Cottage Industries

One thing I really like about the Internet of today is how much it enables self production and publication. Everyone can become an armchair mogul with a minimum of effort.

  • Want to make a custom object? Just create the design in some CAD software, upload it to eMachineShop, and you can have one or a thousand delivered.
  • Want to sell that object to the unwashed masses? eBay makes the perfect free market.
  • If you have a book, CD, or movie you want published, Lulu will take the design and sell it for you, printing on demand and charging 20% of the profits.
  • To help create a brand or just get the word out, CafePress will make all sorts of accessories, from panties to… well, I didn’t really get past panties.
  • Finally, if your product or service is a more local thing, craigslist will let you put up ads for free to publicize or sell your wares.

What I love about the above services is that they have zero overhead (well, maybe excepting eMachineShop). There’s no risk or initial capital for a lot of Internet small business endeavors. Makes me want to make a CD of my world-acclaimed shower singing and put it on Lulu. Why not?

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