(Update: You can see the December 2018 update on my Spinn journey here.)
In 2016, I backed a high-tech coffee maker called the Spinn.
At the time, I was enticed by the combined grind & brew capability of the Wi-Fi connected coffee maker, but the real reason I bought the Spinn was its patented centrifugal brewing technology. The tech, which I talked to the inventor about on a podcast back in 2016, uses a high-speed centrifuge to extract crema-like coffee brews down to the individual cup level.
It all sounded pretty good to me, so I coughed up $300 and waited for my new coffee maker. However, now with the product’s original mid-2017 and revised first quarter 2018 ship dates in the history books, I’m left wondering: will I ever get my Spinn?
I’m not the only one. A casual perusal of the company’s forums or Facebook page shows that many of early backers of the Spinn are getting restless. Throw in the multiple emails I get per week asking me if I’d heard anything (from the volume of email I get about the Spinn, I gather I may be the only journalist monitoring the progress of the product) and it seems like the company has a bit of a trust problem on its hands.
Now, it’s not like the company hasn’t been communicating. They’ve actually done a pretty good job of sending out periodic updates via its forum. The problem for the company is that once they missed their original ship date of mid-2017, they started telling all the first batch purchasers of the Spinn they’d see their coffee makers by the end of the first quarter in 2018. But by the time March rolled around, the company had moved the goal posts once again and said they were only sending machines out to “beta testers”.
Now as with any crowdfunding campaign, I knew I was taking a risk when I bought the Spinn back in 2016. But I’d backed lots of hardware projects over the past few years, and Spinn seemed to check all the boxes. Not only did they have patented technology that was differentiated, but they’d also licensed their technology to Nespresso to use in the newest line of that company’s pod-based brewing machines.
But almost two years later, I’m starting to worry I may have guessed wrong. Not only has the company missed two ship dates and is being vague about when the product will actually ship, but when I asked to talk to a “beta tester”, the company told me they cannot connect me to beta testers as they are “still going through iterations and bugs.” Add in other potential warning signs like the departure of the Spinn technology inventor last year and one can see why I and other early backers are starting to worry.
To its credit, the company has offered myself and others a refund, but for now I’m going to continue to hang in there because I still really want a Spinn. However, like other early backers, I’ll be more skeptical about any deadlines the company gives since the company missed a long-promised ship date. At this point, I’m just hoping to see my Spinn sometime before Christmas so I can brew the coffee roasted with the Kelvin home coffee roaster, yet another high-tech coffee gadget I backed through crowdfunding.