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We love Hi-Tec-C pens!  Pen Type-A is a stainless steel replacement for the Hi-Tec-C's cheapo plastic housing.
Pen Type-A is the original stainless steel ruler sleeve and ultra minimal pen.
Pen Type-A is the original stainless steel ruler sleeve and ultra minimal pen.
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4,048 backers pledged $281,989 to help bring this project to life.

426 shipped pens plus some pics

Hello backers !

We hope you are all well and that you are still hanging in there with us.  We spent the last 5 days working very hard on your pens.  A batch of 426 of them shipped this morning.  They are looking hot and we hope you are happy with them.

Please send us images of your first drawing with your Pen Type-A and we will post !  email cwandt[at]cwandt[dot]com !!!  we love 'em!

For those of you who are waiting.  It is because your pen has not shipped.  Not because we forgot about you.  Hang in there with us.  Please.  We really appreciate your patience + support.

If you placed your order on 7/19 or before and your pen does not arrive in 10 days, let us know and we can help track it for you.  You can find this date in the confirmation email that was sent to you by Kickstarter for backing this project.

More details below, nothing crucial but there are AWESOME pics at bottom (can we say that?)

The QC numbers

Out of our shipment of 500 pens, we were able to ship 426 of them.  Not as many as we hoped for, but it was the best we could do after QC.  Because again, we are not shipping anyone subpar product.  PERIOD.

We still have some salvageable parts within these 74 pens.  We will mix and match and get these out ASAP.

The good news is, ALL of the pens we received had straight laser etching for the ruler sleeve.   So we didn't have to reject any because of this.

More washing bleh

The smell wasn't AS bad as last time, but it was still there.  So we had to scrub the heck out of all 500 pens.  We had an improved system this time.  And did a much better job making sure they were completely dry.  So hopefully no one gets any sweaty pens.  If yours does still smell, we are sorry, please send it back or if you feel ambitious, disassemble and wash with strong dish soap and super hot water.  Wear lots of gloves to protect your fingers.

Ramping up

Our fabricators are still confident that they will fulfill these orders by April.  We paid them more money to ramp up, but they still have 5294 pens left to deliver.  Which is a lot.  Allen (the US side of this fabrication company) left yesterday to China to help speed things along.  He and Diana (you've heard of these folks before) were here all weekend with us helping washing pens.  Hopefully Allen's trip this week will help.

That being said, we are starting to look into other fabrication facilities in the US to help make certain parts and get the pens out faster.  As much as we want to stick with these manufacturers, at the end of the day, we need speed.  In doing this, we would have to make sure that the other parts were properly QC'd in China without assembly.  This is a bit tricky because in order to test the drop times, the pen needs to be assembled.  We have designed go no go jigs to help facilitate this.  Our plan is to then assemble them here and QC them again.  (Which we have ended up doing anyway).  AND hopefully no more washing down the line.

We have not fully committed to having a new manufacturer make some parts.  We want to make sure that in doing that we don't dig ourselves into some other hole and slow the process more.  We are keeping options open and wanted to keep you filled in on exactly what we are doing and thinking.  Again, we want to make sure we do everything we can so that you get your pens as fast as possible.  (And we don't have to ship direct to any unborn grandkids)

You are awesome at math !

Thank you for the awesome comment stream of mathematical formulas to predict when your pen will arrive.  We are going to ask our fulfillment company today if they have an API that we can use to quickly whip up a small app to help predict when your pen will ship.  More to come on this if it happens...

ok ... nap time ... just kidding it is morning.

peace, hugs and hope things are extra great.

as always xox

che-wei + taylor

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    1. Missing avatar

      Anthony Birdie on March 19, 2012

      I appreciate the fact that this project grew larger than I'm sure you imagined and ran into several issues, and that you guys are meticulous with regards to quality control - but a weekly update would be appreciated, the deadly silence over the last few weeks from yourselves does not inspire confidence.

