Running out of names, Update #13
It’s been a quick 2 weeks and here is Update #13.
In addition to the specs of the Arist machine from last Update, here are the features of the Arist App. Feel free to suggest more features you like for our software team so we can prioritize them.
Features of the Arist app:
- 13 brew configurations
- bean type (from one of the two coffee compartments )
- bean quantity
- grind size
- water quantity
- water temperature
- water pressure
- milk quantity
- milk temperature
- milk froth level
- sugar quantity
- syrup quantity
- chocolate quantity
- water / milk dispense order
- Save a brew configurations set
- Assign brew configuration set to an nfc sticker
- Set a timer to automatically brew pre-configured coffee
- Browse and download coffee recipes by professional baristas on the Arist online store
- Order coffee ingredients (coffee beans, syrups, etc.)
- Search for the recipes of a specific coffee bean by scanning the bar code on the package
- Get notifications for new recipe recommendations
- Inspect the status of Arist ( fill level of beans, water, milk, drip tray )
- Alerts for maintenance ( descaling, milk frother cleaning, etc. )
- Share brew configurations
Clarification of some questions
Currently our water heater is set at 95C = 203F. Higher temperature is possible. We will conduct more testing with the manufacture unit to make sure higher temperatures are consistent and accurate when above 205F.
The milk container is part of the machine. It was marked optional because it is not required to be there when brewing coffee that doesn't have milk. In addition, the milk container can be taken out to wash and or separately put into your refrigerator.
Cocoa powder/Sugar powder container
While redesigning the syrup dispenser, with further research and technical investigations, we realized the humidity difference in each country may cause solidification in the powder container. So we are considering to replace the powder (cocoa and crystalized sugars) container with cocoa syrup and white/brown sugar syrup for our first version of Arist.
We have already sent out the coffee starter kits and backers should expect to receive them within the week. Our coffee team worked really hard on selecting the beans so that you can try a wide variety of flavors. We welcome your comments and critique of the quality as that will greatly help us in finding the most suitable suppliers.
Once again, we want to kindly remind backers with the T-shirt reward to respond to the survey regarding T-shirt size to ensure the prompt arrival of your reward. If you did not receive a survey or email, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and leave your size option and a valid shipping address with the full name of the recipient.
It has come to our attention that the updated machine specifications have left some of our backers with concerns. We would like to address that here. First and foremost, we want to thank everyone for your involvement in this project and for giving us the time we need to work hard to bring this project to life. We assure you, the minor changes in some specs and dimensions will not affect the expected functionality of the machine and are done to optimize cost and efficiency. Please continue to be patient with us and avoid submitting unsupported refund claims to Amazon, as it uses up our manpower to deal with such issues. Wouldn’t you rather we spend our time working on this project?
Up until now, there have been 3 unsuccessful disputes asking for refunds through Amazon. For those of you who raised their voice to help explain in the comment section, thank you. We monitor the comment section very closely, and your support whether through funding to efforts in the comment section is very very much appreciated.
And for those of you who think Kickstarter has contacted Arist, I want you to understand that they have not contacted us since releasing our campaign from suspension on Nov 3. It is up to us (Backers + Arist) to cooperate together to complete this project
Issues that we are facing
Like most projects, there are many hurdles to cross before the project is completed. We would like to use this section to share some of the challenges we are facing after the initial Kickstarter campaign. Also, we want to provide explanations to some tweaks we have made.
External casing modification
We decided to change the case size due to manufacturing challenges. A few of our components were larger than expected in the manufacturing model and needed a stronger internal mechanical case to secure their performance. Some components have also increased in size due to cost.
Picking the right manufacturer
Picking the right manufacturing partner is essential to the success of the Arist. I have just spent the better part of the past month visiting with many different manufacturers in China to ensure they are capable to comply with all our specifications and deciding on the strategy of how to separate the machine into a few OEMs. The negotiation process is super challenging; the difference in cultural background, business standards, and mindset has been the biggest resistance for us to identify possible genuine partners. We have narrowed down to a few respectful manufacturers. I just want to thank all backers and Kickstarter again for providing us with a large enough initial order quantity to keep costs within budget.
The challenge of working with investors was truly an unforeseen one. Shows like “Shark Tank” oversimplify this process. In reality, instead of one quick meeting, it involves multiple meetings with interested parties for numerous hours. Since December of last year, I have met with more than 50 interested parties exploring opportunities to expand Arist and make it a better company. In addition, we are also negotiating with distributers from 30 different countries.
The Comment Section
I just want everyone to know we read all of your comments, as I have the Kickstarter app on my iPhone and I’m notified immediately once a comment is made. Every positive constructive comment gives our team motivation and encourages us to continue to strive for the best. The entire Team Arist thanks you for your positivity and optimism. Negative comments to speculated problems, in contrast, only spread fear and negativity, which brings stress to our team. And as you all know, stress is not good for productivity. Also, the fear of a problem usually causes more trouble than the problem itself. Please keep things positive and hopeful in the comments section while we work our bottoms off to get the Arist to you.
That's it for this update, enjoy the Super Bowl everyone!
- Team Arist