I really like post apocalyptic or dystopian future stories, like Hunger Games, Brave New World, and Blade Runner.
Even though interesting, these dystopian societies are problematic in that they kill too many people, and are controlled by an overly heavy-handed government. Here's a way to bring dystopian elements to our lives today via a reality TV show experience that would be a lot more entertaining than Big Brother.
Summary of the business: A model gets paid for other people deciding and paying for which tattoos that she gets all over her body. This would work with a male model, too, but women would generate more money.
The average human body has 2700 square inches of tattoable skin on it (less fingernails and eyeballs). For this project to net $1,000,000 in revenues, each square inch would only need to sell for $370. This project could still be profitable if the total revenues were only $100,000, and the price per square were reduced to $37, so the risks of this business would be very minimal.
There are only three expenses for this business:
- Tattooing. According to Cha-Cha, a tattoo shop will charge $10,000 to $30,000 for a full body tattoo. I'm sure with the free advertising that they would get from this, there will be tons of tattoo artists willing to provide their services for free, but to get the big money, we would probably pay the tattoo artists well.
- Modeling fee. I'm sure there are dozens of beautiful people in the US who would be willing to get their body completely inked for $20,000. The more we increase the inking bounty, the more we expand our potential model base. For $200,000, we probably get thousands of people who want to get fully inked.
- Digitization of the model. It would cost about $10,000 to get the model's body digitized onto a website, so that people can purchase square inches of her body for their tattoos.
This business will generate $1,000,000 of revenue per model, minus a maximum of $300,000 of expenses, equals $700,000 per model that gets completely inked. And that's only the guaranteed revenue from the core business, not the additional revenue from advertising and additional sales. We only need 1429 models to make a billion dollars.
This business has a huge opportunity for massive price differentiation based on what people are willing to pay for. Here are additional things that people would pay for, in addition to the price per square inch.
- Premium body space. Every part of the body will have a different price per square inch
- A premium design charge if the buyer doesn't choose from the pre-selected tattoos
- Charge for a signed photo of the tattoo
- Charge for a video of the tattoo being inked
- Charge for a live video broadcast of the tattoo being inked
- Premium for company advertising, instead of individual designs
- Premium for the option of 'model choice,' because this whole concept is based on the model not choosing the tattoo, but the buyer.
- An exponentially greater premium for more square inches of adjacent tattoos. For example, two individual one inch tattoos in different areas would cost $370 x 2. But, put two of them together, and make the design together, and a one inch by two inch tattoo would cost $370 x 2 + $200 premium. Then a two inch by two inch tattoo would cost $370 x 4 + $800 premium. So someone that would buy the entire surface area of the body would pay a very, very high premium.
- Charge for the buyer to be part of the reality TV show
- Charge for a high resolution image of the pre-inked area, available immediately after purchase (encourages impulse buys), with a computer generated future predictive image of what the tattoo would look like.
Additional revenue generators:
This business would be rife with opportunities for generating additional revenue besides the core business:
- Reality TV show of each model going through the whole process, from signup, to the inking, to the aftermath
- Website advertising
- Premium membership on the website for exclusive photos and videos
- T-shirts and other premium items
- Speaking engagements on talk shows
There are a few things that will guarantee the wild profitability of this business so it will make millions of dollars. Here they are:
- The model cannot accept or reject individual tattoos, it is either a 100% or nothing deal
- Besides the signing bonus, the model receives no, or very little, money until 100% of their body is tattooed. This is because the money gets refunded if the model doesn't go completely through with it.
- Money is charged to the customer when a commitment to buy is made. Money is only refunded if the model does not get the tattoo.
- The buyer can either choose from a bunch of pre-made designs, submit their design in a certain format, or can pay a premium for a pre-selected designer to turn their idea into a tattoo. Certain non-flat areas, like the nose, require the professional designer fee.
Here are some other notes about the business:
- The higher the percentage of the model's body that gets inked, the higher the revenue. For example, there is a big difference between completely inking someone's hands, and not. People would not pay very much for a hidden back tattoo that nobody ever sees. This plan is for 100% of the inkable area of the model's body.
- Inking would probably take months, because of the time it takes tattoos to heal. This is a good thing, because it would provide a lot of material for the reality show.
- The model would have to shave her head while getting tattoos, because there is a lot of profitable surface area under the hair.
- This would work as both a PG13-rated business and as an R-rated business. We can still show 99% of the surface area of someone's body and keep this PG13, and it will generate a lot of money either way.
There are a lot of people out there who want a lot of tattoos. There are also a lot of people who want a lot of cash. Someone who would be a model for this might say:
- I get a signing bonus of $20,000, and then a cash payout of $200,000 when I get fully inked
- I get a free full-body tattoo
- I get to be famous
This would appeal to people with a lot of money. People who finance this might say:
- I get to decide where and what tattoo a person wears
- I can buy a bunch of customizations
- I can get exclusive photos and videos of someone getting inked
This would be a fascinating viewing experience, like watching a train wreck, but no one gets hurt (besides the inking needle). People who view might say:
- I can watch someone doing something super crazy
- While watching, I imagine what it would be like to get totally inked
- No matter who I am, this appeals to me
Here's a detailed list of who this appeals to:
- Reality TV viewers
- Jackass TV viewers
- Very rich people who have run out of interesting ways to blow their money
- People who want to leave a permanent mark on the world (or on someone)
- People with tattoo fetishes
- Corporations who advertise
- Everyone who likes to watch weird things happen to beautiful people, which is everyone
One of my favorite things is to tell people, "I'll pay for your tattoo, if you tattoo my name across your chest." So far, nobody has taken me up on this. But, if somebody makes this business, then I can finally get my name permanently etched across someone's chest.
And I'm pretty sure this business would be legal.
- Get paid for temporary, not real tattoos
- Bad news about making money with tattoos
- Companies will pay you to get a tattoo
- Charity tattoo festival, Coney Island USA
- Video on the making of a corn maze