    2. Killian Louis Grant on March 19, 2012

      I, too, would like some sort of update. It's been seven months already!

    3. Missing avatar

      François Blavoet on March 19, 2012

      The silence here is deafening. CW&T are probably working hard on the pens, but without an update telling us what the advancement is (and it does not have to be a long one) it looks like we will receive our pens in 2024.

    4. Eric Mann on March 17, 2012

      Any update on shipping time?

    5. Missing avatar

      Kim Turk on March 17, 2012

      I would really like to know if I'll ever get my pen. I'm in Durham, NC and so far, nothing. Can you help a sista out?

    6. Missing avatar

      Samir Talwar on March 16, 2012

      Christopher/Johannes - what were your order dates? I am really looking forward to this!

    7. Missing avatar

      Christopher Hamilton on March 14, 2012

      Love my pen,,,, it just arrived and it is everything I hoped it would be. Thanks for not compromising...worth the wait :-)

    8. Matthias Kraus on March 13, 2012

      @Johannes: I believe that it depends on single postal workers who decide if something has to go through customs or not. I live near Bonn, your post office is probably less bureaucratically minded...

    9. Johannes Leicht on March 13, 2012

      My pen was delivered yesterday. No Einfuhrumsatzsteuer:-)
      And in fact I consider this pen, or anything else you can get here on kickstarter, as a gift!
      You pay for the idea and to help people get it to market. The product is an honorary gift for the pledge/donation :-)

    10. Matthias Kraus on March 13, 2012

      @John: Yes cw&t sent a pdf letter that said "thanks for your support and have fun with your gift" but one of the ladies working at customs knew kickstarter and ruled "not a gift".
      You're right, it is probably not really a purchase but closer to that than to a gift.
      I didn't argue since I could see their point and the fee wasn't hefty.

    11. John Luker on March 13, 2012

      @Matthias: Interesting. You had a letter stating it was a gift but no dice? Is it truly in the spirit of a gift? Although I think you could probably make a case for it being a "not purchase", I'd probably say not a gift in the end.

    12. John Luker on March 13, 2012

      @Ron: Would you say you were - *removes sunglasses* - short on patience?
      Sorry, Couldn't help myself.

    13. Matthias Kraus on March 13, 2012

      I picked it up from German customs today. They didn't buy that it was a gift, even with the letter CW and T provided.
      So, German backers, prepare to pay €7,90 "Einfuhrumsatzsteuer".
      Not a big deal, maybe "gift" shold have been checked on the label and not "merchandise". No idea if that would have changed anything.

    14. Ron Short on March 12, 2012

      How close am I to getting my pen? Patience is tough....

    15. Matthias Kraus on March 9, 2012

      German customs has it and is asking for a bill to pick it up.

    16. Matthias Kraus on March 9, 2012

      @Johannes: thanks for the info. How about a "race"? :-D

    17. Johannes Leicht on March 8, 2012

      @Matthias. No, still waiting...customs is not that fast here

    18. Miriame Barbarich on March 8, 2012

      Sooooo close... our order was 7/22 so hopefully we're in the next dispatch... so excited!

    19. Matthias Kraus on March 8, 2012

      Any arrivals on mainland Europe - or even Germany - so far?

    20. Missing avatar

      David Fraser on March 5, 2012

      Wow first UK delivery, nice one :)

    21. Suguru Nishioka on March 5, 2012

      Got the Pen in San Francisco today. I am so happy, and my design team in the office gotta endure the popping sound coming from my cubical all day long. ;) Thanks CW&T!!!

    22. Gareth Thomas
      on March 5, 2012

      Wow! Received my pen in the UK today, it's fantastic. Thank you so much for getting it perfect, it was well worth the wait and your perseverance paid off. Thanks again!!

    23. Missing avatar

      Jim Dozier on March 4, 2012

      Received my pen yesterday. WOW. Just WOW! Thank you for taking the time to get it made right, because I can see how easy it would have been to cut corners and not deliver such a great product.

