Backer update

October 5, 2018

Mindset Update – FAQs

This update will be answering some of the questions you’ve been posting in the comments recently!

Jacob Flood, October 5, 2018


Hey backers, 

We’ve been busy over the last few weeks getting our electronics tested for the next iteration. We’ll be posting a more detailed update about that in a couple weeks.

In this update, I want to address some of the points that have been raised in the comments recently – to put some concerns to rest, and to provide some transparency into our decision-making.

Q1: why haven’t you responded to my email/comment/message?

I want to apologize for the fact that I haven’t been able to reply to all comments and emails. I realized recently that I was spending a large portion of my week responding to hundreds of messages, and that this was hurting my ability to focus on moving the product forward. In an attempt to be more productive, since last update I experimented with limiting my email and message response time to a few hours each week.

From your comments, it’s clear that this isn’t ideal. To alleviate this, I propose another experiment: over the next few weeks I’m going to commit to a more consistent response schedule, as follows.

  • Answering all outstanding comments, messages, and emails on Monday

  • Hosting an AMA on Facebook each Friday at 4pm EST, where you can ask any questions in real time

This way, we’ll be able to answer any of your concerns, without taking too much time away from working on the product.

Q2: Why aren’t you offering refunds?

I want to be transparent, and clarify why we are not offering refunds. When we launched this campaign, Mindset took on the responsibility of delivering these products to you, our backers. That meant ensuring that the money we raised was spent appropriately so that we don’t run out prior to shipping – part needed to be allocated to development (tooling, and keeping the lights on), and part to production (materials and assembly).

Right now, we have just enough money to produce and ship the preordered units. We don’t, however, have enough money to refund the full amount pledged. As a result, any refunds we issue would be putting our ability to deliver all of the outstanding units to our backers at risk. We take our responsibility to you very seriously and are working tirelessly to complete our intent.

I understand the frustration that many of you feel – bringing this technology to life has been more difficult than any of us, or our advisors anticipated. If there were anything we could have done to avoid these delays, we would have done so. Our commitment remains to delivering a high-quality product to all of our backers. In order to ensure this happens, we cannot risk offering refunds.

Q3: What’s happened? Is this a scam?

Given the delays, it’s not surprising that you’re wondering what’s happened with the money you spent. Our regular updates give progress on what we’re doing month to month – this time, I want to shed some light on why we’re doing this.

We launched our Kickstarter with the goal of creating the perfect work headphones – a comfortable, noise cancelling device that helps train your brain to better focus. Our mission, however, extends beyond simply headphones.

The reality is that our brains didn’t evolve to live in today’s society. We live in a world where billions of dollars are spent each year trying to steal your attention, to the point that 29% of people now identify problems concentrating as their #1 issue at work. The statistics are astounding – 1 out of 7 students are currently on prescription stimulants, and amphetamine use is at an all-time high. Attention is the new currency, and we’re more distracted than ever.

Meanwhile, rates of mental disorders are also increasing. Rates of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s increase at nearly 5% per year. Instances of PTSD and of treatment-resistant depression continue to soar. Addiction issues pervasively affect nearly everyone in some way. All of this exists because we simply don’t understand the brain well enough to prevent or treat it. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

In its simplest form, Mindset is a headphone for improving your concentration. What we’re building, however, is far greater: Mindset is a biosensing platform for human performance. We want to create a tool that lets you master your mind – a device that researchers, developers, clinicians, and individuals, can use to better understand and train their brain.

Deep down, we all want to be successful – to do great work, meet great people, and live a great life. Often, however, adversity gets in the way. From difficulty concentrating, to anxiety, to cognitive decline, factors outside our control prevent us from achieving our dreams. It’s not fair. The world is not a meritocracy, and living up to your full potential can seem impossible.

With Mindset we want to change that.


We have countless more challenges ahead, starting with shipping our preorders. We’re working day and night to make sure the final product is incredible.

We’re grateful for your support, without which Mindset would never have been possible. We can’t wait to get you your headphones, so you can begin your journey of discovering mind.

For now, lots of love,

– The Mindset Team



Comments

  • Robert Jones

    I’ve personally been responsible for much worse delays with other work-related projects so I’m not at all surprised or angry about the delays you’re facing. I’m sure most of us would rather wait longer to get a superior product. I also fully support the "don’t spend all your time answering emails" policy (even what you’re planning seems too time consuming to me). All that being said, although I know everything can happen and it’s hard to give a precise answer, I’d be curious to know a "best-case" and "worst-case" scenario for a delivery date. I’d be happy with a very imprecise educated guess, even if turns out to be wrong later.

    • Jacob F

      Hey Robert – the delays are definitely a shitty feeling, it’s comforting to hear that you can relate!

      Best case is that we get the EV3’s rocking this month, we get the tooling and DV done by December, we ship some of our PV units in Jan/Feb, and do our first mass production batch in march.
      Worst case is that EV3 finds some flaws, and we have to do an EV4. Tooling would be done by Chinese new year, we’d need to run two DV batches (march/april/may) and two PV batches (june/july/august) and get mass production finished by end of year.

      • Meher Zeeshan

        It means it will be delivered by the end of 2019? Wow!

        • Jacob F

          Hey Meher – to clarify, this is an ultimate worst case scenario, in which everything that can go wrong repeatedly does. It’s very unlikely we’ll be delivering that late

  • Betti Weiss

    I’ve still got your back. Don’t listen to the impatient nay-sayers. Take the time you need to do it right. I will still be here expecting an outstanding product!
    Betti

    • Jacob F

      Thanks for the support Betti! 😀

  • Josh Farrelly

    To be honest I’d forgotten I’d ordered these. I’m happy to keep waiting!

    • Jacob F

      It’ll be a nice surprise when it arrives at your doorstep! 😉

  • STEFFEN Albjerg

    Cool work guys

    • Jacob F

      😀

  • James Davis

    No refund option, not even partial, is a bit frustrating, especially since I’m not sure if I want these anymore. July 2017 was the original estimate, and I understand delays… but we’re approaching 2019. I understand the gamble of Kickstarter campaigns, but grossly underestimating the estimate this poorly doesn’t harbor good faith.

    In all of this, I am thankful for all of the updates. Because of them, I know this is not a scam, and I know there is actual progress. This has just been a painful process.

    Please please please make sure to send reminders to update prescriptions and shipping information before final product release!

    • James Davis

      My apologies! I mistook this update in my email for another thing I backed, which is even worse off than this: The Vue Smart Glasses.

      Your original estimate was Dec. 2017, which is not ideal but also not as horrible. Just keep us updated and, for my wallet’s sake, I wish you luck!

      • Jacob F

        Thanks James – I’ll 100% make sure we confirm shipping addresses before we send anything out!

  • Pier-Luc Laforge-Garant

    This makes no sense, "we barely have enough money to produce". For that reason, we’ll use all the money we’ve got left to "keep improving the product". Be honest guys, you are just living off that money pretending you work on the product. When you’ll run out of money you’ll just say you failed. At least I hope you had fun with my 250$!

    • Keenen Cates

      They have blogs where you can see the progress. Also, of course they live off the money. Your brain needs food, water, sleep, love, and etc to work effectively. It costs money to be an effective adult. Are you implying that you never have fun with money you are paid?

      This is a research product. There are multiple people, likely all well-educated with STEM degrees, that could demand a very high salary anywhere in the world. You paid for people to do a job, and providing them living expenses is maybe the bare minimum.

      It’s not cheap to run a new company producing something innovative, it takes a massive amount of capital, and the fact that they are still operating means that they are very efficient and believe in success. Otherwise they would all quit and go somewhere else that likely provides more than the bare minimum.

  • Sven Haaijman

    I’m so angry at everyone who’s so negative about the delays. They knew that, as is the case with any kickstarter, there were risks involved. It’s not even that you’re not getting the product, it’s been delayed so stop complaining. I’d like to see them develop, make and ship EEG equipped headphones from scratch. They won’t be able to. I think the Mindset team is doing a great job of keeping everyone informed of the situation. Do those impatient jerks think that they have it easy? It’s really brave of them to share the process, setbacks and all to everyone. It’d be much easier to lie but they do their utmost best to keep everything transparent.
    And then there’s the people who want refunds. You made an investment. You didn’t buy a product. You made an investment in something so you can’t expect them to give a refund. Even if this was a total scam (which it’s obviously not), you and I were the ones who invested in this. They started a company to make a product with our investment and as such they spent that money and put it into making something wonderful. You can’t expect to get that money back. You’ll just have to wait a little longer.

