May 2018 Update: You can read my latest post on my personal Spinn saga here.
My wife has given me one rule when it comes to my penchant for buying new kitchen gadgets: If a new one comes in, one must go out.
It didn’t take me long to make the calculation and commit when I bought the Spinn Coffee machine a year ago. After all, not only does the machine use a special patented centrifugal brewing system to make crema-like coffee, but it also combines a grinder with a coffee brewer.
“See,” I would tell her. “This two-in-oner lets me eliminate a coffee grinder!”
A year later, one delay and no coffee maker, I’m left wondering if the money was well spent.
I emailed Spinn CEO Roderick de Rode to see how things are going. I’d become a bit concerned after my initial email to company cofounder and one of the inventors of the Spinn’s centrifuge brewing technology, Roland Verbeek (who I interviewed for the Smart Kitchen Show), bounced back.
De Rode responded and, after telling me that Roland had left the company to start a yoga retreat, he assured me that the Spinn is still on track for an early 2018 shipment.
He even offered to refund my money, and I said no, in part because I still want the thing, but also because I believe his assurances. This is in large part because the company has done a good job updating the Spinn community with very detailed breakdowns of the improvements they’ve been making to the Spinn.
In the last one, sent in October, detailed progress made on the grinder, bean reservoir and how they’ve been able to shrink the overall size of the machine from a towering 17.5 inches to 13 inches.
And just this week, the released a video showing the highlights from the development process:
But most convincing for me is the progress the company has made on building out a roaster network. Like many connected kitchen startups, the company is hoping to build a recurring revenue stream through consumables, and Spinn’s spin on that idea is through auto-replenishment of specialty coffee through a network of independent roasters. de Rode told me that as of this point, the company has signed up an impressive 140 roasters.
You can see where many of the roasters are on this map (also pictured below):
Product delays are almost expected nowadays, and anyone who’s bought hardware from a startup takes a risk. Some of the things I use when calculating risk before laying down my own hard earned money on a startup’s product is the founder team, how unique their idea is (patents help), whether they regularly update the community on progress, and if the company spends time building out a sustainable business model.
For the most part, Spinn looks to check all those boxes, and I’m pretty confident I’ll get my new coffee grinder/brewer in early 2018.
And if I don’t, who knows. Maybe I can still get a refund and use it to take the wife to a yoga retreat.