zero cost of entry. The company makes a profit off the base items they sell, and I make money (potentially that is) off nothing other than my ideas or artwork. As a test, I uploaded one of the dumb quotes, and will probably upload others in the next few weeks, just to see how the system works (or doesn’t). The idea is pretty interesting and allows even the laziest of entrepreneurs (read: me) to take part in the process.

If you want to see what I am talking about, go for a visit to the Satoristephen Stuff Store. It is surprisingly user friendly and professional for how little time I put in to it (oh, about 15 minutes total).