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I thought that we could start a constructive thread with criticisms on how the panamorph project could have been improved. Maybe other technologists who bring product to market will find our thoughts useful.


On Timely Updates: This is my biggest criticism of the way the panamorph project was handled. Once schedules were slipped, a weekly update would have satisfied me. It didn't have to be detailed. A paragraph stating the status and the schedule impact would have been sufficient. Instead, Shawn would sometimes disappear for weeks at a time while another false commitment went by the wasteside. I don't buy the argument that he had no time. It doesn't take long to say, "big problem in manufacturing; 12 week delay expected"


On False Commitments: When building new technology schedule slips are a fact of life due to unexpected surprises. While I wish that Shawn would have made estimates that were less aggressive, I knew going in that schedule slips were possible, even likely. Again, just providing information about how things were going on a timely basis would have made the false commitments more tolerable.


On Expectations: Consumer false expectation were part of the problem. If you didn't go into the panamorph project realizing that delays were possible, then you went in with false expectations. If you find yourself physically upset about the panamorph schedule then I suggest you ask for a refund and cease funding of new technologies in the future. Technology companies miss dates. This is a fact of life.


On Refunds: All technologists should offer refunds to their investors if they miss their market commitments. I commend Shawn for his integrity in doing this and others should follow his lead.


On Reputation: It meant a lot to me that AVS (Alan and others) were part of the panamorph project. This was the only reason I invested in the project and still look forward to the finished product.


--Les
 

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Thanks for starting this thread Les and very nicely written!


I'm kinda wondering if this is something folks would do again? Is this something, that if improved upon, could be beneficial for other technologies we'd like to purchase but have not been invented/brought to market?


The thing that has been exciting to me all along was that the consumer has been the one pushing for this and contributing in an unprecedented way to bring a product to market. Yes, it was a looong & tough trip this time around, but if it could be streamlined, would you do it again?


If I have any criticism at all it is aimed at Shawn's anal retentiveness! This guy just never stops with trying to improve the product and I must say that there have been a few times that I had wished he just send me a cardboard version of the thing.


...and my final complaint is aimed at myself - it turns out I may not be able to use the lens at all given my 18' throw! My G11 is zoomed out all the way and there is still about 1/4 inch on each side as I can zoom out anymore. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif


Tom
 

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Shawn offered to send me a P751 about a week ago. I told him I'll wait for the P752. At the end of the day, this is just a lens, guys. It's not a holy relic. As Spock once said: "You will find that wanting and having are two different things". http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif It gets here when it gets here and when it gets here - in my hands - I'll be a very happy camper.
 

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Alan, et al-

I want to voice a concern that we not go too far with this issue. The process of using this forum to purchase and interactively develop a product is nothing short of incredible in my view. It is one of the most effective uses of communication and interactive engagement I have witnessed and been part of. I would encourage more of it, with the proper controls and rules in place as you noted.

The line between commercialization and communication is a difficult one, but I think the two are in fact integrated. Let's work to engage a new expectation. The process of product development is always a longer than expected and very much different than marketing a developed product.


When entering this process in the future, we should set the expectation that any indications of delivery dates are nothing more than guesses, since the process itself (feedback interaction) will determine the time required.


For me personally, this is part of the fun of being interactively involved. Refunds are always available for those who's situation requires it.


I love this process and there are precious few forums that can pull it off. This is one of them, and I would like to support this methodology going forward. Let's learn and make some adjustments, but please don't eliminate this activity!


ken LILES
 

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To embelish on Larry's quote of Spock"


"...After a while, you will find that having is not so

pleasing a thing as wanting. It is not logical, but it

is often true.."


Larry is correct - let's keep this in perspective - it's

just a lens, and we all knew it wasn't a finished product

when we went into this.


For all the disappointments, I think Shawn tried his best,

and tried to keep everyone informed. If he reads these

posts, I hope he is not soured on doing this again.


There was no protocol as to when, how often, and under what

conditions, we were to be kept abreast of the project status.


We got to participate in the development of the product -

we had input - it incorporates features that we asked for.

Even the modification to make a new model the P572 from the

original P571 was accomplished at a very late date - and we

were offered our preference.


Shawn brought the project to fruition inspite of the

delays and poor quality of some of the vendors.


Remember, this was not a finished product. The development

problems were played out in front of us. Is anyone whining

about the JVC 3010Z, now the DS1? It experienced delays,

but it happened behind closed doors. This is what happens

with new products.


Keep your mind on the bottom line - eventually we will have

a very nice product that we would not have had save for

Shawn Kelly and Cygnus! Why all the grief?


Greg

 

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I agree with Ken.

Although the forum and subtopics are a great way to BS, the product development piece could be pioneered even further. This type of business development could make even the big guys reevaluate their RD and development models.

Why not create a section for just this purpose. Product Development. So the people going to that section know upfront BEWARE good ideas, bad ideas, vaporware, and possibly revolutions in industry exist!


