BeYou January Update

Dear BeYou friend, we’re back today with a new update about our progress. 

We know it’s been a bit since you’ve heard from us, so we wanted to explain the longer pause between the last update (sent to you in November) and this one. Some of our pre-order customers have told us that the pace of the updates is a bit too much for them. That's why we've adapted to leave a bit more time between updates, but we will of course continue to keep everyone informed regularly, just like we have been. 

Info: If you’ve emailed or messaged us since November and you have already read the November and/or December Updates on Indiegogo, please skip directly to the January Progress. 

Today’s update is different and this is how our updates will be from now on. The general feedback after the last update was that you’d like more in-depth information about BeYou’s optimization. We are here to deliver just that. 

The past year has been VERY challenging for our team. We have faced a number of supply, sample quality and factory selection issues. However, we’ve navigated them all as best as possible, in our mission to create a world-class product for our community. No pre-order campaign wants to push deadlines further than anticipated and we fully understand each delay has been difficult for our community for multiple reasons. When we initially estimated the timeline to complete this project, we added common-sense buffers to every step, for unforeseen delays. However, the truth is that just like this pandemic and all the challenges it brings, some situations are far from common-sense and really can’t be anticipated.  

Important - Must Read 

  1. Read carefully: Just a heads-up, there’s a lot of very important info in this update as it includes our progress from November, December and January. It’s going to be a bit long and a bit technical. We worked very hard to make it easy to read and understand, so we really appreciate you taking the time to go through it.

  2. Please be mindful: There have been a few false claims and accusations at the end of the year that our project is a "scam." Please refrain from impulsively spreading false narratives and from using negatively impactful language that is not characteristic of this project. Our team has consistently demonstrated to work above and beyond to produce a high-quality chair, one that's unlike any other chair in the world. We do understand delays are frustrating and we share that frustration, but we are doing everything we can with the best intentions to manufacture an excellent and innovative product. Clearly, from the evidence you see below and you've seen in prior updates, we're striving for a high quality design that you can be proud of having in your home or office. Delays and design tweaks or changes (for the better) do not warrant accusations of a "scam". On the contrary, these are typical obstacles many companies encounter throughout the process of product development. 
  1. Impact of Supply Chain Disruptions: Our project has been severely impacted by global supply chain disruptions, just like many other crowdfunding campaigns, small companies, as well as huge corporations, and all of us in our homes. Remember when shops ran out of toilet paper? The global semiconductor chip shortage forced people to wait up to 12-18 months for the car they ordered and made the PlayStation 5 impossible to even pre-order, let alone buy, since its release in 2020. We (our design team and the factories) also had to physically order and receive necessary items such as chair parts, mechanisms, fabrics samples, paints and much, much more. All of these came from suppliers and companies who are directly affected by the global supply chain issues. That is why these issues don’t only impact mass-production. This affects entire industries and is even more challenging for a young start-up like ours.

November Progress 

Please note the below is a short version of our progress in November. You can read the full November progress update for our crowdfunding community here. 

India Factory Progress 

In our last update, we mentioned the in-depth evaluation of the possible manufacturers in India. Unfortunately, the initial samples of parts produced in this stage lacked consistency, had a very poor overall execution and lacked attention to detail. 

Plus, many possible logistics partners have told us that changing the manufacturing hub from China to India would mean shipping prices between 30% and 60% higher. This is mainly due to the superior supply chain and shipping infrastructure in China compared to India. 

Given all of this, we had to take a hard look at whether India was still an option for us. After considering all of the above, we made the decision to continue production in China. 

China Factory Progress 

In an effort to be extra cautious and keep our options open during these uncertain times, we also kept working, in parallel, with our original manufacturing partner in China to also make specific parts of the chair with them.

The results were far superior to the ones from India, so we moved to the next step and had an initial sample made by the factory in China. And we’re thrilled to share pictures and videos with this sample exclusively with our community. 

Initial sample made by the factory in China

December Progress 

Please note the below is a short version of our progress in December. You can read the full December progress update for our crowdfunding community here. 

Wheelbase Optimisation 

Wheelbase Material: We’ve extensively tested 3 different materials for the wheelbase. Our first prototype had a wooden wheelbase, after which we tested a metal wheelbase and third a nylon wheelbase. We’ve delved deeper into the pros and cons of each wheelbase below. 

Wooden Wheelbase: Pros and Cons 

Metal Wheelbase: Pros and Cons 

Nylon Wheelbase: Pros and Cons

Wings Optimisation 

Each wing continues to have 5 positions it can be locked in, ranging from flat to upright, just like the initial prototype.  

Backrest and Mechanisms Optimisation 

The most important thing that makes BeYou special is that it helps you sit in so many positions. 

Complete Mechanism Redesign: Our engineers reimagined the mechanisms completely to bring BeYou to a whole new level compared to the initial prototype. The ergonomics of the chair have skyrocketed and this will be felt tremendously in your day to day use. We won’t be able to publicly release many or any pictures of the internal mechanisms, as we have patents pending for the technology used for the chair. 

Angled Back: This is a big upgrade we’ve made to the mechanism. It refers to the angle formed by the seat and the backrest. 

4 Backrest Cushion Positions: The initial prototype had 3 positions the backrest could be set in. We’ve optimised that and the backrest cushion can now be set in 4 positions instead. 

Multi-functional Lever: Now, there is 1 single multi-functional lever that controls every adjustment, such as the angle of the backrest or the height of the chair. The wings can be adjusted from the levers on each wing. 

January Progress 

Based on releasing the November and December updates to our crowdfunding community, we understand the changes made to the chair may not be in accordance with your personal taste. However, it’s important to take on board that as explained at length in the December part of the update, the wooden wheelbase comes with serious structural downfalls, not to mention it shortens the lifetime of the chair massively. It’s also important to be aware that changes are a reality of the crowdfunding process that BeYou is being created through, because it’s what inevitably happens when you create something from scratch. If you’re not sure why we couldn’t have done this before, please check out the “Prototype vs Sample vs Final Product” section from the full December update.

It is our commitment to uphold the level of quality we have promised for BeYou chair, its stability and durability that guided us along these changes, along with the extensive expertise of our engineers and designers. 

Final Optimisations 

Backrest Optimisations(1): We have been testing a possible different way to adjust the backrest height. 

In the initial prototype, this was done by pulling a small knob located on the backrest. What we’re testing now is a way to go through different height adjustments by simply pulling the backrest up, without needing a knob. Because it’s a self-locking mechanism, it would lock in position every time you pull it up. Once it’s been pulled at the maximum height, the mechanism inside unlocks and it can be brought down to one of the lower backrest positions. 

Reason: We’re testing this because it improves the user experience. 

Status: We still have a bit of testing to do for this and finalise the decision right after Lunar New Year celebrations end.  

*** The sample shown above is dedicated to mechanism testing only and its aspect should not be taken into account. 

Backrest Optimisations(2): We have been testing increasing the size of the backrest. 

In the initial prototype, the backrest’s size was comfortable for our beta-testers. However, during the live campaign, a feedback we’ve received often from our community, especially from backers taller than average, was that they wish the backrest was bigger in height. We’re all about making BeYou as comfortable as it can be, so this has been on our list of possible optimisations from the very start. 

Reason: We’re testing this because it came as feedback from our community repeatedly. 

Status: We need to continue testing this after the vacation ends and make a decision after looking at how the higher backrest impacts the performance of the chair in general.

Testing: Possible bigger backrest height (front and back) 

*** The sample shown above is dedicated to mechanism testing only and its aspect should not be taken into account. 

Wings Optimisations: We are testing the inside mechanisms of the wings. 

Our engineers have been testing this extensively and are looking at using a different mechanism that helps action the wings positions. We can’t give away too many details about it unfortunately because it may be a very important discovery and falls under proprietary information. It is very unlikely this would have any impact over how the mechanisms look on the outside. 

Reason: We’re testing this to extend the durability of the wing mechanisms, after noticing that the previous solution’s performance was dropping after high usage. 

Status: This still needs a few tweaks and a decision will be finalised after the Lunar New Year.  

*** The sample shown above is dedicated to mechanism testing only and its aspect should not be taken into account. 

Assembly Time Optimisations: We’re looking at optimising the time it would require you to assemble your BeYou once you receive it. 

For the initial prototype, the assembly time was under 20 minutes. Our aim is to keep the assembly time the same or below. There’s a strong chance the assembly time will end up being significantly lower than the initial one, and we’re looking at trying to have as few pre-assembled pieces as possible to achieve this. 

Reason: A couple of important reasons: avoid any human error in assembling the chair, lower the complexity of the assembly process and save you time so you can enjoy your BeYou faster. 

Status: There’s a strong possibility this will be applied, it will be finalised once all other smaller optimisations are finished. 

*** The sample shown above is dedicated to mechanism testing only and its aspect should not be taken into account. 

Supply Chain Disruptions 

Supply chain disruptions continue to happen as the pandemic is still on-going. Simply put, although frustrating, it is the reality we must work around. Indiegogo (one of the 2 biggest crowdfunding platforms in the world) have added a 2022 update to their article about how Global Supply Chain Disruptions Are Affecting Crowdfunding Timelines. A small quote is included below and you can read the full article here: 

“2022 update: Supply chain issues continue to disrupt shipping timelines. China, home to about a third of global manufacturing, has imposed sweeping lockdowns in an attempt to keep the Omicron variant at bay. The lockdowns are interrupting port and chip-factory operations and the disruptions could have ripple effects that last the entire year. By some estimates, every week in Covid-related delay could affect $4 billion worth of trade, much of which is bound for the United States.” 

