The Gamma Program
From The Neuros Technology Wiki
The Gamma Program Description
Gamma is a "white box" pre-production product stage especially geared for hackers and hard-core early adopters. Gamma means production hardware with early (typically Alpha or Beta software) it's the first production or pre-production run, and we make it available to the public. Gamma products evolve to become production product through free software updates. For a complete review of all the early testing opportunities, see Neuros Beta Program
Central to Neuros' strategy is releasing products to the market quickly to get early feedback from hard core users as well as to give hackers a head start. In recognition of the fact that such products often change quickly and are not fully field tested, we offer an extended no questions asked return policy on such products. In addition, we also often offer compensation for participation in feedback surveys and focus groups, etc.
NOTE: The Gamma Logo was created by community member Scott Rocher
Neuros LINK Gamma Upgrade Program
NOTE: TENATIVE UPGRADE PROPOSAL, SUBJECT TO CHANGE PRIOR TO LAUNCH
In November of 2009 Neuros updated the Neuros LINK to slightly different hardware (nVidia graphics replacing ATI). Although this hardware's performance is almost identical to the original, developer and other enthusiasts that want to have the latest and greatest may want to upgrade. In the spirit of Neuros usual fanatical commitment to supporting their customers, we offer an upgrade path, two upgrade paths in fact. If you feel capable of swapping out the motherboard yourself, we offer a cross-ship option where we exchange your motherboard for $60 + shipping and you send the old one back to us. If you want us to do the whole thing for you, then you can send it back and for $100 + shipping and we'll swap out the board for you.
There is no Gamma group per se. Instead you are a Gamma member simply by buying a product during any of our gamma offerings. To make sure that you're kept up to date on our Gamma offings, you can monitor this page and sign up for our mailing list/newsletter. It'll keep you informed of all Gamma opportunities in advance with details of those programs and other special offers. This is a pretty low traffic list, about an email a month. There are only a few Gamma offers a year.
Sign up through Our Beta Mailing List. (We don't sell rent of do anything else of the sort with your email address- it's exclusively to keep you up to date on what we're doing)
Gamma Program Q&A
You mean I'm expected to pay to be your Guinea Pig?
In a nutshell, yes. But we do offer a number of incentives to do so:
- The best price around
- Extended No Questions asked return policy
- Free Firmware Upgrades
- Ability to influence the product development direction from the ground floor
- Exclusive use of the newest products first
- Chance for additional compensation from Neuros (Bounties,paid surveys, gamma rebates, etc)
Will the Gamma version be obsolete when the production version comes out?
No. The Gamma version is production hardware with early software, so it will evolve to become the production product, so participants in the gamma program will always have the latest and greatest. In those rare cases where there is a hardware update, it will be offered free or at a nominal cost to Gamma participants.
Gamma Program: Returns, Upgrades, and Discounts
1. Gamma purchasers can always get a full refund against their original purchase price for the return period(which varies by device) by returning their units and packaging. Neuros LINKs purchased prior to 11/15/09 had a 4 month return policy as part of its Gamma program. Neuros LINKs purchased after 11/15/09 will have a normal 30 day, no questions asked return period. The refund is for the purchase price of the unit and does not include shipping. Refunds will typically be in the form of a check mailed to the purchaser.
2. Gamma purchasers wishing to upgrade to a higher-priced model during the return period will at most pay the price difference. We typically offer a reasonably priced upgrade path even after the return period expires.
3. Gamma purchasers who don't want to (or can't) return their old units will be offered a significant discount off the purchase price of a higher-priced model.
Are you folks just too cheap to do a free Beta Program?
That's a part of it, although we do have a conventional beta program too. The reason that we have a Gamma program is more than just being cheap. It's an opportunity to get the product in the hands of hundreds of, well, more critical customers. Although our beta testers have typically been more candid than most, they are insiders. And insiders just aren't as tough as real, paying customers. Gamma testers complain, call customer services, get cranky, return the product and ask for refunds. They are after all, real customers, and there's just no substitute for real customers. Further, we don't choose Gamma testers, they are self selecting, there is no other criteria other than willingness to shell out a few bucks. You don't have to be a part of our community, don't have to be sophisticated, don't have to be well liked by our internal team, which all makes them more representative of what we'll expect for the production launch. In addition, it's an opportunity for us to grow awareness for our new products. Whenever we do a Gamma Launch, we get significantly increased traffic and new developers, community members, etc.
Is this just some kind of marketing gimmick to make a sale seem more "special?"
No, by the time we get done with discounts, upgrades, extended returns, etc. the Gamma programs are way too much of a headache and not nearly profitable enough (if profitable at all) to be justified as a sale. They only work because we consider them an integral part of our product development process. The bigger concern has been that because the Gamma sales are public they establish a low price in customer's minds, and since the Gamma prices are not sustainable ongoing we make it impossible to make any money on the production products. In response to that, we've tried to clearly designate the Gamma sales, and create an incentive structure that helps to distinguish the Gamma programs from production products.
How do I participate?
There's really only one way to participate and that's to buy a Gamma product. Sometimes we sell them on the website and we've been known to launch them on woot.com as well. Sign up for the Beta Mailing List or monitor Products Currently in the Gamma Program
I'm a developer, can I get a free unit?
Yes and No. We enormously value the contributions of our community members, we have bounties, we hire and pay for contract work from the community, and we certainly try to keep our active community members supplied with free or at least discounted devices. However, virtually every community member in Neuros today joined by buying their first unit. Sadly, trying to decide up front who will become an active contributor has never worked for us, and we've ceased giving out free units on request to newcomers.
see also Neuros_Beta_Program for more information