Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Feb 2012 09:47 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems This morning, I experienced the nerd equivalent of a Black Friday $50 iPad sale. At 07:00 CET, the first batch of the much-anticipated Raspberry Pi went on sale, and while Raspberry Pi itself was very properly prepared, the two large international retailers actually selling the device weren't - despite warnings from Raspberry Pi about the enormous amount of traffic that would come their way, the two sites crumbled to dust within seconds. There's good news too - the cheaper model A has seen its RAM doubled at no additional cost.
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Not completely blameless
by singapura on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:59 UTC
singapura
Member since:
2012-02-29

I can see why a lot of people want to keep Liz and the rest of the team completely blameless. However this is not a case of blame but simply one of beginners mistakes. The first mistake was to keep the outsourcing of their distribution unknown to the endusers (us) until it was too late. Then they underestimated the demand that months of hype can create and the demand that comes with that hype. The third mistake was to give information that was so vague and so misdirecting that people had no idea where to go to get the product that most of us have been waiting for a very long time.

The last and worst mistake was to put all responsibility in the hands of the distributors. Sure both companies ought to have known better but Raspberry Pi is simply another customer to them. There are very few websites that can handle a sustained and large number of hits without going down. Amazon could have done it, so could eBay but not a lot of others.

The Raspberri Pi people should and could have known better because this is not the first product that hits the virtual market and runs into trouble because of demand. You need to have your manufacturing, supply and marketing lines in pristine order if you want to take your customers seriously.

My personal issue was that RasPi had promised on multiple occasions that members of the forum and the newsletter would get a message in time so they could order in peace. Instead hundreds if not thousands of enthusiasts got up early because they were told to do so and got nothing to show for. I was lucky enough to be able to call the local branch of Premier Farnell (called element14 to make things even more confusing) and had the very helpful lady enter an order directly in the system for me. The early hour was an advantage for me because it was 2pm in Singapore. However this was only after a great deal of snarling, cursing and slavering (and worried looking colleagues) because it wasn't Raspberri Pi that provided the link.

Apple outsources all of their manufacturing and logistics. You will never see them blaming their outsourcing partners when things go wrong and they seldom do because they know: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not completely blameless
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 29th Feb 2012 17:24 in reply to "Not completely blameless"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

However this is not a case of blame but simply one of beginners mistakes.


This pretty much it. They're engineers doing this in their spare time and not logistics experts. They're experts at hardware design and building parts to a cost, but they're amateurs when it comes to distribution.

The first mistake was to keep the outsourcing of their distribution unknown to the endusers (us) until it was too late.


They really should have done a better job of this. Announcing the distributors and delaying the release a couple of weeks would have been better.

They could of also went head and used their web store for the first batch and the distributors for everything else.

Hopefully in the future people will be able to order from one of the distributors from the RPi homepage.

Then they underestimated the demand that months of hype can create and the demand that comes with that hype.


The Raspberri Pi people should and could have known better because this is not the first product that hits the virtual market and runs into trouble because of demand. You need to have your manufacturing, supply and marketing lines in pristine order if you want to take your customers seriously.


Apple outsources all of their manufacturing and logistics. You will never see them blaming their outsourcing partners when things go wrong and they seldom do because they know: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.


It's been well documented there would only be 10,000 Pi's on launch day, and that is all the non-profit foundation could source at one time due to financial reasons.

They were very upfront about not having enough RPis to go around. Switching to the licensing model with the distributors shows they were anticipating the demand, as it will increase the supply in the future, but the plans weren't fully baked at the moment, which has caused problems.

People are just being impatient. Constrained supplies happen at the beginning of any hardware launch, and people get huffy about that too. The RPi organization has the problem of not having another product for people to buy like Intel, AMD, Apple, or Nvidia.

Besides, early adopters get f***ed. If you absolutely have to have to have the latest and greatest on the first day's it's released, be prepared. Realize you're a beta, if not alpha, tester, and understand you may not get one in the initial scrum, the model on Ebay is going to have 1000% markup, or the widget may be super buggy.

Everyone needs to chill out, and realize there will be more tomorrow.

There are very few websites that can handle a sustained and large number of hits without going down. Amazon could have done it, so could eBay but not a lot of others.


Seriously. The distributors are never going to see this much traffic again, so they're not going to invest the money.

"Why didn't they use an Amazon store?" was my first thought when I first heard about the carnage on Slashdot. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1