Autumn is coming, the leaves will fall and it’s really hard not to notice that time goes by so quickly. We finished our campaign at the beginning of April, and since then our workload has been very heavy and none of us has paused to think creatively.
Kickstarter success means that entrepreneur has to think even more efficiently to find the best possible ways to realise a project. As you may know, we’ve had to change our plans a few times; they seemed incredible good, but during testing we found they were not possible to maintain. When we started the project, we had a prototype of the Woolet and its electronics. Time verified this idea.
Below you can read the story of how we struggled with issues which were not so easy to maintain. This is a must-read for every backer, and also a lesson for future Kickstarter entrepreneurs.
Early Birds have been shipped
The first phase of Kickstarter orders, a pledge for Early Birds, was shipped on 20 August. The product looks great but does not yet have the final version of the electronics. We decided to use a battery which will be also a component of the key finders. We managed it ourselves and are very confident in its functionality. The battery will last about six months. Then, Early Birds will receive a second package containing a replacement, which will be the same battery as shown in this article: Take A Look At the Woolet App. Doing it that way, Early Birds orders will be delivered as fast as possible.
The whims of electronics
We have spent most of the last three months working on the electronics. Luckily, we are not a group of people which lacks enthusiasm or creativity. The problems which occurred were treated as good reasons to learn and to develop something amazing.
We claimed on our Kickstarter campaign that Woolet would be the first self-charging smart wallet. The technique was tested by us, and we didn’t see anything which might stop us from creating a product based on it. We still believe it’s good solution, but until it’s effective it’s not useful. The self-charging works but only in a favourable environment. For example, those of you who do not carry a wallet in your pocket won’t be able to see that the product is self-loading.
A solar panel was our second idea, but we dropped that quite quickly. It’s a brilliant way to generate electricity, but to absorb the sun’s rays the panel needs access to it! This logic led us to thought that it cannot be a part of a Woolet. The use of solar panels would have meant redesigning the Woolet, and, more importantly, the user would have been obliged to bring out electronics every time charging was needed.
Our next idea was to create the electronics ourselves with components from our partner. Everything went well, and multiple tests have shown that it will work for about two years and can be charged by wireless charging pad. We tried it recently with a rechargeable battery connected with a micro USB cable, and it was bullseye! We did it! An amazing battery created for a beautifully designed Woolet is finally ready.
Unfortunately, our joy evaporated with the first batch of finished Woolets. Almost every of them had a problem with the battery draining. It was a nightmare, and each time we think about it, we remember the painful feeling of disappointment. Nevertheless, the engineers checked everything, but it didn’t work out, and the Woolet dream was again in doubt. Again we had to go back to the lab and find out what was stopping us from realising the project.
The waiting time for the new accumulator and components is eight weeks. We cannot do anything to speed it up. Fortunately, the electronic parts are with us, and this time, as wiser and fearless designers, we are going to implement them into the Woolet. This time everything has to be right!
The adventures with the battery taught us not only how to be patient, but also that we should be more careful with release dates. From now on, we are going to be very cautious about it, and please do not perceive that as our impassiveness. We just want to tell you about things which are established without any doubt.
The Woolet battery will be finally charged by cable. It’s a safe and efficient way to recharge your beloved gadget. Once the battery has discharged, you just connect the cable and everything works well. Watch for a free RFID blocker in your package: it will be added to Kickstarter’s orders only.
The Woolet app
The Woolet apps were released one after the other. The first chance to try it out fell to Apple users. We have already written about it in this update: Take A Look at the Woolet App. The next move is up to Android users, because their app is also available from the App Store. Go and check it out, and do not hesitate to give us feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your opinion is really valid, because the released version is numbered 1.0. It will definitely be updated, so your help is most welcome. The interesting news is that the electronics might also be updated by OTA.
Officially, we can tell you that every product will be delivered by Christmas. It may even be weeks or months faster, but we would not like to give a specific date. Creating a startup isn’t easy, and you have to deal with challenges every day. We hope that the worst is behind us, and that the road ahead is smoother.