Author Topic: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up  (Read 1706 times)

madbean

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2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« on: December 20, 2017, 07:59:55 PM »
Just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the members here and say thank you for sticking around the MBP forum for another year. You guys are the reason this place exists and I feel very lucky to have this little corner of DIY on the interwebs. I am continually inspired by the work I see here and the overall enthusiasm and good-will we've created toward one another is a source of incredible satisfaction for me. I hope the same is true for you, too.

2017 was a moderate success in terms of the financial side of MBP. I've held off for a long time in discussing this publicly but the general trend in terms of hard sales has been decline over the last 2 years. I've had lean years, I've had wildly successful years and the "norm" appears to be leveling off into a reasonably, but not overwhelming profitable business. The only reason I mention this is because it's making me took a harder look at how I do things and what I can do better. I've sought and received the advice of several trusted colleagues so I am focusing more attention on what steps I need to take to maintain the level of service I hope to achieve. One key component to this year's success is the inclusion of the VFE projects, for which I am eternally grateful to Peter Rutter for making a reality. While I have not released as much of the VFE in 2017 as planned, I will keep at it and make it even more prevalent for the coming year.

I had hoped to end 2017 with a bang with some of the many projects I am close to releasing. It looks like most of those will get pushed to early 2018. These include the sub-mini tube projects, and many more. Things are coming to a close but not as fast as I wanted. But, I think it's just a matter of buckling down a bit and getting my s**t done. I still plan on releasing the first MBP kit next year, the For Fuzz Sake fuzz. I've been considering a Kicksarter campaign to get this going since it will take a couple of grand to launch. We'll see.

And, of course, any feedback you have to give on how things are going, what you'd like to see in the coming year, etc. is appreciated and welcomed.

I hope everyone has a great holiday! Be sure to get your entries in for the Build of the Year contest. Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate you damn heathens.

I own madbeanpedals (duh). I am part owner of Function F(X).

midwayfair

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 08:18:05 PM »
I still think there should be a subtle but easily found donate button for the forum. I realize you see this as an extension of your business, but, dude, sometimes I really just don't need to buy a PCB but I still want to say "thanks for letting me hang out in your house all the damn time and let me buy you a beer/cuppa/book."
Myself's music & things I make: http://jonpattonmusic.com. My band: http://midwayfair.org. PCBs of my designs from: http://www.1776Effects.com (Bearhug Comp & Cardinal Harmonic Trem); http://www.jmkpcbs.com (Hamlet+ delay & Blue Warbler envelope vibe); Snow Day OD/Flabulanche: www.madbeanpedals.com

sjaustin

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 09:00:36 PM »
Thanks for the peek behind the curtain. I like Jonís suggestion. A yearly Wikipedia-style ďplease pay for hosting costsĒ drive would be ok too. Iíd back your Kickstarter even though I (gasp) donít seem to like fuzz pedals very much!

gordo

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 09:15:38 PM »
I agree with Jon.  I usually get a few boards everytime I order stuff just to fatten up the order but to be honest I've built pretty much the entire catalog.  Well, that and the fact I'm a gear whore so it works on both sides of the transaction.

I wouldn't be opposed to shouldering a bit of the forum cost and I imagine a good chunk of peeps would agree, especially the regulars and usual suspects.

Guitar sales across the board have been declining at the same rate and I think most sites like this are noticing a bit of a decline.  I was bummed to hear that Peter is packing in the Patreon effort. I think that the amount of cash coming in vs the amount of overhead in terms of effort just wasn't panning out in his favor and he found himself spread way too thin.  I was looking forward to the education more than building more pedals, which was my incentive to join.

I love hanging around this place and hope we can sustain this environment.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Matmosphere

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 09:48:31 PM »
I still think there should be a subtle but easily found donate button for the forum. I realize you see this as an extension of your business, but, dude, sometimes I really just don't need to buy a PCB but I still want to say "thanks for letting me hang out in your house all the damn time and let me buy you a beer/cuppa/book."

This!

The other thing you could consider would be to look at the model tdrpi uses. Their are free members on the forum and many who pay an annual subscription for a few added services.

Also give yourself a little credit. You have definitely set the tone of this forum. IMHO the build report section is what really seals the deal. The bar is very high on there and I think it helps keep us focused on why weíre here and not Facebook.

BrianS

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 09:51:30 PM »
Since this is really the only pedal forum I hangout on I would contribute to help also.  Just a bunch of really good people on here and even though I struggle with getting this electronics stuff I feel I can get help even if itís something pretty stupid that Iíve done.

