Kano, the DIY computer and Kickstarter sensation, is now available for purchase

By Shawn Knight · 22 replies
Oct 8, 2014
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  1. DIY computer kit Kano launched a Kickstarter campaign last November with a goal of raising $100,000. The project was an overwhelming success as more than 13,000 backers donated over $1.5 million to the cause and now, the computer and coding...

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  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,670   +1,955

    I don't like it: $35 for the main component, and then another $115 for a nice box with cheap extras?

    That's an utter hypocrisy.

    The components look like they could easily fit into the $35 bracket to make for the lot. Perhaps $80 would still be reasonable. But $150 is really taking the piss just for profit.

    But let's talk numbers here, without even looking for the cheapest deals, rather ones from Amazon:

    1. Wireless Keyboard - $18.99
    2. USB WiFi-N Adapter - $7.40
    3. SD 8GB card with Raspberri - $11.11
    4. Transparent case for Raspberri - $6.99
    5. Raspberri Pi power adapter - $5.99

    That's listing 99% of what that box offers, for the total of $50.48

    So, as you can see, even a lazy engineer could get it all for $50.48, which is still about $64.5 short of the asking $115 to be paid on top of the Pi itself.

    That's why I said in the beginning that I didn't like it, and those hypocrites who take a $35 marvel, throw in extra cheap stuff and try to push it for 4 times the price. Screw them!
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  3. Joseph M.

    Joseph M. TS Rookie

    Agreed. Raspberry Pi is $35, and Bluetooth keyboards can be had for approximately $10-20 these days. Speakers? Less than a buck in bulk.

    $150 is ridiculous. Even if the OS is 100% proprietary, still.
  4. Yeah, you guys are totally right. Why buy something all together when you can piece out and save money. That is why I buy pieces of a car and build my own. It saves so much money. This product isn't for you, you're not the target market. Obviously there is a demand or they wouldn't have had such success in the kick starter campaign. I believe they are first to market with a product like this all in one box. So for the parent that wants to get their kid something this is perfect, they aren't going to go piece something together. They want it in one box. When the next company starts selling something similar the price for both will go down because there is a high margin in this offering, but that is what they get to do since they are the first to make it.
  5. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,670   +1,955

    Try to understand this: Raspberri Pi isn't just a piece of technology, it is a way of thinking, and attitude towards computing. The creators insist that price never goes above $35, and they stick to it. Others offer extras for it in the same spirit.

    Along comes a nobody, puts it in a box and says: how about $150? It is a matter of principle to tell him to go to hell.
  6. You're discounting transport, assembly (packaging+site costs), research costs, workers wages/benefits and overhead at the very least.

    For a normal product profit is normally only about 10%, but it can cost up to 300% the price of the components because of hidden costs like those listed above. In my opinion they are making at most 20 USD a unit. With an expected sale of 100k units that's only 2 Million USD in profit, which while nice isn't exactly earth shattering considering the risks they took and the amount of effort that was put into this.

    Also, you know that if someone like hasbro or lego brought this to market it would be 250 USD minimum right?
  7. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,670   +1,955

    What are you talking about? These guys created absolutely nothing! They took a few existing components, put them in a box with their own name on it and called it a new product. Raspberri Pi is all about creativity at no cost.And this product is the opposite-no creativity, just ripping off someone else.
  8. The cost of the materials has very little to do with the final retail price of a product, supply and demand will set the price. The people who thought up the idea and put it all together need to be compensated. A business needs to be profitable in order to succeed and there's overhead to run a business. By your math they cost of the goods is roughly $85, that leaves $65 per unit sold for packaging, marketing, overhead, employee salaries, cost of developing the OS, and oh yea, profit. The market will determine if $150 is the right price, but $150 is certainly not a ridiculous place to start.
  9. Same person as guest above explaining that there are costs besides components.

    Didn't these people create Kano blocks?

    But even if they didn't that doesn't change the fact that buying and packaging the components and running a business in general incurs additional costs.

    And believe it or not packaging components like this does improve product accessibility. People who would have never otherwise heard of raspberri, will hear about it because of this system.

