So yeah, that particular work project just keeps getting better. Today I got this in my email from the manufacturer of a critical component, reaffirming my personal “If it’s not in-stock on Digikey, I do not specify it in my design” policy.
[…] The <display> is on
hold. There are no technical reasons but it has been decided that it will be turned
on again if we receive a commitment from a customer. Makes it a bit harder to sell
without a product but that is the path that <vendor> has chosen to take. At 10K the
display would be $### each. Once turned back on, samples would take 10 to 12 weeks.
So, this display turns out to be a rather special type of display, which we’ve gone to considerable expense in researching, testing, and designing a product around. We’d been working with this vendor for the better part of a year and they’re already aware of and (until around today, apparently) cool with our expected volumes (5kU-10kU, contingent on, among other things, their product actually existing), so this is kind of a giant kick in the nuts. Basically, we’re too small-fish and they’ll maybe consider manufacturing the (already-designed) display product if a larger customer wants some. The specific reason we were working with <vendor> to begin with was that they were the only vendor of this type of display that didn’t give us the old “fuck off, come back and speak to us when you have that PO for 50kU in hand *click*” that seems to be the industry standard. Soooo… project is back to square one, $$$ of development money thrown into the trashcan. Not even from e.g. a big government contract, where it’s pretty much unnoticed and understood if some of the development time we’ve spent vaporizes for reasons beyond our control, but the hard-earned cash of a couple entrepeneurs, who are not going to be the least bit happy that their almost-product just went up in vaporware.