[Freedombox-discuss] Suitability of Globalscale as partner?

Bo Fussing bo at cantosoft.com
Wed Apr 6 01:48:43 UTC 2011


I think you have broached an important topic. In limited production
hardware there are compromises to be made which can impact customer
experience like you outlined. Major brands handled by the likes of
NewEgg make it appear that stuff is instantly available at the drop of
a credit card.

To my mind there are really two approaches to building the Freedombox:

1) Get people to subscribe to a production run. Once enough orders are
in then build some hardware, ship and start the next subscription.

2) Invest in a production run and keep stock and sell from that.
Periodically run some more production and restock.

The first option is low risk but can cause delays in getting the
product to the customer. The second can potentially avoid the delay
but has economic risk especially if stock is not sold and either way
if there are problems we look like the 'Flaky Vendor' you described.

Anyway my point of this post is to think about how we are to deliver
the hardware and the customer experience we want our users to have.


On Tue, Apr 05, 2011 at 06:11:41PM -0700, John Gilmore wrote:
> I thought I should perhaps do some development toward building actual
> FreedomBoxes, so I ordered a pair of DreamPlugs from Globalscale
> Technologies.  The website says "DreamPlug - IS HERE!", took my order
> for two, and gave me an email reciept on March 19th.  There is no way
> to track orders on their web site.  I guess I'm used to dealing with
> reliable suppliers like NewEgg.com, who pack the stuff within minutes
> of when you order it, and immediately get it out the door.  When
> nothing had arrived by March 23, I asked their sales team by email.
> They promptly replied:
> > We have started to ship DreamPlug(US) orders based on FIFO, your
> > order#113354 will be shipped around next week.  You will receive a tracking
> > number by email later.
> > 
> > Thank you for your patience 
> "Around next week" was last week.  I still have seen neither a
> DreamPlug, an emailed tracking number, nor an update on when they'll
> ship it.
> This company doesn't look like the sort we want to base our software
> on.  Either they're undercapitalized (e.g. they're taking our payments
> and using the money to buy the parts to build the products - they have
> no inventory) or they don't care much about supporting small
> customers.  We could spend years making great software that runs on
> these boxes, and yet the ordinary joes who want to run it will get
> stuck for weeks dealing with a flaky vendor, give up on us, and lose
> their freedom.
> Anyone have other suggestions for hardware vendors?  I'm keeping my
> order in, just to see how ridiculous they get, but I'm looking elsewhere.
> 	John
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