We have gotten feedback from a number of Librem 5 customers that they would appreciate more frequent email updates about the status of the Librem 5 project. We are a big believer in “opt-in” for services, but while we have tended to err on the side of not spamming people, and instead allow people a number of opt-in options to get news (as we document in this post), we’ve decided to turn the dial one tick toward more frequent email updates for people who only want Librem 5 news and don’t want to subscribe to our newsletter. This will take the form of a monthly email sent to any pre-orders who have not yet received their phone that recaps the news from the previous month.
That sounds great! I decided to finally join the forum, now that we seem to be in the home stretch. I’m really looking forward to this.
One question about the post:
The good news is that we were able to calculate shipping estimates for everyone who was part of the initial crowdfunding campaign (which accounts for a large number of orders) and have sent emails out to all pending orders with order dates up to October 20, 2017 with the very last of those orders estimated to be shipped in May. Orders after that date will need to wait a bit longer for estimates until we have ensured we have secured CPU supply to fulfill them.
I’m wondering if there is a typo here somehow. I made my order on October 23, 2017, and correspondingly, I haven’t received a shipping estimate yet. However, my order was definitely part of the crowdfunding campaign – if I remember correctly, I backed the campaign it on the last day it was open. Doesn’t that contradict the statement that shipping estimates were calculated for all crowdfunding campaign backers? Should I be worried for my order?
As we explain in the post, we have defaulted in the past to limit how much we spam customers without their opting in to our newsletter. Enough customers have asked us for more frequent updates while also not being willing to sign up for the newsletter, that we are trying this new approach.
You have to stop thinking of everyone generically as backers.
People who crowd funded campaigns are backers.
People who bought within the last (almost) six months since the product was released are customers.
There is a huge difference in expectations. between someone who gave money to a development project with the hope of getting a device at the end assuming all the challenges could be worked out vs those that paid for a developed device, in a shop.
The original goal, as we discuss in this post, was to email everyone, including you, in early January with their shipping estimate. We link to a longer update post we sent a few weeks ago that explains why that couldn’t happen in detail
If we had been able to send out the estimates then problem solved. Since we couldn’t we had to go to plan B which was to write the blog post update we did, explaining why we didn’t send out estimates to everyone and send estimates out to those we could.
We got additional feedback from folks like yourself that want all the recent news about the Librem 5 but didn’t want to use any of our existing opt-in mechanisms to get it, so we started this monthly email to try to address that.
I don’t appreciate the implication of dishonesty. It’s not just you, I see it a lot in this forum. It operates under the assumption that if we gave a past estimate that turned out to be wrong in the future, that at the time we made it, it was made up, a guess, or worse, a deception. Instead, at the time you placed the older, the shipping estimate we had on the site was based on our best estimate at the time based on the information we had at the time. When things happen that change our assessment, we update those estimates to the best of our ability, again based on the new best information we have at the time.
Each time something happens that causes a delay, we’ve published one or more blog posts about it as well as replied to the best of our ability in this forum. What we haven’t done in the past, is automatically email every person who ordered a Librem 5 every time we have a Librem 5 update because we were sensitive to spamming people. Now we are taking the risk of upsetting some people with spam, by sending monthly updates.
Our goal and plan is that you and everyone else can get a shipping estimate soon, which I hope will solve a lot of concerns.
I think a lot of it is the product of having folks like myself who work at the company making posts and participating. It ends up leading to people seeing that they have the attention of someone at the company and use that opportunity to discuss what’s on their mind.
I’m not sure what the solution is. I want to try to answer people’s questions when I can, so we have been pretty lenient when people take these more official news post threads off topic.
But I admit that it is starting to consume a lot of time, and it is getting a bit frustrating that each time I share an article that gives more information about what’s going on (communicating more), it devolves into a thread criticizing our lack of communication.
Ultimately, hitting shipping parity will resolve a lot of this, so that’s what I try to encourage everyone on the team to focus on.
And then there are those of us on the forum who are suffering from “whining fatigue”, because this happens so often (and I have only be coming regularly for a few months).
This behavior reminds me of the proverb: “Don’t throw pearls to swine”. For the longest time, I believed it was about wasting good things by giving them to those that won’t appreciate them, but, when I lived in Poland, it was explained to me, that no, the reason you don’t throw pearls to swine is that the swine get angry…
I think this is a fair response to have. While I agree that historically communication has been lacking, and I have brought up my own criticisms in a couple of places. I do see that recently there has been an effort made by Purism (not just yourself but others as well) to improve this.
What I would say is that there was a lag between when the deficient communication started and the complaints started and unfortunately there will be a lag between the improvement and the complaints reducing. I think most of the current complaints stem not from the current communication but from the trend leading up to it. It will take time for the changes to result in a change of the trend.
The changes are seen, they are appreciated, and I hope there is continued progress toward improved communication.
Sure, there’s some “whining”, but there’s also some very valid criticism. From what I’ve seen of Kyle’s posts lately I believe he has done a good job of engaging where it is constructive and rarely engaging when it is just “whining”/venting; even then I think most of the engagement there is to attempt to steer the conversation in a more civil and/or constructive direction.
I am happy to see what I perceive as progress (on the communication front) in a positive direction and I hope it continues.
@Kyle_Rankin is this particular message (the OP) one that was being emailed or is there a different message I should keep an eye out for? I don’t see this in my inbox for the account I ordered with, and whether I should or not was unclear to me, is why I ask.
This is verbatim what we will email everyone with, it is just faster to publish the blog post than to convert it to email and email everyone. I suspect the email itself will go out tomorrow and in general going forward there will be a day or two lag between when the monthly blog post and corresponding email goes out.