You know the drill. You’re a multipreneur/polypreneur. You want to have a business card to give to people you might want to work with. You want it to be interesting. You don’t want it to be instantly forgettable. At the same time, you wear many hats. How do you make a business card that encapsulates all the various offerings you provide, while not being just too dense?

I struggled with this problem, and then I figured it out. A decoder wheel. The common information (my name and phone number) are printed on the card. Inside the card, a wheel turns and can be set to 4 different positions to indicate my various “roles”. This allows me to carry just one card and have it represent my various “hats”. I can “program” it to reflect what I’m talking about with an individual. It’s fun to interact with.

Most people I’ve shown my prototype to want to have one. So, I’m going to open-source the template so you can make your own. In the spirit of open-source, I’m going to release a template made in everyone’s favourite/most loathed publishing tool: The GIMP.

What are the upsides?
* Nobody’s done this sort of card (except me, that is). Very unique.
* Readily conveys up to 4 different jobs/roles/contact infos.
* Packs a lot of information into a small space.
* Nobody will throw your card away. In fact, I ask people to make a case for me to give them the card.
* It’s fun to interact with.
* It permits/encourages exploration: give someone the card “programmed” to one role and they’ll want to explore your alternate roles.

So what are the downsides to this sort of card?
* It’s expensive to produce. Graphic design, customized printing and quality paper are not cheap.
* Requires custom die-cutting. I’ve not made the die yet (as I’m still finalizing the graphic design), but the die will probably be expensive to produce.
* In the mean time, it’s tedious to make by hand. Yes, by hand. With X-acto knives and riveting tools (more details to come).
*It’s thick. Thicker than the average card. It’s 3 layers of 18pt card stock with a rivet through the middle. Put 10 of these in your pocket and you’ve got a noticeable bulge.