Hello Eve family!
How are you? As promised we are coming back with some updates to you
This trip to China is a beast! I’ve been to the land of electronics many times but this is the busiest trip in my life.
In the previous post you saw us travelling from Helsinki to Shenzhen. Well now its time to tell you our adventures in China so far.
Before going further I think it is necessary to outline what were the main goals for this trip
- Kicking of Pyramid flipper development
- Going very deep into the supply chain and meeting suppliers of our suppliers to make sure that we have the highest quality components and also they are available to our volumes.
- Meet all of the awesome Eve team members who are located in China
Well, lets start!
Long before coming to China there were a lot of suppliers who wanted to do this project with us. They were very excited about the idea of community driven product development and its potential. Once spec and design started to shape up we selected top 10 and after more Skype and teleconference discussions we have came down to top 3 options. Well all of them are top notch Chinese manufacturers who worked with giants like Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, TCL, Meizu, etc.
So our first priority was to meet them all and decide who will join forces with us to deliver a flagship killer device! We have very high standards, we ask for craftsmanship level of Apple, eye melting screen quality, efficient thermal design and much more:)
We also needed to meet some suppliers of their suppliers in the first week. Companies that develop and manufacture fingerprint sensors, touch panels, displays, CPU, etc.
As our focus was to select a manufacturing partner for the ▼ our first week went to meeting our top 3 potential partners. To be frank choosing among top players is real hard as they all have a lot of experience and knowledge on how to develop and manufacture high complexity projects. They supply millions of devices a year So making choice among them is extremely hard.
How the hell are we going to choose the one?
When you are down to top 3 top tier potential partners what matters the most is their team, passion, commitment and communication skills. To put it short, there needs to be chemistry between 2 parties:)
Some of the community members had a question of how we choose suppliers. In the final selection rounds it’s all about chemistry but before that all of the suppliers went through quite vigorous audit by Me, Mike, Intel and some of our partners
I will try to generalize the process of selection and focus only what matters the most when choosing a manufacturing partner. I’ll put things such as financial and factory audits aside for the sake of simplicity.
You want to make sure that they have done challenging projects like ▼ before. Especially paying attention to their mechanical and electrical engineering skills.
Supplier must have good access to the top tier component vendors as a lot of manufacturers despite their enthusiasm towards the project simply don’t have access to the high end components we need (yeah eve.community wants only the best :D)
!!! This is real interesting actually as many people here in the community think that we can get any tech we would like. I wish it was like that:) Most of the time top tier tech is either proprietary or owned by Apple, Microsoft and other giants. Big brands keep it to their selves to gain strategic advantage over their competitors. How do you normally get top tier tech? Well typically if you can afford to buy 500 000 devices a year you can get it. Otherwise you have to get innovative! Luckily me and Mike are very good at that.
▼ will feature some of the best components out there as me and Mike had to get real creative to get stuff people wanted. So what we did was pitching, networking, pitching, networking, pitching, networking, pitching, networking, pitching, networking, pitching, networking and we were able to persuade top tier players to work with us.
The good news is that it means that ▼ is very hard to copy by B brands as it would simply require them to pitch their project to so many top tier suppliers and have unsustainable profit by selling through retail.
Due to the nature of the product development in our company (with community) we change the spec a lot and quite often but that is something that Chineese vendors don’t like that much as they are used to Waterfall Project Flow.
Company strategy and vision should be aligned with yours to make sure that project will be really delivered and have top notch quality.
Your manufacturing partner needs to have excellent communication skills as real communications with the team in English is a common challenge.
Enough text! Let’s see some pictures! I’ll keep it fairly simple, picture and a short description as I have to run to the next meeting with the 3rd biggest keyboard manufacturer in the world. (1.5 million keyboards per day )
And on this bombshell, it’s time to End! Stay tuned for whole lot more!