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The Model 01 exists! We have pictures!

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TL;DR:

 We have a Keyboardio Model 01. We’re going to have 20 of them very soon. Then we’ll finish our video and launch a Kickstarter campaign. In the meantime, we hope this teaser video can help tide you over:

When we last wrote (in November!), we told you that if things slipped even a tiny bit, we wouldn’t launch until early 2015. At that point, we fell into what Andy Baio calls ‘The Silence Trap’: Because things were moving slowly and we didn’t have something newsworthy to share, it was easier to keep our heads down and work on the product until we could make a big, splashy announcement.

We both used to work as consultants. A good consultant learns early in their career to 'under-promise and over-deliver.’ As we’ve been working on the Model 01, we’ve been very, very cognizant of how important that is. It’s why we’ve taken so long to get to Kickstarter.

We want to be absolutely sure that when we “shut up and take your money”, we’ll have done everything possible to make sure that we can deliver you an amazing keyboard on time (or as close to on time as we can) without losing money on it. We’re taking care to do as much design, costing and planning as we can before we commit to a delivery date or a final price.

We thought we were under-promising on launch dates, too.

We tried to take Hofstadter’s Law into account, but got bitten by Hofstadter’s Law. Instead, we should have paid attention to Joshua’s advice on launches: “The only winning move is not to play.” So, despite the fact that we think we really actually know when we’ll be launching the Kickstarter campaign, we’re going to stop promising launch dates until we’re good and ready.

We’ve been pretty quiet, but we've gotten a lot done in the past couple months. We’ve spent countless hours refining the design of the enclosure and the shapes of the keycaps. After dozens of iterations, we finally have the keyboard we’re going to be showcasing on Kickstarter.

 We’ve CNC-milled the enclosure from two matching blocks of maple. We’ve sculpted each and every keycap to make typing comfortable and enjoyable. Bright, colorful LEDs shine up from under each key. And of course the whole thing comes apart (and goes back together) with a few Phillips screws. We’re absolutely thrilled with how it’s come out.

A few weeks ago, we started working with Afonso Salcedo at Sutro Studios in SF to film our Kickstarter video. Early in his video shoots, Afonso puts together a short teaser clip to test out the color and feel he’s planning on for the final product. We liked what he did for us so much that he’s agreed to let us share it with you today. It’s back up at the top of this update. If you haven’t watched it yet, you totally should.

We’re now racing against time to get all the parts for 20 Model 01 prototypes to make their way through production at Seeed Studio and StrongD in Shenzhen before February 14th, when both companies close down a the two week long Chinese Spring Festival holiday. After that, we’ll have a fun-filled week finishing the enclosures by sanding them with 2000-grit sandpaper, sealing them with spray-on polyurethane followed by a few days of soldering 1280 keyswitches and 1280 diodes onto the circuit boards, inserting 1280 keycaps into those keyswitches, assembling everything together and then carefully testing every key.

That’s when things start to get interesting. About a dozen of those keyboards are earmarked for folks we want feedback from before we go to Kickstarter. We already had a good list of folks we wanted to reach out to when we asked for your suggestions a few months back. We’re not going to be able to get keyboards to everyone you suggested, but you definitely helped us find a few more good folks to reach out to.

Once our testers have had a chance to play with the Model 01 for a few weeks, we’ll get the video wrapped up, take a deep breath, launch the Kickstarter campaign and take our show on the road.

Back in November, we promised that during the crowdfunding campaign, we’re going to attempt a cross-country road show. To date, over 100 people have invited us to visit them in 26 states (and 2 Canadian provinces) as we make our way from Somerville, MA to Oakland, CA, but you still have plenty of time to ask us to drop by. One silver lining of us not being ready to launch the Kickstarter campaign in January is that we’re much, much more likely to make it to visit folks in Minnesota and Alberta without turning into popsicles.

See you soon!

Jesse & Kaia



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