MWeston: What he says on the first 100July 5, 2009
A nice, lengthy post from MW. Thanks to mosschops & emil10001 for the heads up.
This first 100 debate might not be as big of a deal as you might think. It’s likely that the time difference between the first 100 and the next 1000 will only be one week if any delay at all. The first 100 will be going nowhere until the case is done and shipped since we are no longer shipping out bare boards to anyone. They will go through very rigorous testing, over and over again. They will be used to establish the test procedure for the next batches of thousands. It’s even possible that all 4000 will be done testing at the same time the cases show up and they will all start going out immediately after being put together.
I would say 95% of the parts are in Texas this week and the remaining parts (some connectors) should finally ship this week with the taxation stuff better understood. The case molds should be going to production this week as well. Dave was hoping to have it done this past week but it didn’t happen so it seems reasonable to assume an extra week is all he will need.
The mold creation is the long 45 day process that will involve several reviews and tweaks but we are getting the mold company involved with this so that the time is used as efficiently as possible. We’re not making anymore CNC/SLA prototypes because it seemed like every time we got one, something new was not quite right on it. It got to the point where we had to ask ourselves if we made the error, or if they did! This could go on for years if we are attempting to trust prototypes to get it exactly right. In fact, I don’t think any company does this. I think we are to get it very close and fitting together and then allow the plastics company to make it perfect. I’m sending them everything they need to build a Pandora unit so that they can tweak the molds to have the tightest tolerances and guaranteed fit for the tens of thousands of units that will get squeezed out after this. By taking us out of that equation, there is no need to ship us anything or get approval on little things that could add weeks to the process. We stay involved in the major decisions and wait for real test units to ship to us for approval before pumping out thousands more.
Based on these calculations, it looks like the end of August to start seeing fully assembled units and then shipping to customers in early September. Having to ship things back and forth around the world really sucks, but it’s unavoidable on this first batch due to taxation laws. Only the developer units provided free of charge to those involved with Pandora’s development can ship direct so, in a way, shipping to developers first is the only way this can be done without needlessly wasting time. 🙂
Let’s hope this is the final “in two months” calculation and we make it well before being one year late. What a nightmare this all has been. I really wonder what 2007 me would have said if current me went back in time and told him what was in store for the next 24 months. Ah, who am I kidding? I’m a sucker for punishment. I’m sure I’d still be right here. 😀