jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 26390
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:54 pm

Note this is a personal question, and nothing to do with the Raspi Team - it's just something that intrigues me. There have been a number of comments on the subject, and it's a simple question.

How many boards would you make ready for launch*?

Hundreds, thousands, millions?

* i.e. the first production run.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed.
I've been saying "Mucho" to my Spanish friend a lot more lately. It means a lot to him.

Thorn
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:09 pm
Location: Scotland
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:16 pm

10,000 for the first boards

Lakes
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:17 pm

Do a pre-order thing for customers as the cost has already been fixed?

"Coming Soon!, Pre-Order Now to ensure Yours!!" hehe

At the price point they`ve fixed, its got to be several thousand?

Would be interesting to how many orders they would get if they set up a Shop page today

Chris
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:20 pm
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:31 pm

I would take pe-orders then double that amount.

hsalonen
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:11 am
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:46 pm

How many Model A?
How many Model B?

I am interrested in B, because getting to the Internet opens up a lot of possibilities...

Edit: I am sure they'll all sell, they might be lowering the financial risk by making "smaller" patches. You just have the product so hyped up, I just have to get one. Or two, or three..

User avatar
ukscone
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 4214
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:51 pm

i'd go with an initial run of 10,000. can you split the boards between a's and b's with no cost penalty? if you can then i'd split it as 2000 a's to 8000 b's (although i find the model a's more interesting for my various projects i do want a brace of b's and i think most will go with b's)

tnelsond
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:35 pm
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:41 pm

Quote from Lakes on September 3, 2011, 17:17
Do a pre-order thing for customers as the cost has already been fixed?


I am pretty sure they aren't accepting preorders. Afterall, they don't want to sell till they for sure have something to sell.

Lakes
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:16 pm

Quote from tnelsond on September 3, 2011, 19:41
Quote from Lakes on September 3, 2011, 17:17
Do a pre-order thing for customers as the cost has already been fixed?


I am pretty sure they aren't accepting preorders. Afterall, they don't want to sell till they for sure have something to sell.Maybe I should rephrase that to "If they were to accept Pre-Orders" :)

Michael
Posts: 340
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:27 pm

Beagleboard.org say they have made, distributed and sold 200 units/week pretty consistently since launch, that works out to roughly 10k/year. Its really hard to guess, but if R.Pi ended up shifting 10x that, I wouldn't be surprised.

There are so many factors to take into account. Will the prices of particular parts double or half in price during the year? How confident are the team that there aren't any hardware bugs in the production boards?

I guess I would probably try to have 10k available for launch; a manufacturing partner that is equally happy making 100/week as they are 400/week; and attempt to place an up-front order for, say, another 10k to be delivered over the year but with the flexibility to modify the design at any time.

I'd go for all model B for the first 10k, with a plan to stockpile the model A for a January or February launch.

I dunno - I'm just glad I'm not the one making the decision ;)

User avatar
liz
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5212
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:38 pm

This conversation's actually really useful food for thought for us - please keep it coming!
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

Chris
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:20 pm
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:48 pm

This might seem a little rude but have you thought about contacting Universities and Colleges throughout the UK and ask if they would be interested in purchasing any and approximatly how many would be of use to them.

It might not guarentee sales, but you get your foot in the door and get an idea for how many might really be needed.

User avatar
Gert van Loo
Posts: 2487
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:27 am
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:06 pm

Model A and B will be the same PCB. The only difference will be assembly. So it will be mostly the number of A/B components to buy. I think we should go for about 30% A and 70% B as a lot of people say they want to try both.

MDC
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:03 pm

http://www.raspberrypi.org/?pa.....&t=50

I would point you to this thread I started a while ago and say you could extract some information from that.

iAreNewb
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:27 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:22 pm

10K R-Pi's on the first production run actually seems a bit excessive to me. That's not to say demand isn't high, but I'm pretty sure that having multiple production runs scheduled is better a single large one ordered. Maybe 1,000-3,000 on the first production run. Assumably, the R-Pi's cost only a few $ less than the full selling price to produce, so even an order of 3,000 of just Model As would end up costing over $70,000!

As for the preorder possibility, I don't think it'd be a viable solution. Maybe for the dream that is Model C, but for the present, preorders seem to be a bad idea. However, taking back orders (that is, orders when none are in stock) after the first production run is simple enough, and allows you to gauge the approximate size of what your next production run should be. For instance, after selling the 3000 of the 1st run in about one month, then receiving 3000 back orders in the following two weeks, you might decide to order a 2nd run of 10,000 to sell over the course of the next month, starting in the 3rd week of the 2nd month (if that makes sense).

Oversupply is, I believe, a bigger threat than unmet demand for a relatively new startup NPO.

MDC
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:26 pm

Oversupply is, I believe, a bigger threat than unmet demand for a relatively new startup NPO.

I don't see the issue you are still going to sell them even if you do over order, plus too much is better than not enough, it's all about supply and demand

Michael
Posts: 340
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:05 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:47 pm

Quote from iAreNewb on September 4, 2011, 00:22
10K R-Pi's on the first production run actually seems a bit excessive to me.

