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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#151: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »



I don't know why I didn't foresee this, but as soon as people started receiving transparent cases for their DE1 (just shipped out a few days ago), they immediately started putting LEDs inside.

Now, there's an active discussion on the Diaspora DE1 owner's forum, about pimping the inside of your Decent Espresso Machine with LEDs.

I just ordered sound-reactive LEDs, as I thought it'd be fun to have the lights react to the making of a drink.

Disco time!

-john

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TomC
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#152: Post by TomC »

Tron-espresso! I like it!

:D

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SpecC
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#153: Post by SpecC »

decent_espresso wrote:image

I don't know why I didn't foresee this, but as soon as people started receiving transparent cases for their DE1 (just shipped out a few days ago), they immediately started putting LEDs inside.

Now, there's an active discussion on the Diaspora DE1 owner's forum, about pimping the inside of your Decent Espresso Machine with LEDs.

I just ordered sound-reactive LEDs, as I thought it'd be fun to have the lights react to the making of a drink.

Disco time!

-john
Do you think at any point you'll be able to sell a white "kit" to change a black machine? Or even an unpainted version we can finish ourselves?

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#154: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) » replying to SpecC »

There is a conversion kit to change a black DE1+/DE1PRO/DE1XL into a white DE1XL machine. You can see the parts here:
https://decentespresso.com/accessories



Never say never, but we're not planning on making the DE1+/DE1PRO in white.

We do sell "factory seconds" of the black chassis at a steep discount, and you can have them repainted locally by a car detailing or car body shop. https://decentespresso.com/accessories


SpecC
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#155: Post by SpecC »

[
We do sell "factory seconds" of the black chassis at a steep discount, and you can have them repainted locally by a car detailing or car body shop. https://decentespresso.com/accessories

image[/quote]
Yup I bought a set. Got them today actually. :D

Is that a pretty straight forward swap? (with the v1.4)

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decent_espresso (original poster)
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#156: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

SpecC wrote:Yup I bought a set. Got them today actually. :D
Is that a pretty straight forward swap? (with the v1.4)
The main cover and legs are really easy to swap. The main cover is 8pcs Torx T10 screws. For the legs, there's a video below. The group head is a bit more involved, and I don't have a video for only that yet, but I'm asking Charles (my main technician) if he does. The best video on that will be the GHC upgrade video, which also includes how to take apart the GHC (group head controller)

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#157: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

Spotlight on Damian's DSX Skin.

Last week Damian Brakel hosted a Decent Zoom call, where he gave an in-depth review of the alternative skin he's developed for Decent Espresso Machines. https://www.diy.brakel.com.au/dsx/

While it may not be to everyone's aesthetic taste, there's no denying the many innovations in espresso workflow that Damian has brought. In the call, several things he's working on came out (recipes based on flow rate into the bluetooth scale) and ideas for improvements to the history viewer were also discussed.

We've chopped up the over-2 hour long video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1udqsrV7Sfo into separate bits and posted them today.

The best (but also longest) is the general overview:
And Damian's espresso history viewer:
some people complained on a previous post I made, that this skin was "ugly". It might be, but (a) it's free (b) it's optional (c) it's very powerful (d) it's an open source labor-of-love and (e) you're under no obligation to use it with the DE1. The skin I wrote ("Insight") is the default and is what most people use.

And yes, Damian is Australian. I'm not going to apologize for his accent. :-D

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#158: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




No more waiting for Decent Espresso

Throughout the 3 years we've been making espresso machines, every buyer has had to wait. It's never been less than a month, frequently 3 months, and some waited much much longer. In South Korea they called us "the genius machine that nobody can buy".

Finally, FINALLY! this won't be the case.

Even though our monthly sales have been increasing, my team has been getting better and better at their jobs. We did double the staff count in August but this had only a modest effect on machines shipped per month.

The real shift came from human factors. I had long ago figured out that Western-style management doesn't work here. Hong Kongers do not want to be "bossed", and by extension, none of our employees would accept a promotion to be a manager. What I had learned about Management in California didn't work here.

I tinkered with the workplace culture of the company, and I finally have found a good fit.

There's an opposing tension between individualism and communal-spirit here. Some of the workplace experiments I tried, such as having small teams, were actually a productivity and HR disaster, and actually promoted conflict. It's difficult to figure out the right structure and balance.

What has worked best, and REALLY worked, is copying the French restaurant's "battery de cuisine" concept. In a "battery de cuisine" kitchen, everyone has a speciality, and there's always work to be done in that job. There's no "boss, what should I be working on?" And when it's mealtime, the pressure is on for each person to produce in their speciality. Everyone knows how they fit into the whole, when they're expected to perform, and they feel both individual pride in their contribution, as well as in the output of team.

I adapted the "battery de cuisine" system to the Decent factory.

