There'd been talk about us* making an LED hoop for several years. We'd been following the LED hoop world from it's earliest beginnings - notably PSIHoops pioneering efforts in the mid-00's - up to the more recent "Smart" LED hoops with digitally controlled RGB LED strip inside. We'd made a few prototypes, fiddled around a bit, but other things always seemed to get in the way and we never actually got it off the ground. This was partly due to the initial investment that I knew a project like this would take and partly due to the sheer work involved!
By early 2012 however, the stars were beginning to align (or was the rainbow starting to form?). In particular: Digital RGB Strip had advanced a fair bit, I had a window in my company's product development cycle and crowd-funding had hit the mainstream. Amoung other things, these key aspects set the stage: In late 2012 we launched our Pozible campaign, which reached it's $20,000 goal in 2 weeks. Now the real work had begun...
In my lighting business, I have designed and brought to market enough products to know that the process of bringing an idea from concept to production is all about that now-classic Rumsfieldian phrase about "the unknown unknowns". You do as much homework as possible, ensure designs are optimised for manufacture and put in place as many contingency contracts as you can - all of which is fine, until something you didn't plan for happens! Which it always does...
There's a rule of thumb in product development for the time it takes to bring something into a customers hands: do a proper timeline estimate - then double it. In retrospect we didn't do too badly: our initial estimate was around 4 months, in the end it was more like 6 months. Only this time we'd pre-sold 300+ products, so I am very grateful for the patience these early supporters of our project showed in the wait for GR LED Hoops' to begin rolling off the production line.
Suffice to say - we've made it to the point where we've shipped 300+ Pozible pre-orders and have re-opened the Galactic Rainbow LED hoop for sale on the Hoop Empire shop - and we're really happy about that!
We've got lots of things planned for the GRH - competitions, photo contests, promotions and more. And yes, there are more products in the pipeline that will build on what we've done already. Stay tuned...
The Galactic Rainbow is here to stay!
* "us" is Bunny Star & Nick Coppins
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