Investments, Production start, preoderings and a wish (2011-10-02)

Discussion in 'Pandora News' started by EvilDragon, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    The last post was only a few days ago, but I thought you'll be interested in the stuff that happened.


    1. Investment capital


    I can't stop to tell everyone how impressed I am about the power of the community!


    About 70 community members are interested in investing so far.


    38 reported back how much money they are planning to invest (some gave me a certain value).


    The amount of money raised is simply astounding:


    About 194.000 EUR are certain so far, whereas it sums up to 455.000 EUR including the amount of money from the users who are still thinking about it.


    That's 100.000 EUR more than needed!


    And 32 haven't even told me how much they are planning to invest...


    The german-speaking investors have already received a preview copy of the contract.


    It's currently being translated into english language. While my english is not too bad, it certainly is not good enough to translate a proper contract.


    That's why a professional lawyer is doing this.


    Monday is a holiday in Germany, however, I hope I'll get the contract within the next week.


    I'm having a meeting with two interested big investors sometime next week - but as things are looking right now, I'm not sure I'll need them...


    Well, can't hurt having more potential investors - though the one from the community will have a higher priority!


    2. Tuesday: Next meeting with Global Components


    As things are looking very well with the investment capital, it's time to go to Global Components and discuss the production plan.


    This will happen on Tuesday.


    As it looks like the investment capital shouldn't be an issue, I'll also order the bare PCBs on that day.


    The bare PCBs have some one-time-costs for tooling, etc., but I can afford that myself.


    20 bare PCBs for testing will be produced. That takes about 5 weeks, which means we're going to see the birth of the very first Pandoras in Germany in November.


    And yes, we WILL see it, as I'll post a full HD video of the very first Pandora PCBs being populated in Germany.


    You will actually be able to see the process of a Pandora being born!


    If those boards work without any issues, it'll take another 4 - 5 weeks until all 1000 PCBs for the first batch are finished - well, and then it's time for the full production run.


    During October, we'll need to do some more small payments (to buy the nubs, etc.), but some investors already mentioned they could send the money right away, so that would work out fine.


    Most of the money won't be needed before November, so there's time to do sign the contracts and transfer the money.


    3. Preorders!


    The next round or preordering is just round the corner!


    If you're interested in getting a Pandora (or another one, if you already have one): The preordering will start on Tuesday.


    The final price of one Pandora will be about 370 EUR, though this time, there's no need to pay in advance.


    We're requesting a small downpayment of 10 EUR in advance - but I guess that won't hurt anyone who is really interested in getting one.


    If you want to support us, you are free to pay more than 10 EUR in advance. The downpayment will be completely deducted from the final price.


    Anyone is welcome to spread the word about the Pandora to friends, family or on other websites. Let them know the preorder has started!


    More details on Tuesday, of course.


    4. Some wishes I have


    Well, you might've seen some threads popping up here at the boards where people have problems getting replys and refunds from OpenPandora Ltd.


    Seeing this makes me very sad - both for the customers as well as for Craig (who is the guy running OpenPandora Ltd.), as I can understand the customers but also know it's not Craigs' fault he doesn't have Pandoras to deliver.


    It makes me even sadder to see that some are thinking about taking legal action (or have already done so - though I hope not!).


    In my opinion, the Pandora is something that should evolve by working together - and that's what I'm also concentrating on in the future: Supporting OpenSource development to bring new OSes and Applications / Games to the Pandora.


    If you followed my posts for the past few months, you probably know that our real issue is CircuitCo, the company that is supposed to produce the boards.


    Once we realized it will probably take ages to get the remaining 1000 PCBs from them (if we ever get them), I immediately started to work on finding a proper company in Germany for the PCB production.


    To minimze the running costs for OpenPandora Ltd., I started to take care of most of the repairs (LCD Cables, Nubs, etc.), even paying the shipping costs back. Not just for my customers, but also for Craigs'.


    He also minimized costs by reducing personnel costs.


    This lead to the issue, that eMails no have a huge backlog - but it helps to keep going until I've setup all the investments here.


    The business plan I created includes taking care Craigs customers, not just mine.


    It includes paying refunds as well as delivering units to the remaining customers.


    That's mostly for two reasons:


    1. No one who preordered is responsible for the issues we have with the board production, so everyone should get their ordered Pandora - or his/her money back.


    2. It's also not Craigs fault, so I want to support him as well as good as possible.


    The only thing right now that can really cause issues to OpenPandora Ltd. are too many refund requests before I've got everything set up.


    I can fully understand anyone who is pissed off by the wait (heck, we are as well!), but if you want a refund and are not urgently in need of the money right away, I'd be more than happy if you could hold on a bit.


    As mentioned above, the investment stuff is looking really good at the moment - and then, everything will be taken care of.


    No one, neither Craig nor me are trying to rip anyone off. We're still trying to do our best, but it's not easy with CC not really sending out PCBs at all.


    So please consider to hold on a bit longer. I'm not asking to forget about your money, just to give us the time to sort everything out.


