Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
I'm surprised that so many people here are "surprised" that this project is failed (has failed?). There are dozens upon dozens upon dozens of highly improbable Projects on Kickstarter (and even more on IndieGogo (e.g., Ritot projection watch, Smarty Ring), and more and more just skip the crowdfunding sites and launch their own pre-sales like Coin and Vessyl).
Well... two or three years ago, Creators and Backers could be excused for making and accepting poor estimates of cost, complexity, and reward delivery dates); but now there is a vast trove of Project history that can be researched.
Still: I will always put the biggest blame on Kickstarter and IndieGogo. They do NOT do enough to convince their Customers (the KS and IGG fees come out of our credit card payments BEFORE they get to the Creators, so WE are the Customers) that this is "not a store" and rather it is a gambling site.
Creators should be FORBIDDEN from offering any non-produced product as Rewards. Seriously. The Projects should not be allowed to post ANY estimated delivery dates, any "discount from retail", etc., etc. -- all those things imply a contract of Sale.
Kickstarter is raking in millions of dollars -- but that will slowly (too slowly...) dwindle as more and more folks get disillusioned -- or just get SMART -- and realize that no retail discount is worth the risk, and being an "early adopter" is just stupid. Patience is a virtue. Retail prices can never be determined until the market is established and the bulk manufacturing costs finalized ... so discounts are an illusion and a fraud.
The PR machine (i.e., the media) is also culpable. Gawker, CNET, blah, blah, blah, all live for free content and so they run the press releases for these Projects without any editing or journalistic research. More often than not they write about the product in the CURRENT TENSE (i.e., "this watch IS great!"), thus playing a big part is misleading the public. These media outlets and blogs don't revisit the Project from time to time and never publish an apology when these epic fails happen. Shame on them all.
Time to pull out the "I've put USD144 for a CST-01 and all I got was this t-shirt (and a font pack)" t-shirt.
Joke aside, I think its good for everyone involved, CST and backers to reflect on the 2-plus year stroll to the finish line that ultimately ended up falling and breaking their legs a couple of hundred meters from said finish line:
On a personal level, the project had hit its end of the road much earlier than the official announcement today. During the time CST started its stroll, we saw the evolution of smartwatches from "geek toy" status to "fusion of form and function". The arrival of the Moto 360 proved that style and functionality need not be mutually exclusive in digital timepieces, and that I felt, was the final nail in the coffin for the CST-01. It had nothing beyond bragging rights that it was an stylish, expensive and anorexic Casio (that had even less functionality than).
I would likely never see this watch in person, but I am not too perturbed about it at this point. The important thing is that both CST and backers learn from this and exercise more prudence in future Kickstarters.
Signing off. =)
To be honest, I didn't (and don't) give a rats ass about that ultra last sub millimeter thinner. Told you so in that poll there once was. By know - with a Band smartwatch since October - my take was "wait for it to come, then sell it to someone how does care about that thinnest in the world crap", because I did believe in this project. Now I find I should just have asked for that refund while the option was there. Good luck guys. If I ever get shipped a watch, fine. Otherwise I'll count this a write off. Best of luck with either that final stretch, or the fallout of failure... :-(
What a dillema to be in, it seems to me that you have some important discissions to make. 1. raise additional funding yourselves to complet the project or 2. call it quits and recoup what you can by whatever means. If you are unable to raise the additional funding you need to ask the backers to chip in more funds. You must know by now how much more funding you need. Divide that amount by the number of backers bearing in mind that not all the backers will be willing to pay more for the watch. The backers choice will be to lose their original pledge or chip in more to receive a watch. I for one would be hapoy to contribute a kittle extra to finally get the watch. You have nothing to loose in asking all the original backers but a lot to gain. whatever your discission best of luck.
I am shocked and disgusted to wake up to this come on guys, we need solutions and what's happening next not pie charts and a I don't know.
