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A 0.80mm thin flexible wristwatch with an E Ink display housed in a single piece of stainless steel.
7,658 backers pledged $1,026,292 to help bring this project to life.

An Apology to Our Backers + Parting Ways with Flextronics.

Posted by Central Standard Timing (Creator)
64 likes

Hi everyone, 

We’d like to begin this update with our deepest apologies. Through all the challenges we’ve faced, the only thing that has kept us going is your belief in us. The last thing we wanted to do was to disappoint the nearly 8,000 people who generously backed our project so long ago. Unfortunately, some hard news follows. 

In our last update, we discussed a contract that Flextronics asked us to sign regarding what we were allowed to publish about this project. After reading that update, Flextronics decided they were no longer willing to negotiate the terms of that contract or the language within it. When we were informed of this decision, we were also told that they would like for us to arrange to pick up the parts and equipment we own as production has been halted. 

This is the latest chapter in what has been a challenging relationship and project to date for everyone involved. Flextronics is a renowned manufacturer who works with the world’s top brands in wearables and other consumer electronics. They’re a good choice for a lot of big, global companies. Unfortunately, in our opinion, it turns out they were not a good fit for the technical challenges of this small startup with, in mass-manufacturing terms, a relatively small number of units. Flextronics is well known for shipping millions of units for many of their customers. 

We chose Flextronics—above two other manufacturers—because of their expertise in wearables, their location in the US (which enabled us to make frequent trips to California to work on-site), and because they included us in their LAB IX incubation program. We’re sad to say that even with all the knowledge Flextronics has about wearables, little could be transferred, or was relevant to, the specific challenges of the CST-01, namely because of its sub-1mm thickness and sensitive components. 

We thought working with one of the world’s largest wearable manufacturers would set us up for success. We certainly didn’t think we would ever have to be writing an update like this. 

Hindsight is always 20/20. If we were to do this all again with the knowledge we now have, we would likely search for a partner that had specific expertise in developing new processes in ultra-thin electronics who was used to working on 10,000 unit runs. We would likely not have limited ourselves to US manufacturers, although, at the time, it was important for us to try to keep as much of the watch made in America as possible. We’ll share “lessons learned” and “mistakes made” in following updates to help anyone in the future avoid some the same challenges we faced. 

(Deep breath.) The next step is to pick up the parts, assemblies, and tooling that have been paid for that are currently at Flextronics in Milpitas. We’ll work with Flextronics so that all the paperwork is correctly completed and everything can be released into our care. Once we have all the details and paperwork dealt with, we’ll make a trip out to Milpitas to physically load everything and move it. 

Once we have everything in our own storage, we can do a proper inventory of all these items and take detailed pictures. We know some of you are eager to see this. We haven’t been able to do this as freely as we would’ve liked in the past because of guidelines from Flextronics on what we can share from within the factory walls. Understandably, we have been limited in taking pictures inside their facility because Flextronics doesn’t want competitors to know some of their processes and capabilities. 

Below is a detailed list of all the items we plan to pick up. There are some parts that Flextronics have paid for that we do not currently own. We have not put those on this list. We also do not own some of the Flextronics machinery needed to assemble the watches such as an ultrasonic welder and a hot bar machine. 

We’ve had meetings with several organizations who we hoped would be able to help continue production of the CST-01 and get you rewards. To date, however, none of these conversations have been very positive because of the production problems we face. Because of the low, 54% yield, these problems effectively double the costs of the watch, making each cost around $260 to make. 

At this point, the future looks bleak. A plan somewhere between Plan B and C is now our only option. 

Here are those plans from the previous update: 

Plan B: Find buyers for all the above IP, equipment, and parts, liquidating everything we have and redistributing money as required by law. 

Plan C: In the event that there’s no traction with the above options, we’d essentially make all development “open source” to our backers. We’d share all CAD, schematics, drawings, and design-for-manufacture documentation down to a detailed bill of materials that have all part numbers and suppliers down to the last resistor. 

