You asked for feedback, so here it is: “You should dance with the one who brung ya.”
No, I won’t tell you how to run your business, but I want to tell you what this sudden and completely unexpected action means to your customers.
A number of us, myself included, have been with you since the Kickstarter days, when we patiently waited for you to launch the product, and even for you to “get the packaging right” and hand-solder the boards. Those were the days.
The Hologram Dash has been an outstanding hardware, software, and data communications system. The pricing has been competitive, and the integration of the various parts of the Hologram ecosystem has been outstanding.
Kudos are due: The team has done a great job both with ongoing developments of the hardware and software (front end and back end), and the support has been timely and appropriate from many members of the hologram team (special shout-out to Reuben).
Whatever happened recently in your company comes as a nasty shock to all of us who were looking forward to the next step in the Dash development (Cat M1), which you had announced earlier this year, then withdrawn without explanation.
Worse, and borderline inexcusable, you have canceled the current product with no notice, and without giving your customers “one last chance” to buy a number of Dash units to allow us to continue to support our own programs while investigating the transition to another platform.
It would’ve been far better for Hologram to say something along the lines of, “We will not be continuing hardware or software development on the Dash. We plan to continue to sell the product for the next X months, or until current supplies are exhausted. Your current products will continue to operate (except for OTA). We are also investigating continued Dash supply via a third party.”
The open source design, while noble from your perspective, does little for the user base who are looking to buy a well-designed development board – I want to use the boards as the turn-key tool they’re meant to be, not manufacture them.
For those of us who have units in the field, we are at a dead end if we ever want to duplicate those systems or implement additional units. For those of us who were heading toward commercialization for a specialized product, this is a major setback, that, as mentioned above, should have been handled better.
Many of us regret the Dash was clearly not the hit you had hoped for. I wish everyone on the Hologram team luck and success with future products, and I hope you will take this note as constructive criticism on how to continue to support your loyal customers, who, like you, are also working on our contributions to the Internet of Things.