jasoncampbell4
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:06 am

Jim Manley wrote:To Emma and anyone else who thinks it's just a matter of not trying hard enough
If you have 1982 students desperate for a Pi Zero then you have a minimum budget of about $10,000?, more importantly you have near 100,000 mouths (or brains) to feed moving forward. Surely if you contacted the foundation in advance you could have managed this better? I’m not sure of how class sizes work in the USA but in the UK we get worried if there are more than thirty children (20 is better), would that amount of teachers be available if the foundation sent a helicopter in the morning with the Pi Zeros?

Does your education authority do procurement like people order pizza deliveries? If they can’t deliver in 15 minutes you aren’t interested? In the UK budgets are set aside 12 months in advance.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:23 am

jasoncampbell4 wrote:...if the foundation sent a helicopter in the morning with the Pi Zeros?
Carpet bombing....with Pi0s? That has possibilities....
Does your education authority do procurement like people order pizza deliveries? If they can’t deliver in 15 minutes you aren’t interested? In the UK budgets are set aside 12 months in advance.
In the US, school budgets are set by local school boards, as are a lot of other things. There is some state oversight in most cases, but between the state and some of the locals...things can get pretty ugly in a number of ways that are massively off topic here.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:41 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
jasoncampbell4 wrote:...if the foundation sent a helicopter in the morning with the Pi Zeros?
Carpet bombing....with Pi0s? That has possibilities....
Does your education authority do procurement like people order pizza deliveries? If they can’t deliver in 15 minutes you aren’t interested? In the UK budgets are set aside 12 months in advance.
In the US, school budgets are set by local school boards, as are a lot of other things. There is some state oversight in most cases, but between the state and some of the locals...things can get pretty ugly in a number of ways that are massively off topic here.
Do you not see the problem; on one level you are arguing that the Foundation is failing you because you can’t buy $10,000 of Pi Zeros then in another breath you are saying you don’t have that purchasing decision anyway. You can’t expect the Foundation to invest millions on maybes; if a firm order had been placed I’m sure your experience would have been different.

I’m pretty confident that those in the Foundation aren’t idiots, they worked out the Pi Zero was advertising you can’t place a price on, now it will take time for the Zero to flow through the system. Realistically you only need one Pi Zero to present your idea to whomever makes the purchasing choice, Pi Foundation doesn’t have to hold back 100,000 just in case you get lucky with the boss.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:15 am

emma1997 wrote:I think those without are just not trying hard enough.
I've so far managed to buy a dozen zeros, but I still only have one zero myself.

I've been helping other parents get them, or I've gifted them to people who are showing a genuine interest.
As far as I know, none of them are languishing in drawers.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:59 pm

I wouldn't worry too much - the Raspberry Pi guys didn't come down in the last shower. They obviously know about the way component supply works. The semiconductor industry deals with this all the time by using lead times to manage demand variations. If you order some reels of chips from - say Arrow - it is standard 6-12 weeks lead time. The semiconductor manufacturers build those leads into the production schedule and produce the aggregate orders PLUS a base level for general distribution. You might get lucky and find some reels at DigiKey, but to be sure take the lead time.

As long as your manufactured object doesn't contain any unobtainium, then you can schedule a suitable sized run and Robert is your maternal parent's male sibling. Adafruit and Pimoroni are full, and Jim Manley gets his shipment of 2000 Zeros. Whether it works like that with RPi0, who knows, but in theory that is how it might work.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:17 pm

jamesh wrote:
blc wrote:
jamesh wrote:Brcm don't own any fabs. Usually go to Taiwan IIRC.
Out of curiosity, TSMC? Appreciate if you can't say...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMRUHGnN29s
:lol:

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:16 pm

HeadCase wrote:I wouldn't worry too much - the Raspberry Pi guys didn't come down in the last shower. They obviously know about the way component supply works. The semiconductor industry deals with this all the time by using lead times to manage demand variations. If you order some reels of chips from - say Arrow - it is standard 6-12 weeks lead time. The semiconductor manufacturers build those leads into the production schedule and produce the aggregate orders PLUS a base level for general distribution. You might get lucky and find some reels at DigiKey, but to be sure take the lead time.

