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[GB] Modern Selectric

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skullydazed:
Modern Selectric is up over at PMK! You can also see the previous interest check here at geek hack.

Introduced in 1961, the IBM Selectric went on to eventually capture 75% of the typewriter market. It introduced what we think of as the modern keyboard layout, moving several keys around to accommodate the Selectricís design. The Selectric has been called the Grandfather of the Model M.



Putting the Modern into Selectric

Starting in the 1990′s, but rapidly accelerating in the early 2000′s, the world is shifting from language specific text identifiers to icons that are language agnostic. This keyset combines this trend with the iconic design of the Selectric, to imagine what the Selectricís keyboard might look if IBM had continued manufacturing it into the 90ís and beyond.

Here's an example of what it might look like on a full sized keyboard:



And here's another example on the fc660m:

unoab:
With the PMK system already having one foot out the door it probably doesn't matter anymore, but it seems like some buys need to properly evaluate starting prices and tip quantities at the beginning of a buy, this one is not the only one I have seen that has appeared to have some issues.

The starting prices on this buy, like the SA escape key buy that is still up may be unnecessarily high, and I would be afraid that unless people suck it up for the first 25 sets on some options that the initial price may bar many people from entering.  I would hate to have people pass it over since it is too expensive, when just having a handful of people buy in puts it in very reasonable levels.  Like the mod packs (blue TKL is this example) which drop from $115 -> $81 -> $56 at 15, 25, and 50 sets respectively and then level out to more reasonable price drops from there, where the '50' price bracket is a place where I assume many people would buy it initially.  Ideally I think people would be less inhibited to buy in at a high MOQ with a low price than a high initial price with a low MOQ with the prospect of future discounts (the wallet speaks louder than future promises).  Though I know for all things it is also a balance of low MOQ to tip some kits so that people can get what they need for their esoteric boards, vs low prices/high MOQ to entice people in, but I think for the common sets that are almost a guarantee, they should be adjusted accordingly (higher MOQ but lower prices), especially where there are so many custom legends to distribute the costs better.

Another thing to take into account would be to see that the price of 60% and TKL sets are about the same ($2-$8 difference from what I can tell depending on price bracket), and that there is only about 9 keys extra in the 60% not in the TKL kit.  So the question would be, could you hit lower price brackets and leverage volume if you lumped them together instead of splitting them into separate sets?  For example, if people bought 50 of each, so right now that would be brackets of $54 and $56 on the blue 60% and TKL sets, but if the sets were lumped together and cost maybe, $6 to add the additional 9 caps to the TKL set then it would be 100 people at the TKL price for 100 sets ($44) plus the cost of the additional caps ($6), so then it would be $50 for all the buyers, and each group is getting more than they would have bought with the similar investment if they were split and still saving a few bucks.  Yes, people would be getting additional keys they don't need, and paying for them, which they seem to love to complain about, but paying for them at $1 a key is still overall cheaper than getting every key you want but for $1.50 a key.  This may go into one of those cases of giving people what they need instead of what they want.  Unfortunately the pricing brackets are something that is never revealed in the interest check phase so it is not something that an organizer can go through with people and see where levels should be set, or determine some strategies for grouping keys and making it so that prices and sets are structured for maximum sales and savings.

Hopefully people want the set enough to buy over the hump of the high initial prices as I really wanted one of the TKL sets as the new legends look good and can mix well with other sculptured SA sets, but if not I don't think I will be going in before the 50 mark as I can get other sets for cheaper that are more complete (like SA retro at $80 for a full TKL set that also includes the tsangen set).  Hopefully the interest check votes turn into purchases early on, and I will be watching at the end and will contribute to hitting 50 if things are close.


TLDR - Like the set, but why oh why didn't you start MOQ at 50 for the standard sets with all the custom legends?

skullydazed:
You deserve an answer that isn't dashed off during my lunch break- and you'll get one. I just need time to read through your post properly.

One thing to keep in mind here is that PMK's system is all guesses stacked on guesses stacked on guesses. How many of the 450 votes were drive-by's? How many are just people who like the set but aren't actually going to pay what custom legends on SA cost? Honestly, the biggest problem I run into is the lack of a commit to buy option, it means I have to balance people getting "something" with advertising a low enough price that more people will buy.

