Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
"1,546 backers pledged $369,569 to help bring this project to life."
Every time I read this it's another slap in the face.
That is a great question, Michael. I'd like to know that as well. Why we're the backers excluded from that letter?
I'm sorry but why is Gleb sending out emails saying that the company is insolvent and is only attempting to make creditors and pre-order customers (read not Kickstarter contributors) whole.
The TriggerTrap article was appreciated. It's unfortunate that we haven't seen this sort of leadership and transparency in this project. Oh well. I think that we all (now) have reasonable expectations (er, none?). I have to imagine that Gleb at al are in the "CYA maneuvering" phase, now. Again, oh well.
If you have extra cash, maybe you'd like to donate to the National MS Foundation? Despite a recent motorcycle accident, I plan to do the 2-day, 180-mile bicycle ride with only a month of training (and recently-broken wrist, thumb, ankle, and ribs; not fun). 90% of the funds go directly into the programs and I never see/touch/etc even a fraction of a cent of the money you donate. It's a great cause and I've known quite a few people with MS. AND, I absolutely WILL do the ride. And complain. A LOT. AND, I have A GUARANTEED DELIVERY DATE (April 18-19, 2015). :-)
I really can not believe Kickstarter thinks this behavior is okay.
how do we stop the momentum? I know, string them along some more.
Great news (maybe). Meanwhile, how about sending my shot glasses, tee shirt, and tamper....
Xmas in April.
@Gleb thanks for listening and acting, it's appreciated :). Hope things go well.
@Ted Thanks for the suggestions! We'll put it out as an update. Mid-April is our current deadline for finalizing a deal, and we'll definitely put out another update after that, whether it’s good news or bad.
Gleb & the rest of the ZPM Team,
That's great news. I hope the negotiations go well.
I've a suggestion to make about communications though. One of the reasons things turned so sour in the comments here is the lack of visible updates. Right now there are several communications channels:
1. This comment thread.
2. Kickstarter update posts
3. ZPM forums
The only communication method (other than email) which people are guaranteed to see are official updates. I suggest you do the following:
- updates such as the comment you just posted should be kickstarter updates. If you're prepared to post them, then you should be prepared to make it an email update. You do have the option to make them backer only if it's 'sensitive'
- commit to a date when you will definitely post the next update by
- if the information that you hoped to have is not available on that date, post an update anyway and give a new date
- updates should not be more than a month apart, even if it's a 'no news to report' update
I don't want to sound harsh, I really think doing those simple things would go a long way towards calming your backers (me at least).
Is it anywhere near as delicate as dealing with UL. If so Janet (who no longer works for ZPM) can I expect a private form letter from you explaining absolutely nothing.
Well here I sit,
fingers nervously drumming.
I quietly hope
an espresso thing's coming.
Steam up some milk
and push through a shot,
tonight will see more vitriol
from this motley lot.
Just tryin' to inject a spot of levity. Cheers, all.
There's a lot going on at ZPM HQ right now. Negotiations to get ZPM back on track are going well, and we're hopeful that we'll have news to announce by mid-April.
Unfortunately, these sorts of negotiations are pretty delicate and need to be confidential, so we're unable to provide more details until things are finalized.
Until then, fingers crossed!
It's ridiculous that Kickstarter will facilitate a 20k project going to 370k and just hand these guys over a check. If the creators hit 20k with nothing to show then Kickstarter could at least divide the remain 350k to the backers and we wouldn't be the ones out a full 200 dollars. It sucks to live paycheck to paycheck hoping for an espresso machine just to know that someone took 200 dollars from me with no recourse possible. Geb, I hope in your first few months of this living on cloud 9 you had some nice celebration dinners on my tab.
Even a combination of those two Triggertrap stories doesn't provide enough info, in my opinion.
As we patiently wait for some semblence of follow-up from our project creators, I can only imagine how feverishly they are working to write the War & Peace sized tome that details the failure.
The Triggertrap Ada link that Wayland posted is an interesting read. That said, I was quite surprised to read the Triggertrap Ada post on Medium a mere six weeks earlier, which was all rosy at the end:
I think the latest post is a bit short on how things changed so very quickly between January 22 and March 1.
Yes Wayland's link hits it out of the ballpark and I highly recommend everyone read it.
Two thumbs up for Wayland's link. Gleb should read this and learn something about transparency with backers.
The tone of the past few months of posts would have been much different had he used this kind of honest, humble and insightful approach vs. leaving us with "We are deeply and truly sorry that despite our best efforts, we were not able to get this machine across the finish line."
Wish we could get this level of transparency
Believe it or not there's even more poorly managed projects w/ even more money invested on KS. Check out "Solid Watch", going on 4 years with people spending $600+ for a watch and they still have nothing to show for it. A watch taking 4 years, holy toledo.
