First Look – First Sample of the Scrumball

 

Hi Scrumball Fans,

Yesterday Fedex delivered our first samples manufactured with the metal tool of the Scrumball. How exciting! Here’s me ripping into the box with great speed. There was so much tape on the box, it was the packing tape version of Fort Knox, for such humble foam contents.

Next, I pulled free a real live Scrumball sample. Look at this beautiful yellow Scrumball baby. We can now start talking about the design – and the gap between conception and manifestation. The yellow is not the right color yellow – the manufacturer said they need to mix the proper color in a large batch, so will only do it for the bulk order. We’re planning for 1,000 units in our first mass-produced batch.

The cavity width and height exactly matches that of an iPhone 4, and fits one exactly. Almost too exactly, such that it’s a little difficult to remove. The phone is certainly secure in the Scrumball! We’ll need to make a design tweak for easier removal. Also, the depth is a little too big for an iPhone – though it’s exactly right for the HTC myTouch Slide Android phone we tried. It’s tricky business, making this cavity support multiple similar-sized smartphones – a must for customer reach. I’m confident we can do it.

See the next few photos of inserting the iPhone into the cavity. It works exactly as I had envisioned – put one side in diagonally, then push the other side in. The foam condenses a bit, then expands back over the phone, securing it in place.

 

Finally, here’s the Scrumball app running in the Scrumball! Pretty cool. Tossing that Scrumball in the air, catching it, and seeing the “Next” button pop up is exhilarating. It works as expected… for the most part.

One thing we’ve noted with the sample is that because the foam cavity is straight across the edges, and the iPhone power switch sticks out from the phone, at times when you catch the Scrumball the power switch is inadvertently tapped. We’ll need to carve out an extra cavity to avoid that. The myTouch Slide has its power button on the opposite side, so we’re thinking small symmetrical cavities for the left and right sides. Or, perhaps just more leg-room on the Y direction would suffice.

The finger holes do their job of better access for removing the phone – if you are a wee child. We’ll definitely make these holes bigger and wider.

Finally branding graphics are supposed to be printed on the top and bottom of the ball – these were not done for the samples, and we’re told there are limitations when painting on curved surfaces. It’s an absolute necessity for the graphics to work and look top notch, as partnerships with custom branding on the ball is part of our marketing plan. We eagerly await seeing samples with graphics.

Let’s give an update on our crowd-sourced fundraising campaign. We’ve had it going on Indiegogo and today is the last day. It did not provide what we needed, and we decided to let it go in favor of alternative funding sources. Those of you who pledged will not be charged, and instead will have the opportunity to pre-order directly with us on our web site as soon as we make available the ability to purchase. Our schedule remains on track and has not changed – we still expect to deliver the Scrumball in October. Also, by the end of August, we will have the Scrumball Lite app ported to Android. Since we’ve expanded the featureset of the Scrumball Lite app to include the account link feature for one account, we’ll likely deliver that in September for both iOS and Android.

August is also the NY PHP meetup event at which I will present on Scrum and the Scrumball itself. Come see the Scrumball in person, and try it out!

Best,

PJ

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