I settled on giving people more flexibility knowing it meant I'd have to encourage a lot of of buying. But just look at this set, don't you want a nice professional blue and black set you can take to the office? :D

unoab:

--- Quote from: skullydazed on Wed, 27 May 2015, 14:26:37 ---You deserve an answer that isn't dashed off during my lunch break- and you'll get one. I just need time to read through your post properly.

One thing to keep in mind here is that PMK's system is all guesses stacked on guesses stacked on guesses. How many of the 450 votes were drive-by's? How many are just people who like the set but aren't actually going to pay what custom legends on SA cost? Honestly, the biggest problem I run into is the lack of a commit to buy option, it means I have to balance people getting "something" with advertising a low enough price that more people will buy.

I settled on giving people more flexibility knowing it meant I'd have to encourage a lot of of buying. But just look at this set, don't you want a nice professional blue and black set you can take to the office? :D

--- End quote ---


No prob, mine was pieced together this morning at work when I got time.

And very true, there is no real way to know how interest would turn out, but for custom legends look at the outcome of the symbiosis buy, there were quite a few new legends in that set and it worked out quite well (and I believe it started at a MOQ of around 50, but at least was $86 I think at the time).  Looking at some of the more simple/classic SA sets that have came out, like the Round4SPH or round 5, or hacked by geeks that seemed to have a more classic look, based on their sales, I would say over 100 sets should be an easy number to achieve if the prices are in line with the others.  Also, the relative obscurity of fully sculptured SA sets in the marketplace at the moment could play into a desirability of the set.  Round 5 has not shipped yet, Round 4SPH is hard to find for sale.  I have not spent enough time in the sales threads to see if many hacked orders have changed hands, but it seems like people want fully sculptured SA and only have two outlets now for their row 1-2-3-4 desires currently (retro SA and this buy, round 5a and its timing for order fulfillment doesn't quite classify as 'now').

I also agree they should have a commit to buy option, though I think they would need less price brackets, as the more brackets the more spread out the commits are, so everyone might just buy into 200 sets and then nothing tips (well based on most PMK SA profile buys that seemed to end around 100 sets or so, pulse would have been the only one to break that mark).  So the upper buy in should probably be 100 and then have it that as more sales go they drop the price as brackets are passed.  That way there is a reasonable discount to shoot for but no penalty for setting it lower than what could be achieved in the market.  As you can tell I have thought about this a bit as I have looked at how some buys have been ran, either on PMK, massdrop, or the old school google form way and tried to think of how the process could be improved.

And yes, I do want this set, I technically have some round 5 leftover black alpha keys coming my way sometime later this year, and getting the black modifiers for them is exactly what I was hoping for in this set, well and maybe the blue too, and some other things as I have some red keys from round 5 coming too, so a nice mix and match is in order.

skullydazed:

--- Quote from: unoab on Wed, 27 May 2015, 14:13:31 ---With the PMK system already having one foot out the door it probably doesn't matter anymore, but it seems like some buys need to properly evaluate starting prices and tip quantities at the beginning of a buy, this one is not the only one I have seen that has appeared to have some issues.

--- End quote ---

There seem to be 2 schools of thought here. The first is to throw extra keys into a set to kinda sorta cover special users (EG, throw in an extra 2.25u shift for fc660m users.) The second is to tailor deals so the price-sensitive TKL users pay as little as possible, and the specialty keyboard users all band together to get their specialty keys.

I went for the latter route, as that is what was getting better feedback. In retrospect maybe I should have gone with the first route, but there isn't a whole lot of collected wisdom on the subject, and talking to experienced people gets you conflicting answers.


