Wooting & Sea Sonic partnership

We made a huge decision and decided to work together with Sea Sonic for the sales and distribution of Wooting products. There will be an official press release announcing our partnership shortly after the publishment of this post.

I want to let team Wooting (you) know about this partnership before the official press release and share more context.

If you ever built your own PC, you might already be familiar with the name. Sea Sonic is a publicly listed Taiwanese company and one of the largest OEM power supply manufacturers in the world. Including their own brand, Sea Sonic. They have exceptional product quality, warranty policies (that go up to 12 years) and customer support. The company itself focuses on research, development, and production of high-quality products. I’ll leave the rest of their reputation up to google, you’ll see it’s hard to find anything negative about Sea Sonic.

During Computex 2018, I coincidentally met an old acquaintance from a couple years prior and showed her what Wooting entailed. She worked at Sea Sonic and realised that we’d be a good fit for an idea they had running. Sea Sonic is a long-time player (40+ years) in the industry and it’s not in their style to stray from their core business, power supplies. Instead, they looked for a smaller, innovative company in a different product category that shared similar ideals. Then, they could extend their resources to help build a sustainable business. It happens to be that we fit that picture, and conversation between the two of us started.

Honestly, at first, we weren’t immediately convinced but did have an interest in the idea. We had some initial fears and didn’t want to become one of those typical “gaming” companies that we despise.

The biggest fears were that we’d lose our independence, brand identity, and freedom. We’re a small team, bear low responsibility, and often make long-term decisions that aren’t profitable. We don’t want to get dragged into the corporate world and start to lose the reason why we even started Wooting. It might sound a bit dramatic, but these things happen slow and unnoticed.

Wooting is an expression of our personalities and beliefs. It’s not a “project company” with an amazing exit strategy just waiting to earn the big bucks. We want to make cool things, enjoy our work and consequently life. Oh and obviously, be our own boss.

Furthermore, we didn’t want to meet high expectations and create a real poop situation. A partner like this could easily purchase a large amount of stock. But if the average sales amount doesn’t meet expectation, they could easily dump the stock to recuperate cash with dire consequences for us.

As we got further into the conversations and got to know Sea Sonic better, we were finding a lot of similarities. They:

  • have a long-term focus, invest in advancement and have patience.
  • believe in high-quality products and providing just as good customer support
  • have built all of this in a sustainable manner over the years without losing focus on their core beliefs

More importantly, they could understand our vision and wanted to be in this partnership for the long-term. This made us feel a lot more comfortable with the idea to work together.

We decided that if we wanted to reach our mission and focus on what’s important, this partnership is key. It will accelerate all of it, strengthen our weaknesses, and elevate our strengths.

Wooting + Sea Sonic = …

The Seasonic partnership will bring a whole lot of advantages to the table and it’s quite a list. So let’s go through them.

Expand Wooting’s sales channels

Sea Sonic has a global presence, strong distribution partners and a lot of experience dealing with them. Wooting products will become available at more different vendors in different countries. This will also come with more language layout support. A major pain and struggle for us to do on our own.

Dedicated marketing

We’re terrible at the marketing grunt work. We often have cool ideas and like to create/try things out but we don’t know how to sell. The real key is to keep doing it. Sea Sonic has a dedicated team that will spend part of their time to create (consistency in) Wooting marketing. These are things like press related network, product review outreach, placement ads, and influencer marketing.

We’re still a big part of this, as marketing is closely related to our brand building but it’s less demanding.

Cashflow

This is a very easy to understand headline for any entrepreneur out there. Cash flow is the direct available money that’s necessary for the daily operation and it’s very easy to have none. Money easily gets stuck in stock, customer payment terms, and investments.

We invest a lot of our cash into stock. Our sales quantities per month versus the minimum production quantity don’t match. This makes it impossible for a “just in time” (JIT) model. It requires us to invest a lot of our cash in stock that doesn’t immediately move.

Furthermore, mainstream distributors will always require a payment term of 60-90 days. It gets worse when you get to a point in which the distributor isn’t able to move the amount of stock they purchased within 3-6 month. They will quickly find different solutions to get rid of the stock. Ranging from a steep discounts to returning stock to the supplier and more often than not they’ll try to recuperate lost revenue from the supplier. Distributors are often box-movers.

Now that we have Sea Sonic as a partner, they are able to help overcome these struggles for us.

Time and focus on what matters

We’re a small company, running on 3 full-time founders and 1 intern. We only have ample time and focus to work on things but have set quite a lot of ambitious goals. Ultimately to make analog input keyboards the industry standard.

When we launched the Wooting one on Kickstarter, things were easy. We focused 100% on the product and the delivery of it all. We didn’t spend a lot of time on marketing, sales channels or maintaining some type of daily operation. That all changed once we started to stock and sell the Wooting one.

We had to arrange everything from product production to customer delivery on a daily-base. While still building up a brand, developing software/product and running customer service. This also meant that we either maintained everything at a slow pace, or some parts would suffer. Considering that we’re not the best in marketing and sales, this is the part that suffered more often than not.

This partnership over time will help take over that part of sales and marketing. It will create more free time for the three of us to focus on the Wooting mission, products and our community (you). This means we can create at a faster pace, run more projects that matter and nourish the community.

What’s the impact on you?

In short, nothing. We will continue what we’re doing now with the same core beliefs and values but then better and stronger. If we look at it from a long-term perspective. Our customer service will get even better, there’ll be more product availability, and we will create value at a faster pace.

Perhaps, the next time you consider buying a power supply, you’ll buy a Sea Sonic power supply. I heard they’re the best in the industry and you can’t go wrong with them 😉

Please welcome to the team

That’s it. It’s important to us that all our stakeholders (you as a customer) are properly informed and involved with the decision making at Wooting. I hope that you also agree that this is a great move forward.

So please give a warm welcome to our latest team member, Sea Sonic, and let’s continue to rock on.

Calder Limmen Written by:

Founder of Wooting. Entrepreneur, gamer and any(thing)thusiast living in Taiwan.

2 Comments

  1. Sander
    November 12, 2018
    Reply

    Congrats with this partnership! Keep up the good work making analog the new digital.

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