Thursday, 21 May 2009

lluminato Round 2, Recap

After a week of helping Mike work with the fab house, soldering, cleaning and programming all the Illuminatos, then boxing them up, writing and signing the checks, and packing everything and getting them out the door... it feels like the final stretch of Rocky before the fight where he runs up the stairs – except with a few less cliches :)

I got a lot of emails along the way about what was going on, and how everything happened, so here goes:

1) After Illuminato Round 1 ran out, some people emailed, asking about when it would be back, because the extra I/O seemed useful, and Chris and Matt’s black surface and blinking lights underneath looked nice

2) Matt and Mike didn't have money to scrounge up for another run, so the PCB files sat on a shelf, waiting for the funding needed to be put into production

3) So everyone chipped in.

$30 cost to build/fund one
$35 price of one unit

100 units were built
All 100 units sold and delivered

Of the first 50 purchased to put Illuminato, Round 2 into production:
29 were pre-bought @ $35
21 were built/funded @ $30

The remaining 50 were funded by I-bills as part of the OSHW Bank. This means that prior to production, the full cost of Illuminato, Round 2 ($30 x 100 = $3000) was available through pre-purchase, individual funding, and I-bills from community members.

After production started, the remaining 100 - 29 = 71 units were pre-bought @ $35 apiece. The last 6 units, which are bank funded, were sold at $39 - slightly higher as it was a "premium" on getting delivery relatively sooner (rather than waiting for Round 3 to get funded and go to production)

29 were pre-bought right off the bat, yielding ~16% or $145 in profit that goes to pay for Mike's diet coke (so he can solder things and box stuff up :)

21 were funded at $30 and sold for $35 apiece. For each unit someone funded this way, he/she received the full proceeds of the sale. So Mike and I sent out $635 in checks, with a per unit profit of $5

The OSHW Bank funded 50 units at $1500 and received:
-44 units sold @ $35 = $1540
-6 units sold @ $39 = $234
Total = $1774, netting $274 in profit to pay off the "interest" payments on the I-bills

When all was said and done, the goal was met: make open source hardware available for as cheaply as possible, don’t give any more money to bankers than you have to, and experiment with a new way of funding hardware…


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