Is establishing a win-win model where customers save money and the environment at the same time enough to ensure your success as a business? Apparently not as demonstrates the case of GreenPrint Technologies.
The New York Times had a very interesting article on the Sunday Business section about this company, which developed a software that according to their website"makes it easy to print only the pages you want saving you around $100 a year on paper and ink, as well as helping to save millions of trees."
This software is a great idea and it definitely creates a win-win model for customers - who wouldn't like to buy a software that cost around $70 for a corporate user and start making money on it from the first year (as savings are around $100 a year for a typical employee printing 10,000 pages at 6 cents a page), not to mention the reduction of your carbon footprint, saving many many trees and supporting the environment in general.
According to the article there's one problem - the software still has some operational issues, such as working too slow or chocking on large documents such as PowerPoint. And the company is learning the lesson that is widely common in the green marketplace - customers don't like to tradeoff. In this case, giving up time to reduce paper consumption.
The company is working now on version 2 of its software which should solve these issues, working faster and offering network administrators more reports on who's printing what and how much money is save (savings' visibility is very important!).
I think GreenPrint is a great company and also their journey from a bright idea to a successful company is not over yet, I believe their model with an improved product will get them there and it's definitely recommended to follow them and of course to check out their product (there's a free version you can download at their website - http://www.printgreener.com/).
Raz @ Eco-Libris
Eco-Libris: Promoting green printing