Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
I get that many of us are disappointed that the process is taking so long, some being more vocal than others.
I have previously stated here that I have received my mixups from Dimitri a long time ago and found them to be of good quality, so I have no doubt I will get my Smartmaker kit eventually.
I too am disappointed in the wait, and have purchased a Sparkfun Inventors Kit in the meantime so I can start prototyping some ideas I have, with plans for the Smartmaker gear to go into my final projects.
I'm a bit sick of the lack of constructive discussion here, so I did some googling and it looks like some reviews of Smartmaker kits are now in the wild. I'm unsure if these have been posted before, but i am unwilling to wade through hundreds of comments of crap to verify it. These are what I have found:
Hopefully more people will post their thoughts soon.
I am currently a backer of other projects that are running later than the 6-7 months that this is, with a few that are delayed about as long, it's pretty common on Kickstarter. At least Dimitri communicates with us compared to some others. I am not terribly worried about receiving my kit, I'm confident it's coming.
@Pictor, if Dimitri had kept his promise in march and refunded all those who requested (as he is doing with ALL of the Indiegogo refunds); none of this would have happened. End of story. Everyone would have moved on.
Considering he instead chose to repeatedly lie, not only about his history but project completion and delivery; Harold's history is just as contrived. I and most other logical folks are having a hard time taking any statement he makes as certifiable truth.
Calling him to the carpet and holding him accountable is not uncivilized; His behaviour since November is uncivilized. He is not a legitimate project creator struggling to deliver; He is a hack, a parasite that infected this community with his lies and deceit.
I am incredibly supportive of every project I have previously and am currently supporting, regardless of the fact that most have run behind schedule because the other project creators provide verifiable proof of their progress.
Continuing to run to his rescue when he cannot even keep his most recent promise of video updates simply enables him. If he had a clean history of delivering on promises or even no history at all, he does not.
If he made any effort to mitigate the damage this PR nightmare has created and keep his promises AND deliver my approach to this debaucle would be much different.
However, that is not the case. He chose to leverage a false association to Arduino in order to give him some credibility that everyone took for face value. There is no justifiable reason some one with the background he fabricated would demonstrate the behaviours and incompetence he has repeatedly.
You are welcome to your opinion as am I. The fact still remains that Dimitri's lies are now preserved in black and white. He collected not only $157,571 during funding, he most likely doubled that amount on the backend based on the comments from many backers who, like myself, fell for the 53 commercial updates.
Bottom line, if he cannot perform with 200 - 300k in capital and his claim of 14 years worth of manufacturing experience (which doesn't exist) in the almost 10 months that have passed... What leads you to believe there is a shred of truth in any of his words.
How many projects have funded and delivered in the past 10 months created by true Makers, with ZERO manufacturing experience, that have seized the opportunity to build a business and realize their dreams?
The Indigogo campaign was just salt in the wound as he leveraged a platform created to help launch startups, giving them an opportunity that historically never existed to mass market a Chinese knockoff Arduino clone under the facade of an altruistic endeavour. That fact is undeniable.
The fact is Smartmaker Inc, recipient of funds for the Indiegogo project is Dimitri, Harold is an employee in collusion, with no control of funds. He isn't even a listed officer.
Rumor has it that Dimitri/Harold have filed for 501c3 status, currently there is no verifiable proof on either the IRS or sunbiz.org websites. Honestly, I do hope he filed for nonprofit status as he will then be mandated to provide public record as to all income and expenses; Fraudulently filling those submissions out coupled with his history would cause him to
GO TO JAIL.
Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO.
Do not collect $200
In the last days, two or there persons made this forum almost unusable!
Reading some of the comments, I think, that it is perfect "Theatre of the Absurd".
Nothing is clear, and where under all civilized people, there is the principle of the benefit of the doubt.
But you are stalking Dimitri and Harold not thinking about, that actions like that, can kill even larger projects.
If you feel, that there is scam, go lodge a complaint and wait, what a judge decides!
Lets think, that Dimitri has some real hard problems to get things managed. You believe, that your behavior is pushing him, to make the very last things happen?
Compliments to Dimitri, who stopped fighting verbal attacks with you! He seems to be the more educated and the sharpest in this discussion.
Go and analyze what happened since the last excel sheet! Write your thoughts about the progress made (or not made). But stop this annoying theater!
"Lonely people's preference for the minority-endorsed products was only found when their preferences were kept private," the authors write. "They switched to majority-endorsed products once their preferences became public." The authors suggest that marketers keep in mind the lonely factor when targeting consumers, like seniors, who might be less likely to respond positively to rave reviews from a majority of customers"
Well kind sir, by "interesting" of course I meant even more convoluted... Hands down this case study is better than any associate performance data and analysis I have ever conducted... Completely intrigued by the fact that everyone of her papers details very specific behaviours and influencers of consumer actions around the economics of marketing and sales... I have downloaded all of them and am completely intrigued to say the least...
Insightful as well is this comment I happened upon...
"–]dimitrialbino 1 point 9 months ago - I don't think you need to know any programming language.What you need, beside the kit, is a good book.I would suggest the "Arduino Cookbook":http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920022244.do… I'm a power user and long time adopter of Arduino (my mother's company has been one of the original manufacturers in Italy), I had good time reading it and I think it's perfect. All what you need, starting from zero to master the device.
At the end you will know basically how to program in C, without even realize that you do. Plus, you will have a lot of knowledge of Arduino."
