With the new year behind us, I hope all of you have settled into a routine that makes you feel productive and strong.
Let’s start with some news I have been looking forward to announcing: JogAlong now has an office! We have moved into a unique co-working space in Wichita, KS called Groover Labs. Founders Tracy Hoover and Kurt Gridley, successful entrepreneurs who returned to Wichita after years away from their home town, have invested in people and a facility, all designed to accelerate product prototyping. In addition to a growing number of other entrepreneurs, dedicated desks, hot seats and quiet phone booths, what stands out is an advanced, staffed prototyping shop that will enable young companies to ramp up to a minimum viable product quickly. We are proud to be a member.
Here is a brief recap of where JogAlong is on its path to production. Last fall I was in Asia visiting our suppliers and helping assemble our most recent prototype. Many parts of the design are looking good and numerous items are “frozen.” That is not a reference to the Disney movie but a term engineers and manufacturing people use to mean there will be no more changes before production. I have to admit as an engineer it is always tempting to change and improve, but we do eventually have to reign it all in and say it’s ready. But although a high percentage of our design is frozen, there were a few components that didn’t perform as I would have liked, mainly related to the cabling. Since that time, I have made new design adjustments and those are now ready to be tested.
This is where our planned timeline has diverted. As you are all aware, the Coronavirus has had an extensive impact on travel in and out of Asia. I like to visit our suppliers and manufacturing partners so we all work through changes together, making sure everybody is on board and taking ownership of those changes. After making design updates, my plan had been to head back to Asia right after the Lunar New Year, Jan 25, prototype in hand and ready to work with everyone to validate updates. That didn’t happen. It looks like, at a minimum, it will be weeks or even months before our typical meeting cycle can occur.
So we’ve moved to a plan B. We’ve ordered parts from suppliers and plan to have suppliers ship them here. However, even with this plan, not all of the suppliers are able to give a firm timeline. We have to remain patient and work with what we’ve got.
In the meantime, we continue to work on items on the business side of things. While 2020 has had an unusual start, we’re adapting and looking forward to a great year.
It is always a pleasure to hear from those of you seeing JogAlong for the first time.
Thank you for your support.