As long as your manufactured object doesn't contain any unobtainium, then you can schedule a suitable sized run and Robert is your maternal parent's male sibling. Adafruit and Pimoroni are full, and Jim Manley gets his shipment of 2000 Zeros. Whether it works like that with RPi0, who knows, but in theory that is how it might work.
I'm inclined to think back to the Summer and early Fall of 2012 when one of the major suppliers of Pis failed to order enough 2835 chips and ran out, making for a pretty significant supply shortage. So...yes. It is possible to get caught short if you don't realize what actual (as opposed to expected) demand is going to be. It's not an easy process. Whoever is managing the supply chain has to guess...and--one hopes--guess right, and that's tough in an emerging market. Order too much and you're left with unsold and unsaleable inventory. Order too little, and people are beating the door down trying to get what doesn't exist...or they go to your competitor and buy what *they've* got. (Fortunately--for the RPF--in the case, there isn't any competitor.)

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:39 pm

HeadCase wrote:I wouldn't worry too much - the Raspberry Pi guys didn't come down in the last shower. They obviously know about the way component supply works.
Though there were problems in the past through seriously underestimating demand. It took a long time to put those issues behind us and it seems it's being repeated with the Zero.

In Mag Pi 40, Eben is quoted as saying of the Zero, "We’re building 100k of them at first, but I’m just hoping it will have a life after that". I would say that reflects something of an underestimate of demand.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:46 pm

hippy wrote:
HeadCase wrote:I wouldn't worry too much - the Raspberry Pi guys didn't come down in the last shower. They obviously know about the way component supply works.
Though there were problems in the past through seriously underestimating demand. It took a long time to put those issues behind us and it seems it's being repeated with the Zero.

In Mag Pi 40, Eben is quoted as saying of the Zero, "We’re building 100k of them at first, but I’m just hoping it will have a life after that". I would say that reflects something of an underestimate of demand.
Quite.

Who would have though that a cut down device with considerable less functionality than the Pi2 (still $35, which is not exactly a lot) would be so popular. It's surprised me.
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:07 pm

jamesh wrote:Who would have though that a cut down device with considerable less functionality than the Pi2 (still $35, which is not exactly a lot) would be so popular. It's surprised me.
It's the price. Even bought with an accessories kit it's still cheap enough to buy for a one-off dedicated project. (Almost 'throw-away' cheap). I know a lot of people who want lots of them. They're hackers though, not educators. I think it's like it was with the Pi originally - hackers leading the way, with education to follow. But tbh I think the Pi2 is a better choice in all but the most budget-conscious education environments.
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:14 pm

alexeames wrote:It's the price. Even bought with an accessories kit it's still cheap enough to buy for a one-off dedicated project.
AdaFruit (one of the US distributors) is out of the Zero as a single unit, but has had the two bundles (Budget $30, Starter $60) for a couple of days now. And they wont pull from the bundle packs to sell single units...
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:17 pm

If they'd asked me how many original Pi's and how many Zeroes would be immediately in demand they would have got a far higher but I would argue more realistic figure than seems to have been taken. I can only put it down to the Foundation just not having the same perspective as I do.

The Pi has been a game changer, the Zero will be equally so, possibly the most "disruptive product" of the year. My only whinge is that the Foundation doesn't seem to recognise quite how big a thing it is they are creating. There are brilliant people running the show, great at what they are great at, but not so great at predicting demand. I'm not going to bang on about it, I've got that T-shirt. That's just how it is.

I know the Zero will be a huge success; I just hope they can get it into production quantities in short order. Hopefully that's being worked on now the shock of demand is settling in.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:29 pm

SonOfAMotherlessGoat wrote:
alexeames wrote:It's the price. Even bought with an accessories kit it's still cheap enough to buy for a one-off dedicated project.
AdaFruit (one of the US distributors) is out of the Zero as a single unit, but has had the two bundles (Budget $30, Starter $60) for a couple of days now. And they wont pull from the bundle packs to sell single units...
I was thinking more along the lines of the £6 PiHut accessories kit.
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:33 pm

Yay for capitalism!
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:34 pm

hippy wrote:If they'd asked me how many original Pi's and how many Zeroes would be immediately in demand they would have got a far higher but I would argue more realistic figure than seems to have been taken. I can only put it down to the Foundation just not having the same perspective as I do.
I expect a lot of it comes down to erring on the side of caution.

I don't know who took the risk for the pi0 but given viewtopic.php?f=63&t=131310&start=25#p876391 I expect it may well have been the raspberry pi foundation (or RPTL but afaict that distinction is mostly a legal detail). It's not clear how big their total assets are right now as data from the charities commision is delayed by over a year but I woudl say from one to a few million pounds is probablly a good guess.

Given that a quarter million pound or so risk from making 100K units would already be pretty big.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:41 pm

plugwash wrote:
hippy wrote:If they'd asked me how many original Pi's and how many Zeroes would be immediately in demand they would have got a far higher but I would argue more realistic figure than seems to have been taken. I can only put it down to the Foundation just not having the same perspective as I do.
I expect a lot of it comes down to erring on the side of caution.

