|Re: in a world of $5 LCD sci-trig calcs,|
Message #5 Posted by bill platt on 14 June 2003, 11:50 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Gordon Dyer
And you would need to raise the price by an order of magnitude in order to make the "curves" (unit cost, overhead, number of units per shift etc) work out. So then you are at $3,500 and the market is even more limited.
I like rowing--and so do many other people. But "sea kayaking" is much more popular. The popularity of kayaking fueled the development of very low cost rotomolded boats which cost less than $800 for a full-sized 18' (5.5 meter) boat.
By comparison, a hand=made mass produced kayak made of fiberglass, costs about $2,000.
There are probably 10,000 or even 100,000 kayaks sold for every proper rowing boat (I don't mean a small aluminum boat that is really a motor boat, but without the motor).
To build a nice high quality rowing boat that is equivalent in quality and size to the mass produced kayak, built one-off, costs between $5,000 and $7,000. A production rowing boat, built in a limited production environment, goes for about $2,000 to $3,000. So, only those persons who *really* want to row will buy one. And unless you are willing to pony up the $6,000, your selection is severly limited.
Seems like diminishing returns. I think the calculator market is similar in some respects. Look at RPN and high quality as the rowing. Compare that to two other classes--the dominant ones--scholastic calculating, and "handheld" devices (palm) and you see the comparison.
I think the best opportunity for quality RPN in the future will rest in *software* solutions for handheld devices. I have seen two such hardware devices, one a Palm OS, the other WinCE, with very good click buttons. By piggybacking on a mass-produced paltform, the quality will be better at the lower price.
Of course, emotionally, we would all rather have a nice brick with BRIGHT RED LED's....