Since the constructive criticism is mostly on why we release V2 in less than 6 months of releasing V1 ? and how does it reflect our mission and value ? I feel the need to write something to share our view and gave some insights into our decision making process.
Before we get into the topic, we have to admit that our product experience could/should be better. From better connectivity, to more intuitive UI, to more features, ( even just simply less bugs ), we have a long way to go. We are working on these, regardless of V1 or V2.
Now, why do we release V2 in less than 6 months of V1 ? To answer that, let’s first look at the major difference between V1 and V2.
- Motion Tagging - this is powered by V2 CPU, whereas V1 CPU does not support.
- Improved CMOS sensor - both V1 and V2 are 1080p, but V2 image quality is better.
- Higher Sound Quality - V2 sound is louder than V1 sound.
- Matt Finish (V2 ) vs Glossy Finish (V1)
The first question we need to answer is - whether V1 was a good product ? We believe it is a very good product. We know it is not perfect ( APP issues, or speaker is not loud enough ), but it sells very well, and have good reviews. For the entire life of V1, probably half of time it was out of stock due to popular demand.
If you check the major difference between V1 and V2, you can tell that releasing V2 has nothing to do with replacing a “premature” V1.
- Motion tagging was never claimed for V1,
- V1 CMOS sensor meets the advertised spec
- V1 speaker volume is lower than ideal. We realized this from feedback from customers. It has nothing to do with false advertising.
- Matt finish is just some appearance preference.
Now the question becomes, if V1 is good, why don't you keep selling V1 ? This question gets into the core of our vision and value.
After releasing V1, from customer feedback, we know that customer likes our crisp image, but dislikes the low speaker sound. As a product company, we constantly watching user feedbacks and explores different options, whether software or hardware, to improve our product.
So when we explored to V2 CPU/CMOS platform, and see the improvement it can make, we got serious about releasing V2. At that point, there are a few options.
- Continue sells V1 without V2
- Introduce V2 as "Pro" version of V1, and sells at a higher price
- Introduce V2 and discontinue V1
Option 1 is the safest option for us. The biggest problem with V1 at that point was inventory. Our job would be to ensure enough V1 is produced, we should be good for 9-12 months. But that is not our DNA. We always want to make our product better.
Option 2 seems to be a reasonable choice. V2 is better, therefore it should sell for more. And it seems fair to the V1 customers, who are our early supporters. This all seem reasonable except that it goes against our value belief. One of our internal core values is to “be friends with customer”. When we price our product ( e.g. V1 ) we asked ourself how much we would sell this product to our close friends. The answer is BOM cost + margin to cover the operating expenses. That’s how we priced V1. We treat our customers as our close friends. ( our true life friends pays for the same $19.99, although they might be able to save on shipping by picking up from us ). We just do not want to artificially increase V2 price. We won’t do that to a friend, therefore we won’t do that to our customer. So option 2 is out of the question because it is against our core value. ( in fact, V2 COST is a little higher than V1, we challenged ourself to become more efficient to absorb the increased cost ).
That’s how we landed on option 3. We created campaign to give early access to existing users, as a way of showing our gratitude.
Unfortunately, V2 had dust particle issue ( those who pre-ordered before 3/1 have received email about this issue). We held over 60K units of V1 in our Seattle warehouse. It took us several weeks to improve the production process and we are finally able to produce V2 units that meets our quality standard. This is how serious we take quality. Mistake on our end, but we believe being transparent and honest will earn customers to be our friends.
I am happy to see constructive criticism and friends defending us. I just want to remind us all to be calm and objective. It is an interesting topic and I am happy to share more insight. Feel free to ask.