Hello all you LunaTiks! It’s been a while since I personally updated all of you even though the rest of the LunaTik and MINIMAL team has been busy individually giving you love where needed.
First off, I have to again thank all of you for the ongoing support throughout the process. It has truly been and exceptional experience. One of, if not, the most inspiring projects of my career. The good and the bad. In fact, in many ways the failures have been more valuable for learning for the future. Thank you all for your patience through some of the trouble spots on the backend. As even Kickstarter founders admit, we were “the guinea pigs” for the scalability of this platform. In the end I have to thank everyone from Kickstarter to our amazing suppliers to the MNML and LunaTik team to our fulfillment partner for their dedication and passion in making this a reality and going above and beyond to make sure everyone gets their rewards.
I believe all 13,512 backers have their rewards besides possibly 100 or so that have had issues with changing addresses, customs issues or missing information. In fact I think we had some people receive duplicate orders. Still digging into that one. If for some reason you have still not received your reward please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please email info@LunaTik.com with your full name, details of what you selected as a reward and email address tied to the account that you used to order.
The biggest issues we faced in an otherwise shockingly smooth product launch were the fulfillment issues. And this was not so much our fulfillment company’s fault as the carriers and US Customs. For instance, all the US $500 and $150 orders got rejected for no explainable reason by US Customs and returned to China. They are above the law so its hard to really predict. This was horrible that our biggest backers were affected by the frustrating and unpredictable nature of US Customs. Good news is we sent everyone theirs again via UPS Priority at our cost upon return to China. The second mishap was that DHL over-promised and undelivered big time. Not only did they not provide much support they also issued thousands of non-working tracking numbers which they cannot still give us a reason or compensation for. And the third mishap was Hong Kong Post, a partner of DHL, received a bulk infusion of packages, scanned them, then sat on them for 10-14 days or longer. No reason again. All we can say here is thank you so much for your patience.
Looking back we are very proud of what we accomplished and proved. In the end we still started shipping TikToks around December 17th, a day after the project closed, and were 95% fulfilled within 60 days of the close and funding. This included setting up supply chain, developing and producing product, packaging, brand and signing up a fulfillment partner and integrating fulfillment systems, etc. Things that other companies already have in place when they develop a new product. Congrats to everyone!
Some fun additional facts on the project:
- 76% of the backers bought a Nano because of the TikTok or LunaTik. This is an unprecedented event where the accessory drove core product sales. Wow!
- Many people are buying multiple Nanos as well to outfit the LunatTik Silver, LunaTik Red and TikTok all at once.
- We shipped to over 50 countries.
- From project close on December 16 and funding transfer from Amazon on Jan 2, it took 60 days to be 99% globally fulfilled on over 20,000 units.
- Our funding transfer from Amazon Payments broke Amazon. It exceeded their transfer limit by over 2x. The money disappeared for a while. Funny but scary.
- I received over 40,000 messages in my inbox from around the world in response to the project. This definitely broke Outlook’s .pst file. Had to switch to Exchange.
Moving forward we plan on continuing the conversation and relationship with all of you. Many of you expressed interest in the Bluetooth LunaPod and LunaPort covers. We are actively working on these and will be offering them on www.LunaTik.com when they are ready. The Bluetooth LunaPod is very much needed but it is also a very expensive and risky investment we have found out after doing our homework. Much more than the TikTok+LunaTik. We may have to go raise money, which sucks, or find a partner that is willing to take a gamble on it with us. Or should we Kickstart it? My instinct is to Kickstart it but the inherent development time is longer than the TikTok+LunaTik took including certifications we have to submit to. So we are wondering if people on Kickstarter would wait 4-6 months for it?
The other question we are looking into is does the dongle have to be dedicated to a specific headphone. This may be a reality as the Nano doesn’t have settings to allow it to pair universally. So that would be we would have to develop and pair of LunaTik Wireless Headphones. We have a killer design for these. By far better than anything on the market. We designed the Motorola S9 and hate them to be honest. It lightyears better than that. Just a major investment. It’s not out of the question and we are continuing discussions with some leading Bluetooth suppliers.
We are also developing LunaPort covers for the TikTok+LunaTik. Still waiting on samples for these. We will probably sell them in packs of 5 or 10. Sign up for the newsletter on www.LunaTik.com for updates on these.
We are hoping that Apple does not change the form factor of the Nano in September and sees the current Nano platform as an opportunity for Apple to own the wrist in the future with Bluetooth, custom apps, clock faces, etc. Having Caller ID and other notifications on the wrist would be amazing and no one in the watch industry can touch them right now. We'll have to wait and see what they do in September.
It might be a nice experiment to have all of you interested in the future of wrist-based technology email Apple and tell them what you want. Who knows, maybe you can make an impact.
For those of you interested in the crowd-funding and social entrepreneurial aspect of this project and platforms like Kickstarter, I continue to be amazed at the recent momentum in this space. It is a very interesting time. From simple projects on Kickstarter to over-throwing entrenched governments, social media is changing the world and making things possible that were not before. Power to the people. I am dedicating a percentage of MINIMAL”s time going forward to building on this momentum in the product development space. We will be looking across industries to identify other opportunities to engage this platform. So stay tuned and thanks again for your support.
PS. Speaking of other projects. A young designer here in Chicago, Don Lehman, another Rochester Institute of Technology alum, has a project that I backed on Kickstarter. He is funded and only has 6 days left. Very simple idea for any of you that have an iPad and like to take notes or sketch but don’t want to carry a separate stylus. I currently use the Just Mobile iPad Stylus which I really like but this Stylus cap actually consolidates pens I already use with iPad stylus capability. Just FYI.