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henk.setten

Suggestion: a progress newsletter?

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Hi all, as a customer I'd like to suggest to the F(x)tec team to start giving us just a little more info about how things are progressing. For since placing my pre-order in March, I got just one mail from F(x)tec (about some hands-on event in London, irrelevant to me as I am in the Netherlands). For the rest, I heard nothing at all and I find this a little bit disappointing.

 

Please understand I am not impatient, of course it's much better to get a really well-finished product at a later stage than a still-buggy one at some earlier stage! But what I don't like is being kept a bit in the dark about how the project is going, how far final development actually is at the moment, and how expected shipping dates may be shifting accordingly.

 

So with a view to better communication, what I want to suggest is F(x)tec starting something like a bi-weekly email newsletter to all registered customers. A newsletter that would give us some bits of concrete info such as (just hypothetical examples) "conducting a new keyboard durability test" or "solving compatibility problems with some third-party chat apps" or "projected first shipping date now shifted from September 1 to October 15".

 

Such a regular info source would give us more practical handles (like, should I still buy some clunky "foldable bluetooth keyboard" to bridge the expected delivery gap?) and it would also help us to better understand and accept any inevitable delays. Above all, such a newsletter might give us more certainty that the project is still going forward at, at least, a reasonable rate.

 

In the meantime, thanks!

 

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Well, there is a newsletter, which has brought interesting information in time, but the last time it was sent was in april, as already discussed in this forum. This also applies to the official blog. So there seems to be no lack of communication channels and therefore no need to set up a new one.

Nevertheless there have been informative twitter updates every now and then.

I observe the amount of impatient forum postsgrowing quickly lately, mostly by rather new users. Partly understandable as the announced date for release is close, and maybe there will be a delay.

For my part, I do still trust the crew, even more so as yet no money has been taken (so no reason for anything else), and I would advocate to wait calmly for what there is to come. There has been enough communication for me (even though it can never be too much) for me, if the developers need some help or opinion on anything they will ask, and apart from this they are to get on with the perfection of the Pro1. If it takes a few weeks longer, that's alright.

 

So, in short, i see no necessity for another newsletter.

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I would love if everything posted on twitter or elsewhere outside the forum, as a minimum had a thread in here pointing to those.

(But would prefer to have the content here as well)

 

To me that would be better than a new channel of info

 

Personally I'm not using the narcissistic media, so only get the info if I stumble upon them, typically because another user posts a link.

as an example the German layout, it was a user that posted the link here...

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I would love if everything posted on twitter or elsewhere outside the forum, as a minimum had a thread in here pointing to those.

 

(But would prefer to have the content here as well)

 

To me that would be better than a new channel of info

 

Personally I’m not using the narcissistic media, so only get the info if I stumble upon them, typically because another user posts a link.

 

as an example the German layout, it was a user that posted the link here

 

Isn't that really the purpose of their twitter button? I don't have (nor want) a twitter account, but that button at the top of the forum takes me to their twitter posts anyway. ;-)

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Isn’t that really the purpose of their twitter button? I don’t have (nor want) a twitter account, but that button at the top of the forum takes me to their twitter posts anyway. ;-)

 

Well but then people would have to click this to see if there is any news - not exactly optimal....

(And anyway, as any narcissistic media buttons on sites I use, I removed that long ago with the ad-blocker...)

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Have the narcissistic media problem too, but to be honest we may be in the minority here.

 

I would love a newsletter and I am impatient. But we have to understand, that writing a newsletter for a company is not a quick thing. New companies rise and fail with first impressions. Writing a newsletter is a lot of work (Deciding what is going in, writing it, style it, correct it) everything with multiple people.

You need a strategy behind what you communicate and what not (polished impression, honest impression...), there must be a CI visible in the newsletter and so on...

The Newsletter we got in April was more of a downer for me, because nothing was really in it.

I like the fact that they are focussing on the phone.

 

The use of a newsletter to people which already have registered for the device is minimal from a commercial viewpoint, we are gonna buy it anyway.

 

They have not taken any money so they do not own us anything. I believe if something important happens, they would tell us.

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Have the narcissistic media problem too, but to be honest we may be in the minority here.

 

I would love a newsletter and I am impatient. But we have to understand, that writing a newsletter for a company is not a quick thing. New companies rise and fail with first impressions. Writing a newsletter is a lot of work (Deciding what is going in, writing it, style it, correct it) everything with multiple people.

 

You need a strategy behind what you communicate and what not (polished impression, honest impression…), there must be a CI visible in the newsletter and so on…

 

The Newsletter we got in April was more of a downer for me, because nothing was really in it.