We’d share everything we can on how to make the CST-01. We’ve had requests to do this and mail the parts to the backers. This is something we could do, but it’s at the bottom of our list of options because without the proper machinery—hot bar machines, ultrasonic welder, CNC encapsulation machine, specialty adhesives, screen printing, die cutting, etc.—backers simply won’t be able to assemble the watches by themselves. Parts not requested by backers would be liquidated and funds redistributed. 

As far as liquidation of all assets, we’ll have all photography and inventory of all the pieces and machinery. We have even talked about selling everything on a public site like Ebay so backers can all see the exact amount we’re able to recoup. 

If there’s anyone out there who has been through anything like this, please reach out. Our friends and families have been incredibly supportive and helpful, but they can only advise us so much. 

On a personal note, we both have had to take paying jobs to continue to keep this project moving forward and pay for flights and other costs. We’re lucky enough to have employers that know about crowdfunding and the challenges of manufacturing. They are allowing us to keep working on this and give us time for meetings and trips to California. 

We’d like to end with another apology from us to all of you for letting you down. As disappointed as we are in ourselves, we’re even more sorry to have disappointed our backers. We’re trying to keep our chins up, but we feel awful and are trying to resolve everything as quickly as we can. We’ll make every effort to get to the best outcome possible. 

Sincerely, 

Dave & Jerry

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Joel Dubin on

      So Dave, Jerry? Are you there - what's happening with this?

    2. Greg Smith on

      It's funny, the comments just go to show you who the consumers are and who the above average people are. The above average people have some form of business sense and know that acquiring tons of money doesn't automatically equal success. The risk is incredibly high when you're in a business where products you are creating products, the low yield rates are killer and even the richest company in the world experiences this, the only thing is that they can afford the loses here and there because they got trillions of dollars. CST does not. Unfortunate events but such is business sometimes.

    3. Missing avatar

      robert imperato on

      People keep making excuses for this company, how naive.
      It has nothing to do with kickstarter it has to do with unethical people
      who never cared and constantly lied and finally just disappeared.
      They are crooks face it and we got scammed.

    4. CJ Payne on

      Johannes, what a great post. Hit the nail completely on the head there. Questions need to be asked here, and answers need to be given.

    5. Michael Crawford on

      Johannes, that's exactly it. The updates have been suspicious to say the least. I think most of us just want more proof of where the money went.

    6. Missing avatar

      Macnyc on

      Andrew - thank you - I have filed a complaint with both agencies. Let's see if there will be any result.

    7. Johannes on

      Angela, I think most (if not all) people in all the comments sections around CST are very well aware what Kickstarter is and the risks that come with it. People are upset because they have been lied to all the way.

      You should read all the updates again and you will realize that CST has misrepresented the progress of the manufacturing process again and again. Even in this latest update they made promises they didnt keep (pictures of all the parts).

      People dont feel wronged here because they didnt get a watch, people feel wronged because they feel they have been lied to.

    8. Angela Miller on

      Amazing how upset people are on this email chain. Kickstarter is crowdfunding of ideas, not a store. They had a good idea that just did not pan out. That is called risk. We took a risk on them, watched them struggle, and then felt what any venture capitalist feels when a company doesn't work. It isn't just about ideas- its about feasibility of delivery.

      For those people on this comment chain that are bent out of shape, please stop. Kickstarter is a great forum for ideas, and this was a project that tried and failed. They will learn, and they will have other ideas in the future.

      Too bad it did not work - good luck with the next one.

    9. Jonas Maceda on

      GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!! I will just lift up to Him to decide what is the best to those people behind this scam!!! God knows where are you now!!! You will not succeed anyway.

    10. Missing avatar

      GALAIS Mathieu on

      Where is our money fucking bastard?