I probably wont buy the Panamorph(only cause the price now) but I would have at $600. However, If I had paid the over $1k price I would have had them return my money by now for sure. I have been in this exact same situation with another product in the $10k range. Now that will get you on the edge of your seat. At $1000 it isn't such a big deal. However, I would still be very upset that the person actually said it was going to ship and didn't, multiple times!


I think there are many lurkers like myself that have felt all of your pains over the last year. Drama? maybe, even I started laughing out loud when I saw they were starting a pre-buy for a new lens (2.35) before they even delivered the first product. Now that is funny!


Maybe Shawn is waiting for the 1 year anniversary to deliver.





[This message has been edited by Tryg (edited 06-25-2001).]
 

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I agree with Ken completely. The panamorph development has been an incredible experiment.


One thing perhaps lacking in the beginning was that people should have realized, and Shawn should have stressed, that the proposed schedule was speculative. I remember the initial pre-buy, and how it seemed that we were just arranging to purchase a consumer product a few months ahead of time, which was no big deal. In reality, the panamorph was yet to be invented, and invention is a process that's impossible to accurately schedule.


I don't see how anyone can seriously complain when a refund has always been available.


Dave
 

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I have been waiting for the Panamorph since day 1. I ordered the anamorphic lens by Cygnus and built a floor mounted hush box for my DILA/ISCO I. The plan is for the projector to go in ceiling. Hindsight say I should have made the hush box out of something other than pressed wood. That would kept my wife happier.


My only complaint has been the promised communications that were missed. I know it is hard to deliver bad news, but I always feel better when I hear something even if it is a delay. I still believe that Shawn is going to bring us an excellent product. I look forward to Tommyboy's and Jeff's review. I will probably opt for the P752, if offered a P751.


------------------

Jim Nissen
 

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I guess my main complaints would be that it's practically impossible to reach Shawn, or anyone at Cygnus (although I wonder if he's the only one there), and that his delivery projections are waaay too agressive, even taking into account the fact that this is a new product, etc.


To this day, I have niggling doubts as to whether or not I'm even in the pre-order group, although I did get a response to a query I sent Shawn 6 months ago (in which he said that his best guess would be that I'd be receiving my lens in two weeks), saying I was in the second group. Still, a confirmation email when applying to the pre-order would have been nice.


Saying that delivery is most likely two weeks out, when it will end up being at least 7 months longer than that, shows a huge disconnect with the situation. I'm in software, so I'm very familiar with schedule overruns. Saying that something will take 6 months where it ends up taking a year, is pretty common. Saying something will take another two weeks, when it takes another 6 months, is kinda unusual. I know there have been many factors beyond Shawn's control, but maybe he should have considered that when he made his delivery predictions?


And, again, it's too hard to get in touch with Shawn. There's not even a phone number listed on his web site. I know he's really busy, but can't he hire someone to deal with the customers?


I also agree that no matter how busy Shawn is, he could have found time for a weekly two sentence update, or at least posted updates when they were promised by the previous update; and that the "no problem - keep up the good work" posts, when yet another schedule slippage is announced, get a little tiresome...


- Dave


[This message has been edited by Dave T (edited 06-25-2001).]
 

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This has been a first as far as I know. It is by no means a

perfect model for future product brought to market this way and has been a learning experience for all of us.


All in all I think Shawn has done a great job keeping us up to date even if it was a bi weekly report, there were plenty of set backs that most manufactures would not have wanted to post but Shawn found the time to post and take his battle wounds.


All in all I think everyone would be hard pressed to find someone willing to give up his spot in line for the panamorph for a refund regardless of how long the wait has been.


If there is a next time we will try to be more organized and extract as much information going into the project as possible.


The Panamorph experience as been a role model compared to what is going on with 169.



------------------

Alan Gouger

Thanks for supporting AV Science.
www.avscience.com
 

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DaveT,


I received an invoice in the mail from AVScience after placing my order. If you ordered through AVScience I would expect that you received something similar.


As for updates, it would be nice to have daily updates. Or how about a web cam right over Shawn's desk so we can monitor that he's working on the Panamorph. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Seriously though, every two or three weeks should be enough after the initial flurry of design decisions are made. Any more communication and the burden of communication eats away at the development process. For example, each time Shawn posts updates there are a series of questions that need to be answered. It could take the better part of a day to read through all the back ground material and answer questions. So, in a practical sense 1 or 2 line updates would not be sufficient.
 

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There has been a lot of talk about being able to get your money back and a few post it as if with a"take the refund and get out if you are not happy" mentality. Well who is going to ask for their money back at this stage. We are only two weeks from delivery after all and wouldn't you feel silly if the product shipped before your refund came.

Over the last couple of days this has started to get out of hand. I think there is a significant number of prebuyers(?)who still think there is a good chance we will never see the lens. Where is Shawn? This is the time for him to step up smooth some feathers and answer some questions. Where is the finished product that you told Mr.Wigggles were ready to ship almost two weeks ago? You remember the 50 finished Panamorphs that were ready to ship. And whatever you do don't answer on one of these peripheral threads. Start a new one and explain what is going on.
 

