Inventory & Assembly, Fulfillment, New Marketing Test, Sales Sluggish, Linux/Mac, & What’s Next

Wow, it’s been a while! It’s already been a year since the idea to do Logic was starting to take a physical form, and it’s been a great learning experience. Kind of like having your own little MBA case study.

Inventory: Is holding up! We finally have assembly taking place by not-me, by these great guys in LA. I flew down a couple times to get them started but they pretty much have it under control now. They put everything together, functional test it, and ship it off to the fulfillment center. I still handle the ordering and logistics but that could be outsourced as well to these guys, just a matter of getting around to it. Cash flow is super tight so unfortunately it’s hard to get orders placed in a timely manner but the problem is being worked.

Fulfillment: So we’re set up with a fulfillment house in NV now, and that has been an interesting experience. Overall I’m not super happy but on the plus side I’ll I have to do is some button clicking and orders go out every day. The alternative is to have someone here to do that but then you’re kind of at the mercy if whether that person just happens to be out sick, or on vacation, etc. Still, in hindsight it may have been the better option. On the plus side the whole process of getting set up for fulfillment has forced me to write a ton of code to handle all the e-commerce back-end which before was a hodge podge to manage. It also really helps for accounting, which is now finally 95% or so worked out.

Shopping cart survey: To try and tease out what works and what doesn’t, we’ve put a little opt-in survey on the shopping cart. This is tied into a database on the backend and I can run reports against it. So not only do I have sales data for reporting, I also have the breakdown of what channels customers came from. The results have been slightly inconclusive, but a couple of things kind of were made more obvious. This is something I’d like to significantly improve over time, time permitting. New site: Not much to mention here, other than I’ve cleaned up a few things, and finally removed the imote stuff. I finally got around to showcasing some of the better pictures we have of Logic. Oh, and now all the Logic accessories are available!

Sales sluggish: Well after we got inventory finally sales peaked out but then have kind of trailed off a bit. This means we can’t throw engineering talent at the Linux/Mac software like I had hoped and also it means we have to cut back on marketing. There are a number of reasons why sales have slumped I think, although without hard data it’s difficult to be sure.

Linux/Mac development: So the last major hurdle for Logic is this Linux/Mac development, and it’s turned out to be quite the doozy. Half of this is because it’s non-trivial, and half is because with sales slow I’ve had to spend a ton of time running the store. Unfortunately things don’t look to be solving themselves, so it’ll be a long hard slog to get Linux/Mac support out there. However, I’m still very excited about it and think it’ll be really cool. Unfortunately though, for all the heroes anxiously awaiting it, it’s probably something like 2-3 months away I’m sorry to announce. With everything going on it was way too optimistic to think we’d have this done so quickly. I shouldn’t have pinned estimated dates to when it would be a available but unfortunately there’s no CEO here to temper the idealistic claims of the overconfident engineers =)

What’s Next for Logic? Pretty much the same stuff that’s been next for a while: Linux/Mac, more protocols, and a boatload of software improvements. After that I think Logic will be pretty much squared away and maximally useful, and with it checked off the list it’ll be on to other cool ideas. I kind of want to start an education company, among 20 other ideas, but I digress. We’ll see how it goes.

Pictures!

Here is the first 100 units for SparkFun going out in December.

Each one of these is a Logic PCB. Woo!

Site Updates!

Flying to LA for Logic assembly. This is San Francisco. The little fuzzy bridge is the golden gate.

Logic assembly happening!

I love boxes of tested, ready-to-ship Logics. Gives me a warm feeling. =)