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'[AD] PICList.com funding WAS New TTL to RS-232 con'
2005\03\21@141313 by James Newton, Host

face picon face

> James Newton, Host wrote:
> > Or you could buy the same thing from me for $17 built into
> a DB9 back
> > shell, with a cable, with RTS and CTS also converted
>
> Well it's not the same thing, but certainly similar.  Yours
> is the choice if you want RTS and CTS.  Mine will be more
> handy if you don't want to put the specific 6 pin connector
> on the board that yours requires.

It's easy to rearrange the pins in the connector supplied. How would you
rearrange the header that is built into yours?

> I noticed that it's not actually your product, but you say
> you are selling it.  How does that work?  Is piclist.com set
> up as an online store with a standard markup?  Who does the
> order fulfillment?  Who handles the support issues?  Or is
> this product a one-off special case that you arranged with
> the designer?


I'm happy to sell things for hobbyists and even pros who don't want to do
order fulfillment in the USA. So far, everything I have sold has been from
Australia and has been from pros who have a little side product that is not
what they want to focus on. Anyone who has looked at the page for ways to
support piclist.com
http://www.piclist.com/techref/piclist/support.htm would see that Roman
Black, Ashley Roll and, in the past, Tony Nixon have donated sales of one
product each to support the site.

As far as the money goes, we typically split the profit. E.g. if the unit
costs them $10 to make and we sell it for $20 then I get $5 and they get $5.
If you want to put it in terms of a dealer, I'm getting 20 to 30 points. It
probably isn't worth my time to do it if I was trying to do it as a
business, but I can usually work it in around lunch or in between other
things and the customers have been very nice. It helps to put a dent in the
costs of hosting the site.

I make web pages with FAQ's to help with the support requests and act as a
"frontline" support for known issues, but I pass on most NEW questions to
the mfgr and record the result on the FAQ page. The RLC1 has generated
exactly ZERO support questions ever. Having the full datasheet on the web
page seems to help. May I suggest that you beef up the documentation on
yours?

None of these items are my design. Bringing a new product to market is
beyond me. I'm not interested in doing anything other than sales (via the
web and ebay) and order fulfillment with a little support as needed.

The one item that I am trying to mfgr myself is not getting done... As I
should have expected. That is the Quickstepper controller
http://www.quickstepper.com My problem at this point is that I don't feel
comfortable with the lack of testing on it, I don't' have a CNC machine
(yet) and I desperately need people who really know what they are doing who
will play with it before I start selling it to the general public. I've had
promises from a number of people, but each time, after I send them a unit,
they get busy with something else and don't respond. As a result, I will
only sell the kit ($60) with NO warranty and then offer to refund that if I
actually hear back from the buyer.

Ideally, I would love to find someone who has designed a very low cost CNC
mill, suitable for PCB milling or "scratch and etch" with parts that can be
made by a larger CNC mill itself and then sell a complete unit... But I've
posted all this before, etc...

Anyway, if someone has a niche product that they don't want to keep
marketing but that they are willing to make a batch of now and again, I'm
willing to try to sell it for you.

There is also an auction engine at piclist.com
http://www.piclist.com/techref/auction.asp it is completely free and the
items show up on the bottom of most pages on the site, and at the top right
corner of each message in the archive. They will also probably show up on
the special digests that I'm setting up now based on Mike Singers
suggestion. If it comes from my server, I feel like I have every right to
put a message up.

Now, I should mention again that I have NEVER accepted any PAID advertising
for the site. There are some items that are shown that look like ads, e.g.
they are for items that are sold, but I have never been paid for doing so. I
don't want to be accused of "favoritism" for list members. I do accept
donations (see the support page above) from trusted members and I list their
names on that page as supporters. I have actively returned donations from
people who I felt may cause friction or concern on the list. E.g. I haven't
accepted donations from Microchip and there have been a few list members who
donated in the distant past where I, well, questioned their motives and
returned the donation. They aren't on this list anymore, and they left on
their own.

