Flutter News Sept 2016
I'm back for another Flutter update. First a TL;DR:
- I want to apologize for unfairly characterizing some backer's complaints as "noise" in my last update. Complaints about how I have handled this campaign are valid and I should not try to minimize them. There is no excuse for behaving that way.
- We're shipping! We've shipped 11 boxes of the highest reward tier, the "It's not -not- Skynet" reward.
- Each box was packed with 5 Basics, 5 Pros, 4 Explorers, 1 Starter Kit, 12 Breakouts, 10 USB cables, a printed thank you letter, a hand written card, a "Getting Started" document, a bug notice, and a packing list.
- The Network Shield, Bluetooth Shield, and Shield Shield are back ordered and will ship separately.
- Now that I've got a handle on how and what exactly to ship, I should be able to ramp up my shipping volume soon.
- Before I ship any more packages, I've got to spend a little time to document and debug the latest software install procedure. I'll be working on that for the next week.
- After I get the basic software setup procedure properly documented, I will work on ramping up shipping.
- I expect shipments to resume in two weeks.
- There is a bug in the current version of the Flutter hardware. Input voltages above 7v may permanently damage the battery charger circuit, so we have included a 7805 voltage regulator with every board shipped. See this page for more info. This will be fixed in future production runs.
- I've fixed an issue with our discussion forum's email system, so sign ups and notifications that were broken should work again. Visit community.flutterwireless.com and check it out.
And now the full update:
I wanted to start my update by apologizing for a comment I made in the last update. I've received a healthy dose of criticism for my delivery times, and there have been some members of the community who have made it clear how frustrated they are with how I have handled the campaign. In the last update, I characterized some of those people as "noise", and I think it's clear I was trying to minimize their complaints.
That was a mistake.
I have not handled this campaign as I had promised I would. Complaints about my behavior and the treatment of backers have all been valid, and I apologize for suggesting anything otherwise. I hope you will learn that I am a loving, flawed person. I will do my best to care for each and every one of you. I have learned since the campaign to make fewer promises, and to work harder to make good on the ones I do make. I can't go back to 2014 and deliver Flutter to you when I first promised I would, but I can today and all future days do my very best to be clear what I intend to deliver and then to deliver that.
Thanks for joining me on this journey.
Okay! Want to know something cool? A couple of weekends ago, I filled 20 boxes with product from the highest value reward of the campaign - the "It's not -not- Skynet" reward. Each box was packed with 5 Basics, 5 Pros, 4 Explorers, 1 Starter Kit, 12 Breakouts, and 10 USB cables. The Network Shield (AKA Flutter Connect), Bluetooth Shield, and Shield Shield still have some development to do, so they will be coming in a separate shipment.
Once the boxes were all packed, I sent about 15 emails triple checking addresses after having already double checked them at the end of May. One person had moved! Thanks to the backers who emphasized the importance of doing that. Responses to the emails started to come in the same night I sent them. It was time to ship.
I still had one more thing to do though: put together the finishing touches for each box. In addition to the product from the pledge, each box gets a few extra items. There's a printed thank you letter, an "About This Shipment/Getting Started" document, a packing list, a notice about a hardware bug I have discovered that affects all current hardware, and a thank you card.
Last weekend I finalized those documents, and on Memorial Day I finalized 11 packages with postage and everything needed to drop them off at the post office. Tuesday at lunch I dropped them off. They were on their way!
I had a few other urgent shipments to finalize, so I spent a couple evenings working those out. All told I shipped 14 packages this week. It's a small start, but I'm getting the little things out of the way (learning where to buy postage from, finalizing documents related to each pledge, etc). It is getting faster for me to ship rewards, which is great because I've got a lot more to send!
This weekend I've been working on some back end issues: our community discussion board was broken - our email provider stopped providing a free service some months back, so it has been unable to send emails. I set up mailgun and reconfigured the site to use that, so it looks like that is fixed. I had also neglected the board, and it became a ghost town. I'm working on clearing out the cobwebs and making it a great place for Flutter fans to discuss all things Flutter.
The next thing I have to do is make the unboxing software experience better. We still have the old instructions for installing Flutter and they're needlessly complex. We've got a new way of doing things now, but it still has some bugs to work out and there are currently no instructions for how to do things. My highest priority at the moment is to make sure that the 120 or so boards that shipped out last week are easy to set up and use. Once that process is solid, I can focus all of my efforts on ramping up shipping.
I expect that next weekend I will still be fighting with software setup issues, but will resume shipping in about two weeks.
I'll keep you posted.
Oh, and if you've made it this far, maybe you could use something to do. Perhaps watch this video on love by Maya Angelou?
I love you,