Whaaaat? Another news post? What's happening, so much to report?

Well, yes.
I'm actively working on a lot of things in parallel right now to get things moving.

1. Another visit at Global Components

Yesterday I had another loooong meeting (5 hours!) with Global Components.
We were discussing the production of the Pandora, how to proceed, etc.

The people involved in the meeting were the project manager (with whom I am in regular phone contact as well), the CEO, the parts buying agent and the population machine operator.
We were discussing and making a production plan, when to order what parts, what issues could occur with the production and how to prevent them, etc.

The bare PCB production will be started right away and takes about 4 - 6 weeks, which means: We could do a prototype production run in mid-November (15 PCBs).
I will be there for the whole day and will also do a FullHD video - so you can actually see a Pandora board being populated and born

After that, the full series of bare PCBs will be produced which takes another 4 weeks approximately.
So end of December / early January would be the production run with the first 1000 boards.
We are planning to produce 1000 boards per month from then on.

This is a plan - but for that to happen, a few things need to be taken care of:
  • The parts lying around at CC that were planned for Batch 2 need to be transported to Germany. That's one of the things I'll work actively on from tomorrow on.
  • The investments need to be done. I'll get the english contract within this week and will send that to the investors.
    Then it's up to them to decide, whether they want to invest or not and how much. There's about 650,000 EUR from potential community investors, but you never know how much you'll get in reality.
    Also, I don't want to annoy and push any investors. This needs time to be thought through, it's quite a bit of money. When enough money has been confirmed until the end of October and at least 100,000 EUR have been transferred until early November, then the plan will work out. Otherwise, the production will be delayed until the money is there.

These are two important things, and I really hope I can get them done in October. But I'm optimistic here.

2. Investors and funding

I'm not only depending on community investors (though with 650,000 EUR, a few could back out and there would still be enough left), I'm also working actively on getting major investors from my area involved.
I've got a few appointments within the next week as well, so it might be there's enough available without ANY community investors. Those kind of investors that said "Oh well, that's not that much money" when I told them how much I need
Of course, community investments have a higher priority for me You all know what the Pandora is about.

So far, everyone who has seen the business plan told me it's very well thought through, which is a good sign.
Even my bank would offer me a loan for the full production - so in case something is missing, I could get a loan from then if needed.
Don't hope that'll be needed though.
But I'm working on various backup plans, just to be sure.

3. Parts, parts, parts

As mentioned, I need to move the parts from Texas to Germany. This will be one of my main priorities right now.
I've also setup a timeline on when to order the remaining parts from where.
I've got leadtimes, and I always add about 1 month to that leadtime so the parts will REALLY be here when needed.

The biggest thing is the order mentioned above from Global Components: The parts we need to order early November, the bill where I have to pay 100,000 EUR in advance.
The remaining investment money has time until a bit later. But that's one of the things I need to work on and hope, enough investors will have signed their contract until end of October.
I'll keep you informed

4. Website, Publicity and preordering

Preordering hast started, as you already know.
However, I'm keeping that pretty much internal so far, not going for the big publicity yet.
Many potential customers would go away because it's still a while until the Pandora is really in stock, so we would probably lose them.

Also, I want to work on the website.

My goal is to put all the nice projects on the website, as well as link to informations for users, developers, include a photo and video gallery for user uploads, etc.
Tidy it up, explain to new users, what the Pandora is about, tell them the history, the planned future, etc.

The main feature of the Pandora is the openness and the community - and that's what I want to show on the website as well.

Once that has happened, there will be a few more press releases to gain publicity. After the test production run, I plan on actively raising publicity by contacting various news sites, Linux magazines, giving interviews, etc.
That should be just before christmas and the Pandora shouldn't be too far away by that time. Perfect time to get more users interested

Maybe I'll also do a coding competition, where you can win one of the prototypes that is produced at Global Components. Signed by me in the battery compartment.
Sounds like a nice idea

Well, that's it for today.
I'll keep you informed about the various processes running in parallel right now, and hope to have good news soon.

I'm working as hard as I can on that, but I really think it's worth it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them