Why not have a Kickstarter to get a price drop?


fusion_power

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^ Yeah from my experience helping Link run the Ithic Booth at PAX East in 2013, The Pandora takes a bit of work to explain and many don't get it even then. I've had a bit of people that were blown away by it was seriously thinking about getting one until I mentioned the price.

Which is also a little bit weird because many people don't even ask about a price as soon as the device has an Apple logo. Yesterday I also have read news about that the most expensive Model of Microsofts new Surface Book is already sold out. ~$2700 is a sporty price for an 13" convertible Ultrabook/Tablet thingy, even if it has a full metal body.
 

Grench

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Or, we could all simply trust ED, who has proven immensely trustworthy, and pre-order directly through him and his designated re-sellers so that there isn't an additional company in the middle carving out a slice.

The main advantage of KS is/was advertising - and it's lost a lot of it's buzz factor.  Getting a positive review to filter up through Engadget or similar could have similar impact on pre-orders.
 

Maratus

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Or, we could all simply trust ED, who has proven immensely trustworthy, and pre-order directly through him and his designated re-sellers so that there isn't an additional company in the middle carving out a slice.

The main advantage of KS is/was advertising - and it's lost a lot of it's buzz factor.  Getting a positive review to filter up through Engadget or similar could have similar impact on pre-orders.

Getting the Pyra on any of the major tech sites will guarantee more eyes on the project and hopefully get more customers. Maybe times are different, but to me I wouldn't really websites reporting on hardware from lesser known companies unless it had some kind of crowdfunding campaign attached to it. Websites love a good underdog story, and pretty much having a crowdfunding campaign in the first place makes you the underdog.
 

Urben

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I would say the release and success (for such a small project) of the Open Pandora is proof enough that the Pyra is worth taking a look at.
 

WizardStan

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Not everyone sees it as a success.  It could be a hard sell outside of a subsection of our little niche.
 

TrashyMG

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Not everyone sees it as a success.  It could be a hard sell outside of a subsection of our little niche.

Wizardstan is correct, many people I met that heard of the Pandora that never followed the project closely was under the impression it was a complete failure and some even think it never delivered.
 
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rygD

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^ Yeah from my experience helping Link run the Ithic Booth at PAX East in 2013, The Pandora takes a bit of work to explain and many don't get it even then. I've had a bit of people that were blown away by it was seriously thinking about getting one until I mentioned the price.

(I had to switch devices and your avatar change caught me off guard while I was scrolling up and down the page looking for your post.)
This has been the case with the Pandora for the handful of people that were interested after seeing mine.  The thing seemed like an awesome device they had to have until they found out the price, and that is where it ended.  I think the Pyra will be a hard sell for those not already looking for a device of this sort even with the improved specs.

Thinking back, even I didn't jump straight in.  I wanted a palmtop since I first saw Terminator 2 (not to rip off ATMs, but to have a pocket sized computer for whatever, mostly games).  When I finally had money it seemed like it was all PDAs, but those weren't what I wanted, even if I am a Star Trek fan.  Eventually I noticed UMPCs and somehow came across the Pandora (probably while looking up Linux based hanhelds).  I went with a Droid 2 which only met some of my basic wants, with the keyboard, portability and a few other little things.  It wasn't until 2 years ago that I decided I was going to get a pocket sized computer, and my first choice was good but lacking in software and hardware, my second was more modern but not what I wanted at all, so I finally bought a Pandora.

Most potential Pyra buyers won't be as picky as me, and will skip it in favor of something else.  I am the type of person these things are for and even I wasn't willing to risk giving my money away until I knew it could do what I wanted.  I didn't pre-order a Pandora, and I wouldn't have if Kickstarter was around back then.  The only thing that has changed is I have seen ED keep the Pandora alive and go on to make the Pyra.  I have a lot of faith in ED, but many others won't know about all he has done, and those that dig a little bit might find some stuff that scares them away that have nothing to do with him, but they know KS has been used to scam people in the past, and that there are many failed projects where money was lost.
 
 
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Maratus

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Quote said:
I didn't pre-order a Pandora, and I wouldn't have if Kickstarter was around back then.  The only thing that has changed is I have seen ED keep the Pandora alive and go on to make the Pyra.  I have a lot of faith in ED, but many others won't know about all he has done, and those that dig a little bit might find some stuff that scares them away that have nothing to do with him, but they know KS has been used to scam people in the past, and that there are many failed projects where money was lost.
That could be a potential reason why crowdfunding might be a bad idea, but I think having one specifically for a price drop wouldn't really affect the reputation of ED. Either a price drop negotiation could be possible and the campaign could be started, or the manufacturers don't agree to a price drop which means that the campaign wouldn't start in the first place. However, if there WAS a campaign and the manufacturers agree to reduce the wholesale cost if the goal is met, AND if the campaign is a success then that means cheaper Pyras for everyone, which is always a good thing.
 

