Manufacturing delays continue
Since it's been a little while since our last update, here is an outline of where we are with the map manufacturing. When we last got in touch we were waiting to hear back from the company in Tokyo that we want to print and fold our map. They hadn't been responding to emails, and we were a bit worried.
The good news is that shortly after we posted that update, we got an email from a company rep confirming that they were willing to provide us with some samples. The bad news is that they wanted us to supply them with Tyvek in Japan, as well as have it pre-printed with our map design by a third party, all before they would consent to doing a folding sample for us. We didn't want to do it that way, since it'd require a lot of extra time and money to find 3rd-party printer and Tyvek supplier in Tokyo.
After a week of back and forth about that, we decided to hire a native Japanese speaker to help with the negotiations. Luckily, the Japanese girlfriend (Hi Hiroko!) of one of the designers at the firm we hired to do the map graphic was willing to help out! Even more luckily, her father in Japan is a specialist in company-to-company negotiations!
With these two on our side, a source of Tyvek in Tokyo was quickly found, and a test-run of the folding machine's ability to fold thick Tyvek is set to happen this week. If the test run works and the thick tyvek maps are properly folded, we'll go into production immediately.
We're very sorry for the delays in getting these made, and we are 100% committed to getting them into everyones hands as soon as possible. We promise that even if we have to personally fold each and every map, we'll do what has to be done to get the maps into all of our backers hands. Once we hear the results of the test, we'll post another backer update!
-Eric & Shan
Interesting Sidenote: Hiroko told us that part of the delay and resistance on the Japanese suppliers part was coming from the fact that they had no idea who we were, and that Japanese business norms dictate a lot more personal contact than we had had so far. We've definitely gotten used to the Silicon Valley "business-by-API" low touch approach, so this wasn't entirely surprising. In addition to hiring Hiroko and her dad to act us our representatives in Japan, we've written the manufacturers a letter explaining who we are, what Kickstarter is, why we're making maps in the first place, and how we're looking forward to working with them again in the future, which we're hoping will help.
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
Jan 30, 2012 - Mar 15, 2012 (45 days)
Pledge $25 or more
The TOC guide, printed on a sheet of unrippable waterproof Type-10 Tyvek. Doubles as an excellent city map, and includes access to our Twitter concierge and special treats at restaurants.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $100 or more
10 backers Limited (10 of 20 left)
The guide, + a custom handwritten itinerary for your next trip to SF. We'll call you to figure out your interests and preferences, and then we'll mail your itinerary to you, anywhere in the world.Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $250 or more
10 backers Limited (5 of 15 left)
The guide + a pass to our launch party at a secret location. Meet the chefs, bakers, entrepreneurs, cooks and curators featured in the TOC guide!Estimated delivery: May 2012