- Apr 2, 2009
Here's a bit more information for you waiting folks - as usual, good and bad stuff in it, but I think it's mostly positive.
First, let's start with the most important thing that happened today:
skeezix, known for some ports and for helping a lot with the OS (you know, libpnd and MiniMenu ) just got twins (a boy and a girl) a few minutes ago!
Congratulations from all of us!
He will have a bit less time for coding for the next months - but I think we can all forgive him in this case.
So after Michael Weston himself, we got another new dad in the team
(okay, skeezix already WAS a dad before )
Oh... and no, none of the kids will be called Pandora
Good, back to some Pandora news.
A. The quest for raising funds
In my opinion, thinks are looking good.
So far, about 60 users from the community have given me their interest in investing. This is absolute astounding!
About 14 confirmed the amount of money they plan to invest - and that's about 120.000 EUR already.
Another 10 told me a rough value they are planning to invest - and alltogether, we're at 240.000 EUR with that... a good start after a week, I think.
I also sent notch a copy of the business plan via snail mail, though I have no idea whether he's interested or not.
Next week, I'm having a meeting with two agents who have some major investors at hand who work in IT business and are venturesome, often investing in start-ups.
And this Friday, I've got an appointment with my local bank to check whether there are any governmental fundings we could apply for as well.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
I just checked how many users have subscribed to the OpenPandora newsletter: What would you guess? 1000? 5000? 10000? Nope. In fact, we've got 17000 users subscribed to the newsletter!
If I'd asked for investors or donations there as well... heck, if only a half of them would donate only 5 EUR, that would be another 42000 EUR!
Don't want to beg for donations though But it just made me think that you can achieve almost anything with a great community!
As it looks like, we shouldn't have too many problems getting the money together to lead us all into a great Pandora future. I'll keep you informed!
B. Okay, but... what IS the plan?
We've got multiple things to cover here, so the plan is basically split into multiple stages.
1. Get things going, get units to all of you!
First priority is of course to get the production running and deliver the remaining units to all our patient preorderers,
Production will happen in batches of 1000.
Some of these 1000 will have to go to new orders and some of these will go to the preorderers.
How many will go where depends on CC, the US/EUR conversion rate, the PCB failure rate, donations, the total amount of invested money we get and the amount of refunds we get until then.
Basically, it's easy: We need a certain amount of money to produce the next batch of 1000.
The first 1000 will have a higher cost (as there are one-time-costs), the next 1000 will be cheaper as we already own some parts, but this is too much to explain in detail.
About 1200 preorders are still left to be delivered. CC still has to deliver about 1000 PCBs.
Let's say CC delivers 500 PCBs and we'd have about 300 refunds. With an investment capital of 350K, most of the preorders would be finished with the first batch of 1000, the remaining ones with the next one.
If CC wouldn't deliver ANY PCBs from now on, it would the last ones would be delivered with the fourth batch of 1000 units.
Of course, if we get a higher amount of investments or more donations, we can deliver more preordered units with each batch. Same if the USD / EUR conversion rate is better for us.
The trick is to keep a balance between the costs for the next Pandoras, the amount of preordered units and refunds and the units that need to be sold to new customers.
I created a nice LibreOffice Calc-Sheet that helps me quickly tune the parameters and let me know how many units go where.
GC should be able to produce 1000 Pandoras per month - though I expect about 1000 in two months at the beginning. Things should be moving faster once we get there.
2. Support development, increase popularity
Once all old customers have gotten their unit as well as quite a few new ones and the production is running stable, it's time to increase the popularity of the Pandora.
Do some marketing, make it known to new users.
Some money will be used to improve the OS and support application and games development, maybe we could do some coding competitions as well.
Primary goal now is to support OpenSource development and increase the attractivity for new users with more software.
At the same time, development of the Pandora 2 is planned to happen. As we all know now, this sure will take a long while - so there's plenty of time to have fun with the Pandora 1!
C. And what's the bad news?
The usual... we didn't get much at all from CC.
Neither tons of boards nor much information via eMail.
I've never seen a company with worse communication and customer service, honestly.
Well, we still hope to get the remaining boards for them - but I'm just happy we're moving forward here with the production in Germany.
se germanz would say