I also like the ability to purchase not only Bean projects but the host of other boards that come up on here that are just stellar.  There are just a bunch of really smart designers on here and I have to ďTip My HatĒ to Brian for being great about the group buys. 

Even though I know I have to curtail my board purchases (Man this is going to be hard) due to the fact that one day my spouse is going to spaz completely out, I am looking forward to seeing these new boards come out.  There is always something interesting that just puts the excitement level up a couple of notches.  Hope everyone has a great holiday season and a happy new year.


Rockhorst

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 03:03:03 AM »
Not sure if it's actually true, but it seems to me the forum has slowed down quite a bit also. I try to post a bit more often instead of just reading/lurking, because that's the only way to keep this place truly alive.

Boba7

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 03:59:48 AM »
I still think there should be a subtle but easily found donate button for the forum. I realize you see this as an extension of your business, but, dude, sometimes I really just don't need to buy a PCB but I still want to say "thanks for letting me hang out in your house all the damn time and let me buy you a beer/cuppa/book."

I totally agree!!
This forum is AMAZING, although I havent been posting as much lately, I keep reading a lot, and I just love it. And I'd love to make a donation sometimes, when I dont another pcb but just feel grateful. :)

sjaustin

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 05:32:32 AM »
Not sure if it's actually true, but it seems to me the forum has slowed down quite a bit also. I try to post a bit more often instead of just reading/lurking, because that's the only way to keep this place truly alive.
Thatís definitely true over at BYOC. Itís one of the reasons Iíve been stopping by here more lately.

stringsthings

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 06:20:41 AM »
Thanks very much Brian for hosting this forum and offering superb PCB's.  I really like the informal, friendly
nature of this forum.   There's a lot of sharing of info on our favorite hobby.  I really enjoy viewing the build reports
and seeing some of the most amazing builds out there.  It inspires me to try new things.  For example, I don't think I would've
ever learned how to etch an enclosure if not for learning things and seeing results on this forum.  It's just so satisfying to learn
a new skill. 

I would also like to thank those who've offered some incredible PCB's thru the forum.  And thanks to Brian for allowing this.
Some of the circuits are really unique. 

So in closing, I'll echo our fearless leader in wishing everyone Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year!

pickdropper

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 06:35:30 AM »
I still think there should be a subtle but easily found donate button for the forum. I realize you see this as an extension of your business, but, dude, sometimes I really just don't need to buy a PCB but I still want to say "thanks for letting me hang out in your house all the damn time and let me buy you a beer/cuppa/book."

Maybe this could be accomplished by selling a "set your own price" sticker, or something like that.

But yeah, I agree with you.  I also think that Brian should consider charging a small fee for those selling boards on his site (which would affect me, too).  It'd be harder to sell them elsewhere, so I think it'd be perfectly fair.
Etymotic Research, Function f(x)

culturejam

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 07:18:45 AM »
I also think that Brian should consider charging a small fee for those selling boards on his site (which would affect me, too).

Me too. I know he's been against this idea in the past, but the value of being able to sell here (with no restrictions) is quite tangible.

EBK

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 07:31:20 AM »
Maybe this could be accomplished by selling a "set your own price" sticker, or something like that.

But yeah, I agree with you.  I also think that Brian should consider charging a small fee for those selling boards on his site (which would affect me, too).  It'd be harder to sell them elsewhere, so I think it'd be perfectly fair.
I had a similar thought this morning about stickers.  I was thinking something small, maybe postage stamp size, that I could buy for $5, $10, or $20, which I could easily stick inside a pedal as a subtle, yet visible "thank you" when I show off gut shots on the Build Reports thread.

It's funny that I was searching for a donate button on this site a couple of weeks ago.  I would definitely use that feature too.

On the fee for selling boards proposal, I don't make or sell my own boards, but I would hate to think that a fee, even a small one, could potentially reduce the supply of boards. 
No affiliations. If I glowingly mention specific merchants or products, it is because I like them without having to be paid to like them.

Adam_MD

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 08:41:05 AM »
Just want to say thanks Brian and everyone else on here Iíve been a member for 18 months now and the amount Iíve learned from all of you is staggering.  This is also the friendliest forum Iíve ever been a member of thereís just so much positivity and none of the sniping I tend to see on other forums.

Thanks chaps.

cajone5

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Re: 2017 Year-end Wrap-Up
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2017, 08:47:53 AM »
Ditto -- despite my ridiculous PCB backlog, I'm now debating buying more if a donate button doesn't show up soon  ::)