2 things about this are interesting, namely that he states:
"my mother's company has been one of the original Arduino manufacturers in Italy"
which is not at all how he presented this project...and yet another deception here or there...
the other, his recommendation of "The Arduino Cookbook" - If he truly believes Timmis to be an expert author, wouldn't he recommend Timmis' book?
Since I began researching this case months ago, I screen grab everything I find. I have noticed that links seem to vanish soon after I cite them on occasion... perhaps it is just a coincidence, but better safe than sorry no?
lead consumers to behave in ways that might be harmful for themselves?
Like that's a good thing?
This isn't becoming more interesting, its becoming sickening.
In Dimitri's last video, he stated his office manager, Juliet (Zhu) is now on maternity leave and he was now in charge of things that wer not his business... Wondering of course "who" she is I leveraged the mighty Google and found a few really interesting papers written by this Assistant Professor of Marketing... Here are a couple of lines that say a lot about how Dimitri has been able to launch such elaborate marketing schemes...
from:Does Online Community Participation Foster Risky Financial Behaviour?
"Through a series of field and laboratory studies, we demonstrate that participation in an online
community increases risk seeking tendency of individuals in financial decisions and behaviors.
Our results reveal that participation in an online community leads consumers to perceive support
from other members, that is they believe they will be helped by other community members
should difficulties arise. Such a perception leads online community members to make riskier
financial decisions than non-participants."
"For managers, therefore, the results suggest that online communities, which are becoming widely
popular as marketing programs, may lead consumers to behave in ways that might be harmful for
themselves, and to the firm’s online community and the brand, eventually"
It is interesting that the studies conducted and theories tested happen to be about the psychology and influence of online communities... I think we can safely say that crowdfunding/crowdsourcing and Open Source communities would qualify as groups that could be manipulated given their predisposition to trust and free flow of information...
It certainly gave clarity to another facet of how Dimitri has been able to repeat the same behaviours for years unscathed... http://www.atelier.net/sites/default/files/articles/risques_financiers.pdf
This entire thing gets more and more interesting by the moment...
I guess the only thing I really noticed about the new website is that it doesn't work. Other than that, I like it a lot better than the one that sorta worked. Im just happy that there is less yellow. Of course I can't see my fingers when I type in the dark like I used too. So theres that.
But overall it will be interesting to see if the new site doesn't send me as many orders as the old site didn't. And, Im curious how long it takes to not send me anything now, versus how long it took to not send me anything before. And also, will the new site not give me refunds as quickly as the old one didn't? And whats the difference between the old site not having any inventory and the new site not having any items? Is that kind of the same thing since the items from the first one didn't exist anyway and so the items that don't exist now are pretty much the same you just cant try to order them like you couldn't before?
Let me know so I can put together an order that I cant buy for parts that don't exist and you wont send. I mean as long as I can keep processing my credit card to send you money for things you don't sell, that's all that matters to me.
And I didn't see any new products that you haven't designed yet for sale anywhere? So are you still not working on anything to tell us we should be buying or should we just wait for another notice of something your going to not tell us about in a couple days that we won't be excited about because it never happens?
Good update by the way, I like the switch to videos they are much easier to watch now that they don't exist the last one was way to long. The no video videos from now on format works great for those of us who would rather not know anything anyway.
OH, but one thing I really do like is the free shipping from anywhere or to anywhere in the world or however that works. The lack of any tracking numbers is kind of a bummer, but heck, since your not shipping my entire order for free, im not going to complain. And if it never gets here that's ok too because, well, it was free, so its not like it cost me anything anyway, right?
@james I have documented much of what i have on the blog I started: http://kicksucker.tumblr.com/archive (anything with a grey header i wrote, other header colors are reblogs or just quotes) I have alot more info that I haven't published yet, I don't want to telegraph every move ;) Feel free to contact me directly if you have something specific you are interested in
The author of this comment has been deleted.
Just found another Dimitri fan site http://dimitrialbinoscammer.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/my-honest-review-about-dimitri-albino/ ... and rumor has it he has launched yet another IDGG campaign... 2 campaigns undelivered + possible 3rd... that is a lot of free flowing cash for doing?...
I "invested" in the IndieGoGo project too. For 12 bucks its cheaper than taking my family to a movie, and you have to be a backer (I consider myself more of a squatter) in order to read the updates....
Craig- He didn't, the Dimitriati held a Makerburg meeting and collectively decided that it made more sense to go somewhere nobody knows your name and by becoming Hamitri they knew that the flexible funding meant they got money everyday as the Maker Minions paid tribute to the SmartLESS Technologies Fauxpaign and if anyone from outside the regime tried to smuggle a derogatory comment under the wire, they could go all North Korea on them and censor the truth.
LindieGaGa allows you to delete any messages that don't align with your current consciousness. And since anyone can make up a new identity or become a demon spawnsor it really easy to ditch your old "burnt" identity and start all fresh without having to steal a new one. Now if someone could just make a Demitalian translator so Harolds updates didn't sound like Dimitri wrote them, that might be very helpful in furthering his social fleecing. If the Dimitrisaurus Wrecks could just find someone to make him one.... first he'd need a prototype, then some seed money, better hurry before the Chinese "whered everybody go" year starts. Figure out a couple Stretch the truth goals..... Gonna need a good bio to pull this one off, and dont forget the tagline-
Open system by former manufacturer of manufacturers who manufactured the ones you bought from other manufacturers.
