Hi everybody. We have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, we now have a much clearer idea of how long it's going to take to complete the project. The bad news is that it's going to take longer than we last expected.
A few days after the last update, our developer came back to us once again and said he needed a few more weeks and a lot more money to complete the project. This was a continuation of a trend and not an isolated incident and it caused us to lose confidence in his ability to complete the project.
I’m sure you’ve noticed over the past few months that I’ve continued to tell you that we are very close to completion and we should start manufacturing and be able to ship the product soon, only to come back later and tell you that it’s not quite ready. While the information was factually incorrect, I’ve always tried to be honest and transparent with you all throughout. I’ve tried to give you the most accurate information that I could, it’s just that I wasn’t receiving good information either, leaving us just as frustrated with the situation as I imagine all of you are.
With that said, I’m not going to make excuses and shirk responsibility for issue. We should have recognized this pattern and taken action to resolve the situation sooner. That part is on us. For first time entrepreneurs, it is incredibly difficult to have perspective needed to be able to distinguish the “this is just the way it’s done, you need to suck it up and push through it” (an “A” type situation) from the “something isn’t right, we need to cut our losses and move on” (a “B” type situation). Where we went wrong was in experiencing a type “B” situation but mistaking it for an “A” type situation.
Luckily, we have a group of several personal mentors and business advisors that we speak with on a semi-regular basis. We explained the situation to them and asked for their perspective on the matter. They told us straight up, this isn’t typical. It shouldn’t be taking this long and the continued delays and money issues should be a red flag. There are plenty of other companies out there better equipped to help you, and you shouldn’t hesitate to fix this.
So that’s what we did. We quickly and cordially ended the relationship with our developer, made sure to get all the project files so we wouldn’t lose any progress, and sought out someone else to help us. We researched several dozen companies online, contacted 15, heard back from 7, got quotes from and extensively vetted 3, and then just this past Wednesday, we submitted a purchase order for the needed PCB design engineering work needed to finish the project.
This new company that we’re working with is based in New Jersey and is a much better overall fit for us. They’ve been in business building electronics since 1968 and their facilities are much more advanced. They also work on well defined timelines, and from reviews that we’ve read, they tend to stick to them.
We’ve received three separate quotes that will take us from where we are now to final production. The first quote includes reviewing our schematic, revising the schematic in a way that will make the design work, and the updating the circuit routing. In total, this should take 7-8 business days from the time of payment (which went though on 8/16).
The next stage is fabricating the prototype boards (the boards we recently received are no good anymore and must be scrapped), procuring the components, and assembling them onto the bare board. That quote allows for 3 weeks of lead time, but they’ve expressed that once they finish the design section, they will provide us with an updated quote with prices for 1 week, 2 week, and 3 week turnaround times for the prototypes. As long as the cost for the expedited work is reasonable we’ll try to do the 1 week or 2 week turnarounds. Once they are finished building the prototypes they’re going to ship it to us so we can verify that it works and begin making the final changes to the software.
Once we can confirm that it works we can give them the go ahead to produce the production units for your order. The production quote stated that there would be a 4 week lead time for this segment. That gives us just enough time to finish the housing design, create the tooling, and order the parts, as well as finish up the packaging design and have that produced and delivered.
Below is an updated timeline detailing the steps we need to complete to bring the Read ‘n Style pen to market and how much longer it should take.