How much would we all have to pay on top of our original investment to actually get this watch? Surely if you go bust someone will purchase the tooling and parts to ship them out right?
Have you thought about selling your company and design to a brand that pays nothing for the purchase of the IP, tooling and parts you already have but has to honer the current pledges? Doesn't sound like a bad deal if I was Nike or some other big corporation.
As unlikely as the watch? LMAO
So...... The founders of CST quit thier full time jobs and lived on their personal savings and only took a salary of $4500 per year to work full time on the watch.
Seems unlikely to me
From their most recent update: "At the moment, we don’t have the reserve funds to make up for the yield and labor costs."
Translation = we ran out of money and we won't be able to ship anyone their watches.
I agree with others who posted comments in the past few hours, there's no financial accountability from them other than pie charts and lots of verbose text. If they can't ship any watches out then be honest and tell us. Also prove to us with photos of 120+ watches in their boxes ready to be shipped that you're actually doing producing the watches.
It's a shame as I and the other 7,658 backers really believed in this watch and felt that Kickstarter was supportive of the backers. Unfortunately it appears that's not the case and we'll never receive our watches. At least they could provide some type of refund to us, even if it's not the full amount.
It's sad that Kickstarter took the $100k from the funding (by us the backers) but seems to not care if the product ships or not. Convenient for them to have their T&C cover them but not us backers.
If anyone reading this comment who's backed the watch and has actually received theirs can you comment and let all of us know?
All startups are a risk; most don't make it. Whiners have the multiple loss of losing a hundred bucks or something and then spending thousand of dollars of time whining. They should be happy that they were given what they wanted--reason for a rant! (TURMOIL??--REALLY??) It was a great idea, great looking concept, but no fruition. Thanks for trying, and the great pix.
Just a thought: a proper manager would have asked for a report of what's been done in the last week, how much time was spent on which task and which part took how much money. That would show clearly where things are going wrong.
For backers who claim that CST ran away with money, there should be a clear way to verify this. Assuming CST acted professionally and kept receipts.
A pie chart shows nothing. It doesn't say how much you spent on what and when. If it took you 6h to make this report it means you haven't had any internal control of spending for months (if ever)
suggestion: refund something to each of the paid backers. Even if only $1 each, that gesture would do more than these ongoing empty word updates ever would.
Please remove this from the project page.
7,658 backers pledged $1,026,292 to help bring this project to life.
it should say:
7,658 backers pledged $1,026,292 and the owners deserve 10 to life.
Okay, so let's be real. I love how Kickstarter gets $100k of our money and never returns an email.
I also love how we have asked for refunds for the past 2 years and no reply.
I must say that I will be more hesitant toward my next investment. It's just easier to wait until things reach market.
I have written off the two watches I paid for.
Kickstarter needs to visit their formula and do what they can to prevent this from happening before people just start scamming people with elaborate fake projects. There's no way you can dispute a credit card charge after 60 days. I'm sure the schemes are happening as I type this.
@Tom - if you count vague and infrequent updates along with pictures of questionable authenticity "accountability and transparency" then they are simply struggling with a tough set of bad circumstances.
If you start to question them, it becomes more than just a failed project, which has become the case as years and months have drug on past the expected delivery dates.
The Kool-Aid is starting to taste bad to me. More power to you for still drinking it.
Tom, your delusional optimism truly astounds me! :P
You have told us that you are producing about 120 final, boxed, shippable watches a week. You told us that over 8 weeks ago. Can we see a photo of the 960 watches you've made that are to be shipped?
Like with many Kickstarter projects, you aren't buying a thing, you are investing in an idea with the promise of a reward. If you couldn't afford to loose $100 then you probably shouldn't have backed the project (or any project). There is no point in bitching about it, but rather requesting accountability and transparency (which they have done). I for one hope that these guys succeed and that the watches do get delivered.
Keep going guys, get the watch done and get it out there. You have a multimillion dollar product that will set you up for life when it is finished. If you give up now that vision will never be realized and it would have been for nothing. You can do it!
