Tacking Toward the Destination: Kickstarter Update #9
Last week I visited Portland, Maine and convinced one of your fellow Kippo Kickstarter Backers—Mike Davis—to join me in co-piloting a 30-foot sloop.
On our journey I found that sailing into the wind is not unlike building a brand new product—it requires a series of turns, or tacks, where you zigzag your way toward your destination. You don’t sail straight into the wind—it’s always back and forth. Slow and steady progress as you work toward your target, with an occasional gust to get you past five knots.
Right now, Kippo is tacking toward the destination and the winds aren't cooperating. It’s slower than I’d hoped. Part of the set-back is my fault. Last week I decided to change tack and go with a different fabric. As you may know, I created custom fabric because I felt so strongly that a slightly lighter material was worth testing and might work better. It didn’t. Our more durable fabric has repeatedly delivered no flop, no drop, stylish looks, and a quality feel. After testing, I know it’s the best choice.
Sometimes changing tack doesn't give you the expected results, but from every turn we learn.
Texollini's Shut Downs
Since we initiated the project, our fabric supplier, Texollini, has experienced two shut downs; the most recent due to construction. Texollini is one of the biggest and best, and they've been good to us. But, Kippo is a start-up company and we don't have much pull. Our timelines don't match theirs and cracking the proverbial whip seems to be out of the question. Despite my frustration with the delays, I am glad Texollini is our supplier because I know your fabric is 100% Made in the USA.
We’ve hit some rocks, but our ship is still seaworthy. Before long, we’ll be back on course with a gust of wind to bring us home.
As a Kickstarter backer, you are sailing alongside me on this wonderful voyage. More importantly, your investment has made this entire trip possible. For that, and so much more, I’m forever grateful.
P.S. I knew you’d want a detailed timeline of what's happening behind the scenes. These dates bring me great pain. I'll be doing all I can to speed things up.
- Aug. 24—All fabric is milled, dyed, and shipped to our cut-and-sew team
- Sept. 28—Cut-and-sew completed on all 1,211 pairs of shorts
- Oct. 9—Ship to all backers
- Oct. 20—National "Trash Your Armband" Day