Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up
Oct 4, 2015 at 2:01 PM Post #7,876 of 83,106

AudioBear

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At the risk of jinxing them, I want to congratulate Schitt on being a learning organization. Sometimes we overlook the good things and instead focus on the snafus.  I think Schiit is to be congratulated for releasing several new products recently without spilling the beans about exactly what they would be and creating long waits and much angst among their followers.  This time around they surprised us by delivering just about everything we might have guessed was coming in a few short weeks.  It's a complete turnaround from the long wait for Yggy. I know that's hardly fair because Yggy broke new ground on which the derivatives are based but still Schitt is to be congratulated for being more discreet this time around.  Jason wrote he had learned his lesson about announcing new products too far in advance and the recent introductions prove that.  We knew there would be new products but never could be 100% sure what they would be.  
 
Secondly, this time around Schitt appears to be fully stocked (should I say full of Schiit?) and able to meet current demand.  My Gumby arrived almost before I could get home to sign for it.  I noticed that most everybody is reporting their orders for Gumbys, Bimby's and all the great new stuff are being shipped within hours.  No backorders yet.  Looks like Schiit has managed to figure out demand and stock up.  Once again, I think they deserve a lot of credit for tweaking their system.  Sure every company can run out of stock on an item and this may happen to one of the new items but at least these weren't announcements of vaporware that was coming next month that never came, Schitt delivered the goods right now.  Perhaps with experience they have learned all the pitfalls that slow down a product introduction and maybe even avoided some of them.  It's either a clear change in paradigm or for once everything went right instead of wrong.  Which is it Jason?
 
Way to go!  And thanks for Gumby.  It's a great DAC and a fabulous value.
 
Oct 4, 2015 at 2:14 PM Post #7,877 of 83,106

bretemm

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I ordered the $399 bifrost yesterday,
I hope it ships on Monday
At the risk of jinxing them, I want to congratulate Schitt on being a learning organization. Sometimes we overlook the good things and instead focus on the snafus.  I think Schiit is to be congratulated for releasing several new products recently without spilling the beans about exactly what they would be and creating long waits and much angst among their followers.  This time around they surprised us by delivering just about everything we might have guessed was coming in a few short weeks.  It's a complete turnaround from the long wait for Yggy. I know that's hardly fair because Yggy broke new ground on which the derivatives are based but still Schitt is to be congratulated for being more discreet this time around.  Jason wrote he had learned his lesson about announcing new products too far in advance and the recent introductions prove that.  We knew there would be new products but never could be 100% sure what they would be.  

Secondly, this time around Schitt appears to be fully stocked (should I say full of Schiit?) and able to meet current demand.  My Gumby arrived almost before I could get home to sign for it.  I noticed that most everybody is reporting their orders for Gumbys, Bimby's and all the great new stuff are being shipped within hours.  No backorders yet.  Looks like Schiit has managed to figure out demand and stock up.  Once again, I think they deserve a lot of credit for tweaking their system.  Sure every company can run out of stock on an item and this may happen to one of the new items but at least these weren't announcements of vaporware that was coming next month that never came, Schitt delivered the goods right now.  Perhaps with experience they have learned all the pitfalls that slow down a product introduction and maybe even avoided some of them.  It's either a clear change in paradigm or for once everything went right instead of wrong.  Which is it Jason?

Way to go!  And thanks for Gumby.  It's a great DAC and a fabulous value.
 
Oct 4, 2015 at 2:29 PM Post #7,878 of 83,106
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  At the risk of jinxing them, I want to congratulate Schitt on being a learning organization. Sometimes we overlook the good things and instead focus on the snafus.  I think Schiit is to be congratulated for releasing several new products recently without spilling the beans about exactly what they would be and creating long waits and much angst among their followers.  

 
Bottom line, we definitely learn...and we try to apply what we learn. Sometimes imperfectly, as we are still caught out by unforeseen things. If you see us out of stock, it'll likely be due to one of two things:
 
1. Metal. Although this is improving significantly. With multiple suppliers, and much closer relationships with them, that is changing in real time—and overall quality is going up. I'm thrilled to see the progress we've made here.
 
2. Assembly house scheduling. Although our PCB assembly house is growing with us, we sometimes overwhelm them. As an example, we have 17 "kits" (complete runs of products from the PCB to all parts that go on it) in the queue at our PCB assembler right now. They have 4 surface mount lines and 3 through-hole lines. Most of our stuff is mixed (mainly surface mount, some through-hole). So sometimes we have to decide which products to prioritize--and that means that sometimes the one we prioritized didn't run out as fast as one that we didn't. Sometimes it's hard to predict when a product will suddenly start moving briskly. But again, the assembly house is putting in new lines, and Alex has been amazing at handling growth...so this is getting better as well.
 
