First of all - thanks to all backers! Together we can make it happen!
Secondly - inspired by KRIS's comment and our own long deliberations prior to launching Kickstarter campaign, we want to address the "price" issue. And sorry for not making it too politically correct.
As we wrote on a project page - we want to make Leddie as cheap as possible - but not "no matter what" cheap. What does it mean?
1) we will not compromise between quality and price. We will not order cheapest batteries, LEDs, cooperate with under-qualified sub-contractors, use parts that will break after two months
2) except for some minor parts we do not use ready-to-go components. Everything - from casing to PCB and programming, will designed and manufactured especially for Leddie. And believe me – this is not obvious for many Kickstarter projects.
3) we will NOT manufacture in Eastern Asia. That is especially important part of our statement, so let me deliberate on it.
Please note that this is not against this region or anyone.
But l bet most of us, supporting crowdfunding do not realize thatbiggest beneficiaries of Kickstarter are Chinese manufacturers (and not their workers!). Vast majority of successful technology or product design projects (in financial terms) I've come across, describe they manufacturing process - and for the most part the action takes place in Chinese factory. This, BTW, makes a lot of people angry, disappointed or even being cheated on – if you are frequent backer, surely you know what I mean; if not – read some comments for the updates describing this issue.
OK, I know that thanks to outsourced production we can buy many things, especially electronics, for often ridiculously low prices. But the prices are such, because China exploits forced labor, child labor, or pays so low that we wouldn't buy daily a bowl of rice in USA or EU for the salary. Because in many eastern countries manufacturing goes in hundreds of million and nobody cares about workers rights and safety issues. We won't ignore these facts.
I know - probably there's no alternative in a long run – because our societies and economies are at the point of no return. But WE want to contribute to our local market, local suppliers. I know that for most part there not "your" market and "your" suppliers, but doesn't it concern you that soon, if all these things will be manufactured in one part of the world - first, we will be totally dependent on them, secondly - if we outsource all the production, where from will we get money to purchase anything? Wait... didn't it just happen? How can we prosper with only services and trade left?
Wouldn’t it feel a little better to know, that thanks to your backing not only you helped project makers dreams come true and eventually got good product, but also that someone in your neighborhood keeps their job- or simply the neighborhood of the project's makers that you support? Or that some people can earn decent salary for their work manufacturing our – I mean OUR (mine, yours, everyone who contributed to it) project? How can we compete with 50-80 times lower labor costs in East Asia compared to US and Europe? Do we want to?
Another issue corresponding with the above - how many Kickstarter projects, especially electronic ones, fail to deliver on time (and I do not mean 1-2 months of delay, but massive ones) – maybe, just maybe also due to the fact that they couldn't control manufacturing process taking place like ten thousand miles away? And one, minor thing - if the project is said to be located in US or Europe and the actual manufacturing takes place elswhere, isn't it quite misleading?
We don’t do over-promising. We much prefer to overdeliver. We made cost estimations with due diligence – as you can see on our project page.
Earning daily buck we have to compromise too often. We wouldn't survive otherwise. But we are positive that Kickstarter community appreciates social values and social responsibility of project makers as much as products themselves.
As for the prices – with such as they are and with 100 thousand goal, we will have zero profit. We just want to see this product out in the market, used by happy backers, which would be huge enough for us.
So YES, Leddie could be cheaper. If we've decided to lower our quality expectations or produce everything in Asia. But we won't.
The rest is up to YOU.