Excerpt from article

Editorial License  

Each Month
December 2005 ē Vol.16 Issue 12
Page(s) 108 in print issue

Editorial License
Building The Digital Cottage
....For example, consider Primitive Designs Stencil Company, based in Spencer, Ind., a small town (pop. 2,600) near Bloomington. It uses the Web to sell . . . well, stencils. Now, thereís a pretty good market for stencils, actually. People like to stencil designs on their walls, musicians stencil band names on equipment cases, companies stencil logos and information on shipping crates . . . lots of people can use stencils. But how many of them happen to live in or near Spencer, Ind.? If Primitive Designs Stencil Company were only a physical storefront, well, itíd have a tough time making a go of it; the proprietors had better also sell coffee and rolls and perhaps rebuild transmissions, too. Instead, the company offers lots of very nice predesigned stencils and a cool little Web applet that lets users make their own custom stencils: The user enters his text, chooses a font and size, and immediately sees what the result will look like and what the stencil will cost. If he likes what he sees, he just clicks the Buy Now button, and in a couple of days, the stencil shows up on his front porch. The buyer gets to shop from the comfort of her living room or den, and the seller has a customer who found what she needed without having to travel to Spencer, Ind. (Not that thereís anything wrong with Spencer, Ind. Iím sure itís a lovely place. Really. Please donít send me letters.)

Now, I donít know the folks at Primitive Designs, havenít spoken to them, never ordered from them, and donít plan to. But Iíve checked out their Web site and I like what I see: A clever little business that provides a useful product in an efficient manner to the widest possible variety of potential customers.

And thatís how you build a digital cottage.

by Rod Scher

Rod Scher is a former software developer and a recovering English teacher. He's also the publication editor of Smart Computing and will no doubt continue in that position until such time as his boss reads this column.

www.primitivedesigns.com | www.primitivestenciling.com | www.primitativedesigns.com | www.colonialstencils.com | www.primitivetreasures.com |