The lack of hard numbers about units shipped, and the convenience that they have "spent" the EXACT amount that wasn't contributed by an external investor, and the relatively easy to fake progress pictures scream of fraud.
What legal recourse do the backers/investors have if we can prove a case of defrauding an investment base?
I think we better call Saul.
This has been nothing but either mismanagement or misinformation from day one.
Can you ship me one of the defective units to prove actual production? I'll pay the shipping once it arrives, if they exist.
Pie charts don't tell me anything, show us itemized accounting records.
However, if it truly took you 6 hours + 2 days to produce some terrible pie charts, it explains why you both suck at this.
Show us ANYTHING tangible, and maybe the backers won't be out for your blood. I like to give the benefit of a doubt whenever possible, but that ability is wearing thin after 3 years.
I feel like I'd be less upset if my wife was cheating on me. That is simply immoral behavior, and not gross incompetence.
Maybe the backers can start a GoFundMe for legal counsel. We will give adequate updates.
< / rant>
If only 35 watches were actually manufactured. That would make these extremely expensive around $41,000 each watch for production.
Wow. Over a dozen backed projects, and sounds like you won't be able to come through. Only one other I backed fell through, but luckily I called my credit card company and had the amount credited. Problem now, I don't have that card anymore. Haven't backed , nor will back anything else since. Over a million, and nothing. C'mon!
I call bs on this, it looks like a get out try.
We were told the watch was ready for commercial production, it wasn't.
We were told days ago that the lack of watches was due to a high failure rate - now we're told it's due to not having the parts
We were told this was their full time job, we know they work elsewhere and the 18k salary supports this
On February the 5th we were told the watches were shipping. Evidence indicates 35 went out. We were told this week that apx 120 are being manufactured to spec a week - why haven't these been shipped? There is no evidence that any watches have been shipped since. It is my opinion that the project was scrapped long ago and no watches have actually been made since the 35 that, I believe, is where the realisation that the project was a failure occurred.
We're told they spend their time in California in San Jose. But the van David apparently sleeps in has a Los Angelas area code on the side - there's 350 miles between them
A Google search for SOSLaptops comes back with complaints and fraud reports, not what you want to be associated with when your own project looks like a cop out. And let's face it, we've seen these guys, they look like they wouldn't buy coffee from a Wendy's let alone sleep in the back of a van.
We are told they invested a lot of their own money into the project, probably did, but there's no evidence of that as it's not covered to any degree in the new financials.
I'd also like to point out that they cut corners in the design and manufacturing process by doing things themselves. I propose that they neither had the knowledge or skill to accomplish this and this has been a factor in the failure of the project
An impressive double update and some pretty charts. But come on.
What is the excuse this time, the watches fail in manufacturing so the yeild is low or you can't afford to buy the parts? Because that's two different reasons for the same result.
I would be curious how many watches were actually shipped to consumers. Those that received the watches got an amazing deal. The watch costs thousands of dollars each to manufacture and only cost 100 bucks. But it does look like the project is done.
CST has met the obligations stated in the terms of service that if the project can not deliver the company has to detail where the money was spent.
Creative accounting can make a pie chart look any way you want it to look
Lol. You guys are a joke. Didn't you work for IDEO???!!?This is a terrible advertisement for that companies capabilities and the quality of the staff that they hire.
Luckily Kickstarter has revised their policies so that dumbasses like you guys have to be vetted before you post.
I don't know where this leaves us. 2 years of turmoil with nothing to show for it :'(
The last paragraph of the last update basically spells it out.
I say if you guys cannot finish the project sell the idea to someone who can.
Take it to the shark tank and get it finished.
Well looks like a few people received the watches. But the vast majority of us will not receive a watch unless the company finds an additional investor.
Sounds to me like the money is gone and so is the possibility of getting the watch.
