SURVEY: Level Setting and Next Steps
Some of you have received your i+Case and we know that some people are seeing signal issues and others are not. We are trying to get a sense of the extent of this issue, as well as some other questions through a survey to help with our next steps.
This is also to remind people about what KickStarter is about. KickStarter is about investing/backing a product or idea and funding that idea. When you fund the idea there are "rewards" involved for that investment. Backers are not "purchasing" anything, but merely given a "gift/reward" for helping fund the project. That's the way I understand KickStarter's crowd funding model.
Keep in mind that start-ups often don't succeed the first go-round, or there are bugs with the first production run, first release, etc. This obviously wasn't our intention and isn't the intent of any start-up. This is however fairly typical. The initial funding served to help us build the first production run, purchase materials, redesign some parts, and test the new application of the logo design, as well as many other things. During this process we've learned a ton and are going to take these learnings and continue to refine the product to help address any real issues that exist.
There are certain backers asking for refunds on their "rewards". Personally, I don't think this is a reasonable request given the parameters in which KickStarter is set up, outlined above. When you make an investment, whether it's a start-up, a stock or Kickstarter you can't back out when things get a little hairy and hope to reclaim your investment. There is inherent risk to any investment. I'll provide two examples that come to mind when I think of this.
1. If I invest in a stock for $100 and it goes down to $50, I can't call my broker and ask that I get my$50 back that I lost because the stock did poorly.
2. There are many investors that throw 10's of Millions of dollars at start-ups and as I've stated most start-ups don't get it right the first time. When that happens, those investor don't/can't ask for their money back. That's not how funding start-ups work. Often times they will actually invest more because they still believe in the idea.
I've also been delivered a product that didn't work and actually caused the screen of the phone to break. But I chalked it up to helping the team realize their product and take it to the next phase. In no-way did I expect a refund. I communicated the issue to them and moved on. Does it suck that it didn't work as expected? Of course. Does it suck that some of your are seeing signal issues. Yes, we aren't saying it doesn't.
Don't take these statements as excuses or being arrogant or ignoring backers or any problems that may exist. I'm merely outlining what happens in most start-ups and how it parallels to what we are running into. We also aren't maliciously keeping things from any one and haven't "run-away" to the South Pacific with the funds. If we are silent that means there is nothing new to report and we are still working on things. No one is being ignored.
Some other notes:
Everyone that makes a comment or post may not be a friendly backer. They may be a competitor or someone with different motivations. So, I recommend you read the comments with a grain of salt. I say this because the team can't reproduce the signal dropping from full bars to one or zero that was reported. So it would be great if backers posted any videos of issues, the environment they are in, etc, to help us understand the true severity of this.
Even the best in the business have problems. How often do you hear about a recall with a major car company, or Apple or Samsung having hardware issues. Even the seasoned professionals have problems. There are obvious differences between making a phone, a car, and an iPhone case, but the point I'm trying to illustrate is that not even the best in the business get it right and also run into issues. And they have long been out of start-up mode. I hope this helps provide people a little perspective.
After we get our survey results we'll determine next steps for the project and share those with our backers. Right now, we are still looking at new designs and materials that may address the signal issues. Exploration of new materials and processes isn't a quick process.
Thanks for everyone's help. Without your backing we wouldn't be we are today with our product, for better or worse.
SURVEY >> https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BJVCV2M
Jason & Chung