Saturday, July 11, 2015

Now taking orders

Now taking orders for the LT-1000 and the Arduino programming book. Visit to place your order!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Post Maker Faire Thoughts

It was fun. It was frightening. It was exhilarating. It was exhausting. It was successful. It was disappointing.

It really was all of the above.

Most of all it was a learning experience. As I walked into Union Station on Friday evening to set up, I was of mixed emotions. I was doing something that I had dreamed of for years - representing my own company, my own brand, and taking what felt like a giant leap of faith. As my wife, daughter and I set up our little table and figured out how best to display the posters and fliers I thought about the steps it had taken to get there and what I learned along the way. 

I had already learned how NOT to launch a Kickstarter campaign. That was flailing at a whopping 1% funded going into the weekend. I had learned that there was an interest in my board because most who had pledged had stumbled on it on the Kickstarter site and liked the idea.

I learned about writing a book, and about re-learning programming so I could teach it. I learned that sometimes the hardest part is just forcing yourself to write. Better words will come later, but the idea may not. 

I learned about mass production practices for circuit boards both here in the US and abroad. 

As Saturday morning rolled around and the Faire opened for business, I wondered if I was in over my head. People were swarming everywhere, my table included. I talked to people, I pitched my product, I answered questions and explained what it did and didn't do. I started to feel horse in my throat.

Then I sold a board. Then another. And more. I picked up on what people were getting and not getting about my board and refined my sales pitch. People kept coming, there was a lot of interest, people took fliers, they took pictures of the posters, they asked questions - and it didn't let up all day!

I also learned that not being able to take payment via credit/debit card was a bit of a problem. Not a major one but enough to address before the next time I did something like this.

By the end of the day I had sold over half my boards I had with me.

Sunday was a bit easier - it was not as crowded. I actually was comfortable letting my wife and daughter take care of the booth while I got a chance to walk around and see what others had on display. People were still stopping by the table and I was still selling boards right up until the end of the day.  In all I sold 24 of the thirty boards I had come with. Had I been able to take plastic, I may have sold out. 

Some little things I had realized during the process - the CD that had my Arduino learning book and the sample sketches on it didn't have a URL to my website. D'oh! My circuit boards at least said "Landon Enterprises" on it, which on the 3rd page of a Google search will lead you to my website. Like I said, it's a learning experience.

Some may wonder why I sold my circuit board while my Kickstarter was still going on. There were several things, really. 

#1, I was looking for around 1000 pledges on the Kickstarter, so 30 boards was not likely to make that big of an impact. 

#2, Having something to sell meant I had a better chance of recouping some of the expense of having the booth.

#3, Selling the boards meant gauging the demand for my board - more-so than the feedback I was getting through Kickstarter.

#4, I have worked in retail and I do know a thing or two about impulse buying. The "I gotta have it" feeling can wear off quickly after walking away from the table when there isn't anything there to buy.

So. It was a start. And it was a good start at that. I'm happy with the results of the sales, but disappointed with the lack of the boost to the Kickstarter I was hoping for (although it is now up to 2% funded). While the Kickstarter campaign might not be successful, the product itself is going to be. That I am confident in.  

Monday, June 08, 2015

Kickstarter is Live!

We are go!

The project is live! There are only 30 days remaining! Please go and preorder your board so this can become a reality!

The book is truly in the final stages and should get to the printer in the next 48 hours (if I will have copies for Kansas City, that is)

Also don't forget the Kansas City Maker Faire is now less than three weeks away at this point. Hopefully I will see some of you there!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Kansas City, Here I come

I have officially been accepted as a vendor at the Kansas City Maker Faire! Do not know where my booth will be, hopefully in the main hall but in any case this is great news and a major step for this startup!

Now I just have to get the crowdfunding campaign going, and complete and edit the Arduino programming book to accompany it. I plan on having a limited number of boards on hand (small batch I made hand-soldering them) and hopefully some hard copies of the book as well. 

In addition, I will have some hands-on demonstrations, including showing how this is a better learning system than breadboarding everything.

Hopefully I will see some readers there!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Frustrating day!

I took time off from my day job yesterday and today to get some work done on my circuit board project. Of course, today my web hosting provider has been having some major issues - email is non-existent and the site is inaccessible. I was expecting some replies to some request for quotes on my circuit board, but everything sent to the email is getting bounced.

What I have succeeded in getting done was getting request for quotes out (which I may have to try again) and getting a major start on the illustrations needed for my training book. Also, I have applied for a booth at the Kansas City Maker Faire. Have not gotten a confirmation yet, but I have done my part.

Here is what I hope to have at the Maker Faire (providing they accept my application). In addition to providing information on my trainer board, I plan to have a hands-on showing about how much simpler it is to use my board over a breadboard, a way to get people signed up for my crowdfunding campaign, and a very limited supply of boards and books.

And right now I need to get back to work on getting those tings accomplished.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

The new website

I think it looks nice.

Of course, I'm biased. A, it's my website and B, I designed it. No it isn't finished, but it has a great start and is functional for now. In fact I expect to do very little with it over the next few weeks as I need to focus my energy on other things right now.

First, I need to find and nail down a source for my circuit board assemblies. Then I can nail down my costs and get pricing figures out for my intended crowdsource fundraising.

Second I need to finish my first trainer book. Not much is left for actual writing but there is that editing and formatting business to do. Not to mention illustrations that will be needed. I have found a self-publisher source that should be able to supply at a cost that will allow me to sell the book at a reasonable price and still make some money on the side.

I'm still looking into a booth at the Kansas City Maker Faire this June. At this point, it may coincide with the crowdsourcing campaign, which could provide a major boost. My only problem with doing that would be not as much time to spend visiting all the other booths.

Just in case anyone is wondering why I am taking so long to get this off the ground - I haven't mentioned this before and probably won't bring it up again. But I will just say that I am still working 40-50 hours a week at my day job, have a family with two kids, and play guitar with a band. My wife has been very patient and gracious in letting my 'honey-do' list slide a lot over the last few months (thank you, dear).

 So here is the rundown on where you can follow this project:


Make sure to share with others who would be interested!

Thursday, March 26, 2015


You would think in this day and age setting up a website wouldn't be that big an issue.

Well, Murphy's law took effect in my first attempt to set up as my business website to help launch my trainer board. I didn't have much there other than a couple pages saying little more than "coming soon,"  but apparently I had chosen the wrong hosting plan and long story short they had to delete what little I had done in  order to get me on the 'right' plan (of course, more expensive, but not enough to lose sleep over).

And of course that get's straightened out right before I start having some health issues that kept me from updating it.

Anyway, I have a web-site launching real soon (hopefully this weekend). I am also going to have dedicated business feeds for updates on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Possibly even for this blog. Soon. As they say in the south. "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise."