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The plan a bit more detailed (2011-09-27)


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#1 OFFLINE   EvilDragon

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:11 AM

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 ;))

Who's next? :)

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.



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#2 OFFLINE   Caine

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:22 AM

Oh, I didn't know skeezix's son and daughter were already born. Congratulations man! I hope both children and their parents are in good health.

17.000 subscribers. That's not too bad. Not all subscribers will still be customers, nor will all customers necessarily subscribe to the newsletter. Nevertheless, if those are still potential customers, the target for the coming year should be more than feasible.

#3 OFFLINE   EvilDragon

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:28 AM

Oh, I didn't know skeezix's son and daughter were already born. Congratulations man! I hope both children and their parents are in good health.


Yes :) Happened just a few minutes ago :D

17.000 subscribers. That's not too bad. Not all subscribers will still be customers, nor will all customers necessarily subscribe to the newsletter. Nevertheless, if those are still potential customers, the target for the coming year should be more than feasible.


Those guys at least WERE interested in the Pandora at some time, so if it becomes available without any preorder needed anymore (or at least not a paid preorder), there might still be quite a number who buy it :)



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#4 OFFLINE   Caine

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 12:31 AM

Yes :) Happened just a few minutes ago :D

Hell, you even said that in your post, I should read more thoroughly <_< That's it. Time for bed.

#5 OFFLINE   Fusion_Power

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:28 AM

Skeezix got Twins? GZ but how he made this as a Man, I thought only woman can get children. :D

Whatever, the high Numbers of the money that ED mentioned makes me wonder, how much does he need at all. I thought it was around 200.000 Euros but it seems much more. ^^"""

And the Main Problem with the Pandora is, you can't actualy make it popular because you can't deliver Pandoras, I doubt this will ever speed up, even with the new company. Remember tat it takes all ages to ship the parts, flash the Units, QC, shiping back and forth, more shipping, ED and Craig are already on their limits, even with CCs low production rate. Lets hope they also calculate with this fact. It brings us nothing if the new company can really make 1000 Units in a Month when OPT only can actualy build and ship 100 or so. ^^"

And don't let CC go without making them pay for what they have done. It would be really unfair if the customers have to pay for the mistakes of this Company, what the customers are actualy DO, see the entire price increasement of the Pandora over the time. I would make sure to get this money back from the guys who really caused all these delays and NOT from the Pandora users. ;)

#6 OFFLINE   Timstertoo

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:41 AM

Ok just so I understand. To deliver 1200 pre orders you need to produce 4000 Pandoras?

And 1k will take up to 2 months with the first batches and there is an understandable lead time due to getting finances, setting up the line etc etc.

So summing up my guestimation from your post I'll have to be prepared to have 2800 people that maybe just only today decide they want one to get their Pandora before me and I might be looking at another 10 - 12 months before I get it? (4k pandies take 4x2 months to make plus leadtime)

I'm so hoping you're going to say I misread your post completely and you'll school me in how I'll only have to wait another month or so. :)

#7 OFFLINE   EvilDragon

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:42 AM

Whatever, the high Numbers of the money that ED mentioned makes me wonder, how much does he need at all. I thought it was around 200.000 Euros but it seems much more. ^^"""


About 270.000 EUR are needed for 1000 Pandoras, and as some parts have a certain leadtime and some users will probably cancel their order, more money is needed to be safe.

And the Main Problem with the Pandora is, you can't actualy make it popular because you can't deliver Pandoras, I doubt this will ever speed up, even with the new company. Remember tat it takes all ages to ship the parts, flash the Units, QC, shiping back and forth, more shipping, ED and Craig are already on their limits even with CCs low shipping rate. Lets hope they also calculate with this fact. It brings us nothing if the new company can really make 1000 Units in a Month when OPT only can actualy build and ship 100 or so. ^^"


Shipping parts doesn't take long. Some parts have a long leadtime, and that's why those will be ordered in-time to have them ready when needed. That's part of the reason we need more money upfront.
Also, assembly will take place either at Global Components or with hired workers (10.000 EUR are planned for 1000 Pandoras just for assembly).
Full testing will take place at Global Components already.

And I've got no idea what shipping back and forth there will be.
All parts will go to Global Components.
The cases and LCDs will either go to Global Components or to me, depending on whether they will build the Pandoras (my preferred option) or we will do it here.

