I am Dr. Chen-Hsiang Feng, the inventor of Muro Box. After overcoming numerous challenges, our latest models, the N40 Sublime and N40 Standard, are finally ready to launch on Kickstarter. If you wish to follow our campaign news via Kickstarter’s notification, or share our campaign page’s link, please use the link below:: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/murobox/muro-box-n40-programmable-mechanical-music-box
**Launch Time: 10/26/2023 12pm EST in the US, (UTC-4:00)**
This letter was written before the campaign’s launch date, so we do not yet know the outcome. However, this crowdfunding campaign is of utmost importance, and our entire team is feeling the weight of uncertainty. Will our efforts be rewarded? What lies ahead for the Muro Box team? The pressure on our team is immense, and this is a battle we cannot afford to lose.
This Muro Box project has been in progress for eight years. The current design of Muro Box is vastly different from our initial concept. Both my wife( the co-founder of Muro Box, Dr. Shiao-Chen Tsai) and I have transformed an ambitious engineer and academic researcher into parents of a 5-year old son and the leaders of a tech startup team.
I want to take this special crowdfunding opportunity to share the current status of the project and our vision for the future with all music box enthusiasts who love Muro Box. Will the project succeed? We are grateful for your support in the “pre-launch voucher”. We understand that a 90 USD DHL shipping fee waiver is not the decisive factor when purchasing a music box at this price point. However, your early support serves as a critical indicator for our marketing preparation, allowing us to estimate the project’s final results based on the order numbers of the vouchers.
Up to now, we have sold 160 vouchers, we can anticipate a positive outcome. In other words, the 620,000 USD stretch goal to unlock the N20 Lite Battery Version is not an excuse for surrender, but a genuinely achievable funding goal. So, if your goal is to secure the battery version, do not feel disappointed. Our battery version development has never ceased. Please join us in making every effort and enjoying the fruit of success together.
We have been asked this question repeatedly, so I would like to provide a detailed explanation in two aspects: 1) the purpose of crowdfunding, and 2) why crowdfunding is my only choice at the moment.
The purpose of crowdfunding is to enable people with new product ideas to obtain early-stage funding from like-minded individuals. On the flip side, it also exposes the fact that there is insufficient funding to successfully complete the product. Its concept is like a “pre-sale” house”.
This is our true purpose as well. Given the current global economic situation, I didn’t want to execute a crowdfunding campaign at this time, but our current product line consists only of 20-note music boxes. This restricts us to the gift market, which is one of the hardest-hit industries in times of economic hardship. Therefore, we must quickly expand our target customer base by introducing professional models to meet musicians’ needs. However, by the time I realized this, it was too late when we only had limited funding left for developing new products. Therefore, we do indeed fulfill the purpose of crowdfunding: without your support, Muro Box-N40 will never come to life.
【Why is Crowdfunding My Only Choice? 】
It’s because money is not the sole objective. The most important value of crowdfunding is its role as a real-world market testing method. What is a better market indicator than sales figures? Besides, a brand’s value is not just the logo on a product. I enjoy the communication with backers before, during and post the campaign. We can spend time explaining the development philosophy of the product, and we can confidently explain the challenges we encounter. Letting the brand engage with everyone like a friend, growing together, is the best asset I have learned from crowdfunding.
【What if the project fails? How can I help?】
Although I hate to say it, we do indeed align with the definition of crowdfunding: without your support, N40 will never come to life. So, the simplest way you can help us is by sharing the news of this campaign. Let those in need know that N40 is about to be born. Perhaps your friends use MIDI devices, maybe you know someone needs a premium gift for the VIP, or maybe your family collects music boxes. Let them know our message, and let’s work together to make N40’s dream a reality.
【Is the design of the N40 music box complete? Come and have a listen!】
The mechanical structure of the N40 music box is about 90% complete, so the machines you see in our promotional videos are very close to the actual product you will receive. The remaining 10% consists of optimization, so the final product will be even better than what you see and hear now. If you have any chance to visit our office or a music box store in the music box museum, or attend any international tech exhibits that present our Muro Box products, you will be amazed to find why a mechanical music box’ live performance is better than a speaker playing digital music box sound.
This is especially important for customers who have previously purchased N20. Even if you do not plan to support this N40 crowdfunding campaign, you must come and see our progress. N40 represents the culmination of our eight years of effort with your early stage support for N20!
As for the software part of the music box, there is more room for improvement. Since many professional musicians have given suggestions regarding MIDI devices, our connectivity functions are about 80% complete. We will complete the remaining 20 % before shipping the product.
【What else needs to be changed for N40?】
Remember our discussion about the resonance box? We have actually redesigned the resonance box for N40, but we have not yet made this public. We will announce it in the updates during our campaign period. Our programmable cylinder also has a sound-absorbing pad that will use new materials, with the goal of further reducing mechanical noise. There are a few smaller items like this that need to be addressed in our later email updates.
【Plan for After Crowdfunding】
N40, along with the N20 battery version, will complete our product line. It’s time to make the world aware of the craftsmanship within mechanical music box designs. In the short term, we will continue to release various unique music boxes. My personal expectation is to create a smart music box that anyone can easily purchase. The beauty of music boxes should be shared with everyone, shouldn’t it?
Thank you for your continuous support. Let’s work together to make the world a better place.
Dr. Chen-Hsiang Feng
Check out Kickstarter Campaign page: