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The Naked Product Launch: 30 seconds to sell a robot
We don't need no early adopters...
Radbot Previously, you made it clear that most of you think that test harnesses are a GoodThingTM.
Ready for launch: zarro boogs found
Getting ready to crowdfund a product is not quite like shipping or releasing a normal product.
We did find and kill at least the most critical of the bugs that I agonised over last week (hurrah) at 5pm on Friday (double hurrah), but you're rarely promising to deliver something tomorrow with Kickstarter or its ilk. As long as things basically work you're good to go, with time time to fix and tune before delivery.
I know that big companies are reputed to beta-test their shipping software on "early adopter" users (also sometimes known as "mugs"), but basically no one wants to push out the door something with a known killer bug.
On the other hand, even with the breathing space that crowdfunding gives, fixing stuff is not always a quick pre-pub-'o-clock epiphany. And sometimes the people or the tech does not stay the course. In our case we've been around a while, and testing this stuff for years already, the management team is used to delivering mission-critical tech to organisations large and small. And we get open-source lurve and scrutiny too. And we're working on a simple open international standard that any company in our position can use to verify that their tech really does save householders money, energy and carbon.
Vale of tiers
Reality is a funny thing. We had finally settled on our reward tiers, target, etc, after much chewing of the non-animal-sourced fat. Then we went to enter them in the draft campaign at the funding platform, and it seems that the platform has its own ideas about which order they get displayed. This campaign is firstly about getting the CE-stamped consumer product to normal humans, and though we do have a bunch of developer goodies in the offer, we don't want them infiltrating themselves amongst the consumer rewards and confusing everyone. Rejig time.
My team has told me NOT to share the draft campaign page with you, dear readers, ho hum, but trust me it is pretty exciting, and I'm not one to exaggerate on this.
The ask (ie, the minimum raise for the campaign not to be cancelled) is quite a bit higher than typical, so we're sort of betting the ranch, but we're doing it this way to help ensure that we get enough scale to reduce manufacturing costs. We may well let the campaign run a little longer than usual to help get more orders in.
Cost reduction is going to be the story of our lives probably for ever if we are to maximise take-up and thus carbon savings.
Oh, and as we write we're still arguing over the pricing details for the tiers, but are we ready to go, dear readers? Yes, by the time you read this the control rods should being withdrawn and the turbine engaged. Fame and fortune ... ahem ... I mean carbon reduction ... awaits.
Tune in next week for how we deal with the instant fame and riches...