A production-line component swap led to weeks of debugging for the gTar's designers.
In a complex production processes, products don't always come off the line exactly as the designers expect.
When the first batch of Solid Titanium Pens didn't match the advertised color, inventors Chackwick Parker and Joe Huang were forced to restart the whole manufacturing process, delaying delivery until Christmas for some buyers. It was supposed to ship in September.
When the factory producing the gTar digital guitar swapped out a circuit component for one that was half the cost, the power systems in the device went screwy.
"It took us, like, two weeks to diagnose the problem," said gTar founder Idan Beck. "We were getting units coming off the line that started playing notes randomly."
Even things that aren't made in big manufacturing plants can go wrong. When supporters of the Hand Stylus were promised their very own Laser-engraved Hand Stylus if they pledged $30, more than 2,000 backers took up the offer.
The problem, said inventor Steve King, was that he had to engrave one at a time. At one point, the company's laser cutter broke, pushing production of those pens back by five more days. -David Goldman