This update is about a week overdue and I am pretty sure Rebecca is going to fire me if I don't get it out before the weekend...it's probably my most boring update ever, but it's packed with juicy info.
If you are still waiting on your Bia:
ALL 1500 remaining pre-orders (Kickstarter and post Kickstarter) are just about done being built in China. It took a little longer than anticipated because we introduced some new in-line QA processes (based on what we learned bringing the first 1000 units in-house for more QA before shipping them out) and we had a number of LCD's that were defective and needed to be replaced.
If you pre-ordered a Bia at any time EVER (from the start of our Kickstarter until today) and have not received it, your Bia has been built and is in THIS batch of 1500.
1500 is alot. And a big jump up from the previous batches of 500. There is a LOT of work to do, and many steps both within and outside of our control, to get these completed devices from China to your doorstep.
- I do NOT have firm shipping dates yet.
- I will share firm dates as soon as I have something to share.
- As always, we will ship as close to the order that you ordered in (that sounded weird, but you know what I mean, right?) as humanly possible.
If you already have your Bia:
C2K to Team: So what should we do while waiting on these 1500 Bia's to arrive from China?
Team to C2K: I dunno. Get some sleep and eat pie?
The last few weeks have been exhilarating - in a way only a start up team could appreciate. We are running into all the growing pains we expected -- and some we didn't. And we are seeing some crazy edge-case bugs and system hiccups that occur less than .1% of the time, but that start to make an appearance as you log 5000 or 10,000 total real life workouts.
Biggest Learning aka: Ouch That Hurt!
Try as hard as we might everything is not going to be perfect on day one. Here are top 6 spots of "biggest learning" from the first 1,000 units shipped.
1. We had some *major* problems with kitting (about 15% of watches and GoSticks weren't paired correctly when they left our offices) on the first batch of shipments. Managing a low paid hourly task forced is different than running a high skilled engineering team. We felt the BIG sting of that for sure and have improved the process for the next batch. Good news? It's all process. So while frustrating to some unlucky customers and to Rebecca who's customer support duties skyrocketed the past few weekends, it's also easily fixable.
2. We learned how people were using the instructions we provided and we learned what was missing. The inbox and online experience for the next batch of Bia's that go out will be improved because of the feedback we received.
3. We had a number of devices in the first batch with a few flavors of small manufacturing errors. We (that means me and my core engineering team) are personally touching and testing the first 5000 units we ship so we can uncover and fix precisely these type of manufacturing, and in some cases design, issues. We probably won't completely prevent these units slipping through the cracks, but if they do crop up in the field we've been fast to hot swap. For us it's a thrill to literally make Bia better and better every day!
4.) The Bermuda Triangle of mailboxes on the corner of my street caused us a few problems on April 7th. Lesson: Hand it to Candy or drop it off at the postoffice. Never drop it in the box!
5. On April 10th we made (another) total amateur mistake with our first over-the-air update. About 15% of customers got the now famed "Error 34" message while the upgrade to their watch was installing. Turns out the update file got a teeny tiny bit larger, but the timing window we gave for that update to install didn't. Good news is that this problem has zero effect on doing workouts with your Bia, but Doh! Let's just say, that won't happen again.
6. And we did hit one actual bug around slow GPS connectivity. Some folks (under 2%) who were initially getting instant GPS connections in 30 seconds or less would wake up one day to a device that took 2 minutes or more (way more) to connect to GPS. We initially worried this could be a hardware issue (yikes!) so we were doing hotswaps by overnight delivery so we could get problem devices back in house to see what was going on. Those returned devices arrived at our office. We charged them up. We shook them. And KAPOW all instantly got GPS connection.
It was a strange mix of relief (not hardware!) and consternation (what the heck was going on). Luckily the slow GPS bug struck me this past weekend - and since my GoStick has some extra special magical capabilities - so we were able to confirm it was a software issue. We've figured out a temporary "in the field fix" for folks that encounter this. Next week we will rollout an update that should brute-force eliminate most of the problem (and not throw an error 34! when it installs itself) and also collect additional information to help us ensure it won't crop up again.
Isn't technology riveting?
The most important news though is that the overwhelming majority of early customers have been running, biking, and swimming with their Bia's with no problems and in pure enjoyment.
We are going to start to send roadmap updates directly to registered Bia users. But for today I'll do them in multiple places.
I am NOT putting firm dates next to these items because they are subject to change based on issues we see in the field.
Pushed to all Bia Devices Last Week:
- Auto-lap each mile on the run.
- Usability changes to ending a workout
- Improvements in Run Pace
Testing in-house and pushing to field testers next week:
- Long (17hr) Battery Life
- HRM Integration
Long Battery Life is a far-reaching piece of functionality that requires us to re-tune GPS. That is why we are taking our time with it. After that is done, other features will start to roll out more quickly.
In progress right now and moving to internal test in 2ish weeks.
- Galloway Walk-Run Intervals
- Average Pace
- Triathlon Race Mode
Stretch goal is for me to take Triathlon Mode on a live test at St. George Ironman 70.3 on May 3rd.
Easy-ish Stuff Up Next
- Intervals/Slap to Lap
- Integration with more 3rd party sites (testing MapMyFitness right now)
- Some Fun Surprises
And the Next Biggies
- Pool Lap Counting
- LIVE Race Tracking
- Power Meter Integration?? (no promises but I know folks want it)
Told you it was going to be a boring update.
Have an amazing weekend full of miles and smiles.
C2K & the Team