I have terminated the Stubilizer kickstarter effective immediately.
All backers will be automatically refunded.
The Stubilizer will not now make it to production.
A Massive thank you to all my backers for getting it this far. You are all stars.
This has not been an easy decision to take, and I will try to explain my reasons and motivation below to those interested. However this cannot help being a personal account which some may find unprofessional - so please do not feel oblidged to read it.
As of 23rd March, the project has stagnated at around 50% of target.
Realistically I do not have the contacts to expect to find the same number of backers again on top of those already signed up
I have exhausted all avenues to get this far.
I would rather it did not drag on for another 3 weeks - forcing me to commit more time and money into the remaining tasks, on the offchance it makes its target, but that in all reasonably likelyhood will just leave me more out of pocket and time-poor.
However, in truth, even if I did now eventually scrape in to reach my target I would be having second thoughts.
Over the last few weeks, Quality control problems with components, unstable software releases and the sheer challenges of producing a hardware product in my spare time have all contributed to making the development and production of the product more and more complex.
This project has taken all my free time for 6 months - I spend 3 days a week working on it, in addition to evenings.
It has taken a considerably amount of personal funds - I have a house full of motors, controller boards and batteries !!
Enough is enough.
In order to go forward I purposely set my target high:
I wanted it to be high enough to enable the profitable manufacture of Stubilizers, and the ongoing manufacture of them too.
But, above all It had to categorically answer the question:
"Is there enough of a market out there to make it financially worthwhile spending all my time on it?"
Across the range, there are real issues that still need resolving:
- the solo works well and is the easiest to manufacture
- the Duo still required some accurate balancing problems to be fixed, and research/development to get it to work across the gopro range
- the Pro was always the biggest hassle - and after 6 months, still is. The latest prototype I put together last weekend showed me that blanace was still off, it was still vibrating at angles of pitch more than +-30 degrees, and still had yaw issues. In addition, when new firmware, causes a step backwards, and everything needs redeveloping again - it's just too much work.
I delayed going to Kickstarter until I had 3 working prototypes and felt the remaining issues were all 'doable'.. and yet 2 weeks later every one of those issues once investigated has led to 2 more issues. And each time once comes up - I have a couple of days to work on it, before I leave home for another week (I work far from home and live out of a hotel during the week)
If I'd hit the target by now, I'd have felt my time had been justified so far, and that the vast amount of work that remains was worth my time investing in too. My plan was that I could perhaps take a sabatical from my full time job, and focus on Stubilizer for the next 3 months.
As it is, it hasn't hit that target, and there are other things I want to do with my time.
I am simply not prepared to invest anymore of my time in this project.
For those who could use a handheld gimbal, consider the 'easy gimbal' system which is progressing (being handheld, no action sports it has none of the challenges I've faced with the Stubilizer range).
For those who require an action sport solution - I'm afraid you'll have to wait until someone with more time, more money, and more skill than me comes along with a product.