Hey all, given feedback and questions I’ve seen on Series One announcement, I wanted to help clarify the lifecycle of a Forge Release and how our roadmap works to help you make purchasing decisions.
Main Product Releases
When we release a regular Glorious product, the R&D process begins many months or even years in advance of the time we actually announce publicly/go on sale.
If we do pre-orders, by the time you can place an order we typically already have a “Golden Sample” in hand and are ready for bulk production. (The Golden Sample is the final prototype from the factory we sign off on.)
If we don’t do pre-orders, when we go on sale the bulk production is already complete and the product is ready to ship from our warehouses.
So by the time you are purchasing a main Glorious product release, all details (specs, colors, weights, dimensions, etc) about the product are generally completely finalized. The time between a “pre order” and you receiving it is however long it takes the factory to actually make the product, our QA team to complete inspections, and then logistics to ship it over to our fulfillment warehouses (typically anywhere from weeks to months depending on shipping method)
The lifecycle of a Glorious Forge release is pretty different. With the Group Buy model, you are placing an order much earlier in the development process. By the time you hear about it, the product is really only just out of the initial concepting/viability testing phases. The best way to think of Forge is like a Kickstarter campaign for a new product concept.
It goes like this:
We receive initial concepts from community / generate a concept internally
Our product development team begins designs / initial prototyping stages. During these stages dimensions, colors, specs, etc are all changing constantly as the product is fleshed out. We are also getting initial estimates for production timelines from the factories.
As soon as details are mostly finalized, we launch the interest check/group buy. This can be within days of the product concept being fully approved.
3b. During this phase, we also open orders to our global network of distribution/retail partners. Each chooses to participate or not on their own.
If we met our MOQ (minimum order quantity) during the Group Buy, we immediately continue the process to start production.
We complete final prototyping phases with R&D teams and our factories.
During this stage, we place an order with our factories for exactly as many units as we received orders from the Group Buy / B2B partners + a buffer for RMAs (This is a primary reason why we don’t offer cancellations after Group Buy closes).
Once final samples are approved, we begin bulk production.
Production completes, we ship units to customers & retail partners.
The time between Group Buy closing and you receiving the ordered product depends on a lot of factors. If it fits within existing production processes it could be a few months. If it’s a totally new concept or product category, it can take longer.
The whole idea being Forge to get new concepts out to you quickly without sacrificing quality. We are able to expedite the releases compared to a main product launch in several ways. Some of these include:
Less market research time With the “Kickstarter”-style model, it removes significant risk to release a new concept. Since Forge concepts are community sourced and the Group Buy model is “made to order”, we already know the market viability before we begin full production. So, we do not have to spend as much time in initial research phases (basically we do crowd-sourced research on the fly)
Benefitting from already optimized production processes Most of our initial Forge releases are not “re-inventing the wheel” for our existing production processes. We’re already well adept at making mice, keycaps, etc. so there is a lot less R&D, and we can be a lot faster than releasing an entirely new product category.
Generic Packaging Forge product packaging requires a lot less design time.
Less Marketing & Dev Work We aren’t developing full content/marketing campaigns, and product pages are fully templatized
Optimized fulfillment. We’ve made some changes to our logistics network enabling us to begin shipping orders to customers much sooner after production completes.
We completely understand the desire to know what’s coming down the pipeline so you can make an informed purchase decision. We are looking into plausibility of a public roadmap. However, there are a number of hurdles that make this not as simple as it sounds.
As the process is described above, Forge releases are subject to change until the time the group buy opens. Rather than “continuous leaks” of information to tease early on, we have typically not liked to put out hard details about a product until they’re finalized. if inaccurate details spread publicly it can create a lot of confusion (and pissed off people) down the line.
Right now we’re working on multiple different Forge concepts at various stages, but none are in a place where we could post confirmed details.
So as far as a roadmap, we may be able to release a high-level timeline with very generalized info, but we are cautious about managing expectations & information flow. Once we put it out there then there will be a lot of requests for additional details.
Considerations/risks with Ordering A Forge Release
Ordering a Group Buy is not the same as purchasing a main release. There are some additional considerations you should make.
Other Group Buys can open during the course of production for an existing group buy you may have participated in. You might want the other release instead. There isn’t too much we can do to mitigate this (as we always have new products under development). If you don’t want a product after receiving it, you can always return it within 30 days. Other than that , we encourage you to strongly consider if a product is right for you and not jump into something due to public hype.
Some details can change slightly during production phase. Keep in mind, we do not have final prototypes in hand when group buys go live.
Since we don’t have final prototype samples yet, there won’t be initial product reviews from 3rd party reviewers before the group buy window closes. All Forge products do go through the same rigorous QA/QC process as our main releases - but in this case you will have to trust us.
All of that said, we don’t want anybody to FOMO into buying something for fear of not being able to get it again or high levels of hype. Again, we definitely encourage everybody to make sure what they’re buying is a good choice for them. There will always be more releases coming down the pipeline (but that doesn’t necessarily mean its better or worse for your needs).
Another reminder that Forge releases follow our standard 30 day return window and 1-2 year warranty (depending on product type). If you do not want the product you can always send it back after you receive it for a refund.
Hope that clarifies some things. We’re absorbing a lot of feedback right now and adjusting processes where we can to make it better for everyone involved.
Any questions, feel free to ask!