--- Quote from: unoab on Wed, 27 May 2015, 14:13:31 ---The starting prices on this buy, like the SA escape key buy that is still up may be unnecessarily high, and I would be afraid that unless people suck it up for the first 25 sets on some options that the initial price may bar many people from entering.  I would hate to have people pass it over since it is too expensive, when just having a handful of people buy in puts it in very reasonable levels.  Like the mod packs (blue TKL is this example) which drop from $115 -> $81 -> $56 at 15, 25, and 50 sets respectively and then level out to more reasonable price drops from there, where the '50' price bracket is a place where I assume many people would buy it initially.  Ideally I think people would be less inhibited to buy in at a high MOQ with a low price than a high initial price with a low MOQ with the prospect of future discounts (the wallet speaks louder than future promises).  Though I know for all things it is also a balance of low MOQ to tip some kits so that people can get what they need for their esoteric boards, vs low prices/high MOQ to entice people in, but I think for the common sets that are almost a guarantee, they should be adjusted accordingly (higher MOQ but lower prices), especially where there are so many custom legends to distribute the costs better.

--- End quote ---

This whole problem would go away if PMK had an option to commit at a price level. Having to walk the line between high initial price and just meeting the MOQ is very difficult because so many people don't understand that the price will come down if it takes off.


--- Quote from: unoab on Wed, 27 May 2015, 14:13:31 ---Another thing to take into account would be to see that the price of 60% and TKL sets are about the same ($2-$8 difference from what I can tell depending on price bracket), and that there is only about 9 keys extra in the 60% not in the TKL kit.  So the question would be, could you hit lower price brackets and leverage volume if you lumped them together instead of splitting them into separate sets?

--- End quote ---

You know, the way I ended up with 3 sets (TKL, 60%, and ortholinear) was an evolution, and in retrospect I should have eliminated the 60% kit. However, it all started as "TKL" and "Small Boards" (which had both 60% and Ortholinear.) When I later decided to split ortholinear into its own set I should have reevaluated the 60% set, but for whatever reason that never entered my mind (even when I was being ruthless about cutting child deals because I felt I had too many. I still have too many, but I used to have 35+.) So here we are with a 60% set that will be expensive, if it tips. :/


--- Quote from: unoab on Wed, 27 May 2015, 14:13:31 ---Hopefully people want the set enough to buy over the hump of the high initial prices as I really wanted one of the TKL sets as the new legends look good and can mix well with other sculptured SA sets, but if not I don't think I will be going in before the 50 mark as I can get other sets for cheaper that are more complete (like SA retro at $80 for a full TKL set that also includes the tsangen set).  Hopefully the interest check votes turn into purchases early on, and I will be watching at the end and will contribute to hitting 50 if things are close.

--- End quote ---

It's easy to say "Oh, of course it'll hit 50", but since I went for flexibility I'm not sure I can say that. There are 6 mod kits to choose from, so the buys will be spread over that. If I manage to sell 100 base kits that's only 16 each. I would have needed to eliminate more choices to make that viable.


--- Quote from: unoab on Wed, 27 May 2015, 16:18:38 ---I also agree they should have a commit to buy option, though I think they would need less price brackets, as the more brackets the more spread out the commits are, so everyone might just buy into 200 sets and then nothing tips (well based on most PMK SA profile buys that seemed to end around 100 sets or so, pulse would have been the only one to break that mark).  So the upper buy in should probably be 100 and then have it that as more sales go they drop the price as brackets are passed.  That way there is a reasonable discount to shoot for but no penalty for setting it lower than what could be achieved in the market.  As you can tell I have thought about this a bit as I have looked at how some buys have been ran, either on PMK, massdrop, or the old school google form way and tried to think of how the process could be improved.

--- End quote ---

Honestly I think a massdrop style "commit at lowest" with maybe 1 or 2 price breaks along the way for people who commit to buy at any level is the way to go. I think you're exactly right in terms of how many will sell. I've been looking at this a lot too, and trying to figure out how to help more niche sets get made.


--- Quote from: unoab on Wed, 27 May 2015, 16:18:38 ---And yes, I do want this set, I technically have some round 5 leftover black alpha keys coming my way sometime later this year, and getting the black modifiers for them is exactly what I was hoping for in this set, well and maybe the blue too, and some other things as I have some red keys from round 5 coming too, so a nice mix and match is in order.

--- End quote ---

I think the blue mods will hit 25, which honestly surprised (and pleased) me a little. I figured most people would be like you and want the black more. You can pick up the unix pack now to get some red, black and blue keys to mix in as well, it's only one purchase away from dropping to $18.

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