Time for us to give you an update on how these lights are progressing.
Delivery Date: It’s mid-January now. That means you can’t give these as holiday gifts – and that makes us really sad. Our advisors remind us, “that’s the nature of startups,” but such reassurances aren’t going to diminish our commitment to getting you the world’s best bike lights as soon as possible.
The Problem: The bike lights have 3 unresolved bugs:
1. Front housing is loose (recently solved! See below for details)
2. Lens on/off button is hard to push
3. Secret battery door is hard to open
The Good News: We know exactly how to solve each “bug.”
The Bad News: We are limited in the changes we can make because we’ve already started the tooling (molds) for the bike lights. We can tweak these molds, but the tweaks must be “steel-safe“. While we’d love to create new tooling, this would push us back 60-90 days – and you can’t wait that long. Subsequently, our engineers are basically designing solutions with one of their hands tied behind their backs.
The Solution: Jonathan, our brilliant new MechE, came up with several workarounds. In short, he came up with a clever way to machine the parts after they come out of the mold, which enables us to test our various solutions to each problem.
Here are a couple pictures we wanted to show you of items we’ve recently machined.
Orange arrows point to the groove that controls the locking of the battery door. These machined “jigs” are designed to dial in the battery collar locking/unlocking tightness. Too loose = water ingress. Too tight and it’s hard to open. We wish we did these 12 months ago but each sample costs ~$1000 and we didn’t have enough money then. Pennywise, pound foolish. Lesson learned.
The front housing of the light was loose. Jonathan, came up with a clever solution: he added “fins” (green arrows) that fit into “holes” (pink arrows) and keep the housing from moving. We’ll explain the jiu-jitsu genius of this over a beer another time, but it is genius.
Next Steps: We’ve been on the phone with the factory from 9-10:30pm four night/week for the last 3 months in order to get these solution implemented. In the coming weeks, our factory will mirror these prototypes in preparation for mass production. Once our solutions have been approved, our Director of Operations (Bruno) will be traveling to Shenzhen to oversee production.
Thanks for sticking it through with us – we can’t tell you how much we appreciate your support.