That had to know at least a year ago this project was a bust. I forgot its been 3 whole years. Honestly they should have known, w/in the first year it was a flop.
It's now been about 6 weeks since the last update and over 3 years since the project was already funded. I have no doubt that the initial state of the project was misguided optimism and hubris, but to wait this long for a description of what has happened, how funds were spent, what's left, and how we move forward is not very reasonable.
People reading his LinkedIn profile might be surprised when reading these comments.
Gotta love this quote for his current Crowdfunding Consultant biz:
">> Promotion/Engagement: Aid project creators in reaching prospective backers and maintaining positive relations through ongoing accessibility/transparency in the form of updates and social media interactions."
Gleb -- please live up to your Linked In profile claims, and maintain positive relations with us backers through accessibility/transparency in the forms up updates. When can we expect a refund, some ZPM's physical assets or at least a detailed accounting of where our money went?
@Roger Brown I wish there was a 'like' button for these comments.
Again, where's my tamper? It will make a fine paperweight, reminding me that "Vast ideas sometimes result in half-vast projects."
We can all speculate the downfall of our Creators but until we get some straight talk from these guys, that's all we'll ever have. Please, at least you can give us something between $200 and $1000 worth of detail on how this came to fail. I mean, at least for the ten $1000 backers.
I don't think this was initially intended to be a scam, but I feel that Gleb and friends knew the project would fail months ago and they brought on new team members for damage control and found a way to use our funds to avoid personal financial ruin, all while being protected by Kickstarter's policies. I wouldn't be surprised to see more cases like this in the future unless some stricter policies are enforced that protect backers over the actual project creators.
I almost pledged $300 then retracted my $300 and pulled to $1 because I had a feeling that this product wouldn't be out with the 3 months time they said it would in 2012. I said something along the lines of Id be happy to see it in a year from now. Never expected this to fail. However I guess that's why these espresso machines cost close to $1000.
Having backed 20 or projects, with two ripoffs and a bunch of really well designed and executed products, I've come to view KS projects as relationships. Some are stellar, some are meh and some break your heart. Key is remembering that it's (only) money, not emotional commitment. Having said that, I continue to visit my failed projects almost daily; it's hard for me to let go. Just like relationships!
To join the growing list of people wanting to hold ZPM accountable for this project's failure please send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
what did the removed comments say?
i'm curious what information kickstarter saw fit to remove.
So Kickstarter is starting to remove comments now? I guess they sense the trouble that they are facing along with ZPM?
if someone fails to deliver, it seems unconscionable for us to not get at least Kickstarter's cut refunded...
Join us on Facebook. We need to let everyone know.
I have officially lost all hope in Kickstarter.
I have pledged for more than 10 projects and even though this is the first failed project, I probably would not be making anymore pledges.
Most of the products that I received look much like beta versions to me - unrefined design, poor execution. I'm sure most of the products, even retailed at kickstarter prices, would be a failure in the real market.
If I wanted unrefined products, I would go to Target/Kmart etc, they are cheaper too.
Kickstarter = great idea in theory, not so in real life.
Btw, ZPM have not even started manufacturing the products. There should be a significant amount of money left unless....who knows.
There will be a lot of accounting to do here.
If the team decided that they could not fulfilled these pledges at this price point and just decided to make a run for it, with all the R&D paid for, the whole internet will be on you.
I don't think ZPM have provided everyone have a reasonable and thorough explanation.
Right now, it's,"Oh, we have spent all the money and most of the team left, so bye!"
What a group of scam artists...ZPM, you people are heartless and gutless...You are an embarrassment. You too Janet!
Given how many years this project took and how many people were working on it I'm not surprised all the original money is gone along with hundreds of thousands of additional investor money from elsewhere.
What makes me sad is that I sent an email saying I'd love even some of the machine internals - thermoblock, computer, etc. I never even got a reply!!
At the very least it would be nice if us backers could order those parts at cost as they must all be available at pretty low prices. Yes I know not everyone would be interested in building or retrofitting to an old espresso machine but I would. And selling in kits would get around all the UL issues.
I'd suggest we might move to a different communication mechanism other than these comments since they are public. I can setup a private forum somewhere and RD, you can communicate it through the email list you have.
Don't get a lot of time to do things.
This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.
Damian I'm still getting new emails from people and today am updating list with new people and more info with details Once up I will send a link out to everyone so they can verify their info and also find others from their location and then connect and maybe co sign forms from their State AG's office. Sorry it's taking me a bit longer than I expected to collect and update info for this list Hang in there we've waited three years to find out we got scammed so it will take a bit longer to hopefully get some justice.