You could be right. However, I would have thought that 1k would be very risky - a good chance of running out in just a couple of weeks. Assuming Far East manufacture (which could be a bad assumption in this case - I think the team were hoping for UK manufacture), shipping by boat (the cheap option) takes 6 weeks. So they could sell out in a matter of weeks and have to tell everyone else they need to wait a further two months.

Here are some further numbers.

Arduino launched in May 2005. Ardunno have reportedly shipped around 50k to October 2008 (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab.....agleboard/) - Beagleboard started shipping in August of that year. Ardunno went on to ship a total of 120k units to February 2010 ().

Beagleboard shipped over 30k in the first two years (http://elinux.org/BeagleBoard_....._Workshops) and around 50k in the first three years (http://elinux.org/ECE497_Instr.....;27s_Guide).

iAreNewb
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:27 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:59 pm

The lack of a preordering system seems more and more restrictive. As for manufacturing and distribution, I'm hoping that R-Pi is already hunting down prospectives in the UK or close by in Europe. Without any kind of preordering though, it's hopeless to attempt to gauge the demand for R-Pi's.

And not to be pessimistic, MDC, but there is always the chance (hopefully small) that if you buy too many, some of them will never sell. There is no end of good ideas that almost made it to being mainstream, but died just as they entered the market. Although, as a charity, I suppose R-Pi has the option of simply giving them away to educational institutions.

amiga65
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:59 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:25 am

There's 1200+ registered User's on the forum and it sounds like most would like 2-3 boards at least, I know i would like 3 model b to start with Lob0 prob. take 30 or 40 ;) I don't know if that helps any.
This thing is going to get big fast.

MDC
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:43 am

And not to be pessimistic, MDC, but there is always the chance (hopefully small) that if you buy too many, some of them will never sell. There is no end of good ideas that almost made it to being mainstream, but died just as they entered the market. Although, as a charity, I suppose R-Pi has the option of simply giving them away to educational institutions.

This whole conversation relies on the marketing department and the heads of the organisation to help get this project off the ground (as well as providing there are no issues with the device, which have proved the down fall of many technology companies). If the marketing department or the organisation heads aren't up to scratch, the project will fail. However if they are on the ball, you have to ask these questions is the object cheap enough to entice people in?, is there a market for it? and can the organisation make at least some money out of it (so they can continue with project)?.

As stated before too much is better that too little, if you buy too much you can still sell them just at a later date, they are not going to go off like fruit and vegtables. Too little risks alienating people.

User avatar
Gert van Loo
Posts: 2487
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:27 am
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:40 am

This has also been discussed here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/?pa.....ostid-1270

hajj_3
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:42 pm

Re: How many would you make?

Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:59 am

I'd take pre-orders once you have found out the final cost and then triple the number as they will sell like hotcakes once review sites get a hold of a retail version and give it positive reviews.

I think you'd be best off selling them with cases right from the get go, allow people to purchase with or without as alot of end users won't wont simply a board.

Also i'd sell the psu's on the website too as many people won't know which to buy, also psu's cost alot to post due to weight, it would be cheaper to include it in the box than for them to purchase separately from someone else.

You should put a poll on the website asking whether people would buy version A or B and how many of each, that would give an indication of what proportion of each you should make.

rmike
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:50 am

Re: How many would you make?

Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:55 am

Hi,

in my opinion 10.000 in the first run is way to low (if the board has no major bugs).
The raspi boards, performance and features given, are without competition for 30 EUR/board.
I guess that every cs/ee student on the planet will buy at least one.
Than there are all the hobbyists that do electronics, robots, UAVs, etc.
Than all the linux geeks that would probably buy one just to push a linux project...

The point is that the price is below a critical value for most of us living in developed countries.

Michael

User avatar
Gert van Loo
Posts: 2487
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:27 am
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:15 am

I also believe that we will sell the first 10.000 in no time. But to make 20.000 you need to front ~$600.000. It depends on how much money you have to make the first batch, buy the SD-cards, keyboards, power supplies, mice, T-shirts etc. etc.

rmike
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:50 am

Re: How many would you make?

Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:02 pm

Hi,

how about making real preorders now?
I would be willing to pay in advance for three B type raspis.
I bet you could sell many many units in advance and avoid a shortage in cash doing so.

Michael

User avatar
liz
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Foundation Employee & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5212
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:22 pm
Contact: Website

Re: How many would you make?

Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:41 pm

We're not taking preorders until we actually have the finished device ready. Preorders are usually used to raise capital, and we have adequate funding for our first batch, so we don't need to take your money; also, we don't want to look like scammers by taking orders for something that strictly speaking, doesn't exist yet.

We're also limited by the availability of certain components (a knock-on effect of the earthquake in Japan earlier in the year, which has meant that silicon substrate is pretty hard to come by at the moment, and there are bigger organisations than ours who are further up the queue than we are); happily, it seems things there will be back to normal by the end of November, but we can't plan for batches bigger than what we have organised now at the moment because of that.

Gert's point is also very important. So preorders wouldn't actually be helpful to us at the moment, and would just make for more administrative work on top of what we already have.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

Return to “Off topic discussion”