OK, It’s been almost three months since my last real update. I’ve been quiet and waiting for the stars to align; hoping to announce “Big News”. Bummer, we’ll have to keep waiting… Things are just taking sooo long….
Here’s the highlights of what’s happened:
- Still lining up a manufacturer for XOOT production.
- We hired a company to do Facebook marketing research.
- XOOT prototypes have been sent out to volunteers for their feedback.
I’m beginning to feel like a scratched record on explaining the manufacturing woes, but it’s the main reason for the big delays.
In December 2021 we had a manufacturer lined up and ready. However, on their last quote the overall cost almost doubled. This Hurt!
We scrambled to get new manufacturing bids with different OEMs. This is not easy because:
- XOOT is a new company.
We have no track record of getting a product out. The manufacturer has to believe we’ll survive past startup mode.
- Our expected production volumes are low.
The XOOT system is niche product for a niche industry. (We hope to grow our product lineup and expand into other industries but that’s a long-term goal.)
- It’s a complicated product.
The XOOT system is an electro-mechanical product that requires over 100 custom parts. The manufacturer must deal with: a lot manufacturing systems and materials, special tooling per each part, a complex assembly process and special quality control systems for each stage of manufacturing.
- We require high quality at low cost.
Every product “requires” this, but XOOT customers have indicated very little pricing flexibly and no willingness to drop any features, (you’re a tough crowd). I’ve lost a lot of hair working on figuring this out.
We started with a long list of potential OEMs worldwide. Now it’s narrowed down to just two. On the down side, it’s clear we’ll need to raise our preliminary retail price. See below:
Facebook Marketing Trial
I hired a company specializing in market validation via Facebook. They did a month-long trail of an A vs B advertainment campaign. As the campaign progressed, they tweaked the advertisements to optimize signups.
A big hello and thanks to all the new members that have joined the mailing list through Facebook!
The advertisements showed an approximate retail cost of $650 USD.
“The Hook” was to offer an early pre-order discount of $200 dollars (bringing the early order price down to $450.00).
*If we get manufacturing locked in at the expected rates. I’ll update the XOOT website product page with the same basic offer, (Trust me, you’ll get notified).
Overall, the marketing results were unimpressive. In general, customer acquisition was slow and costs were high.
XOOT Demo Program
Up until this point the news presented has not been that great. It’s the positive feedback from demo tests that have me optimistic for XOOT’s potential.
XOOT is aimed at professionals that earn a living interacting with pen displays. Several artists around the USA signed up to try out the XOOT system. I sent them a XOOT system, and they were able to demo it for a period of approximately 1-2 weeks.
It’s a BIG ASK to have someone temporarily pull apart their setup to demo a XOOT system. It’s more than an inconvenience, it’s a potential loss of income if things go poorly. My most sincere gratitude to all those that have demo-ed the XOOT system!
Most the responses have been overwhelmingly positive.
In the following weeks I’ll create a “Reviews” section on the website. The reviews posted will be un-edited (other than formatting). Reviewers are encouraged to write their reviews with you in mind (People who have not had the opportunity to try a XOOT system.)
More to come
I’ll try to be quicker in making follow-up posts. It’s been a while and I’ve got a lot more to share.