    Also this seems to be targeted at a somewhat different demographic than normal raspberri. In short this is a lot more approachable as a 'toy' than just buying a kid a raspberri board. And if they get one more kid interested in programming they they've done a lot of good in my opinion.
  10. VitalyT - You have completely missed the point. They created a nicely put together, one stop shopping, experience that parents (many with no technical experience) can purchase as a way to expose their children to computers and computer programming. From this initial exposure the kids can then immerse themselves in to the all the positive aspects of Raspberri Pi ecosystem you have been touting.
  11. Packaging a system for kiddie "coders" with a 200% markup over cost and claiming moral high ground because it's edutainment? Pretty typical marketer mentality. --And if you have a problem with that, shut up and go away. Yup, seen that before too.

    Never liked the term "coder" either....do we call surgeons "choppers"?
  12. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,670   +1,955

  13. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    Although guests are talking plain smack as ussual, I would urge you to probably consider some things:

    1) They might not be using the cheapest devices out there, I mean that keyboard doesnt exactly look cheap.
    2) The link you put on the amazon kit is $70 on sale down from $100 (And listing at $120) which doesn't even consider a keyboard nor the bt dongle (Yeah it can be found cheaply but then again, refer to point N°1).
    3) They did make propietary software, along with manuals, designs, etc, so they actually did add things to the Pi.

    Indeed the Pi is cheap, it might be cheaper to do the things yourself but as mentioned, this involved planning, designing, coding, etc. The margin taken from this initiative should be anything but big.
  14. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 452   +181

    That's hardly fair.
    The list price of the CanaKit is $130. It's just currently on sale for $70.
    And the amount of equipment in it is off-putting for the target market of the Kano product -- ie. parents who are not tech-savy but recognise that their kids could be.
    An extra $20 for a simplified, child-friendly product at launch. It's a decent offering. Let's give them a chance.
  15. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I agree with you but I think you're missing the point a bit here. Granted $150 is too steep but this is an educational toy to teach basic coding and keep things as simple possible. The OS is proprietary so that will add to the cost. Perhaps 90-100 bucks would seem fair.
  16. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,670   +1,955

    They entered the niche where every dollar counts, and they just lost control there :) Consider the kit I gave the link for, which is even better, but costs just under $70, which is less than half.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  17. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    It's "even better" for who? It doesn't have keyboard nor trackpad and it's on SALE, it's listed at only $20 less than the Kano and all the features are a couple of unbranded pcbs leds and some really really really under the buck dirt cheap electronics.

    EDIT: Also if you've bothered reading the reviews you would've seen the corrupted sd cards, the non-fitting cases, and non-quality product you are comparing it to.
  18. DanielGordon

    DanielGordon TS Rookie

    Wow @ the negative nancys here. Do any of you understand how business works? The cost for the product is much higher than just the hardware. These guys have made a great product that is much needed. Think you can do the same thing for cheaper? Go ahead. Stop complaining. Don't buy it.
  19. Sensation, my ***
  20. Oh trust me, we won't buy it. DIY? Why don't people build the system themselves rather than buying a 'kit'. It's like buying a pancake shake, just add water and shake. These people won't know how to make pancakes themselves, it's really not that hard.
  21. Well the same can be said about people who buy desktop computers instead of building them, they dont want the hassle they rather buy something all set to go.

    As for the price , meh who ever wants to buy it, will buy it.
  22. Imagine being 5, and it's Christmas. You love computers and video games. You open a box and "OMG! What's this!" (hint: It's a Kano)

    Now imagine opening a bunch of boxes with the various components to build a system equivalent to a Kano. Your dad explains to you that they are the components to build a computer. (doesn't explain that he decided he wanted to save $50). You take the pieces to your room and assemble them one by one. Not so bad, but it's lacking that oh so awesome shock and awe factor.

    Which would instill more awe in your kid self?
  23. Um, the second scenario. Not only do I get a computer, but I get a cool building project to do with my dad. Any kid that is interested in learning to write code is likely just as interested in snapping together a few parts to assemble a computer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2014

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