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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
Originally Posted by kieran
Apparently the Coolest Cooler people are now looking for an investor to bail them out.
Did you get any message from them, Yontsey?
The water bottle I backed back in July is now scheduled to be delivered by the end of this month. Who knows if that will actually happen.
Yup, unfortunately that is true. Very, very disappointing. I bought this for my parents 2+ years ago for Christmas in 2014 because they camp a lot and they've been very patient and so excited for this.
Hey Coolest Backers,
First, thank you all for your incredible patience and support as we continue our mission to get everyone their Coolest coolers. This is an update about timing and our process.
First, a thank you goes out to those who took the time to verify and update your addresses so we could complete our revised shipping schedule. I’m pleased to say this part of the process has come together and we now have everyone broken down by geography, color, and backer number into one of 78 batch shipments by zone.
When we planned this new look-up tool, the goal was to give everyone a better view into the production process for a new product, and a clearer idea of when those who have yet to receive their Coolest would have theirs shipped. You can visit this page now and see your place in line. However, this update is letting you know that unfortunately there will be further delays for some of you.
We are in the process of identifying the right partner who can provide the capital and strategic resources to fund the remaining production of backer rewards and help grow the company to the next level. We’re not quite there yet, but it is moving forward.
It’s been a challenge balancing our goal to share the process with you of turning an idea into a product, while at the same time keeping sensitive company details like product cost, fulfillment expenses, and growth strategies more private, especially given the competitive marketplace we are in. In this update, we want to share more about what’s going on with our production–even to those who have already received their Coolest–so that everyone can better understand our challenge around the cost of this project. I tell you this not as an excuse but as a way to understand the overall journey, the delays, and the level of commitment we have to making the Coolest Cooler the coolest around and filling every order as promised.
Those of you who run your own business know that building a startup takes a great team to accomplish great work, and the simple truth is that bringing a new product to life is extremely time consuming and expensive. Most startup companies will bootstrap a prototype, look for an outside investor to provide the money needed to finish development, and then build the company, hire the team, and enter the market.
And then there’s us and this amazing Kickstarter process. Twenty months ago, I was a guy in his garage with a dream to make the best cooler the world had ever seen. Only by placing my dream before the Kickstarter community did I have the opportunity to find people to believe in me, back this project, and allow me to make this Coolest idea into the Coolest Cooler.
As I’ve shared countless times before, I’m beyond grateful and amazed by your support and I’ve worked for you 24/7 since the project closed.
Kickstarter is about supporting the creation of something that wouldn’t exist before, and following the journey to see that project come to life. Our journey has certainly not been as smooth as I would have liked, but I’ve learned that when you push boundaries you’re certain to run into unexpected challenges. If this was easy, someone else would have done this already.
Our commitment is to not give up in the face of adversity, but to push through until each and every one of you has your Coolest Cooler, and that’s what we’re doing.
Why so expensive?
There is an old project management mantra that states: Quality, speed, cost – pick two. We chose to create the greatest quality, speed up the business…and yes, it was expensive. But to great effect–the heavy lifting is done, the Coolest is real, it’s awesome, and amazingly it started shipping just ten months after funding was completed. Tens of thousands of people are enjoying their Coolest.
We truly believed that the best choice at the time was to focus on quality first, and then speed. That meant, however, that the cost to make the ultimate cooler increased.
As you probably remember, I upgraded a number of features as the Kickstarter project was open. None of us anticipated the project would become such a phenomenon–the #1 Kickstarter of all-time at that moment. By the time we closed the project, finished the designs, sourced the materials, partnered with suppliers, managed a months-long strike that cost tremendous time and money…the Coolests you purchased at $185 were costing much more than we originally thought to deliver.
That reality was known last year, but we forged ahead. We were confident in our company and the market for premium quality coolers, which had absolutely exploded. We knew that the Kickstarter funds, in the end, would not cover the actual cost of fulfilling all the backer orders (see below for a detailed financial breakdown), but with such huge interest we knew we would find a way to help us finish the process and grow as a company.
Through the general public launch, we expected to cover much of the increased cost of each unit, but by the time the first Coolest Coolers arrived in our backers’ hands, we had mostly missed the prime summer sales season. Our Amazon Launchpad sale in November certainly helped subsidize some of these costs, but unfortunately there was so much confusion and misinformation among the backer community that over 100 people placed negative or fake reviews on Amazon, which ultimately had a detrimental effect on demand. Ironically, those voices hurt our very ability to get everyone their Coolests faster. I totally understand their sentiment and in retrospect I wish I had done a better job explaining the situation and timing. But finding that balance of timing, cost, updates, and building the business, has been one of the biggest challenges of launching a new product on such a public stage.
Yeah, but what happened to the $13 Million?
While we have been providing updates, we understand there is still confusion around production costs and the Kickstarter funds. Many people do not realize that the cost to fulfill the incredible number of Kickstarter orders was more than we took in at the end of the project. People saw the #1 status, or the money collected, and didn’t understand we would have to spend way more money to deliver than we collected. We just didn’t know that ourselves at the time.
Some of you have asked questions about how that all works, so here’s a breakdown of how we’ve used the Kickstarter funding:
As you can see, bringing a new high-quality product to tens of thousands of people, all over the globe, on a short timeline is expensive. There’s a significant investment in development and inventory. Manufacturing is particularly capital intensive, and ultimately it costs us way more to make each Coolest that the average pledge received.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The process is well underway to find the best partner, and then ramp up production and get every backer his or her Coolest as soon as possible. However, at this point, we can’t estimate exactly when this will happen. That’s why I have to share that there will be further delays. Believe me, we are doing our best and always have. We’ve learned things take more time than we hoped, because as a startup you can’t always account for strikes, scale, or the other surprises we’ve encountered along the way. We also have fallback plans, which, while taking longer to execute, will still get every backer their Coolest Cooler. We are committed to serving you. It’s just taking more time. For that, I’m sorry and I’m frustrated just like you.
I recognize that many of you may have additional questions, and that’s why we've decided to host a live Hangout next Wednesday at 12:00 PST to address any concerns you may have. You can click on this link here to submit your question, and sign up for the call below. If you can’t make the call we’ll record it and share a copy.
Thank you for your support and patience during this time. We know that the tens of thousands of you who have seen the Coolest appreciate the effort that has gone into reaching this stage. Having come so far on our journey, I hope you can give us the opportunity to get each and every one of you your Coolest.
Last edited by Yontsey : 2016-03-04 at 05:35.