I no longer invest I just star the project I like and check back later. If successful you can buy it often cheaper than the pledge. The majority I check back and see the same angry comments about failures, communication and creators going silent. Kickstarter is a risk and one I'm no longer willing to take. The two big failed projects for me are this and radiate. This really is against the idea of KS and such a shame as had a couple really good products but not helped by kickstarter themselves being so quiet when things go wrong, taking a lot of money and allowing fraud to happen.
You have to remember that they will claim ex post facto of the current T&C. Under the old T&C (which the project was a part of at the time), it didn't really hold the Creator to be accountable if the project fails or becomes vaporware.
That being said, the Creator should take it upon itself to update more frequently (it can be shorter) despite what the T&C says. As a community of backers, we are also essential to every KS project and keeping us in the dark does no one any good.
As I see it, we should have the right to stay when to stop wasting our money. All they will do is eventually say "we want to give your money back, but there is nothing left...." if we don't act fast. So I think we should demand an update on how much is left and distribute that money back to us! There is no way that we will see any watched at the end of this pain. The yare dragging it along as long as they can. Lets stop them.
@Jamie, very good points (well maybe not the last one!) The T&C from what I gather are:
"Kickstarter does not offer refunds. A Project Creator is not required to grant a Backer’s request for a refund unless the Project Creator is unable or unwilling to fulfill the reward.
Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill."
Given this it is entirely possible that the updates are pure fabrications to maintain a guise that the project is still progressing and thus the creators do not need to refund any money. This would be a sad state indeed and to what end I'm not sure. As for them being dishonest, again entirely plausible, I have no ability to comment on this one way or the other. If someone has the ability, access or information to do so accurately and objectively then please do.
A note to the creators if they are reading this, maybe a video update would be more useful to prove that you aren't sitting on a beach drinking mojitos on everyone's dime?
And I swear to god, if someone mentions "this isn't a store" again I'm going to punch them in the throat
Kevin "You have not bought a product and are therefore not entitled to a refund. "
Actually Kevin, if you read the KS Terms they are entitled to a refund.
"If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they’ve failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A creator in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if:
***they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged).****"
They've also failed on,
"they’ve been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers"
@Simon I see your points and your eloquent response. In all honesty my view is if the creators wanted to run away with the money they would, they have no reason to string anyone along and provide any updates what so ever. I say this from other experiences on Kickstarter where communication with the company has shutdown completely when faults started appearing with the product leaving people feeling much the same. My point is if you do believe that the project is a failure then just write it off as so. Legally you don't have any recourse, the 'whining' was aimed a the people shouting about refunds and issuing empty legal threats, it servers no purpose. To categorise this project as 'not that complex' is highly inaccurate, how many electronics products do you have that are sub 1mm with a rechargeable battery? It is an incredibly difficult task to bring a product to market especially one that is as complex as this. I don't deny this could be one long con and they are master internet trollers stringing us all along because they now have one million dollars and have nothing better to do. I really do hope that's not the case, I can't be sure, one thing I can be sure about is that shouting about refunds and requesting they shutdown the entire project doesn't achieve anything productive.
What you say is, of course, correct and we have very limited rights here. The terms of Kickstarter have always been clear about that. HOWEVER, there is no sign that the creators are continuing to do anything other than string everyone along and I'm confident that eventually they will be forced to admit that the project has failed and the cash is gone (I suspect it already has). At this point in time they have had over a million dollars of our money and provided nothing in return so to categorise everyone here as 'whining' is ridiculous ... especially on a project that is not that complex and which is approaching two years overdue. It makes me doubt the sincerity of your comment and disinclined to simply sit back and give them further room for evasion and limited, misleading updates. If it has failed the creators owe us the truth and, at the absolute minimum, an accounting of where our money has gone.
CST and the backers all entered an agreement the moment money exchanged hands. CST has to meet a set of obligations like providing updates in a timely manner and honoring backers that request a refund when the project is past it's delivery late. They started failing us on the updates and are ignoring a lot of backers that have requested refunds like I have. Let's not even start on the website pre-orders and as far as quality, just look at the comments from the two backers that received a finished product that supposedly made it through the quality assurance.
