Author Topic: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.  (Read 3673 times)

Offline Rodrigo (gp)

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The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« on: April 14, 2011, 05:38:02 PM »
Hi to everyone,

There are some major issues that lie beyond our control and understanding and this is causing quiet a lot of grief at Geeksphone.

We often doubt about communicating and sharing the ups and downs that occur in a human adventure like Geeksphone, but we must also say that justifying things doesn’t give us the right to break our commitments.

I’d just like to tell you how the adventure of the Geeksphone ZERO’s birth has developed, a telephone with which most of you will communicate, being a gadget that will share your lives from next week.

The decision of the development of the ZERO was born just at the end of last summer, around the beginning of autumn 2010.

We knew already our current partner in China, but we hadn’t had much connection with him, although they where really well-known among the Asian ODM for manufacturing Sharp mobile phones, which is a widespread brand in Japan.

An engineer from the company called Johnny visited us in September, 2010. Johnny is, of course, his western name, as every Asian that works with the Western world changes his Chinese name to facilitate communication and for deference rules.

We soon established deep ties with Johnny. He is a new type of professional that we can see appearing nowadays among the new generations in Asia. Johnny studied in Australia, so he is a perfect combination between the best values of the East and the West; he understands us, he knows where he comes from and what he can provide, he is the future, but a future that is already beginning to work.

The idea of the development of ZERO was born this way and it began to mature during the following months. We valued it all of us together: Javier weighed it up, he thought it and then, logically, while he was thinking he was already developing it.

We also counted on Ricardo’s (RMCC) contribution. Most of you already know him as you are Geeksphone users and even though he is external to the company, his opinion, skills and virtues where striking and he keeps surprising us day after day. It is wonderful to be supported by such a talented person who puts a lot of passion into his work. His help and cooperation have been essential in Geeksphone ZERO’s creation. Many thanks Ricardo.

It is also important to mention Jose Antonio. He has now been appointed Art and Design Director at Geeksphone. His creative talent, his excellent esthetic sense and his capacity to confer identity and corporate values to the ZERO, have been very important from the beginning.

I travelled with Claudio to Hong-Kong and Shenzhen in October 2010 to fit everything together, but we had already taken the risk of developing the Geeksphone ZERO.

I also have to say that obstacles were already appearing. One of the first ones was that Johnny left the project quickly because he was offered a job of great responsibility with another company. This was the first shock. I must say that the working volatility is huge and it’s perfectly normal to change constantly of job, company or project, and leaving it halfway is also normal. We keep having a lot of complicity and touch with Johnny.

Well, keeping on with all the development, I want to say that during the months of November and December, having clearer ideas about what the ZERO would be, we already began to arrange the periods of fabrication.

Negotiating with the factory, negotiating with Asia is difficult, because your interlocutor considers you in relation to the amount of work he will have to do. Well, you may think it’s normal, but here you’ll only get full attention if you provide good benefits immediately, and from that moment on, if they see it, they will promise you wonders.

Negotiations take then a lot of time. It’s a constant give and take, and at some point you have to stand up from the table and say: “I’m going, I’m not interested and I’m stopping it all”. The next day, as if nothing had happened, friends as always.

We signed the contract of the fabrication of the ZERO the 31-12-2010. Few hours before New Year’s Eve, Geeksphone had already announced that the ZERO would exist, it was already thought-out at conception level, characteristics, components, as well as system, but also thanks to users’ opinions, with whom we had exchanged some data, always with the idea of giving back the voice to the final user, things were quite clear.

We had already designed its outward appearance as well with the renders and its different colours and identities, you saw it here, you chose the colour, and due to all that it was very clear that we could not go back.

The contract stipulates that the first batch of Geeksphone ZERO would leave the factory between the 1st and 7th March 2011, since we have managed to speed up with our partner all the process called “Time to Market” and leave it between 8 and 10 weeks. Key brands are in more than 20 weeks.

There is, nevertheless, something which we forgot. Something important in Asia: we forgot the Chinese New Year at the beginning of February. It’s the only moment of the year in which, during 15 days, the activity of the whole country stops and most of the workers go back to their home towns.

Fortunately, the fabrication contract was very clear, and if the manufacturer didn’t keep the specified period, it would incur in the payment of hardship. When the factories started again at the end of February, we already knew that we would be in that situation.

At last, with great difficulty, we managed to close dates for the quality control before leaving the factory by the end of March. We published pictures of that, where Claudio and me appear, of course after having to wait the halt for the holidays in memory of the dead in China, I promise it was that way, until we could move on to the next stages.