    I've been working 3 years for free on the whole thing. I'm pretty sure giving up and just filing insolvency would've been the easier thing sometimes - but I could never do that.


    I believe in the idea of the Pandora - and I won't give in because some companies had been a bad choice for us. Issues are there to be solved, and that's what I'm currently doing!


    Please think about that for a while. Thanks!
     
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  2. Wrath Of Khan

    Wrath Of Khan Soul soother...

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    Well said ed.That video you mentioned should be fun.Im confident that production will be smooth in germany from now on.I really hope people can just hang on and they will all be a part of the history of the pandora.
     
  3. dysphasic

    dysphasic Still Fresh

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    EvilDragon, I really wish I'd ordered my Pandora from you originally, you've been brilliant with every question asked on here. But why is Craig not explaining the difficulties here? Why has it come to you to explain his issues with his store?
     
  4. fredg999

    fredg999 Still Fresh

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    Since I live in Canada and might preorder on Tuesday, will the transaction be made directly from CAD to EUR or from CAD to USD, then from USD to EUR? Just curious...
     
  5. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, according to Craig, it's a huge email backlog he's experiencing.


    However, I'm just trying to explain upfront what's happening to PREVENT worse things right now.

    I planned to offer PayPal and bank transfer payments.


    Both should convert directly from CAD to EUR.


    If more payment options are needed, I'll gladly set them up, just post your requests here.
     
  6. Pickle

    Pickle Mega GP Mania

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    He should be coming out and publicly telling people this, its looks really bad. Im not surprised that we are starting to see threads and posts wondering if he is even in business anymore. Really its appears he is avoiding the refunds cause no one can get through.


    Also looks bad when he does appear its only for ICP, which looks bad cause its looks like he has forgotten about the pandora side.


    I really think if he was a little more proactive on answering people, or at least give a news post like yours on the state of things people might back down. But i dont blame them it very much appears they are being ignored.
     
  7. Darkknight512

    Darkknight512 Member

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    Everything looks great ED, have you thought about, if everything goes well in the test run, and maybe at 500 boards made point, give the guy in charge a pandora, or the people invoved a beer or something? Just as a thank you, and just the fact that it tends to expedite things.


    I think the problem with craig is that when he replies to customers he says it in a way that I really don't like, I saw just a little while ago when someone ask why his email are being ignored, he said, we have a backlog, and we are not ignoring you. Nowhere in that post did he say I'm sorry, it takes 2 secconds to type, but it changes the tone of the post.


    It's good to see a down payment, (was that from my post in the other thread? or did you have it in mind already), by having people put some money in makes the preorder more meaningful.


    Nice to see the problems are slowly being cleared out, though of course we still have the brittle case issue... (I just found 2 new cracks on mine...)


    How many more cases is left in inventory right now anyways?


    I love how your handling this ED, I was wondering if at one point you guys were going to go crazy and turn on those toaster ovens and frying pans. I've seen a few people manually hand place SMD parts on PCB's before though the Pandora is in a whole different leauge, would have been insane if you guys pulled something like that off.


    As always good luck with everything, and I look forward to more Pandora's flying out of OPT, and of course new software and Pandora OS V2!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2011
  8. Nardella

    Nardella Member

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    You guys are already legends in my book. If you keep it up and have no further bad luck, you will ship more units that you may have thought possible (after experiencing the difficulties you have) in an amount of time that will surprise you.


    Also +1 for free beer and Pandora(s?) to good production companies.
     
  9. LineOf7s

    LineOf7s Active Member

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    This. Website goes bye-byes, emails not getting answered, phone not getting picked up, refunds not being processed. Regardless of why (and we know why - or at least what we've been told), it's a Really Bad Look for a company.


    Craig could invent a cure for cancer, but without ED to manage the customers and community no-one would touch it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2011
  10. laserbeams

    laserbeams Still Fresh

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    Thank you ED, it always seems to brighten the mood when you post status updates, even if the news isn't all flowers and sunshine. I think being able to see the trials and tribulations that you have to deal with makes the situation easier to relate to. And any good news you have is always good.


    I'm coming up on 2 years since my preorder - the wait was two months at that time, I think. Sometimes it feels as if the Pandora is stuck in a time warp. ;)


    If I could make a wish:


    I understand that both you and Craig don't have the time or money to handle the volume of email you are both getting, but, business concerns aside, there REALLY needs to be more honesty and transparency here. Even something as simple as "as of [date] [Craig/ED] has [number] emails in backlog, and is current through [date]." would make a world of difference. I wish I didn't have to say that, but something has to change; "I have a backlog, we'll get to it" isn't cutting the mustard when new customers without preorder-levels of patience and community experience get involved and drop their money hoping for good service. It makes me sad to see a 10-minute-a-day fix like this being passed over. Even if it might reveal damning information.


    Best of luck to you!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2011
  11. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, one thing you can be sure about is that the whole Pandora production will be more open and transparent (GC is actually telling me what's going on, we never know ourselves what's happening at CC) and I want to involve the community even more into everything, like using the repo as main ressource, supporting developers even more (I'd love to have official MeeGo and Ubuntu versions ready to be installed on an SD card), etc.