    11. Missing avatar

      THIBAULT VENISSE on

      Bonjour,
      nous n'avons plus aucune nouvelle...je suis vraiment déçu!
      Merci de faire une annonce pour nous tenir informé!!! ça vaut bien les 100 dollars que je vous ai donné...je le regrette!!!!

    12. Missing avatar

      Frank Haschick on

      Guys, even though it did not work out as expected ... it would be at least helpful for us to give us some information on what the current status is. Until further notice, we just have to assume you sold all the parts and make a biiiig holiday with our payments.

    13. Ryan Paley on

      Disgusting and disheartening that these scammers won't even update us even if it would be B.S. Kickstarter should give us names or do something to prevent them from starting another campaign and more people getting ripped off.

    14. Missing avatar

      robert imperato on

      I can't believe you guys think they will respond to you now.
      They have no credibility and they don't care about giving any updates.
      Now maybe you can wise and see how unreliable and uncaring they are.
      They took our money and disappearedl;

    15. Missing avatar

      Brandon Schinzel on

      After so much time, is there any update as to a decision between Plan B and C?

    16. J LaBossiere on

      Please provide an update on where things stand, it would be greatly appreciated.

    17. Missing avatar

      Iwona Krajewska-Kranas on

      I would like to get info or my watches!

    18. Missing avatar

      Ian Brooks on

      It's now Jan 2016, no update. What's happening guys? I accept that in all projects of this nature there is a lot of risk & there are lots of pit falls. You had given us lots of updates along the way, the final one leaving everything up in the air. Is it a dead project? Have you found another company? We all want proper closure on this. Disappointed that I didn't get a great looking watch.

    19. Dhirendra singh on

      kickstarter sucks and given us such a kick that we won't trust any projects in future.

    20. Missing avatar

      Thurstan Hethorn on

      Update? I saw one or two in the comments, but this has been dark for a few months now. The parts you said you should have got from Flextronics in July. What happened with that? Are we to expect parts, a partial refund, anything? I don't particularly care for a refund, the parts may well be useful.

      I know personally I have been somewhat upset the watch didn't turn out as the design was brilliant (although I preferred the original base station). What has bothered me for the last 2 years or more has been the lack of communication.

      Can you please just post something, anything to indicate this project is done so we can all walk away with some sense of closure.

    21. Tobias Joest on

      Hello, what is the latest update? What are the steps forward?
      Regards
      Tobias Joest

    22. Missing avatar

      Erlend Eelmets on

      Funded 3 Kickstarters 3 years ago was it? 1 has delivered. I suppose this the reality of this type of thing. If you are not doing another hipster pen, moneyclip, water bottle, etc. this is the most likely result.

      Not really blaming you guys. Accepted the risk when funded this. People think this place is like a store, in fact it is more like investing in stock marker. May come up top or just loose the cash.

      Close the company declare bankruptcy and take the experience and develop something new.

    23. Missing avatar

      krilzman125 on

      soo..what now? no refund?

    24. Benoit Tessier on

      got scammed. thanks kickstarter

    25. Missing avatar

      robert imperato on

      I read the most recent comments and I am amazed.
      They scammed you, ignored you and you still think they will respond in some positive way, amazing.Ac WC Fields says there is a sucker born every day, join the club, there are no watches and no responses.

    26. Missing avatar

      Erik Verbeek on

      Guys - can we get some kind of understanding of the latest update? I know it a difficult time, but I am not the only one here who is looking for resolution or just information about what you think the latest looks like.

    27. Missing avatar

      Lars Wyness on

      Any chance for an update? It's been nearly 6 months and we've heard nothing. I'm still holding out hope that you guys can distribute the parts and open source your blueprints and schematics and whatever so backers have the chance to actually make the watch.
      Even if you've done nothing over that time, just a message saying that you're still there would mean a lot.
      Hope you guys are getting somewhere, I'm sure you're anxious to be rid of this project.

