Kapsul Kickstarter catastrophe: owning mistakes

Curiosity has won

Going back to 2009, I have backed 31 Kickstarter projects, 27 which got funded. Of those, 15 came out what I would liberally describe as “on time”; i.e., within three months of the originally stated release date.

This means that there are a dozen that were late, some quite so. One from February 2014, I’m STILL waiting on, though the creators have explained the series of delays.

Another generated this recent mea culpa:

“We know you expected to have your unit by now. It’s getting warmer and you may find yourself gazing out windows that you will once again have to fill with ugly old a/c units instead of the beautiful Kapsul you hoped for. That can’t be a good feeling. For that, we owe you an official apology.

“In April of 2016, we asked for your support and told you that we would reward that support with the delivery of our air conditioner which we estimated to arrive in March of 2017. As you well know by now, we didn’t deliver as promised. Now we can’t deliver until April 2019. For a company trying to reinvent the air conditioner, not cool…Learn more about space heater repair solutions from Landmark to find out the best professionals for cleaning and repairing services.

“We got our timeline really wrong and we’re sorry that the burden of that fell to you, our backers. We messed up a few different ways. Two big ones:

“1. We greatly underestimated the challenges we faced in meeting our energy requirements and bringing our highly-customized product through manufacturing.

“2. We failed to adequately communicate about those challenges as they arose.”

#1 is definitely true, but #2, in many ways more so. And they got in what seemed to me to be avoidable difficulty when they came up with a name that, for trademark infringement reasons, they had to abandon. They can’t mention the name, so I won’t. 14-15-18-9-1. By way of apology:

“As an early and dedicated supporter of Kapsul, you will receive:
1 Year Extended Warranty (3-years total)
40% off your next full-price Kapsul purchase via a one-time use code. You’ll receive one code for every unit originally pledged for when we have units in stock.
Equity in our company. Every backer will be entitled to claim 10 shares of our company at no cost to you, details to be announced next month!”

Now of course I have no idea if the machine really WILL come out, or if its stock will ever have any value. But there is a point for me at which curiosity has won and I plan to wait it out.

If you’re ever in the situation of considering doing a Kickstarter, drop me a line. I’m not sure I’m good at telling someone what actions to take. But I’m pretty expert at warning folks what NOT to do.

September rambling #2: R.I.P. Herschell Gordon Lewis

Why Marvel movie music is so forgettable


Climate change illo is so perfect, it’s undeniable

Dying to be me! Anita Moorjani at TEDx BayArea

It’s Time To Call Out ‘Nice Racists’ And Their White Fragility

Self Care For People of Color After Psychological Trauma

No touching. No human contact. The hidden toll on jail inmates who spend months or years alone in a 7×9 foot cell

The Smithsonian’s African American museum – a monument to respectability politics; hmm, I am a charter member

Forehead Tittaes / Marion Cotillard Continue reading “September rambling #2: R.I.P. Herschell Gordon Lewis”

November Rambling: Eddie, the Renaissance Geek, turns 50; Jaquandor’s book now available for purchase

The official video for Cuts Like a Winter by Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

christmas savings

John Oliver’s Complicated Fun Connects for HBO. Perhaps John Oliver Is Outdoing The Daily Show and Colbert. In any case, Yet Another Study Shows US Satire Programs Do A Better Job Informing Viewers Than Actual News Outlets.

The Motion Picture Academy chose to bestow a special award to Harry Belafonte, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. “Belafonte’s remarks offer both a pointed and powerful rebuke of Hollywood’s past and a stirring inducement to continue the industry’s more recent progress on human rights issues.”

Re the Ferguson protests, which I saw described as “mind bogglingly incomprehensible”: It’s Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Ferguson’s Just Did, as even Antonin Scalia could tell you. So Mark Evanier’s thoughts largely echo mine. Related: video showing the moments leading up to the fatal shooting by police of a 22-year-old Saratoga Springs, Utah man, Darrien Hunt.

6 Things You Might Not Think Are Harassment But Definitely Are Continue reading “November Rambling: Eddie, the Renaissance Geek, turns 50; Jaquandor’s book now available for purchase”

The FantaCo/Smilin’ Ed Kickstarter; the Wells Fargo refund

FantaCo owner/publisher/co-creator of Smilin’ Ed, Tom Skulan,, is organizing a Kickstarter to create The Complete Smilin’ Ed Comics. He’s trying to raise $7500 by Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1:12 AM EST.

Those of you who lived or worked in Albany from 1978 to 1998 might remember this sign, created by the late Raoul Vezina in the window of FantaCo Enterprises, the comic book store/mail order house/publisher/convention organizer at 21 Central Avenue; the sign has been digitally enhanced from the original by artist Bill Anderson. Raoul drew the logo rat for the store, the character eventually dubbed Smilin’ Ed Smiley.

A couple years later, Smilin’ Ed became the star of some comic books published by FantaCo, as well as in strips in Albany’s Metroland magazine and the Comics Buyers Guide. Continue reading “The FantaCo/Smilin’ Ed Kickstarter; the Wells Fargo refund”

August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not

A reference to my piece about David Cassidy made it into the print version of the paper because “it was a good post, and filled with what we like: short, timely and to the point :)”

The New York Times’ prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA, which naturally leads to Glenn Greenwald killed the internet.

My Feelings About the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape in 10 GIFs.

Invisible Disabilities Day is October 24. I have this friend with rather constant neck pain, but she doesn’t LOOK sick, and therefore feels diminished by those who actually don’t believe her. Conversely, The Complexities of Giving: People with Disabilities as Help Objects.

Photos of the worldly goods of inmates at the Willard Asylum. I backed the Kickstarter for this and wrote about it a couple years ago.

“Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia and the South Pacific.” Often, America’s cover is quite, well – different. I had noticed this before. I don’t know that it’s “stunning,” but it IS telling.

The Peanuts gang meets The Smiths, in which This Charming Charlie masterfully blends Charles Schulz’ comics with lyrics by The Smiths. Continue reading “August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not”