I hope everyone is getting by ok during this insane time. In Melbourne, Australia where I live restrictions have eased a little this week and we are taking small steps back towards normal life but there is no doubt still a long way to go before the life we all new pre-Coronavirus.
In this update I want to cover:
- Recent challenges & COVID-19
Along with many other things, we have been working on getting the packaging sorted, which I feel is looking pretty slick and in line with the classy product we have been building. Check out the short video of one of the samples here:
CHALLENGES & COVID-19
Our biggest challenge of late has been the fact that we can’t travel internationally for quality control and final stage testing of the manufactured product. Slight changes that we could have resolved on the spot in person, now require multiple back and forth emails and zoom calls. If essential, we require produced samples to be posted to us in Australia, which is further delayed by the low number of flights around the world. Some of the recent challenges we have been facing include:
- [Resolved] During the final spring and button testing we were not getting the right amount of tension required, so we needed to upgrade to a thicker wire. This has given the card holder a faster and slicker release that we are now really happy with.
- [Resolved] We were getting shrinkage and warpage in the card holders because the tolerances are so small. There was a lot of small changes we made to make sure the card holders are perfect.
- [Resolved] The small metal piece that gives further strength to the card holder was getting caught in the mould and unable to release from the moulding. This required further design changes so that it could be released easily while making sure it still kept the necessary strength.
- [Resolved] When powder coating the die-cast RFID metal casing, paint was building up in the slot where the spline slides in, so we have altered the die-cast tooling slightly.
- [On going] But probably the largest challenge of all is that our leather supplier, who we had been working with to date, are unable to supply the quality of leather we require. This means I have now been working around the clock to find a leather supplier that can offer the level of quality, to our specifications within the necessary amount of time. Not being able to travel to factories in person and feel the samples myself is proving to be increasingly challenging. So we are working on solutions around this at the moment but please reach out to me at [email protected] if you know of a quality, environmentally friendly leather supplier.
To add to the mix personally, like many others, this week I was laid off from my job at Uber (where I have been working behind the scenes for the last 5 years of my life). I was working only a couple of days a week to pay my rent as I have invested every second possible into TAPSQUIRE, but this certainly adds another challenge in the mix. Life hits you hard sometimes with these kinds of things, but over the last 2 and half years in this start up game, I've learnt to be more resilient than ever - and I know there's no doubt we will get through this too. On a lighter note, it was also my birthday last week so it was really nice to be able to finally catch up with family and see a couple of close friends due to the easing of COVID restrictions.
At this stage, amid these challenge, we are still looking on track to have your wallets land in your mailbox in July as we should receive them late June/early July. As I said before the biggest thing we are facing in production right is how much harder COVID-19 is making everything and in addition making sure we have quality leather and a supplier we can trust to deliver the goods. As we've said all along, we’re not going to take shortcuts on the standard of product we know you deserve so we'll continue to dive in and deliver a wallet like the world has never seen.
Thanks again from the bottom of our hearts and thanks for being a part of this crazy journey.
Ben and Pete