    28. Martin Buber on

      if there is a unit to ship the i would be happy to get one even if its not in 100% quality but just works :-)

    29. Missing avatar

      Andrew on

      Everyone, if you haven't already done so please fill out complaints to the Illinois Attorney General and FTC.
      Illinois Attorney General Consumer Complaint On-Line Submission Form: https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/
      FTC Complaint: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov Select "Internet services, online shopping, or computers" then "Online shopping"
      Seller/Provider: Dave Vondle and Jerry O'Leary doing business as Central Standard Timing
      Address: 3039 W Fullerton Ave # 2
      Chicago, IL 60647-2807

    30. Missing avatar

      vincent naro on

      These guys are fucking scumbags

    31. Missing avatar

      GALAIS Mathieu on

      Merci à quickstarter pour cette belle arnaque. comment avoir confiance dans d'autre projet après une tel arnaque. ou est notre argent? Comment peut on se foutre autant de la gueule des gens. Vendez tout et rendez nous notre argent on en veut plus de vos merde à 100$. Entonnant que personne n'ai encore pensé à lancer une class action.

    32. Bassem Mazloum on

      Fine, you guys got in over your heads and couldn't get this done on the budget you planned, and on the bigger budget that you got.

      Now that you didn't manage to do that, what about my shipping cost then? You didn't ship me the product, so I am entitled to get that $20 back for international shipping.

    33. Missing avatar

      robert imperato on

      What happened to " We'll make every effort to get the best outcome possible"
      100 plus days and no communication.
      Anybody think these guys are honest?

    34. David Chase on

      Does anyone know how to at least download the font? I received it as a backer "reward" a couple years ago, but can't find the font file anymore...also, the download link no longer works. If anyone has the font and could post it here, that would be great!

    35. Missing avatar

      GWE on

      How about this title 'Fake it and don'T bother to make it' or 'Road to riches by faking it on Kickstarter'

    36. Tony Bothwell on

      Watch for their upcoming book on Amazon, "How to steal 1million dollars and not go to jail."

    37. ZippyFund Inc. on

      100% scammed.... Nice one....

    38. Missing avatar

      robert imperato on

      What happened to the updates promised.
      They continue disappoint at every opportunity present.
      It really is a sad company we invested in with no leadership or communication skills.

    39. Missing avatar

      Herbert on

      Literally a million dollar excuse... I should use this strategy with my bank for my loans, it seems to work with the backers...

    40. Johannes on

      "We’ll make every effort to get to the best outcome possible."

      Well, any updates on that?

    41. Charles Kolyvas on

      @GWE

      I've also had successes: Pebble watch, Fit Bark and Glyf to name a few.

      But I've lost about $700 to 6 Kickstarter tech projects, so yes to use your example, like a restaurant that got my order wrong too many times—I'm not dining there again.

      Time to move on.

    42. Missing avatar

      Jordan on

      Everyone, if you haven't already done so please fill out complaints to the Illinois Attorney General and FTC.

      Illinois Attorney General Consumer Complaint On-Line Submission Form: https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/

      FTC Complaint: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov Select "Internet services, online shopping, or computers" then "Online shopping"

      Seller/Provider: Dave Vondle and Jerry O'Leary doing business as Central Standard Timing
      Address: 3039 W Fullerton Ave # 2
      Chicago, IL 60647-2807

    43. Upsilon7 on

      Is this words are all i got for my money?

    44. Brett Schenker
      Superbacker
      on

      So, with the above listing of items/parts, they're listed at 100%, in an update it was said there was some being sent out. So how can it be 100%?

    45. Zlatin Zlatev on

      Hi Dave, Jerry, would it be possible to share some update with us, even if it is in the lines of "we are still trying to arrange the matter with Flextroncis".

    46. Brett Schenker
      Superbacker
      on

      "Hi everyone, the last we heard from Flextronics is that we will need to wait for about another week before we can get their response about the parts we will be picking up from their facility. As soon as we hear back, we'll let you know."

      The above was on July 2. It has been a month since then. You continue to treat your backers with contempt and lack of truth.