    24. Ryan S Faubion on March 2, 2012

      Received my pen, absolutely stunning. Well worth the wait. I will be buying another if/when they come available for sale.

      Thanks you so much.

    25. Missing avatar

      David Fraser on March 2, 2012

      @ John
      Aw John don't give up now, I was so lloking forward to your response!!

    26. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Chan on March 1, 2012

      YO CW &&&&& T. All I gotta say is yall are awesome!!! Yeeeeehaw can't wait to get the pen. HOO HOO HOO HOOSIERS!!!!

    27. John Luker on March 1, 2012

      @Jussi: I do want to thank you for one thing. Absent our discussion I might not have seen the P1 pen project as soon as I did. That is my 3rd HTC based pen project.

    28. J.R. Gunderson
      on March 1, 2012

      Love the photographic step-by-step:
      Totally makes me feel like I'm a part of this toleranced manufacturing adventure.

      Well done, guys! Thanks for keeping the enthusiasm through to the finish line!

    29. John Luker on March 1, 2012

      @Jussi: It all boils down to two things: What is the definition of success and to what level you reward participation vs. achievement. In this case the former is akin to discussions over when life begins. The latter is highly subjective as well.
      Since it is obvious that you and I are not likely to come to a consensus on either issue I'm not going to waste any more of my time debating you. Consider it a victory if it makes you feel better about yourself. Have a great life!

    30. Jussi Myllyluoma
      on March 1, 2012

      A project is a failure if, and ONLY if, it fails to succeed. Success is determined ONLY by whether or not the project meets its success criteria.
      The goal of this project was and is to deliver a certain design of pen, manufactured to a certain quality level. PERIOD.
      Hence, this project's success criteria are (a) that the pen is delivered, (b) that the pen follows the design, with the functionalities this entails, and (c) that the pen answers to the quality standard set. PERIOD.
      This project has never defined delivery time as a success criterium -- YOU have done that yourself, John. And whether you want to admit it or not -- whether you're even capable of understanding it or not -- if the project fails to meet your own private little success criteria is utterly irrelevant to the question of whether the project actually IS a success or a failure.
      In fact, what this project DOES say about delivery time is in the FAQ:
      - When will these ship?
      - Great question! ... Here’s what we’re thinking [reasoning based on assumptions filling out limited data] Here’s what’s happening: We are gearing up to deliver the pens mid-September! [...] We will do our best to make sure everything goes according to plan.
      Translation, for those linguistically challenged: "We really have no idea, but right now, we're shooting for late September. If everything goes perfectly, we might even make it."
      Now, in case anybody has missed what has been going on, they did their level best, but everything did not go perfectly. But here's the point: they're still doing their best, and it's still going -- and pens are being delivered!
      I can only hope that you do not work in a position where people depend on you to understand and evaluate information, John. I can only imagine the horror if for instance someone in the armed forces had their lives hanging on your analytical ability!

    31. Missing avatar

      Ralph Palermo on March 1, 2012

      What you need is quality not speed. I have been in the precision manufacturing business for over 30 years. The quality problems that you are having with current supplier(s) are appalling. Getting a tiight slip fit on long cylinders is difficult, material stability may also be an issue. Is supplier having a problem with parts distorting during or after machining? A quality supplier should never take this long to produce a good part and not cleaning then properly is inexcusable.
      There are many quality suppliers in Asia and it's almost impossible to beat their pricing but it's not easy to find them amongst the large number of poor ones.
      If you still need any help with this project I would like to review the process with you

    32. Matthias Kraus on March 1, 2012

      YES! 7/19 .. or rather 19.7. as we say here in Germany.
      As to the failed or not discussion: I don't care. It was fun to watch, it looks as if my pen is under ways and even if that had not happened I could have lived with the setback. This is what KS is about in my mind. Some people having a great idea and putting them to life. We provided them with the means to try. And man, do they ever!
      Thanks, guys!

