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“Ten Rules for Maker Businesses” by Wired’s Chris Anderson – 2010!

You would think this would go without saying, but one of the first mistakes Makers, well, make when they start to sell their product is not charging enough. It’s easy to see why, for all sorts of reasons.

They want the product to be popular and the lower the price the more it will sell. They’re generous and they don’t feel right charging more than is absolutely necessary. Maybe they even feel that if the product was created with community volunteer help it would be immoral to charge more than it costs.

Understandable, but wrong. You’ve got to charge a reasonable profit, and the reason is simply because it’s the only way to build a sustainable business.

Consider what happens if you make 100 units of your delightful laser-cut handcrank toy drummer kit. You do the math, and between the wood, the laser cutting, the hardware, the box and the instructions, it costs you $20 to make each one.
You pack the kits in your spare time, price them at $25 just to cover any costs you may have missed, and start selling.

Read more – all 10 rules are here.

And if you want to go back in time even more, in 2008 our Ladyada wrote this: “15 steps to starting your own electronic kit business“.

Where are they now? 5 years later Chris is CEO of 3d Robotics, they have (according to CrunchBase) – $99M in 4 Rounds from 14 Investors. Ladyada / Adafruit has not taken funding or loans of any kind, 2014 was $33.2m in revenue.