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A pre-sale of custom lockpicks designed by a competitive lockpicker to bring "Open Locksport" to market.
1,159 backers pledged $87,407 to help bring this project to life.

Transparency and Tribulations

Posted by Schuyler Towne (Creator)

Jason Scott, speaking for the board.

It's been nearly three months since the last update. That's on me, and I apologize. I've been busy with a number of projects of my own, and I didn't rope around to make sure we were putting some sort of update to the backers. We have been in communication with Schuyler, and talked, but that's not the same as talking to you.

There is always a strong psychological urge to not update unless there's something specific to announce. Each update here is met with a small but vocal amount of anger and bitterness (quite justifiable) and further non-action updates just serve to remind a backer of the non-action. So, there's that. This situation is not unique to this kickstarter, although this is very much the longest-running kickstarter campaign with any movement going on towards completion.

So, as is often the case, transparency and pushing forward is the answer. I spoke with Schuyler around the time of his update in January to focus on the anniversary of the Kickstarter, which is in September. At that point, the campaign will hit the five year mark. I indicated that taking the extra effort, whatever was needed, to try and completely fulfill the promises of the kickstarter campaign would be, if not ideal, at least an effective closing of the chapter.

To this end, Schuyler began, and I assume is continuing, to get focused on a few tweaks to his pick-making process that will allow him to make the picks faster, in bigger batches. This included a more industrialized approach to the welding, which would give better welds. We all agreed this was the smart action; there's been no disagreement there.

A couple months later, no new picks.

We're waiting on Schuyler's report on the next batches to be run. It's as simple as that. When he gives us more information or lets us know it's happening, we will pass that to you. If we don't get the information within a reasonable amount of time, we'll pass along that there's no new information. Simple as that.

Ironically, the vast majority of the effort in fulfilling the campaign so far has been focused on a very small number of backers; this was because those backers were due a lot of items, a lot of picks, and a lot of materials that hadn't existed yet (like the book/notebook). As a result, even though a lot of progress has been made, the numbers don't look like it because they all went to a few people in the above $100 levels instead of the hundreds below $100. Now that we're getting out of that area, hopefully more people will get picks in the mail.

This is all we can provide in terms of information this month. Thank you for your time.

Jeremiah Daniels, John Kinsella, and 9 more people like this update.


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    1. amelia on

      Nearly five months since this update. Jason, we know this was a big job. Put the bullet in this project already. Schuyler, the backers, and even you--we all need the closure on this. Please stop writing checks with your "mouth" that can't be cashed. The honesty of saying, "We are not going to fulfill this project," will probably be received harshly, but rip off that bandage already.

    2. Missing avatar

      Dave Adams on

      Thanks for the effort and continued updates!

    3. Ryan Large on

      I gotta say, hats off for sticking with things. I was still in college when I backed this thing and was definitely one of the angry ones at the time. I honestly just hope that "Open Locksport" isn't dead in the water, and that the processes being iterated on to get the KS rewards out actually lead so some semblance of what the original campaign was all about.

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      Brian Baskin on

      Agreed on the address change point. You may already be planning to do so, a survey to get updated addresses before each major release of product.

      No real comment on the rest of it. At the $75 level I did receive my test locks. The money was an investment, not a purchase order. If the project needs to be shut down, then so be it. This was a good learning lesson for Kickstarter, Schuyler, and everyone involved. I don't want to be partially responsible for yet more antagonizing stress on someone after five years when I can easily just eat the costs.

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      Gavin McKeown on

      I'll add to the people saying don't waste your time apologizing for lack of updates. We all know when the last update was and have probably been here several times since to see if somehow we missed something.
      It's not encouraging that you can't get information from Schuyler either. If he won't tell you what's going on, what hope is there that he'll tell us..?
      I heard him talking about locks on a recent episode of 99% Invisible - maybe that prompted this update. He has responded to a comment there saying he's been very open about his mental health issues. In that comment and on the episode he seemed to be in a good place, which inevitably leads to the conclusion that lack of progress here is through lack of interest, not medical issues.

      I think the 5-year anniversary is a good milestone and it should be the final one. If the pledges can't be fulfilled by then (and who amongst backers thinks that's likely), I think the plug should just be pulled. Close it down. These quarterly-or-less "updates" are just prolonging the agony for everyone. The money we gave 5 years ago is a sunk cost. Schuyler and the board have been through so much... at some point it's just time to walk away. Schuyler complains in his 99% Invisible reply that it bums him out when past failures still follow him around. That's because there is no closure to this. Draw a line under it and it will fade into memory. Keep posting every few months about how you're still not delivering what was promised and it keeps it fresh and raw for everyone.

    6. Tyler Hibbard on

      Thanks for the update, but I agree, please stop saying "sorry for the lack of updates". Anyway, I'm pretty curious, doesn't Schuyler have the steel picked out and the machines lined up and the designs all created by now? To the point where you just... punch out picks? I mean, I remember reading all those updates about finding the right spring steel, going back to the drawing board, getting access to the right machines, and then making a few batches of successful test picks that were beginning to be sent out to backers... so why stop making the picks?

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      Ward Spangenberg on

      I am tired of every mail beginning with "I'm sorry it's been months since we updated you." We are all well aware that you haven't updated us - the apologies are now hollow and false. This is a project, put a schedule down, if nothing happens then the update is nothing happened but stop apologizing every time because you don't want to tell us that once again life got in the way and we can't expect to see anything in our mailboxes anytime soon - if we are still here after this long we are probably here till the bitter end.

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      Nicholas Ptacek on

      Thanks for the update! I sent a message through kickstarter earlier inquiring about changing my mailing address, since it has changed in the past 4.5 years – I understand that the picks for lower-level backers aren't going to be going out any time soon, but would it be possible to update my address with you guys now? Alternatively, could you just re-send the backer survey closer to the time picks will be going out for the lower pledge levels? Thanks and keep up the good work!

    9. Jeremiah Daniels on

      Thanks for the update Jason! Thanks for all the hard work and dedication! Glad to hear there's still progress! Take care of yourselves! Schuyler and Jason, you are heroes in my book! All the best to you and the board!