Originally Posted by Erich H
Certainly wouldn't feel right about membership fees. Heck, I couldn't track that anyway because I always have too many projects going on.
I barely have a chance to upload new designs to the site.
Back when the SEOS-12 was going to be done in plastic, things worked out really well because all the DIY forums came together and we did the group buy/prepay on the waveguide to raise the money to get it done. Back then, I think about 300 out of the 1000 needed waveguides preordered over 3 DIY forums. That was awesome stuff and helped out.
But last year when I was going to do the SEOS-15 and SEOS-10, which was obviously a much larger expense.....there were only about 120 prepaid between both sizes. I think it was because the site no longer looked as cheesy and people thought 'I'm not helping out this guy, things look like they're going okay for him'.
It was a bit stressful, but I had a Plan B just in case.
I see the problem as this: you are straddling the empowerment of people to DIY the speakers and along the way you have created a good (SEOS) which nobody else does. So that's a product that you can't just tell someone to make.
Ultimately you have to decide whether you are more fulfilled just telling people how to do it and where to buy the parts, and perhaps ONLY selling the SEOS, (and whatever other proprietary stuff you make) and just let people go on their own buying the kits for a few bucks more.
I think what some people are saying about having a club to get discounts isn't a bad one, but if it becomes a business with fees and such then it might not be worth all the headache. It would only be worth the headache if you dove in to producing speaker designs as a business and paying the designers a cut, and becoming like the Monoprice of speakers.
Otherwise, I would just step back and maybe only sell the proprietary stuff you have developed that people can't buy anywhere else, and make them fend for themselves with commmercial drivers, components, MDF, etc.
CAVIAT: I plan on buying the speaker kits from you for all my future projects, so long as you keep this up! So don't take what I say as a vote against what you are currently doing, because if you keep it going I'm totally going to take advantage of this wonderful offering you have made!
I hope this helps and it's not meant to be a destructive comment. I sometimes have trouble getting across the meaning and good intentions that my words have.