[Cryptech Tech] What's up with the Crowdsupply campaign?

Warren Kumari warren at kumari.net
Fri Dec 16 00:10:15 UTC 2016

On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 7:23 AM Fredrik Thulin <fredrik at thulin.net> wrote:

> On fredag 9 december 2016 kl. 17:36:11 CET Leif Johansson wrote:
> ...
> > > People who back crowdfunding projects understand
> > > that there is a large risk of things being delayed, or of the entire
> > > project failing - what annoys them more than the delays is the lack of
> > > updates / feedback...
> > >
> > You're right of course. We're not really good at the logistics side of
> this.
> > All of us who try to keep the wheels spinning have to keep $dayjob happy
> > too - there is 0 money in the budget to do the customer-facing side of
> this
> > even close to professionally.
> Warren, I don't dare to expect it to make you feel any better about the
> project but I wanted to say that you are 100% right in your criticism.

Actually, your email made me feel much better - thank you.

> There
> are no excuses, but some explanations that I think it might be better if I
> share with you (and the rest of the list) rather than keeping quiet about.
> I've given the situation a great deal of thought and I think it can be
> summarized to this:
> 1) None of us had done a kickstarter campaign before. There are people
> with a
> lot of experience in producing software in the project, and some of us have
> experience with producing hardware. These are two very different things
> where
> hardware is much much more complicted to get out the door than software. I
> don't believe anyone of us had any experience with running a campaign.
> There
> has been a lot of valuable lessons in this for me in the future -
> communication and having someone in charge of running the campaign is two
> of
> the most important ones. I'm really sorry we failed here.

... at least important lessons were learnt - if you happen to run another
campaign, I'm happy to help with communications / chasing people for
updates. I also have no experience with running a campaign, but I *have*
been on the other side a number of times and so I know what bits frustrates

> 2) We estimated we would need to make 50 Alpha boards (turned out to be a
> rather good estimate so far) and I am largely responsible for the long
> delay
> in getting these boards to you all since I strongly advised we would
> produce
> 25 boards before Berlin, and 25 more afterwards.
> I'm sorry it has been a very long wait for you and the others, but I can't
> say
> I would advise differently if we could rewind the tape. We did not know for
> sure if the rev03 boards would actually work, and it would have been hugely
> irresponsible of us to waste up to $40k of donated money on producing non-
> working hardware.

I *fully* agree; I didn't really mind the wait for the device. I have a
number of other projects going on at the moment, and so am not likely to
have much time to play with the widget -- the bit which was frustrating was
the lack of updates / communication. A periodic "An update:
The reticulating splines turned out to be overly brittle. We hope to get
more malleable ones in 3 or 4 months, and will send out an update then"
would have removed much of the annoyance.

> The money was donated to facilitate development, not to be
> risked on manufacturing gambles.

I think preassure to produce the Alpha made
> us do a lot of things the wrong way as it is, but we at least made it to
> the
> other side alive... although with understandably dissapointed backers :(.
> Sorry again.

'tis OK. I wasn't disappointed, more frustrated -- but I'm over that now,

> In other news, I recieved the next batch of 25 boards from the assembly
> house
> late on Friday afternoon. I will be spending the weekend testing and
> programming them so we can ship them to Crowdsupply first thing next week.

... and I got a shipping notification from Crowdsupply.

Thanks again, you have restored my faith,

> /Fredrik
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