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The COOLEST is a portable party disguised as a cooler, bringing blended drinks, music and fun to any outdoor occasion.
The COOLEST is a portable party disguised as a cooler, bringing blended drinks, music and fun to any outdoor occasion.
The COOLEST is a portable party disguised as a cooler, bringing blended drinks, music and fun to any outdoor occasion.
62,642 backers pledged $13,285,226 to help bring this project to life.

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Are you still there?

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Hey Coolest Backers,

I hope this message finds you off to a happy and healthy start to 2016!

We’re excited to be on track based on our last update, but we do have an action item we need your help with.

Later today we’re going to send everyone who hasn’t yet received his or her Coolest an email (which will come from Coolest, not Kickstarter). Please open that email, click the link and make sure we have your correct shipping information. If everything looks good, you don’t need to do a thing. If your address is wrong just type in the correct one and hit the big green button. 

Why are we so focused on addresses right now? Well, I’m sure you sent out some Christmas cards this year that were returned because you had the wrong address, right?

Well, that’s happening to us. But imagine instead of mailing a postcard, you’re shipping a 30+lb box to someone, and you’ve got the wrong address because they moved. Now you need to pay to send the box back to your house, then pay to send it out to the right address again. Now imagine you’re shipping worldwide. Finally, imagine having to track down whoever lives at the wrong address and trying to talk them out of their new ‘free’ Coolest Cooler!

That’s why I’m reaching out today to ask for your help.

We need to verify everyone’s address so we can complete our fulfillment plan and get you your delivery estimate.

As promised, we’ve been building an online tool that will tell remaining backers how many Coolest Coolers in each color and in each zone are in front of them, and when you can expect your Coolest.

But when we dove deep in the shipping and returns data, we were surprised how many folks have moved around since their survey was completed. In order for this online scheduling tool to be effective, we need to start with the most updated information possible. From there, we basically need to schedule out weekly production across all factories by color, and then coordinate with our carriers to pack out and ship to each zone by backer number. None of it works with so many wrong addresses.

So, here’s the process:

1. Later today you're going to receive an email from us showing which color Coolest you selected for your backer reward, and which shipping address we have on file for you.

2. OPEN it and click on the link. If all the information is correct, then you can ignore and get on with your day. If your address is wrong then just type in your new one.  If you don't see another email look in your spam folder.

3. We’re setting a deadline of February 10th for everyone to complete the update. If you don’t open this first email, we’ll likely re-send to the unopened emails because we really, really want your Coolest to go to where you are now.

4. It will take two weeks to re-run the production and shipping plan based on that compiled information and integrate it into our new Shipping tool.

5. On February 26th, we’ll send an email to you with links to the live Coolest/Shipping page showing remaining backers how many orange, green or blue Coolests are in your shipping zone ahead of you, and our best estimate for when your Coolest will arrive.

Other than that we’re on track with all the other updates we’ve shared.

That’s it. Look for the email and open it. Thanks!

Wishing you and your family an amazing 2016,

–Ryan

It's a motor miracle...

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Hey Coolest Backers,

I hope this message finds you in the holiday spirit and relaxing and recreating with friends and family.

I wanted to share some good news, a product upgrade, and make the final bit of waiting for some of you a little easier.

With these updates, it’s tough to share all the important details without writing a novel, so here’s Cliff Note's version in case anyone has a Holiday party to attend:

1. The strike that caused our delays has been resolved! We'll have our original motor back in stock soon! :)

2. We’ve used this downtime to improve the drain plug.

3. With the strike over and new backup sourcing for the motor in place, full production will begin again either January 25th or Feb 15th (this is right before or after Chinese New Year, when most of our Chinese suppliers take their holiday break). By the end of January, we’ll be able to tell those still waiting for a Coolest where your are in the line for delivery of orange, green or blue Coolest Coolers.

4. Goal post for last backer Coolest shipping this spring is still in place.

That’s the fast update. For those wanting more detail, see below.

Our entire team is wishing you and your families a happy holiday season,

Ryan

1. Motor issues solved! Two great pieces of news to share. First, the original motor factory has resolved their strike, and our Coolest motors are towards the front of the line as they ramp back up. As you know, this strike issue delayed our production this Fall and Winter and many loyal backers are still waiting on their shipments. We couldn’t be more relieved. We’ll run spot checks on the motors again to verify that quality hasn’t slipped post-strike, but our hopes are high and we’re excited to get back into full production for you. Also, one of the two other motors we’ve been testing has successfully completed our Motor Abuse testing (800+ pitchers), so we now have a second source for a Coolest qualified motor backup.

2. New drain plug. During the production downtime caused by the strike, we’ve taken the opportunity to fully evaluate our manufacturing process. In this Coolest/Countdown post from October, we discovered that some coolers had drain plugs that were not tightened all the way and a small number that still leaked*. We’re refining the tooling for the drain plug to resolve this issue.

3. Production start date. As you can imagine, manufacturing more motors and plugs takes time for quality control. We should have new motors in stock, and the improved drain plug completed by the third week of January and be able to turn on production by the week of January 25th. There’s a two week window right around then where all factories close down for Chinese New Years, but we’ll be back up and running full speed again by at least February 15th.

4. We hear you - waiting is hard. Everyone wishes the strike had ended sooner but it was out of our hands. I do want to tell you how much I appreciate your patience with the ever-learning journey of this Kickstarter process. On behalf of my team, I thank you for your understanding and sharing of your positive comments and feedback. You have no idea how much you keep us going.

