End of February Status Update

End of February Status Update:

Picking up where we left off here: Support Delay Due to Illness

Here’s what the last month looked like:

  • 4-3 weeks ago I started to get sick and got progressively worse. I get a really bad cold with sinus issues around this time every year. This one was particularly bad. I was still doing shipping and keeping up as best as I could.

  • At the 3 week ago mark we ran out of boards because of insane demand from the holiday season and it not letting up after. For reference, our sales volume nearly doubled during the 2019 holiday season, and it did not stop. Market conditions did not help and it would take longer to get the next batch of boards in - we were originally expecting a 1 week out of stock period, and it could easily have been 4 if not for certain sourcing miracles that took place. It ended up being a 2 week out of stock period.

  • 3-2 weeks ago I was resting and recovering from illness, and nothing got done this week. I did manage to watch the entirety of the TV Show Brooklyn Nine Nine though (for the first time).

  • 2-1 weeks ago I was doing better but we were still out of stock of boards. I refuse to do backorders because I don’t want to take people’s money for things we don’t have to ship.

    There were a number of things pending for a while that I had to get done like moving the website to a new, faster host, and since we were getting very few orders in, this seemed like the ideal time to do it. During the weekend of actual website maintenance mode, I moved to the new host, and then took the opportunity to set up a new theme and deal with all of the under the hood stuff that comes with that.

    I implemented new inventory tracking and did a count of everything we have here - not just the things we sell like boards and cameras, but of every single nut, bolt, and millimeter of tape that is used to produce our products.

    There is also a new, better organized Documentation Knowledgebase directly on the website now and most of the Documentation and FAQ from the forum has already been moved over there.

  • One week ago, we got our next shipment of boards in, and on last Saturday I opened the ordering floodgates again. Remember, we were not taking orders for a full 2 weeks. So this past week has been absolutely insane as we were processing 3 weeks worth of orders and trying to keep up with this and everything else going on. I have been working 16 hour days and not getting full nights of sleep.

Since a select few people are asking for status updates, and I am making it a goal to not “disappear into silence” and instead keep people informed of current status, that is where we are at.

Sometimes support inquires take a few days to answer. This has always been the case, and is explained in detail here: About Us & Expectations [IMPORTANT]. This is especially the case now, as I am being pulled in so many directions trying to get everything and everyone sorted. We will get to you, it may just take a bit.

This company is quite literally the public representation of my soul and the embodiment of the last 5 years of my life. I am a nice person (I think), and want to help, but I take hostility and negativity very personally, and that really drags me down. I also need to have some semblance of work life balance and occasionally get some sleep.

On top of all this mayhem, I also referee robotics competitions on weekends for FIRST Robotics and FIRST Tech Challenge. I rock climb, and I have an extensive and ever rotating series of hobbies that involve tinkering and building things.

Obviously, all those things get put on hold during extreme periods such as right now. Whether I can balance it all going forward, we will see. “I’m sure I can, with all that free time I have!” has been a running joke we have internally for a while now. I am evaluating possible options on how to better handle all this going forward.

None of this is meant as an excuse - just to update you of where we are at right now, and to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

If you have any thoughts, liked this update, or want to hear more info about any of the things discussed above, comment and I can totally elaborate on things!

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Thanks for the update. Stuff happens, and usually at about the worst time.
I mentor at a First Robotics team as well (so have a small idea of part of your schedule), It is our 2nd year so not quite as much panic.
Good luck & speedy recoverty.

Thanks Fred.

I don’t mentor a FIRST team, so my time commitment is just the weekends that I volunteer for events in my state. Doing better (knock on wood), just trying to get caught up on work and, perhaps even, get ahead.

As of last week I don’t mentor a team either. The entire season has been cancelled. On the bright side (if there is such a thing), It gives me more time to work on my laser.

Yep, I got those emails - no FTC state championship, no refereeing at FRC (would have been my first time). Also no rock climbing (gym is closed) and

The bright side is getting caught up on work, and looking forward to having time to do some more stuff on documentation and website, work on some 3D Printers, get my “big” laser up and running finally (needs venting runs set up), etc…

The majority of my time will be spent on Survival mode events, (trying to find TP & milk). But I do hope to spend some time on my rotary for the short K40 (the reason for my strange optics with lens between mirror 2 & 3.) If successful, it will allow me to engrave round stuff up to 6 inches or more on my short K40.

If you manage to find TP let me know - i was running low before people started panic buying it and i’m on my last couple rolls now. sigh