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I totally agree, Joe. Updates every two or three weeks are fine with me. I was referring to expecting an update, though, if the last update says something like "expecting to have the first batch ready to ship by Friday", and then we don't hear anything until the next Friday. Or, "next update in a week", and then it doesn't come.


As far as an invoice, no I didn't get one. Yikes! Maybe you were in a different "pre-buy" than me? I think I was in what is being called "the second pre-order".


I, for one, am not losing any sleep over my missing Panny. I just think the whole process could have been handled better, for the reasons I and others have listed. I also think too much attention has been paid to cosmetic issues, when many (most?) of us will be locking our panny's inside hushboxes. But, maybe that's a topic for another thread...


- Dave
 

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I'm somewhat confused too. I was in the first pre-order. I received my invoice. As quick as I replied to Alan's email with my CC info(less that 10 mintues after he sent it), I would have thought I was have been about first on the list. But I have still not had any contact with Shawn. I was under the impression 50 were ready to ship.
 

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DaveT,


You might want to think twice about placing the lens inside the hush box unless you have very good ventilation within the box.


The issue is that the optical fluid in each prism can have convection currents if the lens is heated by the projector. Once, the lens has reached the ambient temp inside the box the convection currents will stop, but that could take a while.


As for a number a Panamorph I model P751 lenses being already assembled, I could only find one message that mentioned this. In that thread, there was no mention of an exact number like 50. Shawn did mention that quite a few components were damaged during test assembly however. Quality control being the issue that was of concerning him more so than the damaged parts.


In any case, limited shipments are taking place. It's just a matter time before all orders are filled.


[This message has been edited by JoeFloyd (edited 06-25-2001).]
 

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Ken Liles -


Very well said indeed! I agree wholeheartedly, both as a Panamorph customer and as a supplier of software that is developed with feedback directly from potential customers.


It is truly a liberating and enlightening way to do business. And what better way to ensure that customers get what they wish than to ask them what they want?


I liked your post.
 

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Well, it sounds like the mutual admiration society is revving up again.


It sure doesn't take long to drift from issues with the Pani project to how much we like each others posts.


Here's my thoughts: The dealer has our money, there's product rumored to be available, yet we're all sitting around with our thumbs up our arse wondering if getting an invoice should have meant something.


Perhaps our dealer could follow up with the manufacturer to see why product hasn't shipped per the latest promise.


-Ken


------------------

I Work For Walt Disney, So I Must Be Good.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken_Lennon:

Perhaps our dealer could follow up with the manufacturer to see why product hasn't shipped per the latest promise.


-Ken


[/b]
Um...why would the dealer have to follow up with the manufacturer to see why the product hasn't shipped, when the manufacturer himself has told you why?


I have no intention to by this product only because my projector is probablly worth less than the lens (see signature). However, I was around before it got started, and I must say, if I had the money, I would be willing to opt for it.


While there have been delays, to be honest, there is only one other choice that I know of, the ISCO, so if you really wanted to, get that instead!


Simple as this, if you have pre-ordered and are not pleased, get your money back and by something else, and just consider yourself screwed over. The rest of those who are happy to wait will do so, and will be pleased when they recieve there product.


There is no right or wrong here, because no contract was set. This was all an experiment, to fill a market that was open, with the influence of those who needed it.


As well, a little "office politics". It is not good to come into a new environment, at least, where no one knows you, and start causing a comotion. A little tact would do you well my friend.



[EDITED: I took out a reference for 169time, I thought it was something COMPLETELY different, sorry!}


------------------

David Mendicino

Sharp xv-s55u (Don't laugh) http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


[This message has been edited by David Mendicino (edited 06-26-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ken_Lennon:
Well, it sounds like the mutual admiration society is revving up again.


It sure doesn't take long to drift from issues with the Pani project to how much we like each others posts.


Here's my thoughts: The dealer has our money, there's product rumored to be available, yet we're all sitting around with our thumbs up our arse wondering if getting an invoice should have meant something.


Perhaps our dealer could follow up with the manufacturer to see why product hasn't shipped per the latest promise.


-Ken

This thread started out as a constructive discussion regarding the Panamorph project - good and bad. Yet, you've managed to chime in with your inflammatory comments like "mutual admiration society" and continue to beat the drum for anarchy...or whatever the hell it is you are trying to say. Mark Hunter is a well respected member of this forum and was merely endorsing the involvement of customers in the design of a product.


BTW - it seems ironic to me that your post was an attack on a forum member for exercising his right to free speech (in accordance with forum rules of course). Apparently your interpretation of free speech only involves subject matter that suits your needs or desire to rant, rave, flame, and generally insult other forum members.


Feel free to edit your post and play nicely.


Tom

 

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Ken,

I understand your impatience, but what I don't understand is your hostile attitude. We're All waiting and we all want it yesterday, but what about PEOPLE!!! Do you think Shawn said, "Well I'm gonna take my time and hang on to peoples $ as long as I can." Don't you believe he would have been happier to deliver a product earlier???!!! Things are what they are and it is nobodys fault!!!!!!!!!!


Scott
 
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