The worst kind of waiting is when you don’t know when your wait will be over. Many backers have shared this frustration, and we’re trying to do something to help take the sting out of this final bit of waiting. With the strike over and full production resuming soon we’re now elbow deep in the fulfillment data to find a better way to show and share our progress. By the end of January we’re committing to email those of you who haven’t received their Coolest yet and give you a way to find out when you can expect your Coolest to show up on your door.

Thanks for listening and best wishes to you and your loved ones this holidays,

-Ryan

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*If you have any technical questions about your Coolest let us know at service@coolest.com 

I hear you...

1,651 likes

Hey Coolest Backers, 

I appreciate all the supportive emails that came in yesterday, but also want to address what seems to be a lot of confusion about two of the things in the last update video. 

The first is the motor factory strike. Just to be clear again we are seeking out new motors for our new coolers. The ones that have been delivered are fine, however we ran into some trouble where the factory that manufactures our motor has gone on strike and we need to find another supplier. We are fully engaged in that process and we’ll keep you updated on the testing as results come in so we can resume production as soon as possible. 

The second confusion was that a lot of people were upset that the Coolest is available for purchase for $500 on Amazon Launchpad right now. These Amazon orders are available right now because back this summer when the Launchpad team reached out we had no idea that this strike would impact us, nor were able to see the other incremental production delays. As a startup business, Launchpad was a huge opportunity for us and it was an honor for them to select us for this program, but clearly the timing was not ideal.

We fulfilled a purchase order for a limited quantity that they placed, but please remember the people on Amazon are paying $500 for this, where you’ll receive yours for the $185 or so you backed on Kickstarter. Kickstarter rewards will still be shipping out to backers in the coming weeks as new containers of Coolest arrive in port. 

I sure wish that we could have fulfilled all of our backer rewards first, but these are two different situations. It seems that some people were upset when I said we are doing this to keep the lights on, but please understand that the online profits from people who are ordering this at $500 are helping to subsidize the huge upgrade costs that brought us from prototype to this world class cooler. 

What you backed...           What you'll get
What you backed... What you'll get

Other people, I just have to say personally, are kind of giving up on the Kickstarter process here. In their hurry to get their Coolest, they’ve forgotten about the size and scale of what we’ve accomplished, and they are making comments about the funding we received from this Kickstarter. This is very hurtful and frustrating because, believe me, I’m not gallivanting off on trips around the world...other than to visit our suppliers in China. My time is spent away from my family, working late nights and weekends to get everyone’s Coolest to them as quickly as I possible can. 

If you’ve ever opened up your own company, ever paid taxes, ever paid consultant fees, ever designed a product from scratch for a few hundred people and then had to scale it for mass production for more than 60,000 people, ever had every decision you make scrutinized by the masses, or ever offered something that ended up being more expensive to make than you sold it for, you can understand that we are not spending your money frivolously. 

When you look at the quality we’ve built into this, hear the feedback from those who have touched and used it, and factor in the extensive design and engineering and testing we’ve done, this reality is very clear: the total cost for your Coolest will be a lot more than you paid for it. Because of that, there were delays, there was a decision to take pre-orders, and a decision to commit to online sales. None of this is ideal

We’d all like to receive our Coolest the week after we backed for it, and, my God, we wish that would have happened too…except that’s not what Kickstarter is about. 

Kickstarter is about supporting an idea that needs to go be developed and created, and the understanding has always been that it’s a process. Lots of projects have been delayed. We see in the comments that some of our folks backed the previous #1 Funded Pebble Watch campaign, and were able to buy it at Best Buy before they received it as backers. Pebble didn’t mean to do that, and neither did we. 

The delays in production, or problems like we’re having with our strike, are challenging the delivery timeline. But the good news is we’ve already succeeded in creating something that didn’t exist before. You’re going to see all these people who are happy with their Coolest, who love it. And when you actually see the incredible detail, the level of quality of the components and materials, then you’ll realize it was worth it. 

I wish this process went faster. I wish I could shout that from every rooftop “I’M SORRY THIS DIDN’T GET DONE FASTER!” But I’ve never had to manage a strike in China before. 

One thing I’m incredibly proud of is our ability to keep you informed about the journey and efforts, the successes and setbacks, and the entire complicated process involved in bringing the Coolest Cooler to life, and we’ve done that in the last 35 Kickstarter updates and 20+ Coolest/Countdown blogs, and personally responded to over 50,000 emails. Some people who are angry have never fully appreciated the journey. They don’t know the story of me, my company, the Coolest manufacturing process, or Kickstarter, and those are the ones that bother me the most. 

I’m ok that some backers are upset with my decisions or how I’ve managed this process, and I side with them, and I agree with them, and I openly receive their criticism as much as it hurts me and my team personally. It’s the people who have forgotten, or never bothered to recognize how hard we’ve worked for them, that sting. 

We will continue to deal with this strike situation and find the best possible replacement motor. We won’t hurry through that, because while we are all in a rush, no one wants us to hurry through that process. You want the same level of world-class motor that we’ve been delivering, and we will find that replacement. It takes time because we have to test so thoroughly, but as soon as we have information to share, we’ll keep you updated appropriately, just like we always have

There is no nonsense or shenanigans here. Every backer will have their Coolest fulfilled, and I’ve said that from day one. 

In all of this, especially this latest round of feedback from people who haven’t followed the process, or who are unfamiliar with the challenges of long lead times for sales and for manufacturing, or problems that happen with supply chains that you can’t control, I thank the people who have been understanding and who still believe in me, my team and this product. 

Looking forward to giving you an amazing motor update soon, and thanks again for all the support from the believers in this Kickstarter process. 

-Ryan

Factory strike update

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Time keeps on ticking...

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