If some rich PICLister wants to set me up for life (or at least a few years)
I would love nothing more than to turn my full attention to organizing and
improving the site, the list, and so on. The lottery is a tax on people who
are bad at math and I have never owned rose colored glasses, so I don't
dream about that much.

I do sell a set of CDs of the stuff on the site. I charge for the creation
and shipping of the CDs. The content is always free on the web site so
no-one can say I'm charging for that. Mostly, that is for people in other
countries who find it expensive to browse the site, people who want better
or faster search ability, or people who don't have regular access to a good
internet connection.

I have a day job, and a really great boss who doesn't seem to mind if I
spend some time each day doing hobby stuff as long as the important work
gets done. Bosses like him are 1 in 1,000,000. So the web hosting gig is
pure hobby, as is the list admin.

I'm sorry, I guess I'm talking about myself too much; what do you think of
me? <GRIN>

Oh! I have to mention the free PCB thing.

Olimex has offered 1 free panel a month for anyone who is willing to post a
viable PCB design on the site. VERY few people have taken them up on it, but
the ones who have got their boards and were happy with them. Any of the PCBs
that are listed can be ordered direct from Olimex.
http://www.piclist.com/pcbcontest

---
James.



2005\03\21@205934 by olin_piclist

face picon face
James Newton, Host wrote:
> I'm happy to sell things for hobbyists and even pros who don't want to
> do order fulfillment in the USA. So far, everything I have sold has
> been from Australia and has been from pros who have a little side
> product that is not what they want to focus on.

The reason I asked is because I'm exploring ways to get more exposure for my
products.  Since I've already done the work of setting up a site to sell
stuff, I don't need the vehicle as much as to let people know my stuff
exists.  I would lose considerable margin selling on your site, but if the
volume increased sufficiently it might make up for it.  I imagine you don't
want to sell a competing TTL to RS-232 converter, but what about EasyProgs?
I have no illusion of ever making real money on that, so it's no real loss
if it doesn't work out that well.  It might be an interesting experiment to
see how much the volume increased sold from your site compared to mine.

> Having the full
> datasheet on the web page seems to help. May I suggest that you beef up
> the documentation on yours?

What do you feel is missing?  Nobody has had any questions of the few I've
distributed so far.  It's so simple, I'm not sure what else I could tell
them.

> None of these items are my design. Bringing a new product to market is
> beyond me. I'm not interested in doing anything other than sales (via
> the web and ebay) and order fulfillment with a little support as needed.

What I'd *really* be interested in is someone that has a good relationship
with low cost manufacturing willing to take a tested design, produce it in
volume and sell it and pay me royalties.  I know how to do these things and
have done them, but I think my time is better spent on product development.
I've got lots more ideas for products, and would rather start the next one
than walk the last one thru the production process.

> Now, I should mention again that I have NEVER accepted any PAID
> advertising for the site.

That's too bad.  I was just thinking that would be a good solution since
I've already got all the mechanics of selling stuff set up, but need more
people that know about it.

> I don't want to be accused of "favoritism" for list
> members.

Favoritism is if you do someone a favor over others.  I don't see how
selling ad space to those willing to pay for it can be considered favoritism
in any way.  Especially if all advertised products had to be relevant to
PICs somehow, you'd be doing both the seller and buyers a service and
getting paid for it.  As long as the ads weren't annoying in-your-face
popups, I think visitors would understand that they are using a free service
that has to be paid for somehow.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\22@012433 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
> The reason I asked is because I'm exploring ways to get more
> exposure for my products.  Since I've already done the work
> of setting up a site to sell stuff, I don't need the vehicle
> as much as to let people know my stuff exists.  I would lose
> considerable margin selling on your site, but if the volume
> increased sufficiently it might make up for it.  I imagine
> you don't want to sell a competing TTL to RS-232 converter,
> but what about EasyProgs?
> I have no illusion of ever making real money on that, so it's
> no real loss if it doesn't work out that well.  It might be
> an interesting experiment to see how much the volume
> increased sold from your site compared to mine.

You are certainly more than welcome to post a link and some information
about easyprog on the web page for PIC programmers.
http://www.piclist.com/devprogs That will get you the extra exposure without
involving any money.