 

I like the fact that they are focussing on the phone.

 

The use of a newsletter to people which already have registered for the device is minimal from a commercial viewpoint, we are gonna buy it anyway.

 

They have not taken any money so they do not own us anything. I believe if something important happens, they would tell us.

 

Well, I'm also impatient and jumping with excitement looking for any news, but what much can we expect? The real thing we all want to know is when will we be receiving our magnificent pro1 in the mail I guess, and maybe some more teasing of pre-production units :-P. The reality at fxtec is probably like fixing dozens of small bugs in software and the pre-production hardware, and logistics things to sort out etc maybe, what can they tell us other than "we fixed this that and that other small issue you never know existed"? We already know pretty much what's coming and it looks great :).

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Just want to thank everyone for their comments.

 

Personally I still think that we, the customers-to-be who have pledged to pay for this very promising new kind of phone, have every right to get informed a little better and in a more systematic way. This has nothing to do with impatience at all. I am quite prepared to wait as long as it takes, but still it would be reasonable for us to get updated more frequently on progress, expectations, and schedule.

 

And thanks to your above comments I now also understand that the information channeling by the F(x)tec team may have been relying a little too heavily on old-fashioned, monopolistic channels such as Twitter and Facebook. Maybe I'm living in my own small Dutch bubble, but like most people I know in my environment, by principle I keep such media totally blocked at the firewall level, both on my three PCs and on my OnePlus phone. So I never see their "buttons" (actually trackers) and, admittedly by my own choice, cannot access their sites.

 

An aside to put things in perspective: recent research by a very reliable independent bureau puts the number of actual Twitter users in the Netherlands at no more than 600,000. That is just 4% of the general population! So, in my view, any commercial venture that would mainly rely on such dubious "social" channels for giving out information, would largely miss its mark. I wonder now, perhaps this situation is completely different in the UK?

 

Anyway, thanks again. Information or no information, I will wait patiently!

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An aside to put things in perspective: recent research by a very reliable independent bureau puts the number of actual Twitter users in the Netherlands at no more than 600,000. That is just 4% of the general population! So, in my view, any commercial venture that would mainly rely on such dubious “social” channels for giving out information, would largely miss its mark. I wonder now, perhaps this situation is completely different in the UK?

 

Don't get me wrong, I hate "social media" as much as you, and I believe that only 4% of dutch people use twitter, but the real question is, how many people do not have twitter but are interested enough in a smartphone with a keyboard? These numbers may look different.

 

The real point however is, that a newsletter is much more work than a twitter account and has less visibility outside of the bubble (people on this forum here).

But as said I would love a Newsletter too.

 

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Isn’t that really the purpose of their twitter button? I don’t have (nor want) a twitter account, but that button at the top of the forum takes me to their twitter posts anyway. ;-)

 

Thanks for the info! I don't use twitter either, and assumed that button was to post a tweet, not a link to the twitter info. I'm pleased to know about that now.

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Don’t get me wrong, I hate “social media” as much as you, and I believe that only 4% of dutch people use twitter, but the real question is, how many people do not have twitter but are interested enough in a smartphone with a keyboard? These numbers may look different.

 

The real point however is, that a newsletter is much more work than a twitter account and has less visibility outside of the bubble (people on this forum here).

 

But as said I would love a Newsletter too.

 

I also do not tweet, but i have a twitter account from way back when, logged in to it just to look at the fxtec twitter on occasion. However I am totally obsessed with the prospect of a nice keyboard phone appearing on the market since even before fxtec existed, and I kindof imagine most people who will buy the phone are not quite as excited/impatient/curious. So I may be wrong but most people may be happy with the amount of info going out, not even caring to know what comes on twitter, hard to verify that thought though.

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So I may be wrong but most people may be happy with the amount of info going out, not even caring to know what comes on twitter, hard to verify that thought though.

 

Oh I am craving for more Information too, that is why I am looking in this forum so often! I just want people to remember:

 

They have no money from us yet, they own us nothing (It is of course still wise to treat us with some respect)

A newsletter is more work than you may thinking

They have to sell it to more people than us freaks in the forum, that is why twitter may be more important than a newsletter

 

I do not think that communication is done perfectly. I see a lot of room for improvement too. But as they say: "Function is key". I am glad that they are focussing on engineering. There will be enough time for marketing afterwards. If they would do a apple-quality marketing campaign I would be certain that function is not key.