We used to use the restroom of the business next door to the bus stop that used to pick people up and drive them past the manufacturer of the doorknobs that were used on the original building before it was renovated by the manufacturer of the arduinos.
I wonder why did Harold choose Indiegogo for his project and not Kickstarter?
Not quite what I expected before going to bed, but I'll take it haha.
Henrik! Just keep eye contact, back away slowly!
I just got home from work and am very tired so I won't reply to every point made, sorry about that, but I do want to say something before the comments drop down too far. Let's just agree that we (me, @Six, @Christopher, et al) disagree about the expected timeline and the value of the progress updates shown by Dimitri so far. (I don't really like to think of it as me vs anyone else so please don't get hung up on that. After all, we all do/did believe in the project at some point, so we're all in this together whether we like it or not.)
I still see Kickstarter/Indiegogo projects as investment opportunities, with the risks that come with that. Kickstarter does try to force project creators to either fulfill or refund, but there is nothing that can be done about projects which are "simply" delayed (whatever the reason). If you can prove you are being scammed, let the courts deal with it the proper way. I personally prefer to wait. For one; trying to get my money back is likely to cost me even more in the end. As it looks now, I'll either end up with a fantastic product, or a calculated loss (and the story hehe).
@Christopher, I'm sorry you feel I misunderstood you. You're right, all this is pretty convoluted, and individual conversations are difficult to follow in a place like this. But you must admit the whole thing at least gives a pretty good insight into the murky world of investors, normally hidden to the end customers. ;)
The Indiegogo campaign does seem like a separate thing to me (yes, I'm a backer there as well) so I won't be commenting on that here. I hope you understand.
Henrik- I understand your point. I really do. But it doesn't apply nor do you know what I'm about or what my problem is with this whole thing. And I don't blame you. Its pretty convoluted at this point. You make a bunch of assumptions about me and what bothers me etc. I NEVER expected this to go on time. That was ok. I did think something was wrong in the beginning I know now I was right. At the time I was reassured and lied to, that's why I stayed in. Well, not that I ever had a chance to pull out.... What really irked me was trying at first to point out a couple issues while trying to be diplomatic and then being hammered on by backers and the creator. Lately my comments are pretty much tongue in cheek, but it helps me with the frustration of watching a guy continue to pull the wool over our eyes.
But yes, I agree the work seems to be pretty high quality, and yes, I think the additional time has helped him refine his product. But we were all told that work had been done, the testing had been done. I bought into this because the core products had been designed and tested and all he needed was my money to make the production run. That was total BS. And I understand that there were add ons and that changed things, but Im talking about the CORE product line. It was supposed to be DONE. The fact that later on he found out that there were errors in the original product and needed to be updated seems like an ok thing on the surface, but if he had tested them and made sure everything was working together as it was supposed to be in the beginning those issues would have been worked out back then. LIKE HE SAID THEY WERE when he started the campaign. If he had told us that he had 50 boards and that only a few had been tested and were ready for production.... I would not have backed this campaign. On that point alone. If I had known any one of the following things I would not have backed this campaign-
The boards weren't all ready for production
His title line about being a former manufacturer of arduino- AT BEST it was misleading. ON PURPOSE.
He lied to us, from the start, about his background, and his experience, again at best, misleading.
I thought he had to be a us citizen, per kickstarter. Because that way I had some recourse if he tried to disappear. As we all may find out to some degree, he is pretty much untouchable AFTER ONE YEAR. Why anyone thinks this is an arbitrary number I still don't understand. If he had said 11 months, that would have given everyone a couple weeks to see if refunds came and if they didn't then you'd still have a couple weeks to at least make an attempt to recover before the one year mark. Once the year is up without any kind of previous claim, and specifically because hes in china, we are all sunk. If you got a judge to listen to your complaint the first thing they are going to say is, "why did you wait an entire year before you said anything?" and then they will throw it out. The Chinese don't punish people for finding a clever way to dupe people, they will say he was smart and a shrewd business man. They spend a lot of time over there trying to out maneuver each other. And its not only an excepted common practice but its expected that you will do business in such a way as to cleverly cover your bases in all business transactions.
He will be clever and shrewd. And we will be screwed. Because kickstarter got Dimitreed.
Hey, but hopefully, even if he cant deliver in November, and even if he spent all our money trying to make it work, Im sure out of the kindness of his heart, as demonstrated on so many occasions and in so many colorful ways, that he will honor his obligation to give us all full refunds. Because that's the right thing to do.
What is Kickstarter? I think its a great way for people to try to do something really cool but not be burdened by the weight of having to deliver because if you can make it seem like you tried to do everything you could to make it work, the few backers that make any noise will quickly be silenced by the majority of the backers who believe your lies. If your lucky, you can get enough money to buy a bunch of equipment and set yourself up real nice so that after the dust settles you've got shelves full of product, offices open around the world, the bugs worked out of your website and new employees trained up and ready to go. Now all you have to do is run another highly successful campaign on another site so you can instantly build a great reputation for helping an employee pull off an amazing campaign that delivers one week early. It would help if you postured as a non profit and targeted teachers and children as long as you remember to delete any mention of smartmaker in your comments, which you can do there, you should be fine.
Because lets face it folks, everyone deserves a 3rd or 5th chance to try and not take advantage of people.
