AndyMark Surveys

Last week Andy shared some difficult news with the community following FIRST’s most recent communication on the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic upon the 2020 and 2021 seasons. It has been said in other channels, but we truly appreciate the outpouring of messages and support from the community over the past few days.

In addition to his list of 5 ways that you could help AndyMark, Andy also promised that we would be releasing a survey in the near future to help us to plan for the path forward. I’m pleased to present the first of two surveys with you today:

FRC Team Planning and Spending Survey

This survey is an exploration of your general build plans for the next year, along with how you anticipate those plans will affect your team’s budget. The second survey, to be released within the next week, will be a more specific dive into design considerations, workspace essentials, potential new products, and seeking input on certain products that are in our active development queue.

We have some incentives for you to fill out this survey:

  • Basic Incentive:
    • A chance to win one of 5 $25 AndyMark gift certificates.
  • Stretch Incentives:
    • If 700+ FRC Teams respond, Andy will share video of him ordering his favorite pizza while wearing a fabulous CyberTooth onesie.
    • If 1000+ FRC Teams respond, Andy will ALSO go for a relaxing float in Lake AndyMark, the perpetual puddle in our parking lot where geese live.

Multiple team members are welcome to submit the survey, but for the sake of the Stretch Incentives we will only be considering unique team numbers.

Please fill out the survey, share it with your neighboring teams, and help us to serve you better in the upcoming seasons.

All the best,
Ruth

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Wait wait wait, will this be his favorite pizza that day, or his favorite pizza of all-time?

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For question 8 under EXPENDITURES AND SOURCING

What percentage of your typical budget will you spend on robot-related hardware for the 2021 competition season?

It would be really nice to have an “unsure” option. The answer will certainly depend on what our sponsors are willing/able to donate, and we just don’t know enough about the future economic impacts of this virus to be able to answer that yet. I can take a guess as to the number, but it’ll just be a guess; I doubt it will be accurate to within 10%.

Edit: or I’d feel a lot more comfortable guessing if the options were wider ranges (e.g. 0-25%, 26-50%, 51-75%, 76-100%)

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Is there any chance y’all would be willing to release some of the results? I’m particularly interested in seeing how people respond to question 17.

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We understand that there will be a margin of error with this question, and welcome your best guess while there are still unknowns.

We have not yet decided whether we will share the results or not. I anticipate that that will be decided as we approach the end date of the survey in 2-3 weeks.

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While I can appreciate the purpose of this survey, we, like most teams, are highly uncertain about our plans at this point. We have not met as a team for 2 months and we have not discussed as a team how we will respond to FIRSTs decision to replay the 2020 game. We are in the process of reaching out to our sponsors to try to get some guidance from them about what level of support we might expect for the upcoming season so, it is unclear what our budget will be for the upcoming year. So, I am not sure that our answers to this survey are meaningful at this time. I suggest that you might want to repeat this survey several times during the summer and fall as teams are able to firm up their plans and you might get more accurate reading on what the typical spending will be for the upcoming school year.

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If you don’t release the results publicly, will they be shared with other FRC suppliers? I think they could use the information as much as AM does. (and I don’t want to fill out the same survey 5 times)

Also, when is the survey closing? I’d like to have a discussion with other mentors on my team before answering anything.

This is going to sound awful, but given how this community has reacted to other fair market competitive actions, I don’t personally believe AM has any obligation to do so.

A survey directly from FIRST, that is then shared with suppliers and publicly, would be different.

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For question 13 (but also in general), it says bi-weekly and bi-monthly. Our team orders twice a week which is bi-weekly, but based on the order of the options, I’m guessing that the form intends for it to be every other week.

English is annoying in that the words can mean two quite different things!

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Oh Joy…
semi- is always occurring twice in the specified period (it comes from Latin for “half”), where bi- is mostly accepted to be every time that period passes twice. Of course, misuse literally changes the definition; English be like that.

I propose a strict usage of “fortnightly” for every two weeks to eliminate all confusion.

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I don’t feel like I’ve heard it more one way than the other, I just generally figure it out through context (like in this instance)

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Thank you all for helping us with this survey. We totally understand that teams are uncertain about their own team’s financial forecast and plan for robot improvement. Your suggestion of having more survey rounds is a good one.

We are looking forward to seeing what the survey results are!

Sincerely,
Andy B.

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The survey will be open for 3 weeks, until Tuesday, June 9th!

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I’m no longer with a team so I’m not doing your survey, but I still spend between $2k and $3k a year at AndyMark between FRC workshop prep and projects for myself and others. I don’t anticipate a major change. Actually, I’ve already spent over $2500 in 2020, so it may go up a good bit. There’s a chance that my current (non FRC) project will inspire more purchases later in the year, each of which will generate another $1k or more in AM purchases.

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Our survey has been open for a week, and we are grateful to the community for their responses. We know that it is still early in the decision process for many of your teams. Your input helps us to better forecast the next 18 months.

As of posting, we have 283 complete responses so far from 261 teams. That’s just over halfway to our primary goal of 500 teams responding, and over a third of the way to unlocking a video of Andy ordering pizza from his favorite pizza shop, wearing his favorite 3940 onesie.

We would especially like to thank the following teams for responding:
20 27 48 58 93 100 103 108 111 115
117 131 133 138 167 181 190 225 226 233
253 272 299 302 323 329 340 341 359 364
433 461 488 501 573 597 604 612 670 696
708 829 834 842 857 900 930 949 987 997
1001 1038 1086 1108 1114 1188 1259 1293 1318
1359 1360 1410 1466 1477 1506 1533 1574 1640 1646
1665 1678 1684 1712 1720 1723 1735 1745 1756 1758
1768 1787 1816 1902 1912 1923 1965 1989 2022 2056
2062 2090 2102 2129 2136 2177 2194 2197 2239 2370
2410 2412 2468 2495 2502 2523 2549 2585 2659 2710
2723 2733 2813 2826 2830 2867 2926 2927 2945 2967
2972 2992 2993 3045 3103 3138 3175 3200 3219 3243
3244 3275 3322 3344 3481 3504 3538 3572 3620 3650
3653 3663 3674 3739 3847 3940 3965 4028 4039 4048
4089 4099 4135 4201 4242 4265 4272 4293 4308 4322
4334 4336 4342 4384 4451 4466 4467 4476 4546 4564
4572 4627 4653 4681 4717 4739 4775 4780 4783 4786
4822 4911 4915 4946 4990 4991 5038 5071 5104 5148
5219 5338 5412 5417 5507 5550 5553 5568 5588 5660
5675 5712 5822 5826 5843 5846 5927 5985 5987 6035
6324 6328 6352 6358 6390 6391 6417 6479 6481 6517
6574 6618 6619 6631 6656 6672 6762 6802 6805 6860
6886 6897 6943 6960 6988 6995 7020 7021 7028 7054
7064 7068 7222 7248 7277 7407 7451 7457 7461 7476
7480 7492 7561 7659 7826 8006 8014 8077 8079 8096
8248 8324

The survey will close 2020-06-10T03:59:00Z. If you haven’t filled it out yet, or want an easy link to share, here you go: bit.ly/AMSurvey-1

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