I live in CA, what do you need me to do?
Help is required for someone to file through the CA of the Attorney General. Please check any emails or other sources for an address for Janet Tambasco who happened to be our Communications expert at ZPM. That would make her the Lies Liaison and she is good at that job. Anyway we would really appreciate a complete address or updated phone number for her or any and all participants in this ongoing.....Thanks ;-)
Tau they have already closed down ZPM and the so called company is insolvent. Meaning our money is in somebody else's pockets. So don't wait up for a machine and you have no reason to apologize to anyone.
Valerie Chan's Twittr handle: https://twitter.com/vc1618
That is vc1618 but her feed is protected and if you ask any questions regarding this project as others tried to do, she'll block you. Now that's respect for you.
If there was no fraud involved, why on earth would Gleb, Igor, and Janet bail on this project after the COO left (Rdg could you post her twitter handle)?
After all, just a couple of months ago we were told that there was progress ongoing with the UL certification and that mainly it was a matter of documentation? We were told that there was a new project manager, we heard that our machines might be shipping by the holidays.
In the last few e-mails, ZPM indicated that the machines were not produced yet but that they we, but they were ready for production soon, there must be a pretty large amount of cash lying about. Even if it's 1/3 of my $300, I want it back, together with an accounting of where the rest went. The preorder folks should get all of theirs back, to do otherwise would be fraudulent.
Frankly, I've got to hand it to Janet. If you're reading this, Janet, and I'm sure you are, how can you bill yourself as an expert in customer management on your linkedin resume? Seriously?
Hey, if it turns out I'm wrong and there is a machine on the way to me soon, I'll deeply apologize, but at this point, I feel I have been repeatedly misled by Janet and the crew.
Jeffrey you're free to not do whatever. Not sure why you want to share that tidbit. Three quarters of the emails I've received from people who appreciate some organizing and using the power of numbers in filing a complaint through the office of AG in whatever States come from people who were NOT Kickstarter backers. I won't tell you a number but the total number of people who feel they've been scammed is a LOT. I'll repeat it most were not backers but preorders that some amounted to over $2000. These creator and I use the term loosely may have started out with good intentions and then got over their heads after Igor left, were still collecting money from innocent people long after they knew that this project was going to fail. Not only that but Gleb and company tried to raise more money out east knowing the status of this project. When they were repeatedly asked for honest updates they would not provide anything substantial in public and much less in private emails while claiming that they answered each and every question. They stooped low enough to tell us , privately of course that all that was left to get UL cert was some minor documentation and software to clean up. This while knowing that the COO and most of the team had already left the building. So we have Fraud accepting money for a product they could not deliver and not delivering all the extras people had rightfully paid for outside Kickstarter.
So my dear friend Jeffrey thanks for sharing your desire to do nothing regarding Gleb et al to raise from what I've heard 1.5 million or more and have absolutely nothing to show his backers KS and others. Although he and Janet are free and u encumbered to go and start other companies, have some cash to back other projects or misuse this failed project to claim expertise in helping startups raise cash and also guide those startups in navigating the treacherous waters of starting and running a successful business. Mostly with a good portion of our money.
Jeffrey, I don't think there's anybody here naîve enough not to understand that.
But that also doesn't mean that we give Igor, Gleb, and Janet a free ride.
If this was not malicious or a scam, then we are owed a lot more than that last update. How about accounting statements detailing where HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars went? How about a real accounting?
Let's put it this way, if you rented me your place via Airbnb and you came back after a long weekend away to find it burned down and I said, sorry dude, that's the breaks, I don't think you'd just accept that.
Once again, just in case anyone misses my point. $369,569 have disappeared into this, if not many hundreds of thousands more (check the Reddit threads for calculations, some of which surmise that over a million was lost). We are owed a financial accounting, there should be plans made for the existing hardware, even if it's just pieces sent to us, or the one working unit raffled off to the backers and those who proposed it need to come clean in detail about what happened.
OOPS, we screwed up and lost your hard earned $$$ just doesn't cut it. Frankly, incipient lawsuit aside, it's hard to imagine Kickstarter can survive many losses in which the beneficiaries just skedaddle.
Jeffrey, it seems to me there's more mixed there than first meets the eye.
Via a via MOST of the money, yes, it was delivered into a somewhat risky project, and yes, we, as backers, need to accept some risk.
However, some monies were directed for specific uses, notably premiums for foreign shipping and extra merchandise, and it may well represent fraud to misuse those on other things. (Accounting folk talk of "funds accounting" for such; it's not super common in commercial endeavors, but is quite common in charities, where a donation may be directed to fund something particular, not just "general funding.")
I surely do not expect much if anything to emerge, but there's room to think there were some problems.