I recently read that Apple is not afraid of cannibalizing its own sales. This was the nudge behind today’s product-of-the-day: a printable planner kit that is allows advanced users to create Emergent Task Planner variants for their own use.
Although Apple doesn’t fear cannibalization, they do have more resources than I to battle the hordes of counterfeiters and credit-stealers that inhabit my fertile imagination. Why would I willingly provide the keys to some of my most popular tools?
I really don’t have a good business case for doing this, but I probably am less at-risk than I think. The feeling that someone will deliberately rip-me-off fills me with rage, but I don’t know if this will happen. I like to believe that people are largely good, and perhaps making some source available will create opportunities as yet unimagined. I’m willing to run this experiment for a month and see what happens. The truth is: my design work has always been vulnerable, the way every artist’s work is vulnerable. Ideas are easy to copy, and they are not protected under copyright or patent. Only specific implementations are protected, at least here in the United States. The work doesn’t stop with having the idea, after all. The idea is the easiest part! It’s the execution, engineering, refinement, and experience that gets us over the hump in the long run. In my case, the long-term play is to be recognized as the SOURCE of ideas, not a provider of a specific commodity. Or so I tell myself…this product still makes me nervous! But I will explore its ramifications…there, it’s up:
I’m providing a modified version of the full-size Emergent Task Planner that uses the DejaVu and Chunk fonts, which can be redistributed. Otherwise, you’d need to buy a license of Proxima Nova Condensed for $250. The templates are available currently only in US Letter Color, but I will be adding Black and White and A4 sizes to the package at a later date.
For editing, you’ll need a vector illustration program. Adobe Illustrator, the ubiquitous commercial package, that retails for $599 by itself or $19/month. If you’re a student, you can get it for significantly less using available educational discounts. For the totally free option, use Inkscape, the open-source vector editing program. Both formats are included in the download.
When it’s time to create PDF files, you can give CutePDF Writer a try on Windows; Macintoshes should be able to generate PDFs already through the built-in printing system. If you have money to burn, buy yourself a license of Acrobat.
Now for the hard part: learning how to use these programs.
They’re not simple to learn, so unless you are motivated to spend many hours learning how to use them, I don’t recommend purchasing the template pack.
Here’s a quick preview of Illustrator:
You’ve been warned! Now…I’m curious to see what happens, if anything. On a side note, it took about 6 hours to pull this all together…most of it spent nailing down how Inkscape works (which I don’t use at all), fonts, thinking about licensing, and uploading a package to gumroad.
Groundhog Day Resolution Posts for 2014
I am challenging myself to create a new product every day for the month of February 2013. The Challenge Page lists all the products in one place. Check it out!