So lets all take sides and fight amongst ourselves while the time runs out. And while we are at it, lets try not to bother the creator because we don't want him to have to read this stuff, he probably feels bad enough already. And we need him working on our project or he won't have our orders to build his inventory. Without our money, and the time we gave him to use it, and ultimately the gift of allowing him to use our products to fulfill 'real" orders later, I don't know how hed make it.
@Henrik, with all due respect, Kickstarter and Indigogo and not donation platforms. These are not charitable organizations. The financial way these are structured is they are debt contracts; the project creator must perform or face the consequences.
If I was going to donate money, I would go to charitynavigator.org and find something worthwhile, I would not donate money to someone with an 8+ year history of scamming people, or is eBay a donation site as well?
The other point is that every person that has requested a refund from the Indiegogo campaign is being refunded within 30 - 60min. - Dimitri is trying to do damage control because he is well aware that his behaviours and continued lack of performance are catching up to him.
Man, Dimitri... 7982 total packages through HK Customs... Good luck man :)
@Jon, ask any investor if it's logical to assume that everything they back will always be on time or even succeed. I did not call a specific person stupid, I just said "I'm not stupid enough [to] donate money I can't lose...". I don't know if any other person did or did not donate an amount they could not lose, but I do think I would be pretty stupid/illogical to do so myself.
Yet another guy who refers to a logic person as a "stupid", "troll" or an "asshole". I don't know if to cry or to laugh.
@Christoper Leveck, if you knew all that "since before this thing even funded", then you truly have nobody else to blame but yourself. I'm not frustrated at all. It was quite obvious this wasn't project going to meet the deadline for anyone who did not order just the basic package.
If I have been scammed, then so be it. I'm not stupid enough _donate_ money I can't lose on a gamble like this and then bitch about not getting anything. I'm not a bit frustrated at all, other than with the whiners here... I can clearly see how far along the production has come using the latest spreadsheet, and which pieces are most likely to take time to complete, and that most of it is already done. Not only that, Dimitri has shown he's taking the time to make sure that the items will actually work, and continue to work, when I do get them. A good guess is that THAT's where the KS money have gone so far. Nobody is going to make all those different items and in those quantities without a guarantee they are going to get paid. So no, I'm not worried my $285 went down his own pocket. If you're truly going to scam almost a thousand people, just $160k would not be worth it either.
I am starting to really hate the fact that we have given him a pass and are going to just sit and wait till nov. No matter what, even if he does deliver this entire thing has been a terrible sham. He has been lying to us since before this thing even funded. He lied to get a lot of us to even buy in, then he lied some more to trick the bulk of you to buy more stuff. I remember seeing you all comment on how you where trying to get your last minute orders in before the "DEADLINE" and even some who were disappointed they missed it. But like Dimitrious said, a line had to be drawn somewhere. WHY? Because he needed money for something obviously. Whatever it was, it didn't get anyone anything. THATS the part we all missed. There have been two not one IndieGoGo's. He raised 160k on kickstarter with the initial campaign, then when he put out the call for any additional orders that would be added to the initial order so that you could all take advantage of the FREE SHIPPING! THEN there was the IndieGoGo 160k. I wonder how many additional orders he got after the campaign. Theres no way of knowing, but from what Ive seen in the comments I keep hearing about doubled orders.....
Im thinking that there is no reason in the world it should take till nov to fill our orders. Why aren't they being filled now? I liked the video update, the way he would be doing it from now on. Why wasn't the last one done that way? Because he NEVER does anything he says he will. OR maybe its because he accidentally showed us there was a wall behind the door instead of boxes that couldn't be photographed because there wasn't enough light? Arghhh. I feel like we need to form a support group, because more of us will need someone to talk to before this is over....
Positive, Negative... All statements of fact my friend, documented. Black and White.
From what I see in the last update things are going in the right direction. I do not think Dimitri can afford to miss this last deadline of November 23. Right now he can say that 1, 2, 3 , 5 people are stalking him. But imagine that wold be when there will be another 977 people backing up these "stalkers" or doing what @Six did, flooding the internet with negative information about him. We might not get the money back but he would be finished. So he must think 100 times before breaking the last promise of delivering by November 23. So I am waiting patiently for that day.
Finally, done http://kicksucker.tumblr.com/post/58326869733/the-trouble-with-timmis
Ken and I are buddies but Im still controversial so I don't tell anyone so I don't embarrass him, wink wink nod nod, another guy who ran an awesome campaign is Paul Stoffregen.
He's the guy who made the Teensy 3.0 boards. I just really started playing with mine and realized that he never said anything about it but EVERYONE who thought this was a good idea should immediately go spend $19.00 bucks on one of these http://www.pjrc.com/store/teensy3.html.
If you want to know the thrill of ordering something IN STOCK and getting it when its supposed to arrive without someone pitching you more stuff while you wait.... NOT to mention the fact that he already has a nice user group and theres lots of example projects to build and copy. AND the thing is the size of a couple postage stamps so it actually could be used in a finshed project.
Oh, and buy some of Kens stuff to, just don't launch it in a model rocket, youll never get it back.
Say - Does anyone remember for what idea or project they bought into this mistake?
I forgot the new ideas and have already finished some of the old or given up on some.
If this ~$170 of junk ever arrives it is just trash to go out with the next neighborhood's electronics recycling drive.
---- Sigh ----
P.S. Here are Referrals: Support Ken Burns @ Tinycircuits and Felix Rusu @ LowPowerLab and Paul Badger @ Modern Device. Great guys. Honest, dependable, caring and reasonable prices.
