Thursday, August 6, 2009

Is it just me, or does EK have a game changer in the Prosper XL?

The thread at PrintCEO started by Noel Ward called Kodak Raises the Bar Andy Tribute does a column on Kodak production ink jet. But there isn't the buzz I expected. So it might just be me drinking my own Kool-Aid. But until I can figure out what I'm missing I'm going to keep sipping away. The issue at hand is the Prosper XL

If the conversation hasn't gotten on your radar, here's where it is as of this morning.

  1. By Rick L on Aug 5, 2009 | Reply

    It should be noted that the cost/page doesn’t include the machine cost. That will likely weigh in heavily to what anyone is able to sell the printed product for.

  2. By Michael J on Aug 6, 2009 | Reply


    Fair enough, but..suppose someone with deeper pockets than a printer does the buy? My understanding is that was the deal that some UK newspaper publisher did with AlphaGraphics and Screen.

    The idea that a printer has to be in the financing business may start to fade away. For a global publishing company 3 or 4 million dollars is a rounding error. They spend much more than that on an event or marketing.

    If the going forward potential margin stream is there, why wouldn’t they do it. And if not them, why not some of the VC money that is circling the globe looking for a place to invest.

  3. By Michael J on Aug 6, 2009 | Reply

    Just another possibility:
    Suppose Kodak took advantage of social media to do most of their marketing. That might free up btwn 10 and 15 million dollars. Then they install the black white machines at their best PSPs. They enter the capital as a sale.

    The going foward revenue stream for them is a piece of the action of what I think could be a huge market. If I’m wrong, Kodak has minimum risk. If I’m right the incentives are nicely aligned. Kodak makes it’s money from the customer who votes with their dollars. Not the printer who doesn’t have many dollars with which to vote.

    It would also create a positive feedback loop. The best indication of whether a product needs to bet better are the number of end users who want to use. Not the number of printers who want to buy it.

Added for this blog
The idea of placing machines a getting a piece of the forward revenue stream should work for any global in the digital production marketplace. Oce, Xerox, HP, Ricoh, Canon etc etc. In fact, if I remember correctly there is a version of this that HP tried out in Australia.

It creates a new basis of trust between a PSP and their vendors by getting the vendor to share the risk and reap the benefits of success. If the machine will create so many profits, why wouldn't Kodak get skin in the game? If they are not willing to risk their money, why should anyone else?

Maybe Kodak is blind to the opportunities for black ink 24 page clickable newspapers sold at profit for less than 20cents an issue. If they were printernet published that gives the speed, scale and felixibility that everyone needs. If they included smart QR codes, that gives the customer informatics for which many people with deep pockets will gladly pay.

Keep in mind that even a stopped clock is correct at least twice a day.

Full disclosure: Long on EK, XRX, Oce, Ricoh.
I would include HP, but I hate the computer box business. Margins too low. Competition too fierce. The fact that they are the "largest IT company" is, in my not so humble opinion, a bug, not a feature. If they were to spin off the Print piece, I would be happy to make a bet. If Ricoh would spin off InfoPrint, even better for my IRA.

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