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The wait is over!
Last week our first PocketMonkeys arrived. It was a modest shipment. But more have come since. We now have over 1,800. And they are FABULOUS! I think you are really going to like them.
In the pictures below you can see me arriving home to find them on the doorstep and immediately opening the box. (I have since found that a PocketMonkey actually works well for opening these boxes of PocketMonkeys...ironic.) If you ordered a bunch of PocketMonkeys, you'll be able to have fun stringing them together, like I did. I was also able to change the battery in our keyless car remote. I had been meaning to buy a small screwdriver to open it for the past several months!
Next stop: fulfillment.
I surprised everyone who came to my birthday party by turning it into a packaging party. Reverse surprise party! "Hey! Thanks for coming. Have a seat. Here's 200 'monkeys to put on backings. You can have cake when you are finished."
We are printing all the shipping labels tomorrow. Merging 8 different spreadsheet formats and making updates for address change requests, etc was a nightmare. Kickstarter needs a better system. (I devised my own using csv2json, NodeJS, and MongoDB.) But that's behind us now and we are ready to start assembling the mass mailing!
So, when will you have yours?
Everyone with estimated delivery of Dec 2012 should expect shipments going out this week and next. The manufacturer claims to be maxing out their laser etcher at a production rate of 200 per day. Apparently, increasing the laser speed would decrease quality.
For everyone with January 2013 estimated delivery, we hope to ship the last week in January and the first week in February.
Please note that the USPS estimates international shipping at around two weeks.
Patience is a virtual you.
So many of you have had such an awesome attitude toward this process: patient, engaged, encouraging. It's been wonderful to have your support while dealing with all the challenges we've faced.
One final note on the many requests I have been receiving. Please know that I'm not going to ignore anyone. But take a look at the screenshot of my Kickstarter Messages inbox page count (below). Most people probably never even get enough messages for the pagination to appear. (30 messages per page.) And that's only one of five channels through which people are reaching out to me. I have been absolutely swamped.
If it takes me a few days or a week to get back to you, please have faith that I will eventually respond to you and that you will all get your PocketMonkey(s). I can either write emails and post comments about when your PocketMonkeys might be arriving or I can work on actually making that happen.
Back to work! :)
Wow - the time has flown by. I can't believe it's almost been two weeks since my last post. I have been hesitant to post another update without having any solid answers. But I have received calls for an update with increasing intensity, so without further ado, here you go.
We did not receive the early shipment the end of last week. Nor the complete shipment this past Friday. So far, nothing. I'm still just waiting with my pile of envelopes ready to start mailing once I have something to mail.
In the past two weeks, the manufacturer has had the following delays:
- The coining of the orange peeler deformed the credit card slot and required the manufacturing tool to be redesigned (required sending the tool back to their subcontractor).
- The New Year's holiday meant their heat treatment vendor was closed for 3 days. (And the previous delay meant they missed the window of opportunity before the holiday.)
- The heat treatment vendor had a two-day delay while their furnaces had trouble restarting after the long holiday.
- The deburring vendor has changed their estimate on processing time - from several hours to several days - once seeing the physical product in hand. (Complex, thin geometry apparently requires a different processing medium and smaller batch sizes.)
In every discussion I have with the manufacturer, I'm given very confident delivery estimates that make me believe I can start planning on the new deadline. But without fail, so far those promises have not been kept.
So when are these PocketMonkeys actually coming??!!! Well, if you want to believe the most recent delivery estimate, they will ship some this Tuesday and I will have receive them in a day or two! They are "on the ten-yard line" so it is becoming more and more likely. The first batch of 2,000 is with the deburring vendor now. And the manufacturer has the laser etching fixtures set to start as soon as they get them back. But for those of little faith (myself now included), I have put together a handy chart for interpreting the deadline. See below. Based on the trendline, the pessimist would predict delivery won't happen for another week.
I apologize again for the continued delays. I'm quite baffled, as I'm sure you are as well, at the earlier expectation these would originally arrive Dec 15th. Currently, that puts the overage at 250%!
As you can see from the pictures below, things are coming well. You can see coining of the letter opener on the parts in piles, which looks great. Also, the etching looks sharp. All great stuff. Now if we can just get these into your pocket!! I can't wait.
Thanks for your continued understanding and support!
You all are overdue for an update, and here it is: We are making great progress!!
The manufacturer is on track to ship (to me) the first finished PocketMonkeys by this weekend and ALL the PocketMonkeys by the end of next week! Woohoo!!
All the manufacturing tools needed to fabricate PocketMonkeys have been built. Manufacturing PocketMonkey is a five-step process involving blanking the shape out of sheet metal, "coining" the edges (for the 3-dimensional tools), heat treating, deburring, and finally laser etching.
The manufacturer has stamped 5,000 PocketMonkeys and is now working on coining the edges. As they are based in the US, they were closed yesterday, but they are continuing that work today. Heat treatment and deburring are scheduled to happen Thursday. Then the arduous task of laser etching both sides of each one begins.
I've been busy keeping on top of the manufacturer and preparing for packaging and mailing. I will post more about that when our reward fulfillment party gets underway!
Also, I've been asked many times if it's possible to get another one. Yes! Order PocketMonkey: The Wallet Utility Tool at www.ZootilityTools.com