Looney Labs Icehouse Mailing list Archive

RE: [Icehouse] Attn. Kristin, How much is a lot, anyway?

  • From"Christopher Hickman" <tophu@xxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 9 Mar 2007 17:22:31 -0500
Eeyore wrote:
>Christopher H. wrote:
>> You know, I know that the expense of a new mold was emphasized,
>> but how expensive is it really?  Are we talking a few thousand,
>> or like dozens of thousands?
>> To date, all injection-molded Icehouse pieces ever made have
>> come out of the exact same mold, a "family" mold we commissioned
>> in 1999 at a cost of around $10,000.
>> [...]
>> What we need before we can make any more Icehouse sets is a trio
>> of new molds, each of which makes 5 pieces at a time, with hot
>> runner gating. And a new molding system like that is going to
>> cost tens of thousands of dollars to create, which of course is
>> way more money than we have available.

So it's not a single mold but three (or four to six if they do 0 pointers
and 4 and 5) that would replace the current one.  I wonder if mold
manufacturing costs have come down significantly in the last eight years.
You know, this has got me thinking.  Here in Chesterfield, Virginia we
needed a bridge over the James, but the state wouldn't be able to raise the
funds for decades.  So instead of just going without, they sold bonds to
investors to fund the construction.  The investors receive proportional
returns from the toll on the bridge.  I wonder, if Looney Labs would
consider selling bonds to folks who believe in their products (e.g. us) in
order to fund the fab of new molds, and then pay proportional dividends to
said investors for a limited time (say ten years) from a portion of the
profits (perhaps half the percentage paid by the bonds toward the fab).  For
example, if the molds cost $10,000 to fab, and the bonds were to raise
$8,000, then 40% of net profits from the new product would be distributed
proportionately to the investors.  Say that the first quarter brings $1,000
in net profits from the new product.  In this example, $400 would be
collectively due the investors, so each investor would receive for that
quarter 5 cents for every dollar they invested. Ten years of that and you
have returns of double your investment, upon bond maturity, Looney Labs
would purchase back the bonds and your investment tripled.

The issuers (i.e. Looney Labs) could issue as many bonds as they need to
cover the deficit for the fab, and then basically share (for a limited time)
the benefit of that increased efficiency.  Also, those bond holders would
have a financial incentive in pushing further adoption of Icehouse in all
its forms.

By the way, in case you wondered as I did, here is an article about what hot
runner gating is: http://www.moldmakingtechnology.com/articles/040504.html

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