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.
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.