SetaTec

The startup hiccups, makes or breaks us.

The startup hiccups, makes or breaks us.

The Touch 1K flashlight has been shipping for almost one year now. It was a year ago now that we received our first production order and was getting ready to ship. It was like Christmas day when we got those lights in. We immediately took a couple of the lights out and started to work with them to verify they worked properly and to test them. Jeremy and I took a couple each from our warehouse that evening they showed up.

I was quite happy with the quality of the machining and the anodizing of the components and felt that they were ready to be sent out. Jeremy and I met early the next morning and found that Jeremy learned something very alarming with the light that he took home. He had his wife assemble the light to get another prospective of the customer of the Touch 1K. The battery was placed in backwards and immediately started smoking when the power button was pushed. With that news we investigated and found that the lights had no reverse polarity protection in them. This causes the battery to short circuit when the battery is placed in backwards. Our feeling of Christmas was over and we had to decide what to do about the problem we were facing.

After some brainstorming and stressing over this issue we discovered that there are other lights out there without the protection but we wanted to ensure our customers safety and glued the batteries is rather than rely on that all customers would place the batteries in the right direction. Jeremy spent Thanksgiving going back and forth to the warehouse gluing these lights together to ship them out as we had promised to all of our supporters.

After a couple long and dedicated days putting the lights together we were handing the work of shipping these lights out to a startup fulfilment center with a feeling of relief that we had just dodged a bullet by catching this problem before we sent them out. Not realizing that we were about to be hit with another very expensive mistake.

The fulfilment center that we went with had promised that the lights would be shipped out in 24-48 hours. In about five days we were hearing from some of our supporters that they haven’t heard anything about their order shipping, so we contacted the fulfilment center as to why they hadn’t sent out tracking or confirmation. It was then we found out that they had sent only a handful of orders. This went back and forth for a month before all the lights were believed to be sent. When the inventory was evaluated at the end of all of this we found that we were short over a couple hundred lights and had to place another order in for the Touch 1K flashlights.

The next order we had sent to a different fulfilment center that was proven from other crowd funding startups. This time our shipping experience went a hundred times smoother. In the mean time we had many upset customers wondering where their light was while Jeremy and I were scrambling through the mess that was left from the previous fulfilment center while spending time with our families over the holidays.

Although our shipping nightmare was over we hit another snag that cost us a bunch of money. On our second batch of lights, knowing that they were not reverse polarity protected, we ordered a protection circuit for the battery so that it add one more layer of safety for our customers. We still wanted to glue the batteries in even though we were putting in protected batteries at this point and wish we didn’t. Come to find out, the protection circuit would cut out at 75% brightness on the Touch 1K. The Light needed more amps that the circuit was allowing and everyone’s light was turning off after flickering on for just a second. To reset the circuit, the charger would have to be plugged in and the light would immediately do the same thing again unless the light was turned down. What added to the misery was the batteries were glued in, so no one could access the problem battery.

This was a difficult time for Jeremy and Myself handling all the complaints dew to the incorrect protection circuit on the batteries. Hearing about all the negative was a real mood smasher. Also dealing with this problem was expensive and exhausting because we were paying for shipping back and forth for lights, replacing the lights and upsetting our customers because the lights were not working. This problem eventually got worked out and now we are ready to move forward.

We pushed through these hard times and ready to move forward with our vision to bring products to you that help improve everyday life. When things got tough we could have thrown in the towel and quit but we didn’t and now with lessons learned we have been picking up the pieces and running. The Touch 1K is a great light and now we are coming out with accessories and replacement batteries. Videos on how to access the battery will be uploaded in the future when the new protected batteries come in so that the Touch 1K life can be extended.

Sign up for the brightest newsletter on the interwebs