Remember Why You Started
It usually doesn’t take much more than a "competitive" product on our wrists – or seeing a competitor's ad -- to remind us why we started this journey and why we never quit.
Ready To Roll
So before we drown in the insane logistics around shipping out 2500 Bia's in 15 different flavors to 15 different countries with our still tiny-team, lets do some “housekeeping”. Here is how things are going to roll over the coming weeks. What's in. What's out. What's happening when.
Mom, mom, are we there yet? aka: When Will My Bia Ship?
The first 13 production Bia's have already arrived in the office!! The next 187 should leave China next week and we'll keep rolling from there. As I stated previously, the first 200-500 Bia’s are making a stop in our US offices before being sent out. Shipping progress will initially feel slow. But then it will speed up.
==> If all goes as planned, all reserved Bia’s will be produced before the end of February.
1. US-bound orders that include Watch + a GoStick will go out first.
- The first ones will go to backers who supported us with one of the “fancy” backer rewards: engraving, beta testing, His & Hers, etc.
- To keep things from becoming impossible after that, we will ship units out in batches, by color, in completely random order.
- We'll send notifications as units ship and keep you posted on progress.
2. International orders will go out second.
- Each needs a little "local market customization". But don't worry, all of them will work globally, like our recent run through Paris proved.
3. Watch-only units will ship last.
- Once we send your watch out (without a GoStick), we don’t have any way to update it. So we need to make sure everything on it is final before it leaves our hands.
- If you want to add a GoStick to your order, hop on it here.
With every new product - especially a first product - there are hard tradeoffs that get made during the development process. I am proud to say, ours have been minimal. But there are a few things you may (or may not) notice about your Bia. I want you to know we notice EVERYTHING.
- The "beep" from the watch is not as loud as we wanted. I'd rate it a "good enough" not "excellent".
- The touchscreen is reducing some of the contrast on the watch screen. This didn't negatively effect us in our months of product testing in LA and Portland, but based on field tester feedback, we have added special anti-glare/anti-smudge coating to the watch glass and pumped up the information on the screen to compensate.
- The backlight got cut in the final round of changes. To fit it back in would have required circuit board and mechanical changes that our fledgling company just couldn’t absorb. This was *the* most painful tradeoff we had to make in development and one of the top features we are committed to bringing back for the next version. We are working right now on optimizing user interface and readability in as many other ways as we can. This one hurts, and we feel it.
Feature Roll Out
Generally we are really excited. Ok. We are actually stoked some days. Core GPS is working just as we hoped. Our "magical" features that get your workout data online without you doing a thing and our ability to put new features on your Bia without you even noticing are solid. It's the stuff you don't notice that is the hardest but that makes the product magical.
On the stuff you will notice, the full set of promised features will be rolling out over the next 6-8 weeks. Here's the plan.
January (this what field testers are using)
- 8 hours battery life
- Open Water Swim
- Stopwatch with Slap to Lap
- Basic online workout log with maps
- 12 hour battery life
- Auto-lap at each mile on the run
- ANT+ sensor integration, including HRM
- Walk/Run "Galloway-style" Intervals
- Easy integration of your Bia data with 3rd party workout logs and tracking sites
- 17 hours battery life
- Pool Swim
- Multi-sport Race Mode (Oceanside 70.3 baby!)
- "Run Naked"
- An early version of *our* online/mobile site and community
- Race day live tracking (premium subscription service).
- Flip screen (for lefties)
- A few other fun features we didn't disclose during Kickstarter or pre-sales.
Bad news: Last weekend I was forced to jettison the cute metal badge on the end of the watchband. The manufacturing process is not consistently reliable at these low volumes, and I certainly don’t want 25% of you to end up with broken watchbands.
Good news: We think we can get more consistent reliability using a higher volume manufacturing process so this is a "gone for now" not a "gone forever." And, as we improve the band it’s the perfect excuse to pop our new fun creations in the mail to folks who are using their Bia regularly. Just a little surprise to let you know we’ll never forget.
Custom Team Bands: We are going to tackle these once we get the metal badge issue figured out and once the dust settles on shipping. Again, another fun way we’ll end up spicing up your spring.
Race Band: We are noodling on a super secure triathlon-specific strap for those of us tearing it up in a mass swim start. I’ve been studying my son's new Shark surf watch for inspriation. Stay tuned.
Oh, and did we mention?: Your RoadID fits perfectly on your Bia watchband.
Ok, that's in for now. Back to work.
C2K & The Team