    33. Jon Plummer on March 1, 2012

      7/19, #408. Sweet, can't wait. Folks kvetching about the delay can find something else to do.

    34. Richard Lecours on February 29, 2012

      @John Luker : So you insist it's great to give negative feedback... Mission accomplished. Move on.

      As for me, I love funding these projects to give people the opportunity to experience first hand all the real challenges involved with trying to create a product. I think Kickstarter is more about them learning to make something, than it is about selling or delivering something. I'm not debating this. This is how I see it. Part of the fun is vicariously seeing your learning process through the updates. Best post yet! Congrats. The pen is lovely...

      Well done guys

    35. Delwyn DeVries on February 29, 2012

      Thanks for the update - it has been fun to be part of your financing. Your extensive updates and photos are great. Keep the faith!

      You guys rock!

    36. Marie-Andree Poisson
      on February 29, 2012

      I've backed 9 other projects so I'm not a total rookie. Even though they are all in financing phase, the product development or prototyping is not always at the same level of advancement. Most of the one I've backed were more advanced and the shipping, even though not always on target, was closer than this one. Yes the process of this project is quite interesting but so is the others.

    37. John Luker on February 29, 2012

      @Jussi: Whether you want to admit it or not the project has failed. Since I doubt you are a professional project manager I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for not understanding that. The fact that only a small % of projects (depending on what study you read only 20-35% succeed) do not fail does not change the fact that this one has. Nor does the fact that many large & successful companies have projects fail every day excuse failure. I hope you don't have children if that is your criteria for success.

    38. John Luker on February 29, 2012

      @Stephen: They are taking the right approach in not compromising quality. They are even exploring other options for manufacturing & assembly. Perhaps they are learning.
      I do object to your characterization of those of us who have been openly critical as "whiney nimrods" and "fools". In the real world missing your target date is not without consequence. One of the consequences here is having backers leave negative comments. I believe we provide a positive benefit to CW&T. If they survive this project they will take with them the memory of the criticisms - which is much more valuable than the false praise that some have given.

    39. Stephen Tucker
      on February 29, 2012

      You guys are taking the right course by putting QC as your number one priority. Do not pay any attention to the whiney nimrods bitching about the delivery date, which is always a moving target on a new project like this. Those fools should go to Staples and get a box of BICs if they want a pen so badly. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to receiving mine.

    40. Missing avatar

      john shelton on February 29, 2012

      I wouldnt call the project, as a whole, a failure, but their original shipping estimation was mid september. They said they run a small design studio, so i dont think it is unreasonable to assume they had some sort of manufacturing experience. I havent recieved my pen yet, but the quality of the pens appears to be good, and the reviews from those that have are all positive. The problem is how far off they were from their original shipping estimate. Its not like they were a few weeks behind. They are about 6 months behind. I realize they got WAY MORE orders than they probably expected, but i would still have to say they failed at producing these in a timely manner.

    41. Mark Holland on February 29, 2012

      Jussi ... I wa actually planning on putting a book together on the whole project from
      Start to finish with a cutout to store the pen in. The whole process is one of the things I've really loved about the whole process. Sure I woul have loved to have got it as it as it was funded, but this way it's kind of ended up more of a work of art rather than just a pen. But then I'm a design nut which is probably why ;)

      I can understand people who couldn't give a shit about the design and just wanting a cool pen being frustrated at the delays, and I feel they have the right to make their complaints heard. However kick starter really isn't the right place to come if you just want something cool, it's about funding new startups an helping to start the whole process of design and development. I think
      Most of us get that and which is why the majority of backers are still happy.

    42. Mark Holland on February 29, 2012

      Thanks for another update ;) just wanted to voice my opinion on using a new manufacturing plant... Given the fact that it has taken a while to get the current company up to speed and producing things to your exact specs, it could be a hell of a risk to have to start again elsewhere!! Given all the drama you've had to go through already, I would personally rather wait till they are finished as at least we know they will be right.

