From Maker to Market 10 – Support – How Adafruit Developed Circuit Playground, an educational board for Makers.
Now that you’ve successfully entered your choice market, it’s time for a little maintenance. During this phase of your process, you’ll focus on processing potential returns, troubleshooting early problems, scaling your operation, offering warranties, and gathering positive reviews. Your reputation will be key—find a way to manage it. Remember that support is ongoing—you’re not off the hook yet!
This is where Adafruit excels! We add tutorials and free online content to make support easier. We’ll talk about how to handle customer questions and customer expectations for shipping and returns. There a lot of common support bottle necks and we’ll discuss how to leverage communities such as Maker.io, Instructables, Twitter, Reddit, etc. Every week we check returns to see if there are any manufacturing issues. We’ll also go over “declining yield” and how to combat it.
Bad customer experiences due to production or distribution can poison your marketing. In that regard, marketing, production, distribution, and support are in a feedback loop. Good customer experiences will create more community to generate more projects and ‘buzz’, requiring more production. This is good for a business, but also increases your risk!
This series is a special edition of “From the Desk of Ladyada” with our Circuit Playground launch partner, Maker.io & Digi-Key (be sure to check our interview with the CEO of Digi-Key, Dave Doherty, too!).
In case you missed the previous episodes:
Why are we doing this? It would be challenging to meet the demand we’re expecting with Circuit Playground orders, shipping, outreach and more – so we’re working with -the best- to get as many out there, to as many people as possible, and “showing our work” about the entire process. Special thanks to David, Jim, Dave, Brooks, Dawn, Jennifer, Paula, Kevin, Wayne and everyone at Digi-Key.
Digi‐Key was started by a maker professional and has a long history of being a destination for entrepreneurial engineers. Maker.io is the first site to help those people take their ideas from concept to product.
Maker.io was created to help makers understand the phases that occur from concept through production. Digi-Key knows designers will have stumbling blocks throughout the phases, and the main objective of the site is to walk makers through the design-chain “Roadmap” that offers an aggregated community of tools, ideas, solutions, and information that properly meet the needs of the marketplace every step of the way.
By leveraging Digi-Key resources including design tools such as Scheme-it and PCBWeb, complete BOM management support, leading edge maker-friendly solutions from companies like Adafruit that are augmented with full line support from industry leaders and having the world’s largest available inventory for immediate shipment, Digi-Key truly is the best destination for the maker professional.
The availability of very low cost modular hardware tools combined with simple-to-use free software development environments has led to an explosion in the number of makers and developers. As a result, Maker.io is platform (Arduino, BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi, Photon…), post, and project based. Beyond the roadmap, maker professionals as community members can submit projects either publicly or privately. This collaborative and project-based approach will help designers better understand the phases along the map.
Maker.io is the perfect complement to digikey.com. Whether you are just starting out or are already down the design path, you are able to access pre-curated content, solutions and resources from industry professionals, as well as your peers, to help guide you through the phases. No matter where you are on your design roadmap, Maker.io can help you bring your product and dreams to market.
Adafruit is proud to partner with Digi-key and introduce Maker.io to all our customers and fans. This is our second installment of Adafruit’s video series Maker to Market, which will take you on the journey that was the creation of Circuit Playground, Adafruit’s all-in-one board — the perfect microcontroller for learning electronics.