Update #10 - Funding statistics, project schedule, projected ship dates and progress report

Hello all! Funding on the Kickstarter campaign closed a week ago, at an incredible, breath taking $100,825 - over 3x the initial goal of $30,000. The final hour was pretty incredible. I decided to step out and buy a couple of steaks for the grill (and distract myself from constantly reloading the Kickstarter webpage). It didn't stop all my buddies from texting me the running total though, which combined with the rate of the pledges coming in, might just have worn out the vibrating motor in my phone. :-).

So here are the final statistics:


And the referrers:


Strangely, blog.makezine.com is missing from the list of referrers when sorted by dollar amount pledged. I believe I had a single $45.00 pledge from that mention in Make; which seems a little strange. I will have to rethink very carefully whether to launch my ad campaign there (minimum spending: $1500.00) if the click-through conversion is so low.

Here's the reward distribution. The majority of the pledgers chose the $100.00 reward, with the $300 reward in close second. From a total funds standpoint though, the $300 reward won, hands down. The Hackerspace and Grandmaster packages brought in a total of another $27740.00.


So far, all but about $1000.00 of the $100k pledged had been successfully collected. Amazon.com had released the funds (ahead of schedule, what a surprised) and after a nail bitting few nights, the majority of the money is now safely inside my business checking and business savings accounts. Minus Kickstarter's cut and Amazon.com's processing fees, I expect to receive a total of about $92,000.00 into my business checking and savings account.

[Due to copyright reasons, I will omit the clipart of Scrooge McDuck diving into his vat of money here]

Revised Gantt Charts:

Sometimes, I feel like I'm making a career out of updating Gantt charts, but they do keep me on my toes. Here's the hopefully final revision of the master project schedule. I've cleaned up the list quite a bit and color coded and grouped the different tasks relating to the different tracks for the project:

2012.05.05 - Revised Gantt Chart

There are 4 major groups of tasks pertaining to the shipping of the rewards. The are:

* Extrusion related tasks
* Injection molding related tasks
* NEMA17 brackets and servo mount brackets related tasks
* The rest of the shipping logistics - shipping boxes, shipping labels, pick lists, etc - plus the Allen keys and screws.

Everything is pretty self-explanatory from the Gantt chart. For anything that's manufactured, I am going to receive a first article sample that I'll have to bless before releasing the balance of the parts to manufacturing. (For example, any dimensional changes to the extrusion should really be communicated to the vendor before he runs 2 metric tones of metal through the die…). I'm even asking for sample screws - before I commit to ordering a quarter million of them. This is pretty standard practice in business and in engineering.

Currently, the delivery of the majority of the OpenBeam packages are scheduled for the first week of June. Camera rig kits should follow roughly a week later, and trebuchet kits should follow 2-3 weeks later. This is to allow for time to develop and manufacture the custom parts added to both the camera kit and trebuchet kit, as well as the instructional videos and documentation for the kits.

Other project administration stuff

* We have finalized the aluminum extrusion costs for black anodized. We will be setting the MSRP for clear anodized at $10.00 per meter (unchanged) and black anodized at $12.00 per meter. This fairly accurately reflects the normal 25% premium cost that black anodizing incurs. However, to speed adaptation for the black anodized OpenBeam, we will honor all the color swap requests in the Kickstarter pledges packages at no additional cost. People who have paid extra to purchase black anodized beams, or folks who ordered the camera rig kit, will get 2x the beams that is originally promised.

* We will not be carrying mill plain finish, or anodizing in different colors at this time. Both the overhead costs and the impact to my cash flow makes this an unrealistic option at this time.

* I am still trying to dig my way out of my inbox. If you need me, your best way to contact me is via email at: terence (little mouse) OpenBeamUSA (full stop) com.

* I will be making the transition from Kickstarter's update system to blogging over here at blog.openbeamusa.com. In the coming weeks, I expect more pictures, videos, cad files, PDFs, etc to share with everybody, and Wordpress's editing tools are much better. Switching to WordPress also allows me to update more frequently with smaller updates, without spamming everyone's email box. (Once per week or so I'll still push out an update through Kickstarter, but it'll just be in the form of linking to the OpenBeam blog.)

* I'll try to scan through all the updates to make sure I've addressed any questions in the comments. You are encouraged however, to leave comments on the OpenBeam blog - as that I can access on my iPad and iPhone while on the go.

* Finally, please answer the surveys, if you haven't done so already. The survey for all the packages (except for the $5.00 pledge, and the no reward selected pledge level) went out a week ago; the trebuchet kit survey went out today. I'll need this information to run the shipping labels and pick lists.

That's all for this update! Stay tuned next week on the OpenBeam blog as we stand by to receive our first article samples from the extrusion vendor!

-=- Terence, Rachel and furry monster puppy.