Hey action sport lovers and travelers!
Thomas, CEO @SLICK here,
I arrived in China 10 days ago from California with a one-way ticket, telling my loved ones that I will see them sometime later. Let's go together through this update.
1) Mechanical parts.
June 15th, the factory "opened" the molds. What does this mean? During 45 days the factory built some tools called molds to manufacture at big scale the mechanical parts of Slick. This day was the first day we injected the first parts. One set of SLICK's parts are done in less than 1mn! This last week until next Wednesday we are doing some modifications to these molds to remove the defaults. At the same time, we did some test to confirm the materials and the finish touch. The regular (Cheap) plastic used is called ABS, but I decided to use a mix of Nylon and Glass fiber. In the following video, the parts were first injected in ABS and are already durable. It's great to see our design resisting such a stress. in 7 days, we will have the parts in final material. Then we start the MP (Mass production)
I also decided to spend more money to get a durable and soft-touch finish. Even after 2 years under the sun, the feeling will be the same!
I'm currently teaching the workers how to flash the 3 different software into SLICK's electronic. The goal here is to optimize this process since it's quite long.
2 months ago I ordered all the electronic components for MP, we will receive them next week. It's hundreds of thousands of components!
As soon as the process to flash the software into the PCB is validated, I will start the MP for PCB, which is a 1 week process. Then we can assemble the boards.
A startup is a massive challenge, and more than that, hardware is hard!
Last month, the team went from 4 to 2 people. When you work in a startup, you work twice what your friends are working in a big corporation and you get twice less their salary (Or less). So at one point, you can give up.
Caitlin and myself are still here to run the whole startup. From financials to manufacturing, going through marketing, shipping, logistics, packaging, lawyers, accounting and so on.
When I see the final product, I'm more excited and motivated than ever to ship Slick to you awesome people!
The company was close to bankrupt few months ago, but I managed to raise some money from an investor in the Silicon Valley. This cash almost cover the production run for the first batch of 3,000 units. I didn't get choice to put for sale the hard case (Instead of free for IGG backers) to be able to cover the rest of the gap. Since the beginning of this adventure, everyone has really low salary to cover our rent and we spend your money very carefully. But some cost are just insane and unexpected. Would you believe that we need to spend $85,000 to ship all your units?
4) The overall product
Since there is now some other gimbals on the market, I decided over the last year to release a gimbal that is using "better everything". Reading all the reviews from other gimbals, I could see that they were not working properly. So slick's motors are twice more expensive, the parts are not in plastic but in glass fiber+nylon, the battery is already certified and is more expensive that regular "battery stick".
It's now decided, as soon as we ship, Slick will launch at $399. You will understand the price when you will receive your babe, its totally worth it. You all got an amazing pre-order price, thanks for believing so much in SLICK!
5) Share the love
Some of you are pretty tough with me on social network, trust me or not but I cannot do better. Hopefully, 95% of you are constantly sending some messages full of love and motivation. That's what gives me the power to wake up full of energy every morning.
So please keep going :)