It's a Wrap: Thank you
Your support of the Field Skillet Kickstarter campaign gave us the opportunity to turn a passion project into something that is en route to being our life's work. So, thank you—again.
This is our final update for this Kickstarter project. We've just launched our own website at www.fieldcompany.com and you're more than welcome to find us there or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
Your support made the following possible:
- We fulfilled all original Kickstarter pledges with completed surveys by May of 2017, roughly one year after the campaign ended. Each pan has a special makers mark.
- You helped us create 15+ new American manufacturing jobs
- You helped the Field Company get off the ground—and as we continue to try to do big things, we hope you take some pleasure at being able to point to our journey and say that you had a hand in getting us started
We appreciate great design and engineering, but for us, those things have always been in service of people. Great experiences with people have been the most rewarding part of bringing something out into the world through Kickstarter. We love that we have a Facebook group of Field Cast Iron enthusiasts that we didn't have a hand in making. We've loved introducing thousands of people to the joy of cast iron. We had some tough weeks behind schedule and buried in production details to get it back on track—and we couldn't believe the kindness of some of our backers to step in and help us communicate what was going on. Thank you Tom Nelson, Abaddon, Andy Butler, Aaron Smith, and everyone else—it takes a village.
We were over-confident walking into manufacturing. We're very proud of the Field Skillet as a product. But it's not easy making lighter, smoother cast iron and it's not a surprise that many of the companies that produced beautiful vintage skillets went out of business.
The magnitude of our Kickstarter enabled us to absorb the time delays, manufacturing hiccups, and a number of iterations to get it right. On the other hand, the magnitude of our Kickstarter added immense pressure to go from a production rate of zero to a scaled system very quickly.
We also apologize for the sporadic updates and wish we had done a number of things differently. The most challenging part of the spotty road to production was that we never felt like we had information we could fully trust—and that information would change weekly. The way most established businesses deal with this problem is managing a buffer of inventory, which is what we're doing going forward.
There's also a number of problems with the Kickstarter platform that make managing information difficult: only 25% of backers will open an update email, those update emails may end up being contradicted by later updates, and so forth. The result of that confusion for a campaign with 12,000+ backers is hundreds of messages with individual backers on a regular basis, which also creates significant customer service burden for few person team. In hindsight, it would have been smart to have a single page website with the most up to date information at the top, followed by a changelog. Unfortunately, we weren't smart enough to think of that until we had almost finished fulfillment.
As mentioned, we are up and running at fieldcompany.com. Our larger size, the Field Skillet #10, will be available within a few months. We have a number of other products we're excited to release over the next twelve months and we look forward to building more content and tools on our site for our community.
As a young company, we are trying to make choices that ensure we'll be around for a long time. We're still here for you and always happy to give tips, recipes, or talk cast iron.
Our very best,
-Chris, Stephen, and the Field Team