Will we be out of stock in the future? Sure. But I hope to keep it at a minimum.
 
In terms of pre-announcement, we always get some flack when we introduce a new model (like the updated Bifrost and Gungnir). People who just bought a Bifrost or Yggdrasil are understandably upset. But we can't pre-announce, for both obvious and non-obvious reasons. 
 
Obvious reasons: the Osborne Effect. Does Honda tell you there's a new model coming in a couple of months and you walk into the dealer in August? Does Apple tell you the details of their new product announcements, or even all the products they are announcing? No. Hell, does Nest tell you there's gonna be a new model next month? Again, no. The reason why should be obvious.
 
Non-obvious reasons: of all the stuff we're working on right now, less than half is guaranteed to go into production in anything like the form that it's in. Most of our development starts as "what ifs." These "what ifs" may or may not meet our initial goals. They may or may not exhibit some show-stopping gotchas. If we pre-announced based on the fantasy specs and imaginary goals we dreamt up, then we're setting everyone up for extreme disappointment. Vapor products help nobody. 
 
So yeah, sorry, we're going to continue to develop...and continue to keep our mouths shut. If you literally just bought a Bifrost, we'll help you out, of course, but closed-door development is the way it has to be.
 
And yeah, I am thrilled with the speed at which we were able to take multibit down the line of upgradable DACs. Bifrost is arguably the most amazing, since it's really a different platform than Yggdrasil and Gungnir, with different DAC interfacing requirements (it's a really bizarre, parallel-input DAC.) But in all cases, we were able to run the DAC prototypes for many months, refine and tweak and test, so we knew what we were going to announce...rather than just guessing.
 
All in all, my long-winded way of saying, "Yes, I hope we're learning, and I hope we continue to do better!"
 
Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
Oct 4, 2015 at 2:47 PM Post #7,880 of 83,106

madwolfa

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  And yeah, I am thrilled with the speed at which we were able to take multibit down the line of upgradable DACs. Bifrost is arguably the most amazing, since it's really a different platform than Yggdrasil and Gungnir, with different DAC interfacing requirements (it's a really bizarre, parallel-input DAC.) But in all cases, we were able to run the DAC prototypes for many months, refine and tweak and test, so we knew what we were going to announce...rather than just guessing.

 
Thanks, Jason. Just a question - was there any particular reason to use that "bizarre, parallel-input" DAC in Bifrost? Why not the same chip as in Gumby, which was sort of "tried and true" already?
 
Oct 4, 2015 at 2:48 PM Post #7,881 of 83,106
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Thanks, Jason. Just a question - was there any particular reason to use that "bizarre, parallel-input" DAC in Bifrost? Why not the same chip as in Gumby, which was sort of "tried and true" already?


Cost.
 
Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
Oct 4, 2015 at 7:06 PM Post #7,883 of 83,106

rmoody

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Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard /img/forum/go_quote.gif
 
the assembly house is putting in new lines, and Alex has been amazing at handling growth...so this is getting better as well.
 
If you literally just bought a Bifrost, we'll help you out, of course, but closed-door development is the way it has to be.

 
I had a really strong suspicion that the Bimby was coming out this weekend, Mike's comment about people at Schiit show tipped me off. (wait, don't read that, um, I didn't know after all, Mike you keep flapping them gums!, haha)
 
The assembly house adding lines is awesome news to hear. That translates into jobs, into people making money and money being put into the economy (let's not get political, but) it's people/companies like you that drive growth; you saw a need, found a way to fill it in a responsible way and grew slowly but steadily and continue to push growth at Schiit, the metal shops and the board house that are a part of this. Hat's off Jason! To top all that off, you busted your rear to teach others how to do what you did, this is what always amazes me about Schiit.
 
I firmly believe your "luck" in things like your locations, etc. are not "luck". They are the product of hard work and being responsible, nothing else. Murphy sets up house in homes/businesses that don't have fiscal responsibility; when you are not in debt, Murphy knocks and you say "hmm, I have the cash for this" and he moves on. I've seen this personally in our household, the less in debt we are, the less things are an "emergency" and the more they become a "planned incident easily managed". This comes around to what you call "money free" and that's one subject I think could be/should be expanded on; your experiences in what would have been if you had been in debt vs having money free. Another idea for a chapter (I'm sure you have thought of this): "The Story of the Multibit Legacy, the Why's, How's and Pitfalls of the Journey to Yggy, Gumby and Bimby".
 