Chip

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Getting the Pyra on any of the major tech sites will guarantee more eyes on the project

That's not necessarily a good thing.  Any article discussing the pyra will undoubtedly bring up the fact that it's being made by the "same people" as the pandora and icontrolpad 2 - neither of which were resounding successes.  The pandora shipped over a year late, (several years for some people).  The ICP2 never shipped at all.  Folks who have been following along know that it's a very different situation this time around, but that's not really going to come across in a 200 word gadget blog article.  Popular opinion is unlikely to be favorable.

 
I would say the release and success (for such a small project) of the Open Pandora is proof enough that the Pyra is worth taking a look at.

No, not so much.  See above.  For anybody who's actually heard of the pandora and isn't reading these forums, it's mostly considered a failure.
 
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ible

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these are some important points when considering media -- they like to talk about the dark pasts, especially to caution people in case things go wrong.  (humans like to say "i told you so.")  there is a lot of bad feelings when kickstarter projects go wrong, though we can almost guarantee the pyra is coming no matter what.  but like people are saying, it might be hard to explain these things in the 5 second blip of an attention span that most people have...
 

bzar

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I'm not the most well versed when it comes to dealing with manufacturers, but I do know that you can DEFINITELY work out a better deal with them if you can show that you can move units.

See, I'm not so sure about this. Your entire case rests on the assumption that someone else down the line will pick up a part of the tab for you. The device still ultimately costs exactly as much to produce per unit for the manufacturer, so you're asking someone to lower their profit margin in hopes of more volume. We could start calculating an estimate on how much some part of the manufacturing pipeline would need to lower their profits to get some desired effect on the price, but I think without increasing the volumes massively the price isn't going down more than a couple dozen euros.

Consider it like this:

Code:
Original profit per unit for the manufacturer is X
Lowered profit per unit for the manufacturer is Y
Estimated units sold with original price is N

To break even with the lowered price, you need to sell M units
M = N + (X - Y) * N / Y

Or to put it another way:
M / N = X / Y
This is, of course, a gross simplification, but works for illustration. Halve the profit for any individual part of the process, you double the amount of units needed to sell to break even. To get them to make the gamble you need to have at least double that projected to get them on board. To cover the risk increasing with higher volumes, let's say M' = M * M/N,  so if we double the amount of units to break even, we quadruple the amount of units we need for our sales projections for the risk to be worth it for the manufacturer. This way, they'll get Y*M' / N*X = X/Y times the profit if the projected sales are met. So to get potential double total profit by halving the unit profit, you need quadruple sales. If you slash the profit into a quarter, you need 16 times the sales.

Now, all we need is the current consumer price Z and the desired consumer price Z' to get the total amount of profit we need to slash out, Z - Z'. Then we'd need estimates for the individual entities profiting from the manufacturing and distribution to find how to divide that amount amongst them without taking too much a relative cut from anyone. If someone gets 5€ pure profit per unit, you can't go taking 3€ discount per unit from them, because you'd make the amount of sales needed go up by a multiplier of 6.25. If we assume N around 15000, that would mean 93750 units would need to be sold for it to be worth the risk for the entity.

Who will pick up enough of the tab for the price drop Z - Z' to be meaningful enough to increase sales from N to M'?
 
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DaMummy

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EvilDragon

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Not everyone sees it as a success.  It could be a hard sell outside of a subsection of our little niche.

Wizardstan is correct, many people I met that heard of the Pandora that never followed the project closely was under the impression it was a complete failure and some even think it never delivered.
While this is true, a lot of them also found out it was available later. I've got a lot of customers who told me that they gave up long ago and just found out it was available until a few months ago, asking whether there'll be 1GHz Pandoras back in stock at some time.
 

Getting the Pyra on any of the major tech sites will guarantee more eyes on the project

That's not necessarily a good thing.  Any article discussing the pyra will undoubtedly bring up the fact that it's being made by the "same people" as the pandora and icontrolpad 2 - neither of which were resounding successes.  The pandora shipped over a year late, (

several years for some people).  The ICP2 never shipped at all.  Folks who have been following along know that it's a very different situation this time around, but that's not really going to come across in a 200 word gadget blog article.  Popular opinion is unlikely to be favorable.
Well, if they do that, they've got false information, as I stayed out of the ICP2 for exactly those reasons, and it's easy to explain.
And it's not made by the same people as the Pandora - Fatih and me are the only ones left from the original team (though many don't even know that Fatih is still involved ;))
Designers, developers, etc. are all different people.
The community is mostly the same, but that's good :D

What we need to make sure when we go out to the public is that I'm actually the one who managed to turn the Pandora into proper mass production and it was available from stock since then. I've proved I can handle a mass production-
This is also what I tell everyone at presentations - and that never caused any issues.