Restrictions in China 

The factory we’re working on is located in China, so we can share details that you might not know, since different countries have different pandemic protocols in place and of course we appreciate how difficult it is to know what’s going on in other places in the world. 

Right now, China is making huge efforts to limit the spread of the Omicron variant. To give you an example we know first hand from our factory, Shenzhen was recently under strict restrictions after a couple of cases were discovered. For perspective, this is a city with a population of 12.59 million (measured in 2021). The restrictions forced factories to have a reduced work schedule of only a couple of hours a day instead of a full day. 

If there is at least one case discovered among the workers of a factory, the government completely shuts down that entire factory for a certain period of time. This has affected us directly in January, as the metal supplier our factory works with was subjected to such restrictions, after one case was discovered among the workers. 

This is the reason for the few things we have yet to finish optimising after the Lunar New Year celebrations end. Tests will continue for the parts mentioned above after the factory comes back to work. 

In light of this and as we do for every update, we have re-evaluated the shipping times and included below a new estimated timeline. 

Our Team’s Progress 

Although our partner factory in China has been enjoying the Lunar New Year celebrations, our in-house team of designers and engineers have been working tirelessly to make progress during this time on the few bits and pieces that have yet to be finalised. 

This way, we are trying to anticipate everything the factory in China will need from our side. This includes doing some of the testing ourselves on the initial prototypes (where possible), ordering different parts and materials to test alternative solutions and making sure to organise all conclusions ready for when our partners will resume work. 

We are doing our best on our side to move forward with the next stages so we can bring BeYou to you as soon as possible. We know it’s been longer than expected and we completely understand how that can be off-putting, disappointing and even upsetting. Truthfully, it is all of that especially for our entire team, so we of course understand why some people in our community might feel that way. 

However, as we remind ourselves internally, we hope we have also thoroughly explained that some things are unfortunately not up to us. We hope our regular updates have helped you see how much this project means to us and how much we believe in our mission to change sitting forever. Everyone is bringing their A-game day in and day out and we’re very excited to move through the next stages.

BeYou Rough Timeline Estimates* 

  • 22 January - first half of February - Lunar New Year, a period during which all suppliers, factories, couriers, manufacturers stop working in China.
  • Second half of February - First half of March - internal pre-certification testing
  • Second half of March - have golden samples** completely finalised and sent to the testing center. Start of official testing and certification.
  • April - expected kick-off of mass production.
  • May - packaging, dispatch to fulfillment warehouse and the start of fulfillment. 

* As always, these are still rough estimates, and every stage of the process is subject to a QC audit. If any other challenges or delays come up along the way, we will inform you so that you are always aware of the progress we are making behind the scenes. 

 ** Golden Samples are exactly the same as the final product, in every single way. The Golden Samples set the standard for mass production and are used by the factory and Quality Control (QC) agency to compare with products taken randomly from the production line to make sure they’re 100% identical to the standard we (and you) expect from the BeYou chair. 

We’re up to date with our correspondence, but the volume tends to increase a bit after posting each update, so please bear with us as it might take us a bit to respond over the next few days. Please refrain from following up, as that will push your message to the end of the queue. We’d also like to mention that emails are currently the fastest way to get a response from us if you have any questions. 

We’d like to extend once more a massive thank you to our entire community. As we always say, because it’s true, we couldn’t have done this without you! A few short years ago, pre-order campaigns or crowdfunding projects were just a concept. Nowadays, every single one of you is contributing to something extraordinary. Something that couldn’t have existed without you. We are deeply honoured and very grateful that you have put your trust in us. This means the world to our entire team and everything we are doing is guided by that.

 On this occasion, we’d like to end with another quote from the article linked above, in the hopes it reminds us all of just how beautiful and extraordinary crowdfunding is. It certainly touched us, as creators, deeply. By supporting us on our website through pre-orders, you have joined this amazing community and have made a major difference for our team. 

We know that creating a brand new product from scratch is challenging under the best of circumstances, and we appreciate everything that our campaigners are doing to overcome circumstances outside of their control. We thank our backers for the courtesy that they are extending our campaigners, and we thank our campaigners for working tirelessly to update backers and fulfill perks. Crowdfunding is built on the strength of community, and we are grateful to our community for working together to bring great ideas to life. 

Have a beautiful day ahead. 

The BeYou Team