Crowd development: the 2019 starting line-up
Last week we kicked off Season 2019 by resuming work on Project: Donald Dock. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that that’s the first project on the table is our docking station:
Project: Donald Dock
Docking stations was one of the most demanded categories universally. People have different computing styles but most seem to agree that you can never have enough ports! We decided to dust off Project: Donald Dock, and we’ve already seen great participation in just a few days.
We did promise that there was more, though. With our partner PCH’s experience and capacity to handle multiple projects at once, we plan to move fast and deliver not only top notch products, but also a great experience. So now it is time to announce not one, not two, but three additional projects that we will be working on with you all! (Too bad we don’t have a keynote event to announce this with proper hype!)
Without further ado, the next products are…
Based on our quick inquiry to supply chain and survey results we think there is a lot of potential in the monitor category to provide substantially better value. There a lot of monitors in the market but there are no clear winners unless you surpass the 1 500 USD price point. We think there is a lot of room to make a great product, and so we’re kicking off the new project today with Step 1! Also it goes well with…
Many of you were very interested in modular AIOs. We think that combining a dock, monitor and mini-PC could create something similar but with some much needed upgradability and without the extremely high price point.
Great ANC headphones don’t cost much to produce and the category leaders and middle men involved enjoy very good margins. We have an opportunity here to make a true flagship killer. PCH has experience creating supply chains and producing headphones for some of the top headphone brands! You can participate in development here now!
We are very aware that though the categories we picked may seem simple at first sight, there are nuances in each that are important for success. But we are confident that by combining your experience and understanding of products, our ability to put things together, and our new partner’s supply chain capability, we can make some kick-ass products!
The ones that didn’t make the cut
We’ve made a decision on what to build, based on your input and what is feasible for us at this time. We do want to continue discussion in the community about the other categories, as we are definitely looking to create more products once the ones above are ready!
As some of you may be curious to know why some categories didn’t make the cut, let me go over some of the higher ranked items from the survey:
Laptops & tablets
This has been one of the top categories in the survey and we are super excited to create a mind blowing device …but a little bit later! At this time we want to focus on creating simpler products that underpromise and overdeliver, and avoid the supply chain risks that come with a more complex computing device. That said, we can’t wait to start working on a successor to the V and other awesome products in this category once our crowd development process and operation as a company are more refined.
Smartphones and smartwatches
Though it’s an interesting category, these devices are in many ways even more complex than a laptop or tablet. Also, it is not quite clear yet what added value people exactly want from Eve. We’ll for sure keep the discussion on these categories open and tackle them if the right opportunity shows!
All-in-one desktop PCs
Based on our survey results we feel like most people are looking for upgradability and modularity here more than a real all-in-one experience. The mini-PC and monitor combination offers a lot of the clean look of an all-in-one, but offers more chances to adhere to industry standards that allow you to upgrade or re-use individual components. We think these two categories together, if developed at the same time, could create a modular all-in-one – if you guys are into that, of course!
With the V we have proven that a small team can create a good product from scratch, but we also faced big challenges with our supply chain, timely delivery, and after-sales service. This time around, we want to make sure that we not only create a great product, but also provide top-notch service and adhere to timelines. Our new partner will play a big role in this!
Our goals for the next projects are to:
- Deliver products with substantially better value than what is currently available in the market
- Develop and deliver products fast, without delays and setbacks
- Provide the same experience as more mature brands for the full life-cycle of the products
- Test our cooperation with PCH
The process, step by step
Let’s see what the crowd development process for these projects will look like:
We select the most interesting products
We do this based on survey results, supply chain complexity and our understanding of the market. At this stage we find the sweet spot between what people want and what we can do properly, taking into account our goals of on-time delivery and great service.
We ask in-depth questions about the product
We try to understand what’s most important to you, and what we can do better than the established brands. What opportunity is left unused by key market players? Is picture quality more important than performance? Is sacrificing ports worth the design outcome? You get the point!
We start sourcing based on the specs you provided
Now comes an important step! What is available? Is there a top of the line LCD panel with local dimming under 300 USD? Can we create a modular all-in-one? What drives complexity and cost in this industry? What’s the best we can source from the suppliers? This is the first chance for our partnership with PCH to really shine, as they have more contacts than we ever could have hoped for when we were developing the V!
We share the spec sheets, including rough pricing
… and we discuss with you about what is possible and what key trade-offs need to be made. This is one of the most exciting parts, as this is where the product really starts to take shape. We will share the specifications from top vendors directly with end users.
We ship samples to the community for early testing and feedback
This must be one of the best parts for the community! We share the product samples with you, and you use them and see what can be improved. V prototypes ended up in the hands of the community too late to help steer development much, and we’re looking to fix that this time around!
We decide the final specs
Here we make a decision on the changes that need to be made based on supply chain availability, community opinion, and community testers’ feedback.
We take product to development and then production
This stage really depends on product complexity and availability in the market.
It needs to be feasible
If at any point we feel that the product we’re developing doesn’t make sense, that we can’t deliver substantially better value to the end user, or hit our other goals, we will pause, restart or stop its development and pursue another project instead.
Based on each product’s complexity, the development process will take as little as three months or up to over a year. But with more than one project going on at any given time, there will always be something to do at dough.community!
Are you excited about our upcoming projects? Does the process as we’ve laid it out here make sense? How would you like us to share the progress along the way (community, YouTube, Instagram)? Discuss! (And don’t forget to participate in Project: Donald Dock, the monitor project and the headphones project!)