I don't know who took the risk for the pi0 but given viewtopic.php?f=63&t=131310&start=25#p876391 I expect it may well have been the raspberry pi foundation (or RPTL but afaict that distinction is mostly a legal detail). It's not clear how big their total assets are right now as data from the charities commision is delayed by over a year but I woudl say from one to a few million pounds is probablly a good guess.

Given that a quarter million pound or so risk from making 100K units would already be pretty big.
Good point. The Foundation made them, and whilst they probably have more than £42 in the bank, it's a huge investment to make without someone like RS or Farnell behind you (and presumably they won't be interested due to profit margins)
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:54 pm

plugwash wrote:Given that a quarter million pound or so risk from making 100K units would already be pretty big.
To a degree, and I recognise I'm not the one bankrolling it. There are always risks but that's what good market research and knowledge mitigates. It's also about planning for if it does far better or far worse than expected. It's about having a well argued, well defined strategy rather than just waving a finger in the air and hoping it all works out. I would have put the risk of not selling 100K as extremely low. I would assess the chance of selling a million as reasonable. I would therefore plan according to that.

I have a feeling of deja vu on what I said about the original Pi release so I'm not intending to say any more on that. As then we have to accept how things are, look to the future, rather than engage in criticism. Hope the lessons have been learned come next time.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:17 pm

hippy wrote:
plugwash wrote:Given that a quarter million pound or so risk from making 100K units would already be pretty big.
To a degree, and I recognise I'm not the one bankrolling it. There are always risks but that's what good market research and knowledge mitigates. It's also about planning for if it does far better or far worse than expected. It's about having a well argued, well defined strategy rather than just waving a finger in the air and hoping it all works out. I would have put the risk of not selling 100K as extremely low. I would assess the chance of selling a million as reasonable. I would therefore plan according to that.

I have a feeling of deja vu on what I said about the original Pi release so I'm not intending to say any more on that. As then we have to accept how things are, look to the future, rather than engage in criticism. Hope the lessons have been learned come next time.
Just because the plan is not public doesn't mean there isn't/wasn't one.

I would have thought a good way to do your market research, rather than blow a ton of money on bringing in a consulatant, would be to allocate a 'riskable' sum of money to a limited production run and see how it goes, then adjust and iterate accordingly. Oh hold on... :lol:
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:20 pm

Bear in mind that Eben mortgaged his own house to get the first 10K Pis made, so he's clearly willing to take risks. At the same time, that was a rather incredible risk. If he'd been wrong about being able to sell those 10K Pis and recoup the money to pay off the mortgage, he could have wound up in a serious financial hole.

Making 100K Pi0s is a calculated risk. 20-20 hindsight says that it wasn't much of a risk and the initial production run was, if anything, conservative. However, I think if people had been asked about something like this ahead of time, most would have questioned making that many without a way to determine that they would all be sold. And I say that with the caveat that, basically, *anything* the RPF/RPT come out with for less than $100 can probably move 100K units, considering that Eben called the original Model A a "failure" because it sold "only" 100K units. Most SBC makers would give a great deal to have a "failure" like that!

The bigger question is this... Will people *keep* buying Pi0s in any quantity once everyone who wants one now has one (or several)? What is the *sustainable* sales rate?

I can make use of about 5. If one of my projects pans out, I can see using at least a handful more. I can't see using anywhere from tens to hundreds of Pi0s, let alone on an ongoing basis. However, I am sure there are other people who will consume Pi0s as long as they can get them and in whatever quantities they can get. YMMV.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:42 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:I can make use of about 5. If one of my projects pans out, I can see using at least a handful more. I can't see using anywhere from tens to hundreds of Pi0s, let alone on an ongoing basis. However, I am sure there are other people who will consume Pi0s as long as they can get them and in whatever quantities they can get. YMMV.
I think quite a lot of hackers see it as a more accessible form of compute module. Something that ordinary people could embed in a project/product without the need to design a host board. I have two running full-time service in a new product idea I'm trialling right now. Obviously that project would only go ahead when and if sufficient quantities of Zeros were available. (Plus it's very early days anyway, so I'm not ready yet.) It would also work with an A+, but the Zero form-factor and lower cost is preferable. :D
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:19 pm

alexeames wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:I can make use of about 5. If one of my projects pans out, I can see using at least a handful more. I can't see using anywhere from tens to hundreds of Pi0s, let alone on an ongoing basis. However, I am sure there are other people who will consume Pi0s as long as they can get them and in whatever quantities they can get. YMMV.
I think quite a lot of hackers see it as a more accessible form of compute module. Something that ordinary people could embed in a project/product without the need to design a host board. I have two running full-time service in a new product idea I'm trialling right now. Obviously that project would only go ahead when and if sufficient quantities of Zeros were available. (Plus it's very early days anyway, so I'm not ready yet.) It would also work with an A+, but the Zero form-factor and lower cost is preferable. :D

