Re: [DIYbio] Why are PCR machines and biotech equipment in general so expensive

On 04/22/2017 02:01 AM, Ujjwal Thaakar wrote:
> How do you guys see the growth of individuals who demand low cost equipment?

Probably paltry at best for the next 2 years. Who knows after that?

Best to focus on real innovation rather than "cost down" only tactics in product development.
I had a more optimistic attitude about hacker/buyer numbers and growth back
when kickstarter was fairly new and a project called makerbeam launched. Makerbeam
is smaller than usual scale struts, fasteners and brackets to assemble any prototype with.
The person doing that eventually sold it as a going business to someone in
Europe because it didn't pay his silicon valley rent.
His value add was simply batch production with standard aluminum extrusion methods,
then selling to distributors or direct, so not a ton of innovation there. Most
end user customers want more than generic parts, they want a function. It helps to
target sales to more than builders, makers, hobbyists, engineers. Everyone else
wants an "easy button" of some kind.

I'd look to the growth of individuals who demand up to the minute tech in their
lab gear -- innovation relative to the classical ways, and price in a middle ground between cheap
and "the usual" price.

And like Mega says, "> Then theres the grant system so it's not the researchers personal money and nobody says "are you stupid?
I'm not gonna pay you 5000$ for a heat block and a peltier" and builds his own"

This phenomenon of, 'nobody says "are you stupid?"', is another version of herd mentality in scientists
similar to stock market old fashioned wisdom as in, "Nobody's going to call you stupid for buying IBM."
That translates to needing some marketing BS, industrial designed housings and market share to get some of the sales
of niche market equipment like lab gear. A book called Crossing the Chasm details this product life cycle stage.
But there's still little bits of sales possible to scientists
who don't think with the herd. Be sure to sell them an "easy button" though.

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