      With all the extra work you are both putting in right now with QC and even washing each pen, having anything else to have sort out would be a nightmare!! Personally I have no worries about them smelling, I can always wash myself if it really bugs me ;)

      But the crazy hours you must be putting in on each individual pen is just nuts, you can never please everyone, so from me at least the delays are no problem as we can see all the work youre putting in to get them done and out to people.

      Keep at it guys n girls ;) and they are looking rediculously sexy from the pics ;)

    43. RMLFVR on February 29, 2012

      What I do like about this project is the transparency you're committed to keep on what you're doing and why you're doing it. Your various updates are clear, to-the-point and s many examples of a good communication strategy.

      I just wanted you to know that it was truly appreciated, at least from my part.

    44. Jussi Myllyluoma
      on February 29, 2012

      Neither do trolls.
      And at the obvious risk of feeding it: what you perceived when choosing to pledge is not cw&t's problem, even though you try very hard to make it so.
      The analogy works because it is crystal clear to anyone actually reading the info on the website that Kickstarter, to use the analogy, only "sells cats". And as cw&t made it very clear from the very start that they're rank amateurs doing all this for the very first time, demanding that they not only deliver the actual product, but also do it according to their original projections (which even multi-billion dollar companies fail to do) lest the project be deemed a "failure" ... rockets beyond "grossly unjust" and crashes solidly into "ludicrous".
      For my own part, I am currently enjoying watching this project "fail" at the rate of ... what was it? 426 failures in this last batch? I am sure you will equally enjoy critisising cw&t for their failure until the very last pen is delivered.
      Reality of course is somewhere in the middle ground between the two of us.

    45. John Luker on February 29, 2012

      @Jussi: "if I get myself a cat and feel dissatisfied that it won't fetch my slippers — is that the cat's fault, or my fault for not doing my homework on what I was geting in to?" Analogy Fail. The project is not failing because cats don't normally fetch slippers. The project is failing because the person we funded to produce fetching cats initially showed us a video of a cat fetching slippers but then was unable to train enough cats quickly enough to satisfy the demand.
      RE: "Entitlement": Making project owners answerable to expectations that the owners explicitly set (deadlines/quality/etc) is EXACTLY AND PERFECTLY justified.
      You have enjoyed the journey. Bully for you. I've enjoyed taking the opportunity afforded to criticize the project as a counterbalance against those who are not concerned with helping CW&T learn from their mistakes. Fanboys and yes men do not help them improve.

    46. John Luker on February 29, 2012

      @Jaison: There are a few fanboys who object to any criticism of the project, regardless of the validity of said criticism. Welcome to the loyal opposition!

    47. Jussi Myllyluoma
      on February 29, 2012

      Those are some sweet looking photos ... good job!

      cw&t — if I may offer a piece of advice: be careful about taking in additional partners to do the job.
      If you have a working relationship with the current partners and production is ramping up at a steady pace with quality under reasonable control ... be very careful you know all implications before you start rocking the boat.

      Some earlier comments prompt me to muse, if I get myself a cat and feel dissatisfied that it won't fetch my slippers — is that the cat's fault, or my fault for not doing my homework on what I was geting in to?
      I feel that entitlement isn't something that can be taken for granted. Kickstarter is very upfront with what this site is, and does. We give our funds here as backers, not as consumers, and consequently, making project owners answerable to all of our expectations, regardless how misguided or unfounded, would hardly be justified.

      For my own part, I have enjoyed the journey, and continue doing so. I repeat my earlier urging to cw&t however to compile your experiences into a book.
      Perhaps you should start a new KS project for that...?

    48. John Luker on February 29, 2012

      @CW&T: First rule of holes: When you're in one - stop digging.
      Glad y'all are looking at other options. Better late than never.