Nov 16 Update
Thank you for remaining supportive and patient during this delay. We know it is a frustrating time for you, as much as it is a difficult time for us.
Today will be a long update, so feel free to scroll to the parts that most interest you. In this update, you will find:
- A video of the Jack in action
- Pictures from China from our CTO
- A note on production
A Note on Production
First off, we want to apologize again for disappointing many of you with missing our expected shipping schedule. This last step from final prototype to mass production is the hardest step in any product development timeline, which is why expected timelines can change not once, but multiple times.
Our current situation is that of the first 500 we attempted to make, under 200 passed our strict standards. Those will be shipped out tonight. The rest are being sent to our San Francisco office to be corrected one-by-one by hand, and then also shipped out. We're not sure how long exactly this will take, but between 3 of us here to do it, it may take over a week.
Obviously this is not a sustainable path, so we are undertaking another revision to fix this assembly problem. As mentioned in the last update, we are dealing with smaller tolerances than we've ever had to deal with, but we've chosen to make them right rather than grow the size of the entire device. This way, we can fit the most battery life and features in a slimmer and lighter package than anyone else.
We've made the revisions and ordered 5.5k PCBAs, and the lead time is 4 weeks. If assembly with these boards go without a hitch, we may be able to make a few thousand before Christmas. But unfortunately we cannot guarantee we will get the assembly line space or even air freight priority with this relatively small quantity around the holidays. Getting "bumped" is what a lot of smaller brands face.
The reality is, the majority of people will not receive Jack until next year. We're very sorry again, and we do not take this reality lightly ourselves, as we know it is a great disappointment. Beyond the free silicon case we've included with your order, we've taken the time to add additional features into the Jack, as demonstrated in the video below. We will continue to brainstorm and do what we can.
In response to some questions, we want to briefly address the economics of the campaign to give the funds raised some context:
- Firstly, between the Kickstarter platform fee (5%), credit card processing fees (2.9%), chargebacks and dropped payments (2-4%), the funds we collect are about 10% less than the full amount you see.
- Then, if Jack, accessories, + shipping averages to about $18 each, then this amounts to a (very low estimate) cost of $450,000. (~25k Jacks)
- For 6 employees, office rent, employee tax, IP lawyers, and miscellaneous operational costs, 10 months equals on the low end $30k/month, or $300,000 this year
- Factor in tooling costs ($20k+), aptX licensing ($10k+), marketing/ads (a lot), etc. and this accounts for most, if not all of it.
The point we would like to make is that we come to Kickstarter not with the mentality of "striking it rich", but to see if our creations and ideas strike a tone with backers like you. This gives us the opportunity to make an initial production run and hopefully be successful afterwards in national retail markets.
We're extremely grateful for the support you've shown us by backing us in the first place, and for continuing to be supportive despite our delay. To put an overall point to a long note: we simply want to make the best possible product that fulfills our original vision, and we are doing everything we can to deliver this to you as quickly as we can.
Our priority is to push through these production delays, and we will keep you updated on our progress. We apologize for not being able to keep up with messages and comments 100% but we are trying, and the notes of positivity we see really help us keep pushing through these problems. We understand the pessimism many of you are experiencing, but we also understand that you don't actually want us to fail, right?
To everyone, thank you for cheering us on, and thank you for being the very original supporters of what we hope will become a future success.
The Podo Labs Team
Pictures From China
---Conclusion of Jack update---
Our friends from Fishball
You may not have known, but our three founders and electrical engineer met and became friends at the University of California, Berkeley. Today, we wanted to briefly share a product coming from three more of our friends and classmates: Yuriy, Sora, and Tony:
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