Quoted from Luckydogg420:
Why couldn't they sell complete machine kits. Just a premade list with all the parts, have proper amounts of screws ect. Just offer a deal to the customer on a bulk order and sell everything together.
Why can't this happen? I guess I could do all the legwork. Buy a f-14 manual, and use that to count all the pieces and buy everything in one order. Build a new cabinet (already have done that) and assemble all the pieces.
So maybe the model is to outsource pretty much everything. Picture a small pinball company that consists of just a couple of designers who essentially generate intellectual property - CNC and art files for the playfield, stencil files for the cabinet (I'm thinking the old three-color paint vs print/stick but either could work), software for an open platform, art files for the backglass, a bill of materials (with recommended sources) and a detailed how-to document. They negotiate outsourcing custom parts (like the playfield or ramps or wire harness) to someone (like CPR or TwistedPins or some wire vendor I don' t know) to have some stock for the end customers buy.
When this company sells their product, the customer gets the build instructions, the BOM and vendor source list, and access to support forums (or maybe the support forum just exists as threads here). The whole factory process (essentially collect stuff, rearrange/assemble, and ship) doesn't exist under this company's roof - it becomes the buyer's effort.
Heck, you can almost envision someone who really enjoys the kit build doing it repeatedly to resell games when completed. How could one ensure this serial assembler buys the "kit" (i.e., the intellectual property) for each copy or that Average Joe doesn't pass a copy of what he bought from the company to his buddy to make another copy without paying?
-visit http://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets