Author Topic: Crowd fund it or not?  (Read 6569 times)

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Offline robertferanec

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Re: Crowd fund it or not?
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2016, 09:06:58 am »
Thank you @Kean. I didn't know this.
 

Offline Kilrah

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Re: Crowd fund it or not?
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2016, 02:34:44 pm »
If you have a look at the other companies, they have teams of people for PR and Marketing. And, it's only 2 of us. OpenRex is not even our main project.
I wanted to work on something what we would enjoy designing and what would be dedicated only for people to play with. Something what I could handle to my son, he could start playing with a microcontroller, LEDs, buttons, motors, sensors, ... and when he is ready or need something more powerful he would move up to the CPU and Linux. No installation.

There are plenty of boards and plenty of software, but it is actually not very easy to learn program.
When I was learning (on ATARI), it was easy. I had one book and I wrote the instructions and that was it. Now, you have to install a huge software first, configure it and when you create a new project it already has tons of code inserted. I have to sit down with my son and explain him what things mean, it's hard for people who are starting ... to actually start.

That's may plan about OpenRex - to teach how to design quite complex hardware, to teach how to write firmware for microcontrollers and to teach how to do Bootloader & Linux stuff for ARM boards. All in one place.
But realise that all the other board makers' intentions were precisely that. Seeing how they obviously haven't done so well even with relatively large staffing dedicated to it I'd wonder how 2 people for whom it's not the main project could manage to create an ecosystem of libraries, docs, courses and examples that would shake the world. The amount of work to create this, then more importantly (where it usually crumbles) maintain it is tremendous.

Would love it and for sure wish you luck, but without much hope :(

Unfortunately, I am not a marketing guy (I am an engineer) and we do not have team of people creating nice videos and blogging / tweaking / facebooking, so I may not be able to explain people why OpenRex is better than the other boards :(
Then how are you going to make courses/tutorials that are appealing to the current generations? It's (for good or bad) essential nowadays to create things in a "modern" format and with matching promotion.

Guys, please help, what the project would need to have, so you would pay $300 USD to play with it?
I'm starting to think you should pretty much forget about the board beyond being the example for the existing "hardware design course" product and not lose your time/money on producing it/offering it for sale like most others, but rather focus on what you actually want to do i.e. the software and documentation work and use another existing and cheaper board as a support like the UDOO neo that shares much of the philosophy (and hardware) and that you couldn't compete with at $50. Maybe you can sell your "soft" material for $250 to use on an UDOO board, instead of letting it be an "aside" for a $300 board that will cost you $200 to produce.

And what I hate most are the software guys who don't want to share their know how. It's so frustrating. Most of the programming stuff is very simple if you know how to do it - but no one wants to tell these simple things, they keep it for themselves. If you ask a software guy, he will tell something like: "It's simple, just write there this ... google it ... follow the manual ...", but they never tell you the exact steps and you have to spent hours and days trying to find the one command line which will do it.
It's not that they don't want to, it's that they just can't.
Most of the outstanding software guys did not get there by following courses (they would actually typically hate courses/school/any kind of "guided" learning) but because it was pretty "natural" to them in the first place, and what didn't "click" straight away they figured out by dabbling/experimenting/self-documenting.
They have no idea of how to teach nor to some extent why people might need to be taught, when they tell you to "look it up and figure it out" it's perfectly honest, it's literally the way they did it themselves, and the only one they know of. You can't ask them to do the very thing that doesn't work for them.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 02:38:29 pm by Kilrah »
 

Offline robertferanec

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Re: Crowd fund it or not?
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2016, 03:07:52 pm »
But realise that all the other board makers' intentions were precisely that. Seeing how they obviously haven't done so well even with relatively large staffing dedicated to it I'd wonder how 2 people for whom it's not the main project could manage to create an ecosystem of libraries, docs, courses and examples that would shake the world. The amount of work to create this, then more importantly (where it usually crumbles) maintain it is tremendous.

Yep, it's a lot of work. We have done the essentials of the project and for some time I can still support it from my own money. I suggested this topic as I would like to hear a lot of opinions about what should I do, so I can try to select the best path and get the highest chance, that later this project generates enough income to support and grow itself.

Would love it and for sure wish you luck, but without much hope :(

I take it as a challenge ;)

Then how are you going to make courses/tutorials that are appealing to the current generations? It's (for good or bad) essential nowadays to create things in a "modern" format and with matching promotion.

Oh, I can do blogs, videos, courses, tutorials, that is were we get our income from. What I am not good at is to create the nice promotion videos, fantastic looking pictures, organizing awesome events, ...

I'm starting to think you should pretty much forget about the board beyond being the example for the existing "hardware design course" product and not lose your time/money on producing it/offering it for sale like most others, but rather focus on what you actually want to do i.e. the software and documentation work and use another existing and cheaper board as a support like the UDOO neo that shares much of the philosophy (and hardware) and that you couldn't compete with at $50. Maybe you can sell your "soft" material for $250 to use on an UDOO board, instead of letting it be an "aside" for a $300 board that will cost you $200 to produce.

I was not thinking about this and it's an interesting idea. I can see there two potentially hard areas:
- we keep developing our own boards as that is what we use for our courses (it could be difficult to use someone else boards due licensing and IP)
- I would like to avoid building future of my company on someone else product. That is quite dangerous.
I will definitely think about this, it's a good idea. Thank you.
 

Offline robertferanec

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Re: Crowd fund it or not?
« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2016, 06:20:14 am »
Guys, I have been thinking all night about what you told me. It looks like, the $299 USD will be an expensive board and people may not want to buy the board for this price.

What if we make an "OpenRex Educational Kit" for children of 10/12+ with tons of examples from simple microcontroller programming and LED blinking (+ bread board circuit building) up to writing a Linux application with a nice GUI and simple game programming?

Would you buy this for your kids or for you even if it would cost $299 USD?
 

Offline blacksheeplogic

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Re: Crowd fund it or not?
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2016, 06:41:58 am »
I think your board would be attractive at $299 if it came with the full (not subscription) Altium design course you have for it. On it's own it's just another a nice board but niche with no real community. Look at it as a seed to grow a community.
 

Offline robertferanec

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Re: Crowd fund it or not?
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2016, 06:52:43 am »
Which of the courses would be useful with the board?
 

Offline blacksheeplogic

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Re: Crowd fund it or not?
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2016, 07:24:37 am »
Which of the courses would be useful with the board?

Not sure how much crosses over to this board, but what about your Advanced PCB Layout Course or a course specific this boards design, the process which you can't get from the design docs.
 

Offline robertferanec

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Re: Crowd fund it or not?
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2016, 08:00:30 am »
OpenRex is new, so there is no course about this board (yet). My plan is to make a software course for it (how to port Bootloader and Linux on an ARM board). Advanced PCB Layout is based on Rex module + baseboard.

Maybe, the software course could be sold with the board. It is a good idea. Thank you.
 


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