I'll pick up the finished PCBs (or assembled Pandoras) from GC, will put batteries in and flash the latest firmware - and that's it.

What shipping back and forth is needed here?
And why should we not be able to have a reliable and stable Pandora production?

The major point of creating a business plan and getting investors was to achieve exactly that.

And don't let CC go without making them pay for what they have done. It would be really unfair if the customers have to pay for the mistakes of this Company, what the customers are actualy DO, see the entire price increasement of the Pandora over the time. I would make sure to get this money back from the guys who really caused all these delays and NOT from the Pandora users. ;)


No, the customers don't have to pay for this.
The profit for the investors will be less because of that. The price wouldn't go lower right now.

Of course we'll try to either make them pay or get the remaining PCBs from them, but this is not an easy task.



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#8 OFFLINE   EvilDragon

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:45 AM

Ok just so I understand. To deliver 1200 pre orders you need to produce 4000 Pandoras?


Or less, depending on how much will be delivered from CC and how many refunds there are.

So summing up my guestimation from your post I'll have to be prepared to have 2800 people that maybe just only today decide they want one to get their Pandora before me and I might be looking at another 10 - 12 months before I get it? (4k pandies take 4x2 months to make plus leadtime)


There will be no leadtime. The money raised it enough to pay the parts with the long leadtime in advance in order to have a continously production running.
It might be we can do 1000 per month from the very beginning.

I'm so hoping you're going to say I misread your post completely and you'll school me in how I'll only have to wait another month or so. :)


One month would only work if CC delivers.
Production setup will need some time, so we won't see a full production run before December / January.
There's not much we can do here.



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#9 OFFLINE   Timstertoo

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 01:50 AM


One month would only work if CC delivers.
Production setup will need some time, so we won't see a full production run before December / January.
There's not much we can do here.


And then 4 times 2 months for 1k units a time basically means 1 more year waiting for end of batch 1 customers right?

#10 OFFLINE   EvilDragon

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:03 AM



One month would only work if CC delivers.
Production setup will need some time, so we won't see a full production run before December / January.
There's not much we can do here.

And then 4 times 2 months for 1k units a time basically means 1 more year waiting for end of batch 1 customers right?


No, as those 1200 are Batch 1 AND Batch 2 orders.

End of Batch 1 should be finished after the first 2000, though I guess it will be even earlier as I expect some refunds.
And after the first 2000, I'd really want to do 1000 per month, unless there won't be enough customers to get the money in time).

Also, anyone from could still upgrade if he wants, which will also speed up things.

Don't forget: Two refunds will make up the money for one full Pandora.
Let's assume you have a batch of 1000 units and 50 users want a refund and 50 want to upgrade to get it faster:
This would not only reduce the queue of units left to deliver, but also increase the amount of money we have for the next PCB production.
So more units could be send to old customers.
So 50 refunds and 50 upgrades would reduce the queue by 150.



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#11 OFFLINE   Mr Rob

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:38 AM

Just out of curiosity, how many units will need to be produced to get some big attention from venture capitalists?

Say a revenue stream for the VC at $75 per device (complete guess here, I don't know what the profit margin will be; don't tell if it's a company secret :)), will there be general investors at 2000 units, or will you need to be up near 10,000+? Or are there enough VC's that would invest in a smaller run, too?

Just curious, as fun as the Pandora is, the story of the company behind it is just as interesting.
:wq

#12 OFFLINE   Darkknight512

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:59 AM

First off congrats Skeezix :)

Everything sounds great, though have you considered making the pre-orders for the next batch be a $50-100 deposit? That way, it is more of a guarantee of getting the full sale later, and you have some money, you may get less pre-orders dropping the amount of investors you get but if you can sell 1000 pandoras that's $50 000 to $100 000 dollars.

I know you didn't like the idea of prepay, but there is a reason stores have a deposit of at least $5 for games and stuff, its semi-insurance and if you are buying a pandora for $500 10-20% deposit is not bad. There is no reason you should not be doing the same.

I think this is leading into "I'm not a good business man because I'm too nice", you can cut your investor requirement by 25% and get a more guaranteed sale.

For the people not really a part of the community and come around from the web and think they MIGHT want to buy a Pandora, and they don't really care that you said to only pre-order if they are sure they are buying, then you will get a lot of unfulfilled pre-orders which will cause you headaches down the road.

For more guarantee but possibly easier to swallow for customers (depending on how you look at it) you could make the $25 non-refundable.

It just all sounds logical to me, if you make a pre-order, you drop down some cash, as long as in the customer's eyes its not a lot of money but in the end, in your eyes it is, 25% is a good chunk, and it might even be 25% (or 10% if its a lower deposit) you don't have to worry about, if it's non-refundable.

I just feel, to make a solid foundation for a business, you have to balance risk and reward, by making a depost, you get less sales, less reward, but also less risk. Money will still be made, And the amount of money each investor makes is the same, just less investors.

And my calculations are pretty conservative, I'm quite sure you will sell more then 1000 pandora's when the next round of pre-orders come. I know that because I have faith in you and this project.

Edit: Another alternative is to give customers a choice, they can drop down a $250 deposit and get in the fast queue (maybe make this only available to 1000 people), or the slow queue with no deposit. There is no reason the company should take this risk, however big and even if you have backup, without insurance.
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#13 OFFLINE   fredg999

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:03 AM

Not all subscribers will still be customers, nor will all customers necessarily subscribe to the newsletter.


I regularly read this section of the forum, though rarely commenting, to keep up with the updates; yet I am not subscribed to the section because I keep the tab open in my browser and refresh it once in a while. I plan to preorder a Pandora during the upcoming preorder batch.

Since I will have ordered quite late, I will expect it late and that's good. I will be patient, though my total wait time will still be considerably shorter than a lot of people here, and for that I shall not complain at all.

I'm glad to hear that things are progressively improving, I wish the project can expand and I will do my part and advertise the Pandora to my friends. :)

#14 OFFLINE   EvilDragon

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:38 AM

Just out of curiosity, how many units will need to be produced to get some big attention from venture capitalists?

Say a revenue stream for the VC at $75 per device (complete guess here, I don't know what the profit margin will be; don't tell if it's a company secret :)), will there be general investors at 2000 units, or will you need to be up near 10,000+? Or are there enough VC's that would invest in a smaller run, too?

Just curious, as fun as the Pandora is, the story of the company behind it is just as interesting.


You don't need to produce any units to get attention from venture capitalists - you need to have a good business plan.
I can talk to venture capitalists, but as it looks like, we get enough investments from community members, which is even more awesome :D



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#15 OFFLINE   sporkbox

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:06 AM

If I read correctly, batch 2 won't start until GC gets started with production?

#16 OFFLINE   matzesu

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 07:28 AM

A boy and a girls is this kind of twins which is usefull because you know who is who :), Congratulation to Skezix :)

CC is not realy a god company it seems..

I m looking forward to the Pandora² , but i want first to end final fantasy vii on the Pandora 1, i have wait about 2 1/2 Yeahrs of it, but a Pandora 2 whit a lot of power would bee nice too, meybe enought powerfull to emulate a PS2, and whit a 3000000gb flash Storage for the PS2 Isos (there are DVDs)
Pandora FTW!!!

Whats my Ordernumber???? (I cant remember)

Please excuse my English, i did had french in Shool (but my English is better)

#17 OFFLINE   Emnasut

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:32 AM

^ You want 30 petabyte (PB) for PS2 games? According to Wikipedia there are 2015 released ps2 games. If every game used a dual-layer DVD with 8.4 GB you'd still have 29.983074 PB left... Well at least you could fit *everything* existing on the piratebay on it (15 PB at their 8 year anniversary) and still have roughly 15 PB left. (:

Also, congratulations skeezix! (:

#18 OFFLINE   matzesu

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 09:36 AM

You cant have enought gb :)
Pandora FTW!!!

Whats my Ordernumber???? (I cant remember)

Please excuse my English, i did had french in Shool (but my English is better)

#19 OFFLINE   elwing

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:03 AM

You cant have enought gb :)


30 PB ought to be enough for anybody

... DM3730...
Aditionally, if your Pandora can clock to 900MHz, there's not much difference anymore.


#20 OFFLINE   F_Slim

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 10:24 AM

Oh... and no, none of the kids will be called Pandora ;)

No, the boy will be called "Pan", and the girl "Dora" :lol:


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