With close of funding 3 days away, we begin our transition towards the next phase of the project. Rachel and I have been working pretty hard in the background trying to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. OpenBeam's blog is now up and available at: http://blog.OpenBeamUSA.com. The webstore is also under construction at: http://www.OpenBeamUSA.com. The prices that you see on the webstore will be the MSRP prices that OpenBeam components will sell at. Again - don't try placing an order at the store. I am in the process of setting up / testing my credit card payment gateway - and you wouldn't want to be using your credit card for my testing purposes :-)
I've also updated the "a-la-carte" pricing section in the FAQ. Anyone that wishes to add material to their kit may do so at the Kickstarter discount rate until funding closes :-). Previously I've asked people to email me and I'll email back a confirmation after noting the additions to their orders. As the number of backers increases, this is getting exceedingly difficult to do (as Kickstarter has fairly rudimentary, at best, solutions for searching and updating records). So for now, just add the extra money to your pledge, and after close of funding, we'll confirm your additions via post-funding questionaire. More details on this later.
Upon closing of funding, Kickstarter will lock out any ability to edit the project pages. A link to the blog has therefore been added to the top of the page to redirect future interested parties.
Okay, so what happens after funding closes?
Kickstarter's survey tools are only available to me after funding closes. (And, annoyingly, I can only send out ONE survey - that's it.) Basically, you'll get an email questionaire. In the questionaire, I'll ask you for the following information:
Name Shipping Address Additional pieces ordered:
I will be performing a "sanity check", matching up the order against the dollar pledged amount, and emailing you a copy of the "pick list" for your reward for final confirmation. The pick-list will then be used on the shop floor for verifying the packing.
If you are an international backer, I will be declaring the "Kickstarter discounted" price of the package that you have ordered for Customs. The kit will be classified and declared as "Aluminum and Plastic construction toy, made in USA".
If you are a Pacific Northwest based backer, I will be asking if you would like to join us at Metrix:Create Space at a to-be-determined date for local pickup and a launch party, or if you would prefer that I mail you your reward.
In the week after funding closes, while I wait for Amazon.com to process all the payments, I will be filling out all the export paperwork to prepare for shipment ahead of time. (In a previous job, we built LOTS of prototypes, and nothing raises the irk of the team more than not having the shipping paperwork done in time to get the prototype out the door). So, if you are an international backer, please get the questionnaire back to me ASAP.
In no particular order, here's the progress made so far since the last project update:
* We're OFFICIAL! I have now completed all the incorporation paperwork, and that had been accepted by the State of Washington. The business has been incorporated as Tam Labs, LLC, doing business as OpenBeamUSA.com. (And yes, I'm putting the family name down in the business name - that itself is plenty of incentive for me not to blotch this project!) With this crucial step out of the way, I can finally perform a series of boring-yet-important tasks, such as opening up my business checking account, etc.
* Opening the business account then allows me to open my Merchant Services account, from which I can accept credit card payments either online, or via a card reader for my iPhone. This then allows me to start the process of building credit card integration into my webstore.
* The NEMA17 and Servo mounting plates have been revised. They now mount to both OpenBeam *and* MicroRAX. I had a great meeting with Chris Burrows from MicroRAX tonight and our two companies will be working closely together to ensure maximum compatibility between the two systems.
* Injection molding is progressing along nicely. There's a good chance that I'll have my first shot samples off the mold before the KickStarter funds reaches my checking account!
We here at OpenBeam are in it for the long term, and we are very, very excited to begin our transition away from KickStarter. Please feel free to link to our blog, and leave us some comments!
-=- Terence, Rachel and furry monster puppy