So this week, I wanted to go over the basics of our hardware design. I think it is worth touching on the high level MVP (minimum viable product) for this product to work.
Right from the beginning we wanted to steer this product towards a low price point. From our previous product, we have experience selling higher end systems to niche markets, and this time around we wanted to seei f we could remove price point as an objection, and drive towards higher volume.
We've been keeping an eye on how the electronics world has been changing, and we now at the point where we can manufacture internet connected devices with years-long battery life for $10-20 at low volumes. Which is crazy.
So price is important. Also important is manufacturability. One of the big successes of product #1 was our manufacturing process. Unlike a lot of startups we never saw the manufacturing process as something to completely outsource. Once you do that you give up all control over quality and volume. Certainly we work with vendors for things like our plastics and PCBs, but final assembly is something we want to control so that we can continue to improve our process, and build devices on demand without breaking the bank.
Our pick-and-place has been one of our better investments for sure. We can order the most expensive components on demand, and avoid being locked into a particular design. We can iterate and improve very quickly. When volumes increase we will have a baseline process and requirements that make it much easier to approach vendors for mass assembly.
With that in mind, our initial aim for MVP is a BOM (bill-of-material) cost below $10 USD at low-volume, and have the device battery last for a minimum of 1 year. I'd really like to make the battery user-replaceable, as there is enough waste in the world as it is.