Well, actually we had only a three-week delay. It was acceptable, so in order to bring the two sides closer and to have a constructive attitude as we are developing new projects with the factory, we decided not to claim any delay penalty.

We had now only one thing left, to bring our ZEROs to Spain. So another adventure began.

I’ll be brief about the different sizes of pallet, about the Asian regulations, about the size of the American pallets compared to the European ones, about the colour of the pallet covering, which depending on the location it means the same and the opposite.

I won’t talk about the paperwork, the SCD, the FORM A, the dangerous merchandises control, etc.

There are many others that I don’t longer remember, but at Geeksphone we have only one person for these things.

One day, they suggested that in order to facilitate the shipment, they would send first the batteries and another day the mobile phones.

What do you think if we do the same thing??!!! We tell you: tomorrow you’ll receive your battery and next week your phone!!!!

Frankly, I wonder how big brands manage to keep their specified periods. I don’t know. Although I imagine that with more time, more money and more people things will be easier. It is also true that in Geeksphone we are learning little by little.

As an epilogue we had the icing on the cake this week, since at last the 900-odd kilos of the first batch of Geeksphone ZERO left China, but… But due to a lack of organisation at the logistics company they went to Korea, noooooo!…… :(

I have already mentioned my little friendliness towards the Korean brands, not only for the quality of their products and for their lack of identity, but because they are companies whose way of working is closer to sect methods than companies usual procedures. I’m sorry to say it that plain, but it’s a personal opinion. I’ve said it already, I admire Korea, its gastronomy is fabulous, but I don’t like its electronics brands, and now our ZEROs goes there and go further from Spain because they have to travel with Korean electronics!!!!

Finally, it’s planned that at last, if the world goes on next week, between next Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th ZEROs will start to be delivered and will also be available at Zooo, Madrid.

Our sincere apologies for that delay, but in the light of all the events I’ve just described, I hope you’ll understand better this situation.

How we have suffered, all the Geeksphone Team, how we have wanted to share all these adventures without knowing often what to tell or how to tell it.

Let me add that prior to  ZEROs  arrival 50% of the first batch has been sold just in pre-sales. We are very proud of it, and thanks to that, Geeksphone keeps growing strongly.

The last thing Finally I’d like to say is that, remembering the famous line of the Cuban poet José Martí that says that every man or woman in their lives has to plant a tree, have a son and write a book, I would say that every man in his life has to plant a tree, have a son, write a book and create a mobile phone….. :)

I hope that this will be a strong motivation to every entrepreneur.

Thanks to all of you for continuing your participation in the Geeksphone adventure… ;)

Rodrigo Silva-Ramos
Geeksphone Team.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 06:00:30 PM by Rodrigo (gp) »

Offline ^CJ^

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 12:56:35 AM »
Oh well, it's just a few more days, no really big deal. Thank you for sharing all of this!

I think you should have claimed at least part of the penalty payment from the factory, they knew new year was coming so they should not have fixed an impossible delivery date. And what's that strange story about the phones ending up in korea? Did they get on the wrong plane??  :o

Offline pixiebob

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 01:56:17 AM »
i think it's better to not ask for penalty payment.it's better to have good contact wth his constructor and hope good quality product

Offline Mageti

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2011, 05:12:25 AM »
Thank you for sharing all that with us !
Ok, ok, I'm a little bit disapointed because of the delay, but hey !, I won't die for that ! And, over all, I'm happy to have news ! (even if...)
And, Geeksphone could have a second sentence : after "made in China with a spanish heart", "A small/young compagnie, with great/unbelievable story"  :D

Offline webshinra

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2011, 07:44:07 AM »
bwarf, that not that bad, and telling all the story hundred time better than just say "sorry, we don't have it yet lol".
Is all ok to send them tomorrow?

Offline ^CJ^

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 03:23:21 AM »
So, have the Zeros finally arrived in Spain now??  :P

Offline EowynCarter

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 04:58:21 AM »
Good question. I can't wait to get my zero  ;D

Offline elastic

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 06:21:31 AM »
Yes, please give us  a status-update

Offline aitormenta

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2011, 06:46:47 AM »
I think there is more news about the state of zero.
Mageti would not have enough space in the box to put all the sentences they deserve  ;)

Offline Mageti

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Re: The birth of a mobile phone, or a human oddissey.
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2011, 07:00:40 AM »
Mageti would not have enough space in the box to put all the sentences they deserve  ;)
sure ! :D