Author Topic: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation  (Read 57669 times)

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Offline Smokey

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I just got an interesting email from the Saleae guys.  It said they are increasing prices on their products and had a link to a blog post on their site.

http://blog.saleae.com/need-raise-logics-price/

The summary is ... running an electronics design and manufacturing business is really hard.  Designs take longer than expected... Assembly is more expensive than expected... And doing everything in house isn't always the best option since running your own pick and place is a lot more involved than expected.  Plus the bigger you get, the more money you need to keep it going.

This sounds like a pretty common story for new(ish) and growing electronics design and manufacturing businesses.  There sure are a lot of easier ways out there to make a buck.
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 04:19:10 am »
I had the same code.
 

Offline marshallh

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 07:03:21 am »
Oh boy. Who thought it was a good idea to run their own P&P in house?
Shaking my head. Even with the low volume turnkey I've hired out I know better than that.
If the best case scenario is just gaining parity with overseas assemblers, you gain nothing. You need to factor in the immense learning curve, wasted time futzing with the machine, etc. A buddy of mine babysits these things for a living. 6 months in and they are just barely getting a handle on things.

Their "high" number of passives per pcb is nothing special, and no justification for trying to do it in-house. Maybe consider once the new tools were bringing in sales and there was lots of room to experiment.
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 07:17:06 am »
Oh boy. Who thought it was a good idea to run their own P&P in house?
Shaking my head. Even with the low volume turnkey I've hired out I know better than that.
If the best case scenario is just gaining parity with overseas assemblers, you gain nothing. You need to factor in the immense learning curve, wasted time futzing with the machine, etc. A buddy of mine babysits these things for a living. 6 months in and they are just barely getting a handle on things.

In-house PnP capability depends upon a lot of factors. Good for some, terrible idea for others.
e.g. Sparkfun, Adafruit, and 3D robotics are 3 examples of an ideal case for in-house PnP. They spin a lot of different products (hundreds per year), and small-ish runs (100's to 1000's). The logistics of getting a subcontractor to do hundreds of different boards per year is not easy, so makes sense to bring it in house.

Now I'm not entirely sure about Saleae, but from what I gather they don't spin that many new boards every year, they just churn out existing designs. In that case an in-house PnP isn't a great option because you are just trying to maintain an expensive and complicated machine at a labour price to compete with a contract manufacturer who usually knows how to do it better, likely pays their staff less, and has better access to capital to buy better gear (read faster + more capability) than you can afford on your own.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 07:19:50 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2015, 07:35:37 am »
The vertically-integrated electronics company jumped the shark decades ago.
 

Online Psi

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2015, 07:37:11 am »
In-house PnP capability depends upon a lot of factors. Good for some, terrible idea for others.
e.g. Sparkfun, Adafruit, and 3D robotics are 3 examples of an ideal case for in-house PnP. They spin a lot of different products (hundreds per year), and small-ish runs (100's to 1000's). The logistics of getting a subcontractor to do hundreds of different boards per year is not easy, so makes sense to bring it in house.

Now I'm not entirely sure about Saleae, but from what I gather they don't spin that many new boards every year, they just churn out existing designs. In that case an in-house PnP isn't a great option because you are just trying to maintain an expensive and complicated machine at a labour price to compete with a contract manufacturer who usually knows how to do it better, likely pays their staff less, and has better access to capital to buy better gear (read faster + more capability) than you can afford on your own.

Yep, as Dave says.
And there's another reason not to do your own P&P/Reflow.
 
You don't have the issue of getting ready to put a batch of pasted PCBs into the re-purposed pizza oven only to find another employee has used to make pizza the day before and there's a mess of cheese inside.
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Online Rasz

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 08:44:43 am »
 I wonder if they make their own screws too ....
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Offline andersm

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 10:17:38 am »
So this is an established company having a Kickstarter failure moment?

Online Rasz

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 10:56:29 am »
no, this is a CEO thinking manufacturing is easy, and building in house will somehow magically stop Chinese clones  :palm:
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2015, 12:19:35 pm »
So this is an established company having a Kickstarter failure moment?

I'm rather surprised to find that a company like Saleae that's had a market leading product for years can suddenly find themselves in a position like this. It seems entirely self inflicted.
It's fine the take on debt and try and expand your business, but usually when you've been a success for years you'd be in a position to do that with little to no risk. i.e. have lots of cash in the bank to cover things going wrong.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2015, 12:21:27 pm »
no, this is a CEO thinking manufacturing is easy, and building in house will somehow magically stop Chinese clones  :palm:

I do wonder how much the clones have hurt their business?
 

Offline mc

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2015, 12:33:44 pm »
I do wonder how much the clones have hurt their business?

Lots I'd guess.
I've got one, for the sole reason, when I came to actually need a LA, Salae had stopped doing their old digital only ones, meaning I'd have to pay a noticeable amount more for their new analog Logic 8, which I couldn't justify for the minimal use it would actually get.
I could really do with a 16 channel LA, however I can't justify the even higher price for their new 16 channel device, so I just make do with my £10 ebay clone and swapping leads around when needed.

It's not the right thing to do, but from where I'm sitting, Saleae shot themself in the foot by dropping their old digital only devices and forcing people to pay more for functionality they most likely don't need.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2015, 12:51:56 pm »
Quote
no, this is a CEO thinking manufacturing is easy, and building in house will somehow magically stop Chinese clones

I have a lot of synpathy for guys like salae: they need to be rewarded financial to encourage further and future innovations.

On the flip side, it is stupid to think that in-house production can stop cloning. Their are now 16-ch LA clones that run on the new salae software. The differentiation has to be made somewhere else, like in providing better support, in providing better quality assurance and differing services, none of which the clones can do.

But that can be a tough sale to the hobbyist market, thus a shift in business model may be needed.
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Offline janoc

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2015, 01:11:36 pm »
Quote
no, this is a CEO thinking manufacturing is easy, and building in house will somehow magically stop Chinese clones

I have a lot of synpathy for guys like salae: they need to be rewarded financial to encourage further and future innovations.

On the flip side, it is stupid to think that in-house production can stop cloning. Their are now 16-ch LA clones that run on the new salae software. The differentiation has to be made somewhere else, like in providing better support, in providing better quality assurance and differing services, none of which the clones can do.

But that can be a tough sale to the hobbyist market, thus a shift in business model may be needed.

I think that they are now more expensive than even companies like Ikalogic - that's hardly a Chinese cloner there, is it? Many new oscilloscopes include the basic logic analyzer functionality today.

Also they are hardly the only ones with a similar product on the market, but they are really one of the very expensive ones now - this is only what Sigrok supports, there are for sure many more on the market:
http://sigrok.org/wiki/Supported_hardware#Logic_analyzers

That is a company that forgot to innovate, living from their past success and now trying to blame the evil Chinese cloners for their problems.

 

Offline tom66

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 01:31:08 pm »
I could really do with a 16 channel LA, however I can't justify the even higher price for their new 16 channel device, so I just make do with my £10 ebay clone and swapping leads around when needed.

It's not right, but it's ok to steal software from a small company? I can understand upgrading a Rigol scope but 90% of Saleae is in the software. Save a little money and buy the genuine article or don't use it at all.  What's with the entitlement here?
 

Offline andersm

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2015, 01:32:34 pm »
no, this is a CEO thinking manufacturing is easy
That is precisely one of the traps many Kickstarter hardware projects fall into. I would guess that their sales volume had outgrown their in-house manufacturing capability, but also was not high enough to make outsourcing viable with the old prices.

Online Rasz

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2015, 02:42:53 pm »
In the mean time Chinese are innovating beyond clones:

http://uutools.com/Logic%20Analyzer_Overview.html

from $75 with free shipping
http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/LA1016-Logic-Analyzer-p-2214.html
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Offline tom66

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2015, 03:06:56 pm »
Not seen that before. Comes with original software and it looks pretty good!  :-+
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2015, 03:19:08 pm »
Quote
In the mean time Chinese are innovating beyond clones:

That IS a clone.
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Offline tom66

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2015, 03:26:22 pm »
That IS a clone.

Different design. Uses a Cyclone IV, DDR RAM and SRAM. Software different, too:


Doesn't look quite as refined as the Saleae software. But, the software is what you're really buying when you spend  ~$200 on a Saleae.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2015, 03:29:34 pm »
Salae's real mistake was in thinking that the hardware was the differentiator. It's the software. And they should simply lock down the software. Then they could sell the software to those that purchased cloned devices.

I was actually shocked to discover that there was no license/locking mechanism for the software when I got my LA from Salae.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2015, 03:33:24 pm »
I'm surprised they don't have a system where you have to enter, e.g. your device serial number to unlock it. I realise it would get cracked, but it would probably stop a lot of people who don't want to download a pirated version of it.
 

Online Rasz

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2015, 03:54:10 pm »
Quote
In the mean time Chinese are innovating beyond clones:

That IS a clone.

screenshots misled you :)

Lets start with something important not many people realize, Saleae Logic  WAS A CLONE of
http://www.usbee.com/sx.html
http://www.usbee.com/usbeesxdigitaltestpod.aspx
They cleverly differentiated themselves with nice anodized case, VERY polished software, slightly lower price and strong marketing to DIY/arduidiot crowd. This is what they build their company on. New products are just variations on cloning higher models of USBEE. Clones showed up when demand from hobby market soared. This is when they realized commercial customers are less likely to buy clones and introduced new expensive models.
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Offline amyk

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2015, 04:10:18 pm »
Considering the first 8-channel Saleae was basically the FX2LP evaluation board in a fancy-wanky case, I'm not surprised. (The clones with the same chip and Sigrok could use up to 16 channels...) If they think the cost is in software, then they should be in the business of selling LA software, and not give it away for free download on their website.

Entry-level host-based LAs like these are simple, no matter how much they trumpet their "but we spent X amount of time on it".
 

Offline zapta

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Re: Saleae logic price increases and interesting blog post explanation
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2015, 04:36:01 pm »
Salae's real mistake was in thinking that the hardware was the differentiator. It's the software. And they should simply lock down the software. Then they could sell the software to those that purchased cloned devices.

They also didn't support it well. When I got my Saleae device the linbus decoder for example was in beta when I purchased my device and and a year later it was still not in the stable version.

From my interaction with them they seem to be nice people but unreliable as a company. For example, my device arrived with a crappy and over sized case that was different from the nice one they shown in their marketing material.

Next time I will think twice before buying anything from them.
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