Keith, for example, is responsible for fully testing every DC PCB (the "computer") that will go inside the espresso machine. Every day, he plugs temperature sensors, LED and motors into a board on his desk, and painstakingly tests it. Each takes about 20 minutes. That's a long time, but thanks to the extensive prep work, when it's time install them, Keith can put 50 computers into 50 espresso machines in just 2 hours. And rarely do any have problems that need later fixing, when it'd be quite a bit harder to do so. Like a restaurant dish with a frozen-in-the-middle steak.

Decent Espresso is now run like a professional kitchen. Everyone has their own "prep station". And when the 50 machines on the line need their part, they're "in the kitchen" installing their part, so they don't slow anyone else down.

Initially I started with 2 lines (a "kitchen") of 50 machines each, with 1 actively being built, and the other being tested. As the testers got faster, after 1 day they finished 25 machines, we squeezed the remaining machines down, and started a 3rd line of the next 50 machines. Thus, most of the time we're actually running 3 "kitchens".

This puts more stress on good prep. But as each person is totally responsible for their part, they know what is expected of them, but also they are empowered to improve how they work.

And that's how we managed to go from 23 machines per month, to 69, to 108, to 213 and this month: to 291 machines in one month!

I had the "talk radio show" turned off, and it's quiet in the factory, except for power tools pulsing. There's an intense concentration on people's faces. And come Friday, they're mentally drained, but happy, because everyone can see the success of the week.




Tomorrow we're testing 50 DE1XL 220V machines, and in a few days we'll have the same quantity of 110V DE1XL done. That has us almost wiping out the queue that has been a weight around our neck:





I had hoped (dreamt!) to be at this point before Christmas, but it looks like we'll be there by the end of November, a month early.

That also means that if you buy a DE1 before mid-December, there's a good chance we can get it to you in time for Christmas.

. . .

Am I worried that we're now building much much faster than we're selling?

Yes, of course I am.

However, I'm also aware of just how many people have said "no thanks" to a Decent Espresso Machine, because they didn't want to wait.

People are used to getting instant satisfaction from their purchases, and a several-months-long wait doesn't cut it. So I'm hoping that "ships within 24h" will have a positive effect.

And finally, we're getting a tremendous number of inquiries from small cafes. I think that now that the COVID vaccine is in sight, planning has started on the orgy of travel, restaurant, and entertainment spending that is likely to follow.

-john

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#159: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »

1st time using an espresso machine

This video is from Henry of Even0 coffee in Hong Kong. He writes "Hi John, just want to show u a video. This woman has zero espresso making experience. It is her first time even touching a portafilter, and look at how acceptable 1st shot she made with the DE machine. She is one of my stall staff who does sales and cashier."

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#160: Post by decent_espresso (original poster) »




Buy Johanna a Hot Toddy

Buy Johanna a Hot Toddy, to thank her for all she's done for our Decent community:
https://decentespresso.com/c?s=889+1

Johanna has had a Decent for only 9 months, but WOW! has she made a massive impact on our community, through her inventions, collaborations and improvements to the Decent app.

In that short time, she has:
- programmed support for all the major bluetooth 0.1g scales out there: Acaia Pearl, Acaia Lunar, Felicita arc, Hiroia Jimmy where previously we only supported the Atomax Skale.
- rewrote Reed 's proof-of-concept USB/wifi support for the DE1 app, into something that is suitable for production use. That will allow us all to run the de1app on Windows/Mac/Linux and with wifi or a USB cable, control our Decents.
- helped me migrate the de1app to have 3 versions you can choose from: stable, beta, and current, from previously just one (which, let's be honest, was always "beta"). Now, those of you who want a stable daily Decent software experience, can have it.
- convinced me to move my app from being privately maintained, to being on github, inviting far more collaboration.
- personally moved 4 years of code changes to github, without losing any of the commits and changes that I had in my personal version control system
- she's working on a bunch of super cool things at the moment, which she hasn't revealed yet, but which are just as wow.
- fixed a bunch of my (cough) bugs and made many code improvements. In fact, she's done that so much, and helped so much on the Diaspora forum, that people assumed she was a Decent employee.

You haven't heard from Johanna these past 10 days, as she's home, quite sick with a cold that won't go away. That's because on top of her crazy busy day job, she's often up at 5am chatting with me on telegram about her latest idea, and then again back at it at 10pm! She's productive because she's talented, but oh boy, she also puts the time in. So now she needs a bit of rest, and thanks from all of us.

So, please THANK JOHANNA by buying her the scotch whisky, lemon and spices that she needs to get well, by making that wonderful British medecine, the Hot Toddy:
https://www.diffordsguide.com/cocktails ... -and-lemon

I know that Johanna likes her fine whisky, and she's in bed with a cold now, so a Hot Toddy is exactly what she needs right now.

As with the "Buy Damian a cake" giveaway, we'll paypal her 100% of the proceeds so she can send her partner off to the local store to get the goods. All of you chipped in to Damian 10 cakes!

-john