> > Having the full
> > datasheet on the web page seems to help. May I suggest that
> you beef
> > up the documentation on yours?
>
> What do you feel is missing?  Nobody has had any questions of
> the few I've distributed so far.  It's so simple, I'm not
> sure what else I could tell them.

Basically the datasheet for the MAX 232. That way everything is in one place
for the users.

> What I'd *really* be interested in is someone that has a good
> relationship with low cost manufacturing willing to take a
> tested design, produce it in volume and sell it and pay me
> royalties.  I know how to do these things and have done them,
> but I think my time is better spent on product development.

Everybody seems to want that. I'm only interested in the last part: Web
advertising and filling orders. I also wish I knew someone in the production
area. My "wet dream" is building a machine that can build some sort of
product automatically.


> > Now, I should mention again that I have NEVER accepted any PAID
> > advertising for the site.
>
> That's too bad.  I was just thinking that would be a good
> solution since I've already got all the mechanics of selling
> stuff set up, but need more people that know about it.

Again, the point of piclist.com is that anyone can add content to it. You
don't need to pay me to list your products on the site.

{Quote hidden}

You and me both, but it isn't like that. Paranoia runs deep. And again,
payment really isn't needed, as explained above.

---
James.



2005\03\22@075010 by olin_piclist

face picon face
James Newtons Massmind wrote:
> You are certainly more than welcome to post a link and some information
> about easyprog on the web page for PIC programmers.
> http://www.piclist.com/devprogs That will get you the extra exposure
> without involving any money.

Well I tried that, but it didn't work as expected.  Even though I selected
PUBLIC and COMMENT, my message still showed up below the questions section
at the very bottom of the page.  I couldn't find a mechanism to add an entry
to the list of programmers.

> Again, the point of piclist.com is that anyone can add content to it.
> You don't need to pay me to list your products on the site.

Right, but there is a difference between just a listing and a real ad.  A
listing is something you have to deliberately search out, which implies you
are looking for it in the first place.  An ad comes at you whether you asked
or not.

That can be both good and bad.  At one end an annoying ad is irrelevant to
you and gets in the way of what you are trying to do.  At the other end it
can make you aware of something that might be useful but you weren't
previously aware of.  Unfortunately the latter case is very rare, so most
people will accept a certain amount of non-intrusive advertising that could
be vaguely relevant.  The more relevant the ad, the less people are going to
mind.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\22@165959 by James Newton, Host

face picon face
>
> James Newton wrote:
> > You are certainly more than welcome to post a link and some
> > information about easyprog on the web page for PIC programmers.
> > http://www.piclist.com/devprogs That will get you the extra
> exposure
> > without involving any money.
>
> Well I tried that, but it didn't work as expected.  Even
> though I selected PUBLIC and COMMENT, my message still showed
> up below the questions section at the very bottom of the
> page.  I couldn't find a mechanism to add an entry to the
> list of programmers.


I've moved your entry up into what I thought was an appropriate place.


That page needs a page editor... Any volunteers?

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com



2005\03\22@182502 by olin_piclist

face picon face
James Newton, Host wrote:
> I've moved your entry up into what I thought was an appropriate place.

Thanks.

*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\03\22@235548 by Mike Singer

picon face
Olin Lathrop  wrote:
> The reason I asked is because I'm exploring ways to get more
> exposure for my products.  

It seems Google ads is the most effective way for such kind
of things.

Mike.

2005\03\23@002055 by Mike Singer

picon face
I wrote:
> Olin Lathrop  wrote:
> > The reason I asked is because I'm exploring ways to get more
> > exposure for my products.
>
> It seems Google ads is the most effective way for such kind
> of things.
>

Another way. You have written out a lot of pretty usefull stuff
for now. If this things were organized on a some fee-based site
(aprox $10/month) you would get a tremendous exposure for
your products.

Google with "Microsoft Enterprise Library". Who, how do you
think is on the top of the list? Microsoft, the developer of the
product with its search system and billions hits a day? No,
MS is second, the first is some guy with his article about the
product, selling himself as independent consultant (very good,
bytheway).

Regards,
Mike.

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