I gave up following this Soap months ago and just checked back today. You guys are talking that 'D' scammed us on KickStarter and he did it again on Indiegogo? And with some of the same guys biting again???
Yeah! The Indiegogo project is like getting a poke in the eye. What it really means to me that there is that much slack in Dimitri's "plan". I dunno how much lipstick you can put on a Pig but everyday I feel more like an Ass for backing this smArtDuino and it is chapped big time now.
Henrik - Rage against the dying of the light. Some go quietly, some fight back, some fight for those who cant fight for themselves. You can be a man waiting, sometimes thats the hardest thing, but taking action can be manly too. Its never sad to make an effort.
Your comment is sad. And kind of girly.
Your frustration however is totally understandable.
As I have said before, I support the $9 Arduino project AS A PROJECT! It was a great opportunity for people who cant afford to drop $20 or $30 on an Uno or Leonardo AND of course all the free components that got thrown in. Also a fantastic chance for educators, schools, clubs etc... to get in on the bulk amounts they were selling.
- Im not confident in the producers of it (Smartmaker) based on what has happened here.
- I think it was poor taste to launch a large scale project before at least getting all smartmaker boards finalized and in production! (and of course they knew it was going to be a sell out! You would have to be nuts not to buy an Arduino with all those extras for $9 + $3 shipping!)
- It really needs to stay as a one time deal price or at least only release a batch like that no more then twice a year or something (ideally just once during the summer for Schools and Younger people to get in on) as selling a fully formed Arduino Leonardo for $9 (although great for buyers) hurts the open source community by undercutting even the worst made most shockingly bad boards that come out of China and HK. It affects Arduino TM 's bottom line which in turn slows development and has a larger-then-you-might-think knock on effect to all makers and retailers of Arduino Official Boards as well as every single producer of Clones and Derivatives.
I supported the $9 Arduino project as I HOPE Mr Timmis is made of better stuff then we have seen exhibited here, I hope that he proves us wrong and doesn't let Smartmaker run him as a puppet for their own means as it is genuinely a good idea for a project and as a non-profit deal (which I believe it is, or as close to NP as you could get) it demonstrates a rare selfless act and a good service for people that really dont have the money but want to learn electronics and programming.
I REALLY don't want to see a 2nd project and its backers get the smartmaker treatment!
As I said to Six earlier, Creating an Arduino Clone from the official design is a simple job and anyone with a few hours experience with Eagle, Ki-Cad or LabVIEW etc.. could design their own as you can download the .Sch and .Brd files straight off the Arduino Site or Git, add your own silkscreen logos, info etc (including the relevent stuff Arduino ask you to include), change the solder screen color during ordering the PCB prints or themselves if being produced inhouse, its even just a few mins work to move the pin order around, add extra headers, change components and hardware like the USB and Power inputs and so on.
Its a tried and tested design so no risk of issues if you stick with the "Official" Circuit layout, really it comes down to just a different colour solder mask layer and Silkscreen printing,
The production however is where the money comes in and this is where smartmaker get involved as they are the ones with all the equipment and staff! IF you have a factory with the machines and operators to produce for you and staff to deal with QA and Shipping then again its a straight forward PCB build. I have even seen people have the boards printed by OSHPark or similar and then solder Leo's with home made toaster reflow ovens for the IC's and hand solder all the rest!! They are a great design, nice and simple Arduino board.
Factory production is just a matter of handing your customized files off to the Production team to setup the panels, PCB machines, Pick and Place and Reflow ovens then run your batches and you have yourself a nice shiny stack of 'duinos!
Anyway, legal action! Thats a good laugh. Last time I checked most of us live in a free country and speaking your mind is not a crime nor is providing information provided it is backed up with proof.
This is turning into a damn Soap Opera!
It's sad to see how much effort people can put into something when all they have to do is wait...
You've spent money on a promise, something that can go one way or another, now man up and take the consequences.
More action and shocking developments:
"Refunded me within 20 minutes after raising a dispute. - Here is his reply...
"This is not a scam. If you believe what crazy people write on Internet without verify, then you will miss great offers like the $9 Arduino. Here is the full refund. Please note that nothing will be shipped to you. Best regards." "
"I got this reply from a comment I left on the indiegogo (note he only allows private comments)....
Hey (xxxx) - This website is a fraud bears no truth. It has been created by a stalker in which I am already taking legal action.Thank You, Harold Timmis"
Given that Harold is an American, a native English speaker and a published author, I think we can take it that Harold himself did not compose that reply
This has scam written all over it unfortunately. Having said that, I too got an immediate refund. Now to find a real starter Arduino kit to play with
Edit - I got the exact same response in my refund btw. The phrasing of that response and the reply to my comment above would suggest Dimitri is responding rather than Harold."
"Right, but have a look at your paypal account, my paypal money went to SmartMaker which is the same crowd running the failed Kickstarter campaign. And I think its safe to say that it is not Harold who is replying in the comments/replies mentioned about - looking at Dimitri's (SmartMaker) various replies in the KickSucker posts it sounds like he is replying as Harold. I think Harold is a patsy unfortunately. I've tweeted Harold to see if he has any knowledge of these replies that are written in his name."
I love the Irish! These guys are no joke - They still have what was stolen from us... They trust each other... because Dimitri alter ego/conspirator (Torbjorn) is not there running circles and lighting fires.
