Friday, 21 May 2010

Lets skip some of the narrative and get right to the good news..

Yeah yeah, I hear ya: "It's all well and good telling us what you did 12 months ago but where are you now? Are you still going? ..Does it work? ..Can I buy one?"

Well, the short answer is yes, yes, no, not yet. Let me expand, but skip some of the narrative... 'eh? (buy me a drink in the pub if you want the rest of the "Dragon's Den" story, the "Law suit against a major business support agency" story, or the "3 minutes away from losing our patent" story .. buy me the whole damn bottle if you want the "So, you're in London.. and James is living in Sierra Leone??!" story..) ..and get right to the good news.

We're funded.
We've re-designed, re-branded, we've got manufacturers, suppliers, and we're beginning production.

There, that's better isn't it?

I won't say too much while we're still pushing paper on the investment, but suffice to confirm the deed is done (was settled on my 26th Birthday none-the-less). And incidentally, for those who knew us way back when, this means that the, long in exile, 3rd director is no longer with the company in any facet; shares, power or intellectual property
(if you don't know this story .. add it to the 'buy me a drink' list above!)

Unbelievably this also means we are now a team of 12. James heading up product design and cultural implementation, myself on business model development and sales/marketing, we have a primary investor, a non exec director, 4 vocal and hugely talented 'value-adds' and 4 (mostly) silent loyal supporters!! It sounds more hectic than it is, though, as the reality remains I'm the only full timer and most days I work from home.

I should expand on my mention that James is living in Sierra Leone. He left (the country not the company!) about 6 weeks ago to apply his engineering skills to developing an appropriate and accessible way to dig water wells in developing countries. Not only is this a natural expansion for Red Button Design and extremely valuable in terms of the data being gathered, but we also hope that the team he is forming can become our first worker owned manufacturing co-operative. You can follow his work via his Blog, his updates on Twitter: @RBDAfrica and see some of his pictures on Flickr

Product-wise, thanks to a concentrated effort by James, our design support team at Quadro, and our international sourcing contacts at Tiger Global, we have finalised what would have been "ROSS 3.0" but is now simply known under our new name 'Midomo'.

Midomo is about to undergo its first production run with our new manufacturers and suppliers. We expect this to go ahead within the next 8 weeks, meaning we should have something for you to put your grubby paws all over come Autumn! And yes, expect a London-based launch party in which I force lovely influential humanitarians, entrepreneurs & willing volunteers to publicly drink Midomo-purified water and hope they're still talking to me a week later.. In more ways than one!!

Which brings me on to that very obvious question.. "When can I buy one?"..
Now, my team don't like me making promises about when we will be ready to make commercial sales, so I absolutely cannot say that I expect to close the first orders in November. But as soon as everyone is comfortable announcing November as our expected sales date, I promise I'll let you know... ;-)

Just one last thing, this post actually has a slightly ranty but honest and well meaning Addendum, which you can read, if you so wish, by following the link below...

Addendum: An Optional Explanation Of Time & Rescouces..

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