Was going to post a shorter article about below – but it felt way too much like I was just bragging – so I did not publish. Now after seeing and having the view that “XinCheJian = amazing” expressed by others – well I had to publish!
Blogged recently and in past about how amazing XinCheJian is, since then even more amazing things via XinCheJian:
Two weeks ago on the way to XinCheJian’s hackerspace in a container – went past the beginnings of the new FoxConn Shanghai building.
OK that is a bit random – how about a week ago I opened XinCheJian door to let some people in – it was the new owner of HackaDay and the CTO.
I was at XinCheJian to meet with David Li, founder of XinCheJian and so were they, so I got to listened and participate in a really interesting flow of ideas.
Turns out hackaDay is really a side project and is just on of 70 sites they own, mostly in electronics! They have been exploring Shenzhen electronics markets and are looking into ideas for HackaDay!
And it also turns out while I was impressed with meeting them and what they are planning, they were also very impressed with XinCheJian – see their interesting post.
My take on the interesting discussions …… China IS different:
- local market is massive – eg world record 1 day sales, 10 million website visitors in first minute of sale
- very close – supply – manufacture – delivery (typically small – medium parcel is $1 for 1-2 day delivery if shop is close, else maybe 3 to 4 days) + reduced customer support and no international shipping = prices often 5-10 times cheaper than same item in “the west”
- local market works/behaves in VERY different ways – the historical and ongoing impact of restricted borders impacts all aspects of online actiivity and shopping, for example local crowdfunding sites exist, but everything already on Taobao (or soon will be)
- Local company presentation at XinCheJian described products which are sold worldwide, about 20 working Chinese engineers were present and were astounded that:
- company could exist on such low volume production runs of 100s and 1,000s instead of their “usual” millions of units.
- Engineers daily focus = massive production run of millions of units to get lowest prices
- suppliers and manufacturers also sell most services on common shopping websites like Taobao!
- for about $10,000 you can just start manufacturing your product – no need for massive fund raising – maybe just borrow a bit from a few friends.
- example of door peephole camera
- forget about http://phonebloks.com/ HIGHLY modular DIY design/make mobile phone!!!!!
- …. you go Shenzhen, pick and choose your phone modules, then for about $10,000 just manufacture it!
- yes this ignores the recycling take of phonebloks – but you got your phone based on modules your chose
- large companies often have spare capacity – ie already paid for infrastructure and idle staff, so if you can convince the owner, manufacturing can and does occur cheaper without or only part of cost those overheads.
- small production runs (less than millions)
- = they won’t return your phone call
- = leads to use of smaller companies, often less experienced and lower quality (eg Pebble watch issues)
- BLE tiles like Tile and Lively – will be $1 next year – several Chinese companies ramping up production
Plus my personal observation is in addition to the growing of companies that “provide access to manufacturers who make your product”, for example:
SeeedStudio, Hackvana, DFRobot and ITeadStudio, Sparkfun, Fritzing, and Upverter and 3D printing services like: Ponoko and Shapeways and hardware accelerators like: haxlr8.
Then there is also a small, but growing shift in the low volume market where more and more companies are now targeting low volume production at “affordable” cost instead of really expensive prototyping/low volume and also providing direct global access to these services, not just local access, for example: DragonInnovation and HWTrek and SnapEDA.