JooVuu celebrates its first year of trading. We have gone from strength to strength, creating a reputation for great customer service, and becoming known for the products we stock and sell. Everything is fine on the outside, and we’re loving life, but we know we can do better. Not being dis-respectful to any retailers, but any old fool can resell, and at that moment that is all we were doing. Granted, we had created, developed, and manufactured a waterproof case, but this had not stretched us that much, and we were dying to implement our vision for a great camera. This is when I (Dan), decided to ‘explore’ the idea of creating a camera, just see what people wanted, what hardware was available, and how we could create unique features. I became hooked.
June – September 2014
I read. I researched. I watched. I took notes. I repeated. Sadly, I do not have that much money and I decided if I was going to do well, I had one shot. This is not, ‘oh if I get this wrong you can try again’, this is ‘if I get this wrong, I’m probably done’. So I took notes, hundreds of pages, hundreds of features, from the absurd, to the old, to the current, and back again. I read virtually every post on DashCamTalk and RCGroups (only specific to cameras, from Sony RX-100 type cameras, to 808 #11 cameras), and a plethora of other posts from websites ranging from hunting, to rockets, to fishing, to racing. Anything involving cameras that had multiple uses, there is a high chance I read it. By now, I was starting to amass quite a collection of research and most of it was wishful thinking.
October – December 2014
Up until now, I had done a lot of research, but still did not know a few things such as:
1. Would anyone manufacture the camera for me, within the budget I had.
2. Would it be worth the trouble and the gamble or should I play it safe and continue what I was doing.
3. Where do you even start in creating a camera?
Around now the Mini 0806 was starting to gain a bit of traction and hype, and we were approached to sell it. We declined, the quality, features, and known issues had not been resolved, and returning goods in large quantities through express companies, is almost impossible to China, which means we lose money on every return. I then started to look at the features, design, etc in even closer detail, and came to one conclusion. We could do WAY better. I do not just mean, we can do better because it’s my product, but what I wanted to do as a very least, would be a lot better than this product. However, we still did not have enough money.
The 0806 came to launch, and after multiple assurances, tests, and virtual harassment by the sales contact that this camera was reliable, stable etc, we decided to tentatively stock it. They told us we would have it before Christmas.
Now, before I go on to the next bit, I just want to answer the above questions now, and you’ll see why.
1) I do not care, I’ll find someone or factory to do it.
2) Gamble. Dear god gamble.
3) I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out.
Late December – January.
This is one of the most frustrating times I have ever worked at JooVuu and let me explain why. In January two major things happened.
Firstly, we finally received the Mini 0806 about 1 month after we were promised it.
Secondly, another camera manufacture sent us a huge order which we had paid for etc, and then the next day announced that they had updated their camera, and we were essentially left with the old camera at high prices. That’s when my above answers came to me.
I decided rather than dreaming about it, and toying with the idea, to just do it. Die trying, rather than die lying (about). There is NOTHING more infuriating as a reseller to be constantly lied to and taken for a ride/granted. Maybe at JooVuu we are old fashioned, but we believe telling the truth is a pretty basic pillar of any relationship that exists. This however is not recipricated by some of our manufacturers and as such it means JooVuu appears to be telling lies, when actually we are simply just relaying information. However, if I was a customer and this was happening to me, I’d be bloody annoyed (quite rightly). Whilst I cannot put a precise time on the straw that broke the camels back, this was probably it in hindsight.
After all the 0806s had finally shipped and we shifted all the other cameras, I set to work on looking at designs and market for a camera. It is all well and good having an amazing camera with amazing features but if it does not suit any market, your camera is as good as throwing money out of the window.
I looked at hundreds of cars, and went over my notes methodically. If you want to make a good camera you need two things. Reliability & (image) quality. So I started there, how do you get the best image quality, it does not matter what hardware you use, if your camera cannot get a good enough video, the hardware becomes redundant. Okay, so how do we get better image quality without the hardware, get the camera closer to the windshield, how do we do that, and so on. This went on for days, and weeks, and a lot of lonely nights. Every aspect was being looked at and every millimeter was being scrutinized.
I finally settled on a design.
February – March 2015.
(Rather than bore you with all the details for finding a manufacture, having one leave us, and then finally getting the manufacture we wanted, I’ll skip straight to the part, where we have our manufacture and manufacturing terms have been agreed.)
Designing and implementing something are very different, something I was about to find out with a harsh reality. The factory essentially dismissed all of our ideas and our concept for our camera (which turned out to be a good thing). This was one of the hardest things to happen to me personally, something that I had poured hours upon hours into dismissed within a matter of minutes. However, not to be deterred, I went back, asked for all the technical details that I never really had access to, and then went back to the drawing board that night so in the morning they had something to look at and give feedback on. This happened 4 nights in a row, until finally they said yes this is feasible. I had to cut a few features and aspects, but these were mainly wishlists rather than essentials. However, now was time for the firmware features, and this was not easy. I did not just want to make a car camera with the same features that every camera has. I wanted to offer something new and useful. However, a lot of the features I had designed and researched could not be implemented under the hardware we were using and as such, I had to sift through the research again, and start from scratch on my ideas, think of new ways to implement them. After weeks of going back and forth between the engineers, we finally had our settled firmware. We finally cut one of our major features that I wanted to implement, and we cut it for two reasons.
1) I would prefer to release a product that is reliable and simple, rather than an unreliable glitzy product. This feature would have been awesome, but would have been pushing the boundaries in such a way without large scale testing (which we could not do) it would be stupid to implement as it could greatly harm the integrity of our camera
2) We can implement it at a later stage (we still plan to) when we have sold some cameras and people can access for free the beta software and help us test it before we go to release. This means we can gather huge amounts of data and feedback and as such make a product far more stable.
After multiple delays, bumps, ups, downs, and whatever else the world can throw at us, we have finally overcome them and could finally announce our product. We know during the production and further development of the camera there are going to be problems, but we do not believe there will be any major changes or deviation from our outlined hardware and feature.
The feedback we have received has been incredible and only spurs is on more for our camera. So thank you to everyone who has commented and left feedback, every comment matters to us, so please keep it coming.
Owner of JooVuu