Seriously, I CANNOT WAIT to see what this legal action Dimitri is taking against my stalker, fraudulent self is! http://kicksucker.tumblr.com/post/58326869733/the-trouble-with-timmis
Oh Nial is fiesty and knocking the ball outta the park! Swing batta batta swing!
I have been watching the traffic to the blog and here is an example of how some IDGG backers are responding to the information they are reading:
"I've raised a dispute on Paypal saying it is a scam, you need to do this now because the delivery date will go over the 60 days post payment that Paypal allows for raising disputes. I also emailed indiegogo suggesting they close and refund the campaign if they haven't already handed over the money. - I'll PM op now to ask him to remove the funding link and link to Kicksucker's posts instead."
After 6 months of posting the same information to no avail... 7 days and this epic saga is spreading like wildfire. - People are listening while they can do something about it.
The same information was published on the web that I have been writing here and been attacked for repeatedly... as well as Nial... as well as Chris and a handful of others
The same information I handed Kickstarter AND Indiegogo who did... nothing.
The big difference? Dimitri and his lap dog are not in the mix pitting backers against each other like dogs in a ring - No mountains of subterfuge. No personal attacks.
Backers sharing information and looking out for each other.
Maybe now we (all us backers) can work together - Share information - Leverage the momentum the blog is rapidly gaining to give Kickstarter AND Indiegogo cause to exercise their due diligence and take action.
It isn't my blog, I am just the story teller - It is our blog - Our story. - Goonies never say die!
It is a story that will no doubt live on in a legacy of infamy and the timing couldn't be better... right in the middle of Maker Faire season.
With this PR disaster resting squarely in their lap; Direct emails to/from them published for the world - There is no plausible deniability for them... They were made aware in no uncertain terms there was a BIG issue brewing - and they STILL did nothing.
Perhaps now they will take action like they did when public outcry demanded they resolve the issue with the "rape" guide
There are more exciting developments coming tonight (by "exciting" I mean more lies uncovered that will make you annoyed enough to click the link and tell Indiegogo AND click another one to tell Kickstarter.
Here is a little teaser:
This project is now officially a joke! The problem is that its a damn expensive joke and its really not funny!
Where has Dimitri gone? Over at the $9 Arduino IGG campaign its all go! Production has started, questions are being answered by "The" creator Hamitri almost immediately (unless you mention smartmaker in which case they get deleted almost immediately) and so on, its like he has just given up here, cant be bothered to answer any more questions and has decided that he doesn't have to do anything for you or the $200-$300 you have put in his pockets.
The thing that is annoying me by far the most is that he blatantly thinks he is going to get away with this!
I know alot of backers still believe (and everyone hopes) that Dimitri will come through, you will get all your boards (minus a couple maybe) OR you will get a full refund... I'm sorry to say it but I think the chances of anyone receiving anywhere near the orders they placed or a refund of any kind are remote at best!
If I am wrong then awesome! Everyone gets their stuff or everyone gets their $23-$300+ back.
What I am finding the hardest to swallow is that if Dimitri fails and come November still no one has their kit and refunds don't happen, he will just get away with it. There is no protection for the backers what so ever and he will keep all the equipment purchased, his office and storage and 5% share in a production facility in the heart of Shenzhen that this paid for, and he will be set to keep it all running as a business built on the money pledged by all smartmaker backers and we know this now as we have seen that despite all the signs pointing towards this project being an epic size fail, and at the least the fact that he is 8 months late delivering Smartmaker, not a single Kickstarter backer has received a single board and that he has decided not to discuss the matter any further... He (and lets not pretend that Harold is the only one running it) has just pulled in another $160k on another crowd funding site for another Arduino based project! WTF???
If no one receives their gear or a refund and he turns around in November and says "Sorry guys I cant provide you with your rewards or a refund" (and at best sends everyone out a bunch of random boards missing half the parts needed to make them slot together as designed and work and some Sh1tty yellow t-shirts), he will NOT ever face any type of penalty or anything! He will have technically done nothing wrong and at worst get banned from using Kickstarter again (which he has already sorted by becoming a "partner" of IGG and running an extreamly successful campaign there which of course as a "non-profit" product helping schools, kids, low income families etc.. has given Boarderless Electronics and IGG a massive amount of good press coverage!
Crowdfunding sites need to start looking very carefully at how they operate and hold creators accountable.
We ALL know Its never going to be 100% safe to back a project and of course from time to time they do fail and people loose money. Its the way that this project has been handled, the lack of respect for backers and the out right lies that have been the primary issues here as well as strong evidence that this project was not even within the Kickstarter requirements to be started in the first place.
Finally, even back before the project was funded there were signs that something was not right, remember all the lies about working for Arduino (when in fact one of the solder technicians was some factory worker who used to work in another factory that 2 years ago made two batches of 500 Arduino Shields) and of course the lady who worked for Arduino who now works for Smartmaker but we couldn't see her in the picture of the staff to match her tattoos because "she was holding the camera.." and no follow up picture ever happened, its been BS from day 1, blaming other makers and campaigns, saying that kits had been shipped when they hadn't even been finished yet, blaming delays on "broken molds" and 4 week long holidays and so on and on and on!!!
If anyone hasn't read Six's latest post, you should. The guidelines presented aren't new, they are already documented and readily available for anyone to read.
The assumptions in there are based upon a set of expectations that all parties involved in the group funding transaction are looking to actively do right by the others. This includes backers, project owners, and intermediaries. In my opinion they're pretty common sense.
