Launch Update #2

Software

The second beta has been released! Get it here:  http://support.saleae.com/hc/en-us/articles/200905065-logic-1-1-20-beta

Logic 4

  • Estimated shipping date: August 1
  • Constraint: Aluminum case (scheduled for late July)
  • PCBA:  Assembled and ready

Logic 8:

  • Estimated shipping date: August 15
  • Constraint: Aluminum case
  • PCB: scheduled for mid-July
  • Electrical components:  scheduled for on or before August 6

Logic Pro 8

  • Estimated shipping date: August 15
  • Constraint: Aluminum case / PCB
  • PCB: scheduled early August (working to bring this in)
  • Electrical components:  scheduled for on or before August 6

Logic Pro 16

  • Estimated shipping date: August 15
  • Constraint: PCB
  • PCB: scheduled late 8/13 (working to bring this in)
  • Electrical components:  scheduled for on or before August 6

Machined Aluminum Cases

The aluminum cases required another round of first-article approvals – in particular the factory needed a dimensional change to aid manufacturability, there were some cosmetic issues with the metal finishing of the Logic ‘feet’ components, and we added laser etching to the back of the part.  The new first articles are being finished right now and after approval we should be three weeks out from production parts. I was hoping to have these production parts right about now, allowing us to ship Logic 4, but unfortunately it hasn’t worked out that way.

PCBs

The PCBs also added some lead-time mainly to some design changes on our end and a lot of back and forth over getting things approved (stackup, panelizations, impedance, and so on).  This only affects Logic Pro 8 and Pro 16, with the Pro 16 PCB currently having the longest lead time of 8/13.  I’ve requested that to be brought in to the 1st but I don’t have confirmation they can do that yet.

Electrical components

I was able to bring in lead times on almost everything, but there is still one component stuck at 8/6.  I think this part can be moved up to the 1st with some expedited shipping – our rep is exploring that now.  If we can get the PCBs pulled in to the 1st as well then this will be helpful.

Other company updates

Software Team

The software team, headed up by my brother Mark, continues to do very well.

They are still on a two-week Scrum cycle, and have a Scrum meeting once per day.  The team is getting more and more experienced with the software and able to help each other more and more – rather than relying on Mark as much.  Mark has been running these various software ‘bootcamps’ where a developer is asked to thoroughly  research a topic and then explain it to the team – optimization and multithreading for example, and that seems to be going well.

Our focus remains on polishing the software ahead of the official launch.  Performance is key – this application is extremely, extremely data intensive.   Other tasks on the final two sprints include security, calibration, simulation, drag and drop of channels, keyboard shortcuts, and bug fixes and UX improvements.  Proper support for Mac gestures and non-Ubuntu Linux is also on the list.

Security / Clones

Regarding security, we’re taking it pretty seriously this time around.  Logic has been cloned, and there’s not much we can do about that, but we expect to be able to protect Logic16 and all the new products from cloning from here on out.  Mark reads the forum posts by our various friends in Asia who have successfully cloned Logic16; it’s very interesting and kind of a weird experience reading about how your product was cloned, I can assure you.  In the case of Logic16 we’ve developed a weird sense of respect for our advisories, and have learned a lot about how they see the world – and can imagine how if raised in similar circumstances, we would probably do the same thing and feel just fine about it.   All that said, we don’t expect that Logic16 clones will be able to work with any new versions of our software.

Oversees Shipping

We have received a lot of questions from mainly European customers asking how we will be shipping the new products.  For the pre-order only, we will be shipping directly from the US, and yes, you will most likely get a bill from FedEx for VAT. After the pre-orders we will be collecting VAT on our website, and for all EU countries – in addition to as many other countries – we will be able to guarantee that you will not get a customs bill. We’ve worked with FedEx to get super accurate country-by-country customs information.  On a country-by-country basis we will set it up so we are billed for customs, and any charges we just charge for up front.  For EU countries for example, this will just be VAT.

Inventory & Financial Systems

With the assistance of our new interim CFO, we have been looking at inventory management and financial packages.  The landscape of accounting packages starts with QuickBooks and Xero, which are inexpensive.  Up from there you have Intacct, which from all accounts is great for accounting, but you need to be at least a $20M company for that to make sense.  At the same time as Intacct starts to make sense, so to the enterprise ERP systems, like NetSuite.  But as nice as that would be, it’s not going to happen at our size.  So… QuickBooks or Xero.  Xero is out because its inventory capability is too primitive (this should be different in a year, they are working on that right now).

