Terrashroom August Product Update 🍄

Terrashroom August Product Update 🍄

Hello everyone!

This is James - I’m leading product development here at Terrashroom.

Terrashroom Head of Product, James Elliott

We've been getting some emails asking about where we are with getting Terrashrooms out to customers.
The purpose of this update is to give an abundance of information so you be totally informed on what's going on.
I'm writing this email in place of Jared for a few reasons:
  1. I can give some explanations on hangups & what’s been going on from a more technical perspective.
  2. Provide an accurate manufacturing timeline so you're informed of where we are currently.
  3. Share how close we are to shipping product out. 

This is going to be a beast of an email loaded with tons of info, so buckle up & grab some popcorn.

Terrashroom mushroom grow chamber with fog

What have we been doing for the past 6 months?

To give some background context, here’s the 30-second story of Terrashroom to help understand what’s been going on. 

Prototyping terrashroom started in early 2022. 

Terrashroom early V1 prototype
Jared made some pretty simple models early on with his 3D printer + microcontroller programming kit. 
However, it was clear that additional technical expertise was needed to bring the Terrashroom fully to life. 
Contractors & product design agencies were hired. Unfortunately, they charge on an hourly basis. 
This meant the scope of work became unnecessarily complex & took much longer (more billable hours = they made more money, but terrashroom + customers were left with delays)
Here’s where things got messy:
  • Contractors would promise product completion by June 2022.
  • Jared would relay these "launch" dates to customers with this info.
  • The contractors would then push back deadlines (to get additional billable hours)
  • The launch would get pushed back & Jared would then share the bad news. 
It was a giant game of telephone & we owe everyone an apology. 
Fast forward to May 2023, I (James) joined the team after seeing how much I could help Terrashroom. 
Life of a startup - James' air mattress in Jared’s spare bedroom
I moved into Jared’s spare bedroom/office space so we could pour every waking minute of our day into Terrashroom.
After reviewing where the mechanical designs, firmware, software, and circuitry was, it was clear that Terrashroom needed some work.
The previous three months have been us re-engineering Terrashroom from the ground up to make a product that we are proud to get into our customer’s homes. 
Many late nights in the warehouse assembling, testing, & re-engineering terrashrooms
After hundreds of changes, we think we built a pretty awesome product that you’ll love.
Hopefully that clears the air on what’s been going on.
Now, let’s talk about timelines. 
Terrashroom mushroom timelapse video setup

Product development timelines

Bringing a newly invented consumer electronics product to life takes a lot of work, revisions, and money. Generally, it takes about 2+ years. 

Final stage of the terrashroom manufacturing process!

We’re currently in the last stage of the product development life cycle process, Production Validation Testing, before we go to mass production.
What this means is that we have the final product done & we are just going through the steps for manufacturing.
-MasterCAD is complete
-Firmware complete
-App is done + software complete
-PCB, circuitry, + electrical systems complete
Now, our focus is manufacturing terrashrooms at scale. 
By the way, many have asked "can we get a beta model or terrashroom prototype?"
While we would LOVE to start shipping out beta models to our customers, each beta model costs us about $2k to make.

What's the timeline for manufacturing + shipping terrashrooms?

We want to be entirely transparent on where things are at currently so here's a detailed outline to give you a better idea of what it's taken to get where we're at + some dates that you can expect going forward.
To manufacture consumer electronic products at scale, you need injection molds. These are giant steel molds that molten plastic is injected into to make the individual components. 


Plastic injection molding process in action (future terrashroom manufacturing method)

  1. Injection mold tooling (begins first week of September)
    1. This week we start the tooling process. This is where giant steel molds are cut & this process takes roughly 6 weeks from start to finish. 
  2. T1 manufacturing samples (early-mid October)
    1. The first injection-molded samples produced from these molds will come in the middle of October. Usually these first samples need to be tweaked slightly to ensure quality. 
    2. Jared and I are flying to the manufacturing plant to keep things running smoothly & have an eye on this process. 
  3. First assembly + product QA testing (end of october)
    1. Assembly and testing of the first produced units will occur at the end of October or beginning of November. 
  4. First manufacturing run (middle November)
    1. We will start producing these & immediately have them shipped out via air freight (~10 days) to our warehouse in Austin, Texas. 
  5. Target ship date (end of November - December)
    1. We will then ship product out to customers immediately afterwards, to be delivered before Christmas!


Planning for failure

Things don't always go according to plan, so we've identified some potential risks that may cause delays:

  • Delays in the supply chain for the internal components.
    • These internal components are the fans, circuits, and other electronics that make the magic happen! Sometimes there are delays in the suppliers of these parts, so we are pre-ordering them now to prevent delays during the manufacturing process. 
  • Errors in tooling for injection molds. 
    • Tolerances, component mating, & other small details can hold things up. Luckily, we are working with an incredible manufacturer who has shipped millions of consumer electronic products & will help prevent these issues from coming about.
  • Resurgence of covid causing import delays
    • We don't think this will be a problem, but we're willing (somewhat jokingly) to charter our own private boat/plane to transport product if absolutely necessary. 
We're building in some fail-safes to prevent these from materializing but want to over-inform so you know exactly what's on our mind as well. 

Closing thoughts 🤔 

We share all of this information because we want to be completely transparent on the process & what's going on within the walls of our company. 
The past month we've been quiet as we've spent countless hours focused on re-engineering & manufacturing the best mushroom growing device in the world. 
James Elliott
Head of Product Engineering
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