My personal position right now is I want my stuff or I want my money back. When the project was a couple of months late I was much less critical in my analysis as I figured the situation just looked worse than it was and it would correct itself. I was wrong obviously and this situation with the Indigogo project collecting funds for the same entity is just another indication of the issues with this project owner. Lesson learned regardless of what happens on November 23.
Ive decided to create a campaign of my own to fund a small documentary on the lonely life of a Kickstarter Whistlebacker.....All proceeds will go to the Whistlebacker Bill Fund. Legislation to protect the Whistlers that don't blow.
From my perspective, Dimitri and his campaign have become a case study for a much larger issue, in other words, a symptom (a very serious one).
What began months ago as a situation that could have been very quickly and quietly resolved has, as Chris stated, snowballed out of control and brought to light many issues previously not questioned.
This has become about accountability, ownership, integrity and ethics. Period.
Reading through alot of the recent activity going all the way back to Dimitri's last big appearance as victim on July 30th, where he attempted to smear me as a "stalker" and repeatedly asked, "What is their scope?"
I finally have an answer: http://kicksucker.tumblr.com/post/58296667691/perspective-and-intent
This is what I did yesterday. It's impossible to offer an ETA, because it's not under my control. I can manage to give the goods to a delivery company, then it will be in their hands the control. I've gave the middle of April as ETD and it is our realistic goal.
About the double shipment, it will be of course an option but I want to give the right information to choose what to do. About a week before the shipping date I will send a clear and detailed update. This will report exactly what we will be able to send out and, most important, when we are sure the other parts will be ready.
With this information in the hands, you will be able to choose what to do.
Thanks again for your support,
This would have been nice. Then we would all have had SOMETHING to be playing with, as he stated. Why can't we do this now? I mean these parts are supposedly all in stock, everyone of us should have at least these basic parts as part of our orders, right? I know it's going to be because they don't have the time, but they have time to ship out 15,000 boards, right? And those wont be ready for a couple weeks, if ever, so why can't they be doing this now, for us, since we have been waiting so patiently, well some of you have...... I don't get it. If money isn't a problem, and time isn't a problem, because they have extra to donate towards Hamitri's project, then why the hell can't they at least send this out, then everyone would have something they cant do anything with instead of nothing they cant do anything with.
The DIMITRIATI said-
If this will be possible, we will actually have all the materials to complete the first two levels of pledge, Starter and Tinkerer, and we will have the parts to offer a basic kit to every backer.
If we will be able to do this, what we want to do is to send to everybody a first shipment that will include all the parts available. This allows any backer to have something to play, while we wait the Chinese to come back from the holidays.
We will pay for the additional shipment costs.
They DID come back right? We need to kickstarter this thing back in gear. If we don't hurry up theres this thing called Chinese screw year that happens every year, but it kind of sneaks up on you and then BAM! Everybody disappears for a month.... Its right around the corner too. Just a few long months, which isn't much in Dimitriological time....
As SOMEONE said, OH brother. When this all started it was cwleveck is a terrorist. Now that some of you are coming around its, I think someone said.....
Meanwhile, SIXTO has redeemed himself by stealing my best lines....
HAHA, just kidding. This isn't funny, and it shouldn't be amusing, and I think your right, I have been amazed by Six's tenacity and attention to detail. After nearly 20 years working with tenacious agents who suffer from add, and their counterparts, the OCD Anal-ists, I can tell you that it is rare to get a bulldog who knows how to use a spreadsheet and a search engine. I spouted out a few facts and figures, Sixto started a website.
HOWEVER, you owe me for the following terms-
IndiGoneGone TM- you haven't stolen yet but your going to now
Anythingway expressedway inway igpay atinlay orway ypheredcay
ithway ethay ackercray ackjay ecoderday ingray Imway endingsay
ouyay asway oonsay asway Iway opstay ettinggay attoostay andway
otherway unkjay andway indfay anotherway oneway orway untilway
ymay ifeway iguresfay outway atwhay Imway upway otay andway
opsstay uyingbay emay ackercray acksjay.
And on a mostly serious note, thanks for the info on the SSL stuff, etc. That's interesting. I guess it blows my theory out of the water that the two things are somehow connected, but it does seem to be a strange coincidence. It has been my experience in the past however, that when things start to go downhill they snowball. Once that happens, I have found the best thing to do sometimes is get out of the way, cover your ears, close your eyes, and save your strength. Let the snowball roll, that's what they do, let it run downhill until it hits something solid enough to stop it on its own, by that time it has cleared out all the crap that couldn't stand up to a little frozen water and probably shouldn't be growing on a hill to begin with. Once it has hit an obstacle worthy enough to remain standing, give the snow time to melt, things need to settle down after all that chaos, now you have something solid to rebuild on. then be prepared, rested, and ready to move forward, always making sure that whatever you fix is strong enough to catch the next one should it come tumbling down the corporate ladder.
OR move somewhere warmer and go into a business that doesn't involve frozen water, something like the surfing industry.
Now in surfing you gotta learn how to paddle before you stand up and don't go after the big wave your first time out and watchout for sharks. OH, and women in bikinis, NEVER get taken in by the two piece, you want a one piece with a sunburn, a librarian quiet type whos there on vacation from Toledo.........
What Keith said!
Up until the end of last year I had a small store attached to my website as a separate entity which of course had SSL certs. They are often included with a hosting package but can also be purchased separately as Keith has said. You can also pay monthly for on going cover.
