It’s already October which means we’re month away from launching our Indiegogo campaign. You wouldn’t believe how crazy it is around here, but we wanted to take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come, and share how close we are to revolutionizing clean drinking water.
Great Things From Humble Beginnings: The Q&C Story
Thirty years ago we could never have imagined we'd use an internet crowdfunding service to launch a smart water dispenser to customers all around the world. Crowdfunding wasn’t a thing back then and neither was the web. The smartest things we had at home were encyclopedias.
From our home on the outskirts of Hungary's capital, Budapest, we grew and evolved Q&C to become experts in water systems for both homes and businesses. Over the past ten years we have listened to our customers as they shared their experiences and frustrations with water dispensers. Everything from annoyance about the ugly look of some water dispensers, to the hassle of having to be home when heavy water bottles arrive.
Three years ago we decided it was time to create something that would make a difference in people’s lives, and have a positive impact on the environment. Our customers had made it clear that they wanted - and weren’t getting - certain things from a water dispenser:
To provide reliably clear, clean water
To have a positive impact on the environment
To have a modern design that adapts to the demands of their busy lives.
We knew that we could design a product that used the best technology to exceed our customers' expectations. And, this is how Nano got its start.
Converging on the Nano
Three years later, the Nano is so close. We finished the design several months ago and have a working prototype that lets us test all of its systems. We are so confident that we will show the Nano at Aquatech Amsterdam later this month. If you can’t stop by, check out this video to see the Nano prototype in action:
We still have to transition Nano into a finished product. The Nano prototype’s internal core, for example, uses an all-metal design. That was easier to produce for a one-off prototype, but would be unreliable and expensive for a shipped product. So we must design the tooling needed to mass-produce the new core using injection-molded plastic (of course, only for the core).
That tooling will be installed in our 1000 m2 factory in Hungary. We already have CNC machines and other equipment ready, and we'll spend the rest of the year getting the full production line up and running.
On the software side, our developers have spent much of the past year completing the Nano’s internal control systems. They did an amazing job, achieving 98% efficiency when the Nano dispenses hot water. Now they must turn their attention to integrating the Nano with apps, which customers can download on their iPhones or Android devices.
Indiegogo Lets Us Hear From the Right Customers
Everything is on track to begin production in mid-2018. So why do we need an Indiegogo campaign? Why not just launch the Nano at a trade-show like many bigger companies do?
The simple answer is that we are not a bigger company. Launching the Nano through Indiegogo lets us reach people who:
Care about the environment
Want to reduce the number of plastic water bottles they use
See promise in Nano’s tech offers.
People like you! Getting Nano into the hands of people who are passionate about health, technology and the environment will help spread the word about all the benefits.
We also hope to get valuable feedback. Our entire approach has been based on listening to customers. Your input will help us make your Nano better through firmware and app updates.
Finally, getting pre-orders through Indiegogo will help us make better forecasts. If we simply outsourced production to a factory half a world away, it would be a simpler equation: place a minimum order + send a payment = get the product. But, manufacturing here in Europe allows us to have a lot more control and flexibility. Of course, this comes with a little more uncertainty. Your support during our Indiegogo campaign will let us make smarter decisions about our production plans.
Here’s Our Way of Saying Thank You Now
Just like every Indiegogo campaign out there we will offer perks that let you order the Nano below the market rate. That’s the benefit that comes with being an early adopter.
But, since you are here reading this post, we want to give you the chance to get an extra surprise benefit. Just sign up to our campaign email list. We can’t tell you everything about the surprise right now - it would spoil the surprise - but you will be one of the select few eligible.
Thank you in advance for your support. (Now we have to get back to work!)