Busy

Haven’t posted in a few days because I’ve been busy. If you’re waiting for Stokemonkey, this is good. The Lightning has arrived, and I’ll pick up the last of the necessary components this week. Then I have to test and assemble things, attend to some mount-finishing issues, and update my main site with all the many things necessary to be in business for real. And a few other things that I should have taken care of a long time ago, seemingly. I’m not exactly calm.

This week so far I’ve activated a toll-free and a fax number (I hate fax, and paper in general for ephemera, but it appears that a large segment of the real world is still stuck on it). I’ve gotten decals from the printers (after the first batch was botched). I’ve also got the ball rolling on being able to process credit card payments. After surveying my known costs again and studying my closest almost-competitors, I’ve come up with final pricing, and mulled over terms and conditions, warranties, etc. That’s about a quarter of it.

I’m still housedad. My son is sweet all-around, but he has a cold, and is pretty cranky with my high level of distraction. I can’t blame him. He just turned three. Today he was acting his age. I have no idea, really, how I’m going to field business calls in his vicinity. He’s very jealous of my phone time, so he has to insert himself into the conversation. The big plan is to succeed in business such that we can afford to have my wife cut back on her work and attend to our son more, but there’s a transition period ahead that we don’t have worked out.

My first inventory is rather small. After withholding several units for service and marketing purposes, and upgrading my prototype testers to production versions, I’ll have fewer than ten to sell, and I have many more strong expressions of interest than that already. Nevertheless, I’m going to wait to deliver at least a few units and get some feedback before I order more materials of the same spec. This means, in the event of demand immediately exceeding supply, that I will favor those poster-child users who already have Xtracycles ready to accept my product, so they can quickly get them into service and let me know if I’ve made the grade.

The production-spec prototype pictured in the previous entry has been my main ride this week, and, if you can stand to hear it from this totally biased source, it kicks ass.

I hauled home some raw materials for the battery packs:
hauling pipe
There are more impressive loads shown on the Xtracycle site; check them out if you haven’t already. My product is mainly about making it easy to haul those kinds of loads up steep grades, long distances and at reasonable speeds, to make car-free living feasible for a broader band of people than at present.

2 thoughts on “Busy”

  • Bill Manewal

    Great news. You go! AND be sure to take care of the golden goose (& family) so you can continue to produce the golden eggs.

    As a user of a Stokmonkey prototype for the last 517 miles, I totally concur:
    It kicks ass.
    And hauls it.
    Thirty miles a day.
    Up San Francisco hills.
    With 40 lbs of nursing supplies.
    Awesome.

    Reply
  • Paul Cooley

    Hi Todd,

    Good going on the Stokemonkey. And good luck with working at home with a three-year-old. I’ve been hired by Mr. Bell’s publisher to proofread his latest book, and it’s hard going with both kids looming around me. So, instead, I’m clearing out a lifetime’s worth of notebooks and files in my office. Do I really need my eighth grade poetry when I have work to do? No, no, no — throw it away. I’m one of those people who have to do a lot of work to get around to doing work. Human nature, humphh!

    Reply
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