As you may have already heard, I just released the second edition of my PLC Basics course.
With that done, I'm now preparing to move on to my next project, PAC Basics, and I'm looking for your input.
I would very much like PAC Basics to be a complete Compact and ControlLogix basics course, including coverage of all four programming languages, as well as substantial content on the ControlLogix hardware.
However, the cost of ControlLogix software and hardware is quite staggering (even on the used market.)
But without RSLogix Standard or Full, some 1756 I/O, and at least an L63, I don't know that I could do the ControlLogix justice?
And as a sole proprietor, there's no corporate fund I can dig into to acquire the equipment.
So with that in mind I thought I would ask you, my colleagues, connections and visitors to my blog, what you think would be the best way forward?
Below I'll list some ideas I have, but please feel free to add comments with your own ideas as well!
Option 1) Start small
Then, if the course sells well enough I can begin to acquire additional hardware, add more lessons, and raise the price accordingly.
The advantage of this choice is I can proceed immediately. The disadvantage is many customers will be disappointed that the course doesn't cover everything they need from day one.
Option 2) Customer Partnership
Partnering to me would mean that in exchange for the customer “loaning” me equipment and software, as well as input on what he would like to see in the course, the customer would get free live WebEx training by me for his staff (as a first draft of the course,) as well as several free copies of the final course once it was completed.
The advantage of this option would be eliminating the cost of buying software and hardware. The downside could be the time it takes to get everything setup and rolling – time during which I wouldn't be selling a PAC course.
Option 3) Kickstarter Campaign
The advantage of running a Kickstarter campaign is I can use it like a pre-order service allowing interested users to fund the project in order to get a copy of the course when it is complete. I can also scale the course based on the number of funds I receive.
For instance, if I only receive $2,000 in backing (aka pre-orders,) I could just upgrade my Mini software to Lite, allowing the course to cover all four programming languages. And if I received $50K or more I could upgrade to RSLogix/Studio 5000 Full ($7K?) as well as try to purchase some of the new products like the L71, L82E, EN2T, 5380, 5069, 525, 527, IO Link, etc, etc.
The down side is, it takes a lot of time to run a Kickstarter with no guarantee that it will be successful.
Option ?) What do you think?
Would you be willing to pledge to a Kickstarter in return for a Logix video course, and how much would you pledge?
Or would your company like to partner with me on the course, allowing me to borrow hardware, software, and your time to insure you got the particular course your company needs?
Or should I just make a CompactLogix L23 / L1 / Ladder Logic course now, and then upgrade it as fund become available?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts, suggestions, and support! It is always greatly appreciated!