People should really stop the complaining, they need to firstly understand the terms and conditions of being a Kickstarter backer. You have not bought a product and are therefore not entitled to a refund. You are not a shareholder in the company and as such have no voting rights. You can scream all you want and call out the creators but it will serve you nothing. If you weren't/aren't prepared for this you shouldn't have backed the project in the first place and you should stop using Kickstarter. I have received products from here below that were of sub par quality and broke soon after, the creators disappeared and so did the warranty. I would rather wait to have a product that is of a suitable quality for use instead of something that breaks after 2 weeks. So stop the whining and let the creators continue to try and do what they have been from the beginning, that is to bring a technically challenging product to market at a suitable quality. If they don't deliver its our loss but that is a risk you signed up for the moment you pledged.
I think a refund would be the best solution for everyone. Had this watch come out two years ago as promised, it would have been something special and a good showcase for e-ink. If they ever get their act together and deliver the watches it'll be next year and the watch is going to look like one of those old 1970 LED watches did when liquid crystal came out...outdated and not in the retro chic way either.
I agree Robert Russel. After 2 full additional years, even more problems with basic design and manufacturing have materialized. It's time to end this project. Whatever money you have left should be re-distributed to backers. No one is going to buy this anymore.
i am very much on board with making sure they are made responsible for their actions or the lack of them. They can't be allowed to walk away with over a million dollars. Those of you who keep on commenting on the good work them two did, how much did you get paid to do that?
My suggestion: give it up and distribute remaining funds to us, the CST shareholders. This concept has lost its "cool" factor and will fail in the consumer market without far more functionality. Your time has passed.
Thank Dave & Jerry for finally confirming what I expect most of us had already assumed.
You have shown the problem, but in the spirit of transparency will you also share how you are going to solve these problems, the time scales of this and finally what that means to us backers?
Or finally own up and confirm this is the first "million dollar kickstarter bust".
Keep up the fantastic work guys. Everyone runs into problems along the way. We know you thought you needed only a fraction of your pledge to take what you thought was this finished product to production. We know it's taken over 2 years to spot a 50% failure rate but we'll wait for 20 years if you can send us something at the end. In the meantime you continue to take your salary and fund business trips out of our pledges.
It will be worth it in the end I know it.
Anyone want to join my church? The church of the blind optimist. It can be a kickstarter with your pledges going towards membership rank points
I'm shaking my head at comments here by people who still believe we are actually going to receive the watch. Seriously? After so many similar failed promises made by this team in the past why on earth would you think anything is different now. Whether it was a deliberate fraud at the outset or simply bad management during the process (I have my own opinion) this is clearly a bust. The only question now is how much longer they will keep stringing us along before admitting the truth. We all knew the risks at the outset and I'm now interested in ensuring that the creators take full responsibility and accept the relevant consequences.
Thanks for the update guys. Yes it's frustrating that it's taken much longer than initially anticipated but I know you guys ran into a myriad of problems. Keep up the hard work, we're in the final stretch now.
I know you guys are super busy, but even quick updates on what's been done over the week would be much appreciated so we can understand what's going on.
Good luck guys!
after re-reading this update I noticed a statement near the end. "If we kept the line running with the yield we are seeing, we would not be have enough parts to send to all the backers.". It seems to say they are not making or sending any more watches until they "fix" these new problems.
Its funny that it took 2 years for these problems to materialize.
That's great so only about half of the watches going out then right? Where are they?
I want to point something out. On the update I linked to below dated July 29th 2013, there's a chart that shows the allocated funds and estimated allocation for what's left, See: https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/001/175/721/3d5f5a353801ebf6e7d2fd60ec1ba34e_original.jpg…
If approximately 1/3 of the funds were already used back in July 2013, what do you think is left right now?