Computing stuff tied to the physical world

The downside of success

In News on Dec 17, 2010 at 00:01

With over 2,500 units produced to date, it’s safe to call the JeeNode (Kit + USB + JeeLink) a success. A runaway success in fact, in my opinion.

Great, but…

This isn’t purely good news, alas. The demand for JeeLabs products has been increasing so much lately, that I’ve run into serious supply problems in the shop these past few weeks. I can assure you that I’m extremely unhappy with that state of affairs – and the pain isn’t over yet, with some parts taking weeks longer than expected to reach me. This shortage might last into January 2011 for items such as the Ether Card.

So it’s a bit awkward to talk about “success” at a time when there are still 50 back-orders in the shop (down from 90…), with probably quite a few people frustrated by the slow delivery times. A postal strike next week in the Netherlands and the extra delays due to the busy Christmas season are clearly not going to help one bit.

Summary: the JeeNode design has been working out very nicely, but my ability to make it properly available is lagging far behind. My only way out is to “get larger quantities – sooner”. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing lately, in collaboration with Modern Device, who have started carrying more and more JeeLabs products for the US and nearby regions. We’re both scaling up, while trying not to drive ourselves off the cliff…


The current “crunch” is with headers, with 10,000 of them waiting in customs (again) and holding up just about everything, and with Ether Cards, RTC Plugs, and 2×16 LCD displays. That last one is holding up the Wireless Starter Packs as well.

In principle, all packages are sent out when complete, or nearly so in some cases. I cannot speed up things, although I keep looking for alternative suppliers. If you would prefer to get two partial shipments (no extra cost), please get in touch. I will of course also honor any cancellation, if you decide that you’ve had enough of this.

Please bear with me as I try to get over these growing pains. I apologize for all the delays and inconvenience this is causing. As new deliveries are coming in, I am continuously going through my backlog to fullfill as many pending requests as possible.

  1. Must be frustrating for you & your customers, but just wanted to say I’ve been super pleased with Modern Devices for getting your products in the US, very prompt shipping and great customer service.

  2. I am very happy with the platform, the web site, support and community. The shop issues are frustrating, but understandable. I think it would be great if ModernDevice carried the ethernet board and carrier board.

  3. This is normal when a ‘physical’ solution to a problem gets popular!

    According to SparkFun the Arduino Unos are also to popular for there own god, I quote “Arduino Unos have been very hard to get in the normal quantity we are used to getting”

    An other example is the iPad that is almost impossible to get in Sweden.

    It is frustrating but as long as I know that you are trying as hard as possible to solve it I’m a satisfied costumer!

  4. Hi Jean

    You really do a great work, please don’t give up,…

    To have orders on standby because of missing headers is really a pain, I would assume most customers could live without them. At least I would have no problems to solder my own.

    Cheers Rubi

  5. I’ve really enjoyed using your products and reading all your detailed articles! Waiting sux but well worth it!

    Hang tight … push the vendors and we’ll all come out better in the end ;)

    Thanks again!

  6. Headers? You’d think customs would annoy you over some complex expensive part, but no, it’s just little bits of bent metal and plastic… Good luck getting your delivery.

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