For inventory, we looked really closely at Aligni.  It supports electrical components really well – in particular version control, octopart integration, great quoting, tiered pricing/order minimums, and a formalized build cycle.  There’s also Fishbowl and a few other ones.  The biggest problem with Aligni was that it would require a lot of work to integrate properly with QuickBooks.  Getting large numbers of parts and assemblies into QuickBooks is cumbersome to say the least, but there are some third party tools to make it less painful.  In particular we’ve used Transaction Pro Importer 5 with good success. The QuickBooks API is SLOW.

We ultimately decided to just use the QuickBooks inventory and upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise so we could add “Advanced Inventory” which adds a couple of useful features.   On top of this we’ll be adding custom software to help in figuring out what needs to be ordered and when, which we’ve been doing for a while.  We also were able to create some log-ins for the assembly team that had restricted permissions – so they can directly use QuickBooks without seeing (or editing haha!) salary information, etc.

Forecasting

For planning/forecasting/budgeting we’re pretty set on starting to use Adaptive Insights.  This is not cheap, but is barely affordable for a company our size.  But with the help of our interim CFO I’m hopeful that our forecasting will be much, much more useful.

Kanban

For manufacturing the assembly team is using Kanban with great success – just cards, no software.  I hope to apply this to reordering supplies soon (supplies not tracked in inventory).  In addition we will be linking the Kanban cards with various QuickBooks activities so that the inventory status stays perfectly in sync with production.  Lastly, I’m hoping to start tracking assembly time for individuals and specific Kanban jobs – with the goal of at least having COGS (cost of goods sold) contributions from the different production activities.

New Marketing Agency

As some of you on Facebook may have noticed, we’ve engaged with a marketing agency on a trial basis to see if we can explore some different marketing channels and find one that works.  They will also be optimizing our Google AdWords efforts among several other areas.  Historically most of our sales come through personal recommendations, which is awesome.  We’re hoping that though some new marketing efforts we can grow more quickly than we have in the past and support a larger team to take on bigger projects in the future.

Bi-weekly Meetings

A few months ago we started to do some status meetings every two weeks, and I think it’s been very helpful for top level planning.  We have one for software, manufacturing, and marketing.  The one I like the most is the ‘big picture’ meeting which allows me – for a couple of hours – to forget all the things going wrong at the particular moment step back and dream up what we could be doing next – both in terms of a few months and in terms of a few years out.  It’s a breath of fresh air and I think will help us keep in mind where we want to go even when on the day-to-day level we’re only thinking a month out or so.

Furry Friend

Lastly, we get a temporary Saleae mascot a recently — Charlie.   Charlie is my friend’s bunny that we will be watching for a little while. Initially this was because she went on vacation, but I’ve convinced her to let us keep Charlie a little longer.  Shh, don’t tell building management.

[![Full featured, fully animated drag and drop is coming in the next release.](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-12.41.41-700x525.jpg)](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-12.41.41.jpg)
Full featured, fully animated drag and drop is coming in the next release.
 
[![Just an example of some amazing code cranked out by the developer team :)](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-12.43.37-700x525.jpg)](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-12.43.37.jpg)
Just an example of some amazing code cranked out by the developer team :)
 
[![This is Mark's "launch beard". He cannot shave it until after we ship.](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-12.13.16-700x525.jpg)](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-12.13.16.jpg)
This is Mark’s “launch beard”. He cannot shave it until after we ship.
 
[![James & Jimmy have been working on this Kanban system and it's going extremely well. They are currently working on version 2.](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-11.52.18-700x525.jpg)](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-11.52.18.jpg)
James & Jimmy have been working on this Kanban system and it’s going extremely well. They are currently working on version 2.
 
[![Some SLA prototypes of a test clip we've been working on.](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-11.51.49-700x525.jpg)](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-07-03-11.51.49.jpg)
Some SLA prototypes of a test clip we’ve been working on.
 
[![This guy is staying with us for a few weeks. His name is Charlie.](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-06-25-10.36.24-700x525.jpg)](http://blog.saleae.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/2014-06-25-10.36.24.jpg)
This guy is staying with us for a few weeks. His name is Charlie.

Joe Garrison

Co-Founder, Saleae

San Francisco, CA https://www.saleae.com