It is starting to be a little odd that the sales site has down so long now, if he is using a 3rd party company to do the work then they would do it with minimal downtime,
Also as someone else said, its odd that no notice was given.
@Six - Looks like you have found your calling, a website to out the BS told by kickstarter project creators!
Always a good read!
For those interested, my thoughts on the Smartmaker / Borderless Electronics delivery http://kicksucker.tumblr.com/post/58167724869/the-art-of-the-float-what-dimitri-taught-me
And as a simpler explanation - a SSL certificate merely enables the server to communicate with client web browsers using encrypted (https) channels. So having an expired cert just means that if you use https instead of http in the browser address, then you will either not be allowed to connect or your browser will display a bunch of warnings against continuing.
The SSL certificate expired on July 11. That was quite a bit before the store was taken offline. So I don't think the two are directly related. Also, an e-commerce site will run just fine without SSL (or with an expired SSL certificate), but this is strongly recommended against because it is very insecure.
All SSL certificates expire. When you buy one, it is only good for a fixed duration of time. There usually is not a fine for failing to renew in time - since certificates aren't really "renewed". Once created, a certificate cannot ever be altered. You have to get a new certificate that has a different "valid for" date range.
It is possible that a new certificate has already been obtained, but is installed to a replacement e-commerce server instead of what currently sits at https://smartmaker.com. It is also possible that they had trouble installing the new certificate and fixing it hasn't been a high priority. It is also possible that they forgot all about it and nobody noticed the expired certificate until recently.
It's not a regulatory thing. Anyone can buy a SSL certificate, and there are a number of sources for them. They aren't stupidly cheap, but they also aren't insanely expensive. All it takes to make a SSL cert is a second or two of cryptographic processing - but it must be done by a machine that is itself a trusted certificate authority. Which is why you can't just make them yourself - it needs to be created by one of the trusted certificate signing authorities (Thawte, Verisign, etc).
Pictor- Ive been thinking about this a little too. It seems to me that if you where having this much trouble and you were PLANING on switching or making a huge change like this, I mean this is supposed to be his bread and butter, the reason why he didn't have to use the kickstarter money on monthly expenses.... It would seem that he might give a heads up of some kind, or at least mention it to us BEFORE we had to ask him about it.
I am only SPECULATING here but it seems more like a situation where he was "turned off" and hasn't been able to secure a new service for whatever reason. This isn't my specialty but it seems as if he lost his security certificate or something, right? Why would you let it run out, or turn it off, to move to another service? Early in my business career, back when we had to pay HUGE bills for cellular and landlines plus internet fees, my phone bills ran about 15k a month, and once when we got behind they turned us off. we lost everything in one shot. I couldn't go to another service and so we were down for several days while I scrambled to not only pay our past due, but also our new bill, and while we were at it they made us pay a deposit AND fees to turn everything back on, as well as new contracts on our cells.... anyway it was a horrible situation. Anyone know if or how you could "lose" an e commerce security certificate or whatever it is? And has he since re registered or whatever he has to do to even go to another service.
Not trying to kick the man while hes down but curious. This may be an area where I could use a little influence to help the guy out. I just need to understand the problem. But if its a regulatory thing I might know someone who can help. Not in a under the table way, but if its bureaucratic BS, there might be something could be done, so to speak.
@Six, i agree with you that Kickstarter is having these kind of problems more and more, and although they are the most famous crowd-source funding platform it seems there has been a couple of "errors" policies... that many users feel strange, not at easy and probably starting to wonder sometimes the lack of support and the alternatives
I have been supporting indiegogo and kickstarter for awhile now and i love both, i would hope each platform can improve in supporting first and foremost their community backers behind their success... the money we put in and is paid some in commission should be there for the good and bad times... and sometimes it seems is not easy for kickstarter when things go bad do set up and protect the backers... i appreciated you taking time and elucidate us on communication and the different point of views... transparency and fairness is all what we want!
@Dimitri, again i must reiterate that i do hope you will come to senses and will follow through your project by providing time to time updates and estimate deliveries. nothing is lost yet, i have backed some project here in kickstarter that i received after 1 year and a lot of hassle so the game only ends and is game over and is still not there yet!
i did not given up yet and i still believe that all of this is because of some misfortunes and bad judgment, you just got to greed in making more than you can shew... maybe i am wrong and i do hope i will be wrong, as this would really hurt the open source community and of course all of us who believe and trusted you, so work hard and deliver!
I have two points:
Now its three weeks, that you have published your Excel sheet. If things are moving, there must be a lot of change in the current version. Please share that with us again.
Second: Yo write about your shop-migration with shopping-cart-migration.com. They state on their webpage: ___100% uptime for source store___
As I am working in related fields, I really wonder, about the long downtime of your shop. I know, that under some circumstances there are downtimes (measured in minutes up to some hours) sometimes necessary, but never so long, as your shop is now down.
Please continue sharing background information with us!
Whats the point of having a secret language if you tell everybody what it is? Jeez.
@Chris - only a man with pre/teens would still know pig latin... you are my hero ;)
@Tim Even more basic than the product design guidelines are the basic Must be US resident guidelines... KS would have to actually follow through with the enforcement of them... Check out my correspondence with KS customer service for a play by play on how that works http://kicksucker.tumblr.com/post/57704045501/what-can-kickstarter-do-for-you-not-much