ONE frustration (after another?)

September 17, 2014

Recently I find myself in the unlikely position of quoting Donald Rumsfeld a lot. But in the development of the ONE, the new full suspension, the pathfinder and one more model, I come across these known unknowns, unknown knowns and even unknown unknowns.

That in itself is great, it’s exciting to try and do things that haven’t been done before. The frustrating bit is where those unknowns intersect with the real world, by which I mean the world Andy and our customers live in. As interested as most people seem to be in the way we’re pushing the envelope, in the end they inevitably ask that most dreaded of questions: “when will it be ready?”

The most honest answer and the one we usually give is: “when it is ready.” This doesn’t mean we don’t plan or schedule things in the development phase, but rather that we realize not everything can be planned. Especially those known and unknown unknowns! But sometimes we are a bit less disciplined and we communicate our planned date. Which means we risk ending up looking like a “normal” bike company, promising a release date that is not achieved!

This has happend with the ONE. The frame was almost ready in April, and could have gone into production soon after. But we wanted to make some changes to make it even better, and at OPEN, the pressure to do better is always bigger than the pressure to launch. That is a mindset we can never lose, it’s what makes us us. Our schedule was for those changes to be completed by the end of July, but they weren’t.

The improvements we made created some unknown unknowns in the form of layup complications, and they have taken eight iterations of new layup design, prototype build and testing to solve. That is to say, as of yesterday we think they may be solved, but most likely it will be another 2-3 iterations to get all the test values exactly where we want them. But again, no launch until then.

So there we are, the situation on the ONE. It frustrates Andy and myself, especially since the response from our customers has been so positive about the ONE. But we want to make sure we exceed those already high expectations.

What does this mean for the introduction date of the ONE? “When it’s ready!” We *hope* to be able to announce that all the tests are passed in the next few weeks, and then we can also announce the full production schedule soon after. But we don’t know. What we do know is that you will be the first to know, right here on our blog.

Any good news to finish off this blog? Of course, here’s a photo of what the first full suspension front triangle looked like right out of the mold. Very good quality for a first attempt. Cheers!

la foto 1

3 Responses to “ONE frustration (after another?)”

  1. Togo Keynes Says:

    Good luck with the final tweaks Gerard & Andy! Your quality standards are worth waiting for.

  2. BCC Says:

    Today’s motivational quote from some service to which I’m subscribed was “Shipping beats perfection.”

    Easier said with update-able software than hardware, of course…

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