JPOP was an idea guy. He wasn't the wrench turner. His best games had a top notch co-designer and programmer. Silver made CV happen. JPOP just had his name on top bill.
This whole boutique pinball thing is full of idea guys just like him. Not enough wrench turners. And while Kevin might have been a wrench turner, he was too much of a mouth breather to make the business deal stick together. It isn't surprising to me that someone like Kevin got closer, though. He was ignorant on the actual process and just kept plowing ahead. Hell, not even falling to secure the license got in his way. He didn't know a roadblock when he saw it.
Like Rarehero said above, you have to have the logistics in place to manufacture already, before you even think about dipping your toes into this water. If Midway or WMS or EA or some gaming giant decided to throw $25M at retooling a factory, they have a prayer. But they hire the JPOPs of the world to design. Not to run the whole shabang.