May update on production and shipment
This is a quick update for you on our progress.
We continue to face some supply chain challenges. I am not entirely sure if it is because we placed confidence in the wrong people or we faced bad luck. Chances are it is a combination of the two, along with faults from our own team. We expect to finish manufacturing and shipping, but have to get through problems such as:
- As mentioned last time, distributor who holds ~$300K of inventory for us sold off some of our prepaid for goods and had a serious cash shortage to cover it. He is also now ill and in the hospital. We have sent our head of supply chain to go visit him in the hospital, and while he is actually ill, it is nevertheless unfortunate for our timeline. It sounds like the problem has been resolved, but after getting the runaround for a month, we can’t be 100% certain until our manufacturer receives the components. These are critical SoC chips that only a handful of exclusive distributors are allowed to access, so our options are limited beyond working with the distributor and being patient.
- Our firmware development has been quite a bit slower that expected, due to work of contractors earlier on in the development process. Some early design decisions resulted in a lot of fixes and workarounds that have slowed down mass production.
Time-wise, our main bottleneck is missing components from our distributor. Another 5.3k units have arrived in North America, making the total 6.3k in the US. We are waiting for our firmware development to finish, following which we can start sending out Superbooks. I am going to resist giving out timelines, only to say that the current problems are solvable within a few weeks. Please be patient, as our hardware team is working night and day to resolve a pretty sticky challenge.
Finally, I deeply apologize for not communicating as frequently as we had in the past. It is hard to be open when nothing seems to be going right, and the easy thing to do is to push off communicating, waiting for good news instead. That is my mistake as a founder. I never realized just how hard it is to tell bad news to people who believed in you and supported you.
We will work hard to do better.
Andrew and Gordon