Besides everything you’ve read in our Business Model and Vision page, the biggest challenges a young business like Purism faces—beyond convincing suppliers to provide fully freedom-respecting components—are fairly traditional manufacturing business challenges:
- Reducing delays in the supply chain. We are getting better at managing these delays, but since we are buying small, but growing, supply runs, we don’t yet have enough leverage to make strong demands upon our suppliers. We can overcome these delays by placing larger orders, making suppliers compete for faster delivery times, and progressively gaining leverage in the process.
- Attaining a high-enough level of funding to be able to buy large orders and create an in-house stock that we can ship from, reducing delays signficantly.
Your order today adds an extra bit of weight to our demand.
And then, of course, we can progressively work towards improving our products and services, and furthering our vision to safeguard the future of software freedom. For the sake of software freedom, security and privacy, we cannot be allowed to fail.
But why haven’t you created a stock right from the start?
Creating a hardware company from scratch requires either a massive amount of external capital investment, or a preordering system to prove the market. To remain independent and grow organically, we could not go with the first option, so we went with the second.
Then, considering you have to source the hardware components from a dozen suppliers across the world, pay for them, get them delivered across oceans and continents, assemble and test them, it is normal then that it takes a few months at first for preorders to ship to customers. Now that we have proven the market and have a tiny bit of margin, we are hoping to come to a point where we can pre-order components ourselves to be able to ship from stock, so that future customers will no longer have to wait months to get their product built and delivered. In a context like ours, that is simply a fundamental law of manufacturing logistics and economics.
It is with great efforts and persistence that we have reached, in June of 2017, our first “general availability” milestone.