I have a wide variety of interests. Of late, I have become interested in developing a manufacturing alt. There are so many skills required to make a profitable manufacturer, and some of them are a long train. In particular, Material Efficiency 5 is basically a mandatory train and took quite a while to complete.
There does not seem to be much profit in T1 manufacturing. At least, not in the system where I will be selling my goods. Therefore my goal is to move into T2 production where some of the profits lie. T2 manufacturing is interesting because of the invention mechanic, where you have a chance of inventing a T2 blueprint copy (BPC) from a T1 blueprint original (BPO) and a couple other items.
As of right now, you're all but required to have a research POS to do T2 invention in high-sec. This is because the majority of the research slots are being used and the wait time for them can be staggering. This is set to change in the Crius expansion where the limit on the number of research slots will be removed and instead and cost will scale with the demand at that particular station. This means that new industrialists looking to do T2 production will be able to do so without the use of a POS.
What this means is that as a new industrialist myself, a POS will not be necessary at low volumes of goods. However, as a stubborn individual, I will probably use a POS regardless and try to manufacture enough to at least cover the costs of fuel. It's possible that the changes to POS anchoring in high-sec will increase demand for POS fuel, driving up the price and making my tower more expensive. If that happens, I'll need to rethink things.
In the meantime, as I'm gathering skills for T2 production, I need to find what products I'd like to manufacture. It can be difficult to find profitable markets with the prevalence of tools like ISK Per Hour. It seems to me that people spot newly profitable things and rush to manufacture it, driving down the prices and profit. I was looking at the reactions market the other day and noticed the same thing. One particular type of reaction was very profitable and a few days later it had become much less profitable. I'm guessing that it's due to the fact that people switched their reactions and flooded the market with supply. Then again, it could also be due to changes in the price of the inputs. I haven't really looked into it more closely than that.
Luckily, I have time to figure out what I want to manufacture as my core skills finish training. Once those are done, however, I need to have a grasp of what I want to manufacture as I'll need to train the specific skills to be able to manufacture those specific T2 items.
When I actually start into T2 production, I'll post again with the challenges I've encountered and the lessons I've learned.