Me im ready to release my product but can't afford 50$ a board like on ebay .. i never see a Zero at 5$ on ebay or amazon
i order a orange pi yesterday hope is good ... and in store (in canada) 80$ a raspberry pi ... and 50$ the zero that just scam

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:44 pm

Well, you won't see then on Ebay or Amazon for $5 because those people don't sell them, so you just get people trying to make some money. Go to an official distributor, and wait until they have stock.

Lots of people have managed to get one for $5, and lots more will.

Note than less than 2 months ago, no-one outside the Foundation even knew the Zero existed. Patience on new product launches is necessary. No point in complaining, just wait until production catches up.
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:46 pm

The launch of the the orginal Pi back in 2012 was very very different.
I recall that we got wind that this was coming months before it was available for sale, a number of people following the project which created a gestative internet buzz. The number of people following and anticipating snowballed as release approached and this should have given some idea of what the demand was going to be like. I think it did, because the 2 partner organisations came on board late into the project.

The date that the Pis were released for sale was known in advance and thousands set their alarm clocks so they could participate in what became a DDOS on RS and Farnell.

At this point, not only were a lot of people disappointed at not getting an order within a few minutes of launch, others were confused as to whether they had successfully ordered or not because orders beyond the initial batch went to back order. Then came the delay over CE conformity and marking etc which meant months elapsed from order to delivery.

Pimania was here.

So did lessons get learned?
I would say so, when Pi2B was kept secret until 9AM on the day of release for sale. Or it would have been had at least one media publication not broken the press release embargo a few hours early. On the morning of release, some smart people had read about the imminent Pi2B early and sniffed out the unindexed product URL page so orders were being place long before 9AM. The vendor hadn't sorted out their pricing properly and so sold the Pis at their amazing low price inclusive of delivery cost, then tried to add delivery cost after the sales were agreed, and had to refund.

More lessons learned?
This time I think the press releases were more tightly controlled because the stories lagged well behind the appearance of the Zero with the MagPi magazines. Had I not by chance looked up the Raspberry Pi website when I did, then I would not have abandoned my desk and missed my chance to become a Zero Day Zero user.
Demand for first batch Pis was guaranteed because they went out with the MagPi with no increase in cover price. Once word got out, folk cleaned out the news stand supplies in very short order. Selling for $5 and giving the thing away for free was, in itself, a surefire way of making a splash and that splash was a surefire way of creating demand.

Another thing that creates demand is when people feel that they are missing out or being left out of something good.
Last edited by Pithagoros on Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:47 pm

hippy wrote:
plugwash wrote:Given that a quarter million pound or so risk from making 100K units would already be pretty big.
To a degree, and I recognise I'm not the one bankrolling it. There are always risks but that's what good market research and knowledge mitigates. It's also about planning for if it does far better or far worse than expected. It's about having a well argued, well defined strategy rather than just waving a finger in the air and hoping it all works out. I would have put the risk of not selling 100K as extremely low. I would assess the chance of selling a million as reasonable. I would therefore plan according to that.

I have a feeling of deja vu on what I said about the original Pi release so I'm not intending to say any more on that. As then we have to accept how things are, look to the future, rather than engage in criticism. Hope the lessons have been learned come next time.
Market reseach. I can see it now...

"This is the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Would you be interested in a $5 Raspberry Pi?"

Not only does it give away that the Foundation is preparing a $5 device, but has about as much chance of predicting numbers as a pet hamster in a wheel with a shaft encoder.
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Re: Pi Zero Availability

Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:01 pm

jamesh wrote: Note than less than 2 months ago, no-one outside the Foundation even knew the Zero existed. Patience on new product launches is necessary. No point in complaining, just wait until production catches up.
I bet 44 days ago that the RPF had no idea how well the zero would sell, they're not very good with their "like hot cakes" predictions. It's certainly caused a stir since Thanksgiving Day. I'd love to know how many have been sold since then.

The RPiB that sits under the TV in my living room is due to be replaced with my zero next week. I got the code to drive a MAX7219 LED on it working today.
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