The Pyra is the spiritual successor, but the team and involved companies are mostly completely different.
 

Jumpman

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KS can be awesome, and it can be a HUGE pitfall. I've supported several projects at this point(7-10), and ICP2 is really the only one that didn't deliver, and based on the information we had at the time, and the facts of the first ICP, it really shouldn't have had any issues. I guess the Craig variable was more than the project could stand :p

At this point, the Pyra is very close to done, so to have a campaign now, would be great, as the team could show almost final units and that would be the most deciding factor to most. There are projects that are years away, which isn't bad, especially when the backers know what they are getting in to. But normally, most KS users do one, or the other.

Then there are those campaigns where they have working or close to complete prototypes, and really only need backing to help out with production cost. That's when they offer price breaks to early adopters to get production funds in the door, and those same customers can spread the word as units begin to ship. So two problems are solved in this manner, production cost comes in, and advertising by actual users is also done in this way, and can be the best push for a device like this.

When KS is done properly, it is a very effective tool. When done wrong(ICP2), it is a very big nightmare. I'm cool either way, as if ED can do preorders on his own, and doesn't need to involved the KS crowd, great. If we do need a KS or Indiegogo, showing 95% complete units, running apps and games will be key. I've supported both types of KS campaigns(close to release, and the not so close), and with either situation, I have to believe in the team and the vision to do the long term ones, and for the short term campaigns, seeing the near finished products, shows me that production cost is really the only hurdle, and in those cases, 99% of the time, they get delivered. The Pyra is in the latter, and would get way more funds now, than it ever could have a year or two ago.

I'm excited either way, as this device looks very well thought out, and looks killer in regards to what it can do. I think a campaign for funds done right, can be a HUGE push to the Pyra and can hopefully move this device past a niche community device.

At the end of the day, I would most like to see ED and his team turn a decent profit, and reward everyone involved with some actually money for once, they deserve it and then some.

Chris
 

Chip

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it's easy to explain.
...
the team and involved companies are mostly completely different.

It may be easy to explain, but it's unlikely you'll be given the opportunity for the most part.  You may have noticed that the internet is a horrible place full of bastards who love to see things fail.  Whenever I've brought up the pandora or seen it brought up outside this community, the response has been almost universally negative.  

You and Fatih were on the original pandora team.  Your shop is still selling the pandora and providing the only official support that I am aware of.  As far as internet journalism goes, that's more than enough to make the claim that the pyra is coming from the "same people".  And for every blogger that emails you asking for comments or clarification, there will be a dozen that just run with it.  Your only outlet for explanations will be in a comment thread, buried under a hundred different variations of "OVERPRICED VAPORWARE LOL!!!!11!".

I guess what you have to keep in mind is that "haters gonna hate", regardless.  You have to hope that a KS campaign reaches enough non-haters that wouldn't have otherwise found out about it, and that all the hate doesn't dissuade fence-sitters that might have preordered one if they hadn't heard about all the pandora / ICP2 problems.
 
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Jumpman

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it's easy to explain.
...
the team and involved companies are mostly completely different.

I guess what you have to keep in mind is that "haters gonna hate", regardless.  You have to hope that a KS campaign reaches enough non-haters that wouldn't have otherwise found out about it, and that all the hate doesn't dissuade fence-sitters that might have preordered one if they hadn't heard about all the pandora / ICP2 problems.
Yeah, this is where showing complete, or near complete units is key, especially for a device of this nature. Also, laying out a very clear and well versed KS campaign would also be a HUGE plus. ED would need to show how he has been around for the duration, and how he picked up the pieces of the Pandora, and took the weak links from previous projects and got rid of any and all of the known issues.

Chris
 

erico

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The "haters are gonna hate" with pandora and icp2 can actually turn into a propaganda truck, it really is not that hard to prove Ed´s deeds and it will keep the polemics going.
And yes, it is not a joke.
 

WizardStan

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True.  EvilDragon is tough, I'm sure he can weather the jerks.  There will be a lot of jerks, but it also occurs to me that as these jerks spread disinformation there's going to be some small set of people they're reaching that will look into it themselves and decide it is actually good.
There's the saying "any publicity is good publicity" which isn't strictly true but depending on how this plays out it could be here.  ED just has to not let it get to him when large sections of the internet call it a scam.
 

andmaz777

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Let's be 100% clear - what ED has done successfully with the Pandora was only possible with the original pre orders many of whom still have no device - the project is a failure that should have died.

luckily ED took some risks and saved the device and unlike many companies has not forgotten those pre orders - everyone must see that he is trustworthy which has been proved time and time again.

forget kickstarter just do pre orders.
 
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