It’s amazing how fast time has gone by…
Two years ago, I decided that I was going to dedicate the next phase of my life to putting clean, healthy, pesticide-free food back on the family dinner table.
No problem… I’ll just have to jump into an industry where I have zero experience, knowledge, or contacts, and develop the most sophisticated technology platform in the space.
Well, we’re now two years into the development of the product and the company, and it’s been quite the roller coaster.
But as you can see here from our latest grow test, we’re making substantial progress 🙂
So here are a few of the biggest lessons learned so far…
1: On average, developing a physical product takes three years. Between concept drawings, to research and design, to prototypes one, two, or three, tooling, and testing… You’re at the three-year mark before you know it.
2: Developing a physical tech product is insanely expensive… What started with a $500,000 estimate, will end up around the $3-4 million mark before it’s even available for purchase. To date I’ve funded 100% of the project which is well past the 7-figure mark. With that being said, I’d like to say THANK YOU everyone who has purchased any of my products over the past 24 months. Your support is what’s making this endeavor possible.
3: Surprisingly, one of the single biggest challenges has been choosing and finding the right name for the product and the company. I’ve spent at least $50,000 over the past two years buying domain names and running trademark searches. I thought we had found the winner this year after securing the .com and the US trademark, only to have another company in the exact same niche recently launch a product in Thailand using the .me domain. Unbelievable. Yes, I could launch here in the US with the .com, but there would be too much customer confusion when it comes to Google results. We’d get support tickets for them, and they for us, etc, and fighting an international trademark dispute is simply not worth it. So we’re back to square one. 🙁
4: Biology is a bitch. On the surface, hydroponics looks incredibly easy. Just put some seeds in water, add nutrients, and light, and BAM! You’ve got plants! Unfortunately, the devil is in the details… PH levels, nutrient levels, and a source water that will be different in every location on the planet, all contribute to something that’s akin to herding cats.
Yes, your plants will grow, but that’s not our goal. Our goal is to produce the highest quality produce possible when it comes to taste, texture, and nutrient profiles. The bar I’ve set is extremely high… What our system produces has to exceed the quality of anything you could buy at Whole Foods. Pulling that off from a biochemistry standpoint is the difference between building a Honda, or a Bugatti.
The good news is that we’ve made an incredible amount of progress, and as you can from the photo above, we’re well on our way to accomplishing our goal of putting an amazing, automated, organic garden in your kitchen.
At this point we’re taking the lessons learned from our first set of prototypes, and creating Gen 2 that should reflect the final production model.
So thank you once again for your continued support, as this would simply not be possible without you…