 

Some people may decide that Information is too sparse. I can understand that, but then you should wait for the release until ordering it. That is what pre-ordering is, saying there is enough information for me to buy the product now. And you could be happy that they do not have a marketing campaign trying to trick you into pre-ordering it (I am looking at you videogame-market).

 

Of course it is perfectly valid to ask for more Information, don't want to be rude to anyone here. But people nowadays start demanding thing pretty quickly. Which is alright if a Company has already taken money, but here it is a bit pretentious (Backers of the Motomod may be something different). Not that anyone has demanded anything, I just say we should be cautious. No honestly do not feel attacked at all, this is my opinion and I am okay with it if somebody has some different ones.

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But what progress can you expect?

The project in finishing stages. Small polishes to hardware and software.

 

I don't want to get newsletter like "we moved display connector 0.5mm to the left edge, it provides better durability to the cable"(just an example)

 

Also if they are working with some third-party, it's not correct to report their bugs/issues at public newsletter.

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The real point however is, that a newsletter is much more work than a twitter account and has less visibility outside of the bubble (people on this forum here).

 

The low bar request is to have a thread in here duplicating the comments, or at the lowest bar, link to them so we get information on when there is new info on what ever channel they prefer to use to publish stuff to wheel in new customers.

 

That way we would only have to keep an eye on one thread in here to get any info they publish anywhere.

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I think a general complaint is the lack of consistency in information from the company.

For instance there has been a long thread about the QWERTZ keyboard here in the forum. Recently the company made a prototype of the QWERTZ keyboard, but they didn't talk about that in the forum. We were informed about this prototype by a user who found a post on Twitter.

In addition I would say that if EskeRahn was not here, we would almost never get any answers to our questions.

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I think a general complaint is the lack of consistency in information from the company.

 

For instance there has been a long thread about the QWERTZ keyboard here in the forum. Recently the company made a prototype of the QWERTZ keyboard, but they didn’t talk about that in the forum. We were informed about this prototype by a user who found a post on Twitter.

 

In addition I would say that if EskeRahn was not here, we would almost never get any answers to our questions.

 

Remember that it is a startup company, not a huge organisation. And yes they do rely on me trying to answer the things we already know, and when something we don't come up, to raise it to their attention.

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Have you seen some invitation? I am bit afraid to miss the one for Europe, when I did not recognize this Japan one at all! :-(

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Nope, no information on how this event was promoted or sold.

From this tweet I might've expected Podgorica ;)

 

But I'm very supportive of them not just focusing on Europe, but opening as many markets as possible.

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Have you seen some invitation? I am bit afraid to miss the one for Europe, when I did not recognize this Japan one at all! :-(

 

They got so many pre-orders from Japan that they were sure that 'locals' could easily fill the slots. See tweet:

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Have you seen some invitation? I am bit afraid to miss the one for Europe, when I did not recognize this Japan one at all! :-(

They got so many pre-orders from Japan that they were sure that ‘locals’ could easily fill the slots. See tweet:

 

Hi guys, just in case you think you're missing an email from us. We emailed only our Japanese pre-order customers on Sat, all tickets were taken within 36 hours. If any other Japanese customers want to see the Pro1 we will be in Tokyo for an an extra day. Email us

 

— F(x)tec (@thefxtec)

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

 

Thanks for answer. Of course, that make sense to do as many "Hands on" as possible.. Just again sad, that I didn´t know (since no twitter and on FB was nothing), nothing else :)

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Have you seen some invitation? I am bit afraid to miss the one for Europe, when I did not recognize this Japan one at all! :-(

 

They got so many pre-orders from Japan that they were sure that ‘locals’ could easily fill the slots. See tweet:

 

Hi guys, just in case you think you’re missing an email from us. We emailed only our Japanese pre-order customers on Sat, all tickets were taken within 36 hours. If any other Japanese customers want to see the Pro1 we will be in Tokyo for an an extra day. Email us

 

— F(x)tec (@thefxtec)

 

Thanks for answer. Of course, that make sense to do as many “Hands on” as possible.. Just again sad, that I didn´t know (since no twitter and on FB was nothing), nothing else :)

 

They followed up with another tweet to explain a bit:

 

 

Hi guys, just in case you think you're missing an email from us. We emailed only our Japanese pre-order customers on Sat, all tickets were taken within 36 hours. If any other Japanese customers want to see the Pro1 we will be in Tokyo for an an extra day. Email us [email protected]

 

I wonder if they will selectively email by region for the others as well. I hope not-- I agree, I like to know about these things even if I can't attend. :-) It's just nice to know things are going on.

 

 

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