Happy New Year! (Western and Chinese!)
Things have been cranking along here in the High Roller Labs, and while January is usually a notoriously slow month, this year it's gone by blindingly fast with tons of work being done in the background.
First, let me wish you a Happy Chinese New Year! Did you know that yesterday was the start of the Chinese New Year? Either did we until recently. This is one of the things you find out when you're working with Taiwanese partners and they mention that they're taking 10 days off for New Years. Turns out ALL of the Chinese and Taiwanese do this and go back to their home towns for New Years. Evidently it is the largest annual human migration on Earth. The upshot is that the whole country shuts down.
Luckily we were able to make great progress with our manufacturer before the holiday and we'll be able to use this time to refine our design and processes.
If you're wondering why we're using manufacturers in Taiwan you can check out the explanation in the blog on the main site.
Attached is a video from the wee hours showing some of what we've been up to (sorry if I'm not articulating well, it was late!). Here' a summary:
- Established a solid relationship with a new manufacturing agent in Taiwan. (After a year of work together, our first agent opted not to continue with the project, leaving us in the lurch. Starting over with our new agent, the relationship is everything the first one should have been.)
- First round of quotes were received and reviewed.
- Spun off High Roller USA LLC as a real live manufacturing company. This has tax and insurance benefits.
- 3D models are complete which are then made into manufacturing drawings, and can be modified rapidly.
- Clarify specs, materials, dimensions and tolerances 100%
- Kickoff the tooling manufacturing (all the molds, jigs, stamps, and bending forms that will make the frames and wheels).
- Get 1st manufacturing sample made and shipped over for review.
- After changes are made (and there will be changes/improvements/etc.) produce the 2nd sample. This should be the "Golden Sample" that all the final production models will be compared against.
- Once approved, we're go for full manufacturing.
If all goes well, we should see first deliveries about May-June. When people say things like "if all goes well" or "in a perfect world..." or "best case scenario" it means they're about to launch themselves into an endeavor with a great amount of optimism and only about 80% of the information they need. Fact is, this is a development and manufacturing project with associated risk. If all doesn't go exactly well, we'll roll with the punches and take care of the issues as fast as humanly possible, keeping you informed every step of the way. Here's a sobering account of what can happen during manufacturing by the creators of the Pen Type-A. It's a great but harrowing story of expectations, cultural oddities, communication, and unrelenting dedication to exceptional results. All that being said, rest assured we are 100% committed to completion and any other result is unacceptable.
In the frenzy of the last couple months in trying to get the manufacturing on rails I failed to get your thank you gifts out in December. Fear not, we've got our graphics ready to go and shirt and jacket orders are imminent.
Here's things we still have to do that you may not really care about but will take up a big portion of our brain time:
- What is a 1099-K? Work with CPA to determine tax liability of Kickstarter funds. (All this is so new, it's the wild frontier out there)
- Create manufacturing budget and forecast.
- Arrange final packaging and boxing requirements.
- Get UPC codes.
- Determine proper Harmonized System codes for import duties.
- Arrange freight, import and customs clearance.
- Establish a warehouse location that can do final kitting/assembly and order fulfillment.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to drop me a line.
pledged of $89,072 goal
seconds to go
Sep 22, 2011 - Oct 22, 2011 (30 days)
Pledge $3 or more
TRIFECTA :: We've always said that life's better on 3. If you agree, you can support us with any multiple of 3 you like and have our publicly declared gratitude with your name on our website!Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $29 or more
WEAR IT :: Limited edition "High Roller" T-shirt that proves you were there, that you heard of them first. And you, thanked by name, on our website. [free domestic shipping, international add $10]Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $49 or more
RALLY RANGERS :: Two Free Registrations for you and a friend for the 2012 Almost-Annual BIG WHEEL RALLY in Boulder, Colorado! You'll get the "Ride Low" wristband, 2012 Race Bib, official Big Wheel Rally T-shirts, legendary prize giveaway tickets, plus the most fun night you'll ever have!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $49 or more
WEAR IT PROUD :: Not only will you get the limited edition "High Roller" T-shirt, but you'll also get a pair of exclusive frame stickers so you can share the love on your own ride. Not to mention your name and our thanks displayed proudly on our website.Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $99 or more
SPORT IT :: Custom High Roller Jacket - whether you're setting land speed records or lounging track-side, everyone will know you're built for speed when you're sporting the High Roller jacket. Upcycled jackets will range from windbreakers, to Ike jackets, to vests and no two will be alike with custom color graphics! [free domestic shipping, international by arrangement]Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $99 or more
LEARN IT :: What worked? What didn't? How did it all come together? Find out in our downloadable PDF that documents the whole manufacturing process from concept to thundering down the street. Oh, and you'll be sporting a sweet "High Roller" T-shirt as well!Estimated delivery: Mar 2012
Pledge $649 or more
RIDE ON :: Be one of the first in the world to have your very own High Roller adult size big wheel trike delivered to your door! You will be essentially pre-ording the High Roller and guaranteeing your spot to get one of the first 300 made! [free domestic shipping, international by arrangement]Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $1,298 or more
FLEET :: Want multiples for the company, your cul-de-sac, or all your buddies? Pre-order a fleet of High Rollers (or would that be a pack?)! Simply pledge the corresponding amount: (2=1298) (3=1947) (4=2596) (5=3245) (6=3894) (7=4543) (8=5192) (9=5841) (10=6490) [free domestic shipping, international by arrangement]Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $1,969 or more
SHARE AND ENJOY :: Commemorating the year 1969 that the first Marx Big Wheel hit the scene! Always wanted to go riding with your kid? You get an exclusive "His & Kids" or "HiR & Hers" package! One High Roller (HiR) adult size trike for you, and one regular size metal frame trike for your kid, plus shirts for you both! (His & Kids will be boy colors, HiR & Hers will be girl colors). [free domestic shipping, international by arrangement]Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $4,979 or more
OWN IT :: Full custom High Roller adult size big wheel trike. You choose the paint color, custom hub cap design, and accessories to make this baby your own! We deliver it, you ride it like you stole it. [includes shipping everywhere!]Estimated delivery: Feb 2012
Pledge $9,999 or more
POWERSLIDE :: In addition to the High Roller trike and limited edition shirt delivered in person, we will help you organize your own Big Wheel Rally in your town to benefit a local children's charity of your choice!Estimated delivery: Jun 2012