Not Your Standard Kickstarter Update
When we said we would incorporate our CordCruncher-Kickstarter community feedback into the evolution of our product line, that wasn't just a marketing tactic. We meant every word.
Today we're going to bring you up to speed on the progress we've made towards adapting our CordCruncher sleeve onto mic'd headsets, and then show you the latest changes to the packaging design.
But first, here is this week's Status Report:
(right click and hit "View Image" to see a larger version of the chart)
We are finalizing our customer response forms, so if you haven't selected your colors or included your international shipping rate, now is the time! All our sleeves (except Black) have been processed and shipped, and next week we'll be sending out a special update, live from China, detailing our assembly progress.
We're actively searching for the smallest microphone on the market. Any recommendations?
From all the feedback we've received, it is quite clear that microphone functionality needs to be addressed in our next product release. One critical fact we learned was that the microphone control unit displayed in our original update will not work. While many people didn’t mind the partial crunch, most felt it limited the product's aesthetic and functionality.
- We experimented with the double cruncher, where one sleeve is below and another above the “Y” split of the cord. This turned out to be a copious failure, and never made it past internal testing.
- We have concluded that a very small microphone will slide through the head assembly during cord retraction, and that seems to be the most promising lead we have. However, we haven't yet found a mic or control unit that can do this for us as the elastic sleeve needs to be completely unhindered when sliding along the cord. Even the smallest bump snags the latex during the storage procedure.
- Having a free floating mic incorporated into the head assembly (while very, very cool) would not allow the microphone or control unit to be wired to the headphone system. In other words, we would have to use a Bluetooth type wireless configuration, which would increase the complexity and cost of our products, and introduce issues like battery life and software communication. While I like the idea of plugging the earbuds into a Bluetooth dongle, I hate coordinating the battery life of my Bluetooth with my mobile phone.
We have a few other ideas we're working on, and we promise to keep you updated as the next iteration of the CordCruncher Headphone continues to evolve. We're still in the very early stages of development, and are eager to hear your ideas and suggestions.
“I'm sorry Mrs. Johnson, but we're going to have to let you go.”
We hear you. “Get rid of the bimbo!”
The bimbo (my wife Paige), completely agrees! We have been dying with laughter at the, “kick the floozy off CordCruncher Island,” campaign, and have had unacceptable amounts of fun ribbing Paige with your comments! Naturally she shoots back, “I’m loved by the backers, it’s you juvenile males who are being disdained for that lame packaging design! I am but an innocent caught up in your folly!” It has been nothing if not entertaining.
Now, let's get down to business.
We have been very impressed with your ideas, and have taken the time to carefully read each one. Allow me to summarize our new packaging war plan:
- The CordCruncher is a fun, innovative technology, and the packaging needs to reflect this. We totally agree with our advertising industry backers that the unique, quirky and functional aspects all need to be highlighted.
- The verbiage needs to be revamped, this time emphasizing the tangle-free storage and variable cord length features.
- There should be a large “www.cordcruncher.com/demo” splash featured on the back of the card that will direct purchasers to watch a “How to Crunch” video. Our testing has shown that some people have been incorrectly using the prototype units and blowing holes in the latex sleeve. This is caused when users grab the latex beneath the head and stretch, creating friction as the cord rubs against the latex, and rubbing a hole in the sleeve.
- We have addressed this by redesigning the head, increasing its length to 1.25” and placing a lip at the end to facilitate a better grip. This also provides a visual/tactile cue on where to grab the head when storing the cord.
- Blister Packaging was a BIG FAIL. We went with the retailer recommended configuration, and are still exploring other packaging options. I love the ziplock poly bag that features the cutoff top (comprising the retail hang-hole) to access the CordCruncher unit.
- Many of you questioned the style and theme of our packaging. We received lots of feedback that, on first glance, the product looks like an exercise gizmo, and we absolutely agree. There are many subtle influences contained in the packaging, including color choice, font, text style, and separating our product from the “nude headphones” on the market.
As trite as it may sound coming from an enterprise as small as ours, we really do hope to follow in the footsteps of industry titans like Apple, Zappos, and Google, and create an open and interactive dialogue with our user base. The Apple community have been HUGE supporters of this project, and we hope to one day be deserving of that same kind of loyalty.
Unfortunately, we are locked into an pre-existing contract with a few distributors, and could only make some last-minute changes to the retail card insert. Expect version 2.0 to debut a redesign of the entire package and presentation, incorporating many of your suggestions. In the meantime, here's a quick look at version 1.5 below.
(right click and hit "View Image" to inspect a larger version of the image)
We really can't express how much we appreciate your overwhelming support and invaluable feedback.
The input we receive from you gals and guys is extremely important to us. We see you, our Kickstarter backers, as not only our first customers, but the backbone of our community and enterprise. We look forward to continue making products that excite you and earn your loyalty!
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