You may need to define "literally just bought" into something more concrete, just saying :).
 
Regardless of announcement or hints, the writing was on the wall after Gumby was released. It was coming to Bifrost, just a matter of when. Hmm, what about multibit Modi (kidding, or am I?).
 
Keep it up Jason. Naturally we all want to know what's cooking, but as you've stated so many times, never talk about future products. Unless you want to IM me and then I won't tell anyone but bigro. :)
 
Oct 4, 2015 at 11:07 PM Post #7,885 of 83,106
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Ditto :)


Nope, there's no space for discrete, so it was never tried. It came down to "filter or discrete." The filter won.
 
Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
Oct 5, 2015 at 9:01 AM Post #7,887 of 83,106

bigro

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  "The Story of the Multibit Legacy, the Why's, How's and Pitfalls of the Journey to Yggy, Gumby and Bimby".

 
This.    
popcorn.gif


 
 

 
Oct 5, 2015 at 10:35 AM Post #7,888 of 83,106

SoupRKnowva

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That board house must be thanking Schiit for their kids' college education. Ever thought there'd be a point where you might buy them over / set up your own?


Probably not. Sometimes it makes more sense to focus on the things you're good at and let other people worry about the things you aren't. Just look at Apple, they don't own foxconn or any of the other factories that make their products, they do help pay for equipment and expansion but it allows them to really focus on the things that matter.

Schiit would have to do a great deal of expansion to be able to run a board house on their own and it's not something they have expertise in right now.
 
Oct 5, 2015 at 11:13 AM Post #7,889 of 83,106
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Probably not. Sometimes it makes more sense to focus on the things you're good at and let other people worry about the things you aren't. Just look at Apple, they don't own foxconn or any of the other factories that make their products, they do help pay for equipment and expansion but it allows them to really focus on the things that matter.

Schiit would have to do a great deal of expansion to be able to run a board house on their own and it's not something they have expertise in right now.


Exactly. If we decided to bring PCB assembly in-house, we'd have to:
 
1. Buy or lease a lot of VERY expensive equipment.
2. Go through the learning curve getting the process right.
3. Get, and maintain, the environmental certs that allow us to operate.
4. Dramatically expand our own staffing...bringing the day we reach 50 people, and therefore are subject to draconian federal laws regarding companies of this size, a lot closer.
5. Deal with the maintenance of the equipment (it WILL break.)
6. Upgrade equipment as it becomes obsolescent or non-maintainable.
 
In short, no thank you. Leave it to the experts that make this their business. We will never do PCB production in-house. Hell, some of our prototypes are getting so dense and small that we don't even assemble those in-house anymore. 
 
Same with metal. With the problems we've had with metal, sure, we've looked into what it would take to do it ourselves. But take the PCB assembly gotta-dos and multiply by the fact that now you're talking BIG money machinery that needs very special power and TONS of space. We would have to move to a much bigger space. And expand staffing again. And go through the learning curves. And safety--OMG, the workman's comp would be NUTS.
 
And...the single thing that keeps us from really looking hard at doing our own metal: we couldn't do all of it. Even if we got the laser cutters, punches, timesavers, brakes, machining centers, etc, it would still have to go out for anodizing. Because you ain't gonna get your own anodizing operation approved in California in 2015. Period. No way, no how. So guess what happens on the way to and from anodizing? Parts get banged around, scratched, dented...and then you're stuck with a bunch of unusable metal. 
 
So, no thanks. We'll stick to what we're good at—which, if anything, is engineering high-value, and sometimes groundbreaking products. This is why we experiment a lot and have designs on shelves that won't go anywhere. Because we have the freedom, and time, to do so--thanks to the PCB house and the metal vendors we work with.
 
Schiit Audio Stay updated on Schiit Audio at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/Schiit/ http://www.schiit.com/
Oct 5, 2015 at 12:53 PM Post #7,890 of 83,106

superjawes

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In engineering and life in general it's better to let the people who are really good at a thing to do the thing they are good at.

For a business, it's kind of like paying for an oil change or car wash versus doing it yourself. Sure, it might be cheaper on paper to do it yourself, but paying an expert is probably less hassle and much faster.
 

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