So listen here.
About about the company being a non-profit organization?
With an initial investment (Kickstarter?) you can make the company headquarters. There, many things would be going on:
- Research on nutrition for a better formula, ways of consumption, etc
- Research of providers for minerals, vitamins and all nutrients
- Research of an automated Soylent mixing machine that can make batches of per-person tuned Soylent mixture
- Research of Soylent packaging
- Marketing and awareness of Soylent
- Business deals with other companies, like hospitals, governments, that would greatly benefit from Soylent
- All the other stuff a normal company would do
Here is where the fun part begins.
The Soylent-making-distribution centers. We would need at least one of those with an automated Soylent mixing machine, a planned organizational structure for distribution and contracts with raw ingredients manufacturers. Such planning, and the arrangement with manufacturers, should also be handled in the headquarters.
But how do we decide where the distribution centers are founded? We let the people who are going to be buying Soylent decide. Much like kickstarter, a web app could be made to let people “back” each distribution center, selecting a region/city anywhere in the world. Each distribution center would have a certain calculated cost to build and kickstart, when the cost is fully backed by contributors, a new distribution center arises.
Also, not only the cost should be backed, also the amount of people, because if one person donates 100,000 dollars to fund a distribution center, and the he’s the only customer, it wouldn’t be able to sustain itself in the long run.
People should also be able to change the money backed from one distribution center to another. Let’s say you started backing the distribution center in your city, but the distribution center of one city near you is 90% backed, so you could change your money from one to the other.
The cost of the Soylent would be based on the relative cost of each distribution center (raw ingredients costs, country/state taxes, salaries for the people who must work there, organization costs, etc), plus one part for the Soylent headquarters, to pay for the research, salaries, and all the company stuff needed.
To buy Soylent each person would just have to enter a web app, change the nutritional data, select the distribution center where he wants it to be made, select the batch size, and pay for the Soylent plus shipping. Or if you are buying Soylent for a broader audience (Donations? Hospitals? Shelters?) you could buy a large quantity of a fixed set of formulas for the target audience (children, elderly, pregnant women, etc).
This way everyone benefits from Soylent, everyone would have access, and you could also get a lot of help from governments, international organizations, and other companies to help Soylent go global, specially important for underdeveloped countries. You would literally have the opportunity to end world hunger and malnourishment with the right approach.
What do you think?