ionboard: The Gift and Story

Our kickstarter ended 1 day ago and as both a compensation for not delivering Christmas special on time(delay for 1 to 2 weeks) and a thank for our kickstarter success, we will include a¬†Adjustable Helmet in all our packages. This is also to ensure that our customers’ safety because helmet and protective gear are¬†necessity for riding electric skateboard. Here is why:

Look at the scratches in the helmet! This is left by Elliote, who is a future PHD in genetics. He had ionboard X in June. I am so thankful that he wore a helmet which protected his brain full of wisdom. Remember that he is a very experienced electric skateboarder!

As It is very hard to test whether a helmet works and I am sure that this helmet works, I will include the exact same helmet product that I used every day and I know it works. Here is photo about the helmet:

For ionboard, the kickstarter end is just a start. We collected about 57k dollar and all pledges are real (of course). There is a long way to go and it will be just harder. But before going to the next page, also because it is after the final in school, I want to recollect some beautiful memory in the journey of building a electric skateboard and bringing it to the market.

It was 1 year ago, I was US partner of OFO, a startup now valued more than 3 billion dollar. I was the No.2 person of OFO US. I learned a lot from Dai Wei, the 26-year-old CEO of OFO. Although I love OFO, I don’t like working as a branch. I want to do my own business and build a company better than OFO. Because it was a company focusing on 1-mile transportation, I knew about electric skateboard. I think electric skateboard business is both doable and potential, so I began my journey with electric skateboard.

The left third boss is Dai Wei, who is my idol now. The right third is me. I dressed well.

So I began working on electric skateboard from about January. I started with using other great electric skateboards like Evolve Boards and Boosted Board. My partner Jack has the best(most expensive) electric skateboard Evolve carbon fiber version. Although those boards are very good, they are too expensive (more than thousands dollar). So some students do DIY with electric skateboard, which is good but actually has problem with safety and quality. So I think the problem about electric skateboard industry is not product. It is the quality vs. price. I want to build a electric skateboard for $300, which is a price even lower than DIY, but still maintain a good quality. That’s how the whole story stared. I gained inspiration from Landyachtz and our first board has similar deck with it.

So we built our first board in about March. We found it is very easy to sell the boards and there are a lot of suggestions from students. So we quickly built more boards.

Then we realized that we still need to focus one like one or two models to make the inventory easier. So we narrow down our products. Meanwhile, we want to build a brand and we begin sell boards on campus officially. There are a lot of problems about our first versions of boards. The biggest problem is the brake and acceleration, it is too strong that it is very hard to control. Even after using for a long period, it is still not easy to control. So we debug the controlling system to make the acceleration and brake smooth enough.

We sold our boards without University permission. The reasons we sold our boards here is that 1) Bank of America also has red color. 2) Students can get cash to buy boards here.

The strong brake makes me fall a lot of times.

The strong acceleration also sucks. This is when I took the adverting material in rain.

The reason we picked a rainy day is that we want to tell our customers we are water-proof. We did this. Note that it is very difficult to find a rainy day in San Diego.

It went to April to May and we sold a lot of boards in San Diego. We even sold some boards to retail stores. We received encouragement from my alumni DJ Patil, who is an American mathematician and computer scientist who served as the Chief Data Scientist of the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy. from 2015 to 2017.

Meanwhile, we designed a retail demo desk and we are building a customization system to let customers do their own designs.

At the same time, we found a lot of problems with the boards, we found that customers like black wheels better. The deck is not good enough. The speed should be better and the wheels should be better materials. The circuits have a couple of problems. The manufacture needs better quality control. In all, almost all parts need to be improved.

This is when in the summer break, I did a speed test and I found that it is only like 14/15 mile per hour top speed. I was very disappointed and decided to change the battery for the board to make it to about 22 mile per hour.

So last summer, I went back to China and stay in Shenzhen for a long time to redesign the board. Then I found that there is another brand called Meepo Board is also doing almost the same board as us. I don’t know how that happened and the only thing I knew is that I have to move fast to go to the market.

Luckily I met a lot of talented friends who are interested in ionboard and we work together to make the product and build the brand. Finally we are in Kickstarter!

I also met Fabian and Ryan in the Kickstarter period. Fabian is a very talented youtuber and skateboarder. He will be a great entrepreneur. I will help him with building his product. Ryan is a very talented engineer and entrepreneur, who thought about building electric skateboard since his high school. I believe we will work together to make ionboard more advanced in technology!

There is no boundary for us and we will never stop innovate and create. The thing that we will not change is the ethics to serve for customers best. To make it more transparent, better quality and more affordable!

Amazing products coming soon!

Best,

DP

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