Thanks for the constant support, everyone. Throughout this Kickstarter experience we’ve learnt again and again to stay connected with our backers. We might not have always stayed active in the comment section, but we have continued to release updates. We promise we will continue to release updates and keep you in the loop until the Arist has been shipped.
In this issue of our latest update, we want to connect with everyone even more. We’ll be showing a peek of the inner workings of the company by releasing the revised production plan (post redesign) and the much anticipated Q&A section. We kindly remind everyone to keep the contents of this update within this update and please don’t post or divulge any such information elsewhere. Thank you.
Below is the revised production timeline of the Arist, after the redesign.
We really want to share this incredible journey of manufacturing the Arist with everyone. The Arist is currently in Phase 4A: Manufacture Engineering Development; and we will provide a summary of the different tasks that will be completed in this phase. We will also include a short summary of every phase we’re in for subsequent updates.
In Phase 4A, we focused on engaging and aligning with manufacturers, which ensures the production model is feasible. Alignment with the suppliers will allow our team to evaluate the basic functions of the various subsystems of the functional manufacturing model.
Our engineering team is performing appropriate analysis, refining the 3D model, creating engineering drawings and performing DFM and DFA with the manufacturers. Design review is being conducted to evaluate the refined 3D model incorporating the result of the DFM & DFA, aligning the CMF specification. By the end of this phase, the soft tool release will be ready.
Q. Will the machines still support milk and syrup? I mean can it dispense hot frothy milk and different flavors of syrup?
Q. How long will the milk stay cooled for?
A. The milk container keeps milk at 4C and it be cooled indefinitely as long as the machine is on, but the milk may still spoil past its expiration date.
Q. We understand that a few baristas have received Arist machines in July 2014. Can they make short 20 to 30 second videos introducing themselves and where they’re located?
Chris Fan is one of the first baristas to try Arist locally. She is also the only barista on board who is a licensed Q grader. She has been very helpful consulting us on coffee quality.
Q. Can you introduce your engineering team, their background and what part of the Arist they’re responsible for?
A. The recent heated debates on the web have created a hostile online environment, from which we feel the need to protect our employees. Thanks to the actions, which consisted of privacy invasion and personal attacks, of certain envious cynics, such as Bonnie Jacqueline YuenHan Mou, we have concluded it is unwise to give out any more information about our employees at this time. However, we do understand that backers are curious and want to connect with the people working behind the scenes, so we have asked some of our engineers to prepare a short unedited paragraph about themselves for another update.
Q. What kind of financial support did you receive from the Hong Kong government? How much prize money did you receive from the ICT Awards?
A. As of November 2013, we were qualified for two forms of financial support locally. The first is the HKMC microfinance loan, which is a five year loan with a total value of ~US$38,461. The second is from the HKSP Incubation program, which provides a total funding of ~US$38,461, which we have claimed $0 so far. There is no prize money from winning the ICT Awards. We have not received any additional government grants or funding since the end of the Kickstarter campaign.
Q. Can you show us how you are spending our money?
A. Here is the break down and projection:
The above table summarizes the expenditures from the initial Kickstarter funding. From Dec-May, marked in black, illustrates money that has been spent and the future expense projections are marked in blue. With the current projections, to produce 2500 Arist units, we may be short about $26,000. In other words, we may be unable to produce roughly 100 Arist units. As we don’t want any backer to miss out on the Arist machine, we are doing our best to solve this problem. Right now we can think of two possible options: 1) land an investor and 2) take out a bank loan. If you have other ideas you think can help us, please don’t hesitate to tell us.
Option 1 is the best possible solution. Not only can an investor help with short term cash deficits but they can also help with future expansion plans and improve our company even more. However, finding a suitable investor is not as easy as it seems, especially with some unhappy detractors casting a shadow of doubt on our project. Due to these recent activities, several high potential investors are hesitating. If we cannot make up the deficit of $26,000, the unspoken third option is to not ship 100 Arists. Of course, that is a choice we do not want to make. We will not even consider it until we have exhausted all other options. Even with this minor problem, we will ensure our supportive backers get the Arist.
Q. You said you sold 22000 machines after KS, but some backers have said your website does not have that much traffic. How is that possible?
A.On the contrary, we do get many visitors at our website.
The above graph shows the number of requests our website received from 5:55 – 6:55, yesterday.
Q. Can you show us copies of the three patent applications, including your name and the date of filing on it, but with the confidential and proprietary parts blacked out?
Q. Did you reject any press from viewing your machine? It seems like only mainstream non-technical press were allowed to view your machine. Why?
A. Yes, the only press we’ve rejected from viewing our machine was unwire.hk, due to their unprofessional journalism. We don’t have an answer to that as the media contacted us of their own volition.
Q. We read from SCMP that you needed to use screwdrivers and a pencil to tune the machine to produce coffee. How many reporters did you need to do this for? Why? Is this a standard part of operating your machine?
The photo depicts the two tools in question. At the bottom is the pencil and on top it’s not a screwdriver. (Pop quiz! Can anyone tell us what that’s called or what it’s used for?) We needed something long to reach into the machine to turn off the case sensors so the machine can still brew with the cover off. We just grabbed what was handy at the time. We didn’t think it would cause a debate. The reporter did not ask for an explanation at the time.
Q. Benson, why are you always f***ing over your backers? You need to stop being so rude to us and respect us as equals. We aren’t blind to the stupid sh** you are trying pull right in front of us. Give us a refund now!
A. As previously mentioned, the refund requests will be processed in October. We will do our best from now until that time to ship the Arist.
To conclude this update, we want to communicate that in any industry, there will always be competitor and nonbelievers who wish to see you fail. We are aware of their existence and their activities around the web, especially the activities of a certain third party website. However, we won’t acknowledge such parties, who have twisted the truth to serve their own agendas. We are up for the challenge and we will work towards our goal until the sky comes crashing down. We want to thank all our understanding backers by supporting us silently and enabling us to focus our energy and resources on this important mission.
That being said, we will focus our efforts on the work at hand. And as the comment section has become a vehicle for hidden agendas, we will no longer monitor it. For more productive communication, please PM or email us.
– Team Arist