    The website needs to be updated to link to different ressources and projects more nicely, to explain devs how to become involved, etc.


    The main OS should be moved forward, so I want to support that as well and help other devs to get involved.


    A LOT has to happen, but I can only do it step by step.


    The main thing for me was the business plan and investment. Once that's handled, there will be a few weeks where we just have to wait until everything is ready for the big run.


    That's when I will hopefully find the time to do repair units, work on the website and make the Pandore more known in the opensource world.


    I hope next year we'll have a stable production run, a great community (well, we got that already) with a lot of different OS choices for the Pandora like MeeGo, ArchLinux (we have that already), Ubuntu, etc., supported by OpenPandora GmbH with coding competitions, discounts for developers, etc.


    Everything shold become as open and transparent as possible.


    That's my main goal I want to achieve. A long way to go, but certainly possible.
     
  12. BeefJerky

    BeefJerky Still Fresh

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    Thanks ED. Your communication, as always, is excellent and always appreciated. But I can only echo what others are saying about Craig and his lack of communication. I know there's only so much you can do but, for the good of Pandora, it would be worth trying a forceful nudge to improve his communication. It's looking really bad and, while I don't suspect for a second that any of you are trying to rip people off, it so often looks that way with the lack of replies to requests for refunds, and how he carefully misses over threads while responding to others in his usual cryptic way. The separation of your companies is also somewhat confusing (not sure why Craig needs the money from those metal Pandoras when you're actually running the business now) and leaves those who ordered through Craig wondering just what is going on.


    Sorry to go on about it. I realise his communication problems are not your doing and, with you being active here, you often bear the brunt of the complaints but, as said, it's having a negative effect generally.


    And yet your end of things is looking rosy.
     
  13. fusion_power

    fusion_power Advanced Member

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    This really sounds promising. Late, but finaly the Pandora production goes the way it's meant to be played...or so... :D


    And if there is more money than needed, I recommend to hire one or more additional people for boring stuff like e-mail answering. ;)
     
  14. Another

    Another Still Fresh

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    Well, that are some real good news.


    So, I'm currently aiming to receive my pandora on my next birthday. ;)


    Edit: Oh, and +1 for the free beer idea. :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2011
  15. MasterJulian

    MasterJulian Still Fresh

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    Thanks for the news. In the other thread I read that not all of the German pandoras can be used for batch one preoders. Does that mean that someone who on orders batch two (lets say Oct 2011 starts the new preorder round) gets his pandora earlier than me. Because I am waiting for about 2 years now and that would really suck.
     
  16. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Mostly all of the Batch 1 preorders will come from Germany (except for the remaining ones coming from Texas), but yes, we need to sell part of the units to new customers to have enough money to keep production going.


    So a few 1000 Pandoras need to be produced to fullfill the remaining preorders.


    You CAN get your Pandora earlier if you pay the price difference (old to new).


    Sadly, there's no other way unless you find someone who donates (donates! not invests!) 600.000 EUR.
     
  17. DisgruntleElf

    DisgruntleElf Member

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    If your certain that CC is not going to deliver any Pandoras then it might be an idea to send a representative to CC and just take any remaining useful parts that have been paid for and have them sent to you. I remember that there is a community member who lives close by.
     
  18. craigix

    craigix Mega GP Mania

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    Yes, thanks for the great 'support' I've been shown here by some users, after all, investing only 4 years of my life, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and almost continuous 7 day weeks I probably deserve it.


    39,000+ 'sent' emails in that time, 2500 in the last 2 months. I can only image it is tens of thousands of forum posts and PMs too.


    That's what not communicating looks like I suppose, or at least to those of you who only want to see what you want to see.


    Almost constantly during this project I've had hate mail in public and in private, every step of the way, every hurdle cleared and it's time for a new target to be set up to criticise me.


    The Pandora won't happen, the Pandora won't work, The Pandora won't ship, The support won't happen and I am in general a lazy good for nothing bastard.


    Every bit of it true, if you like.


    Thanks,


    Craig


    PS, those of you who sent me kind emails and have met me in person, you kept me going and for good or bad the Pandora eventually existed and works. As I bow out of this I want to thank each and every one of you for your support, orders and kindness, without you it would never have happened. Cheers.
     
  19. Wrath Of Khan

    Wrath Of Khan Soul soother...

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    Fuck em craig. You did good.The Pandora is simply unique. Some people just post from the deepest reaches of their Bowels sometimes.Good luck. Oh and can the Pandoras Father really Bow out? ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2011
  20. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    If Craig would have to respond even faster to communications then he would need more staff. In order to do so, he needs to sell more Pandoras. Unfortunately, due to CircuitCo failing to deliver this is impossible.


    That kind of puts him in a hard position, doesn't it?


    Craig, thank you for creating the Pandora and for all the hard work you put into it.
     

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