    There. Got that off my chest.
    Sorry for the long rant.

    Mindset, you’re doing great and I’m looking forward to what you create so don’t rush it but take your time to make something that you feel you can be proud of.

    • Jacob F

      Thanks Sven, we really appreciate the support! We’ll keep working hard to make sure the final product is awesome 🙂

  • Hugh Thomson

    Keep up the great work guys, I am really looking forward to see how these turn out. Those people commenting negatively about the delays or lack of refund missed the point of a kickstarter, where you are not guaranteed a product let along such thorough updates!

    • Jacob F

      Thanks Hugh, we really appreciate the continued support!

  • Rodrigo Landaeta

    I’ve participated in kickstarter 3 times… all three projects I’ve supported run into massive delays yet all have been delivered with the exception of this one… at least not yet.

    I do wish you success, so we can receive out products and hopes back. I understand the problems of delivering products, my company does research as well as maintaining a stream of products just to support research and the thousands behind the marketing teams and all the other salaried paper-pushers… but, I wish you could publish every now and then the actual progress, maybe discuss what the problems are… maybe some of us can help, who know, right?

    In any case, I will continue to follow your steps in the hopes of me receiving a headset I backed so long ago.

  • Mahmoud Khateeb

    I am happy with delays, in the first place, I have backed a project that came with a new idea and it was very expected that it will have a lot of challenges down the road. What I am not happy about is the lack of estimates, no matter how accurate you are. I would really be happy to see a count-down kind of thing on your website, which will be updated every update let’s say. And it tells how much time is still to wait for first shipments to be sent. and a very small summary on the things caused that countdown to shift if this happened (and it will). With all these web pages and campaigns on different site, I have lost track of the latest update on the delivery date.

    • Jacob F

      Hey Mahmoud – I appreciate the support!

      I’ll look into getting a better way to visualize the timeline into our next updates – thanks for the suggestion.

  • Bart Roozendaal

    Like some others, I have no real problem with the delays. As long as the product gets out there, I’m fine with it. I am. Really waiting for it, because there’s so much cool stuff I want to do with it. I backed for two devices, one I want to use for experimenting and one for ‘out of the box’ experiences.

    However, it would be nice or have better insight into the timeline you are using yourself, even if they change over time.

    Also, I volunteered to do some beta testing. I’d love to get my hands dirty and give some feedback and add my hits to improve the product. It is a bit disappointing to not even hear anything back on that.

    Ah well, I’ll just sit and wait quietly.

    Bart Roozendaal

    • Jacob F

      Hey Bart,

      Great to hear – our priority remains making this product amazing. I’ve gotten a few comments recently that our timeline isn’t clear enough – I’ll make sure it’s more obvious in our next update.

      I apologize for the beta tester email – I underestimated the number of people that would be interested, and was surprised at the hundreds of responses I got. I still have all the emails in a folder ready for when we need help, but I chose to not spend a day emailing everyone back, for productivity’s sake.

      I appreciate the support!

  • Hunter Maerz

    Hey mindset team,

    Thank you for all the hard work you all are doing! Also, thank you for making sure this product is the best it can be. I’m happy I am able to support such an innovative product. Keep up the good work!

  • Keenen Cates

    It surprises me that people expect refunds and expect no delays. They signed up to kickstart essentially a research product. They weren’t purchasing a product, they were putting money into something they believed could work, in hopes that it would succeed. In the real world, you don’t get to ‘refund’ your investments if they don’t pan out they way you hoped, this isn’t a finished product and given the progress on the blog it looks like Mindset has neared completion.

    I guess I’m confused what responsible adult would pledge money to this out of belief, then ask for a refund.

    • Jacob F

      Thanks for the support Keenen! I understand where these backers are coming from – the delays suck, there’s no two ways about it. I think in the future Kickstarter will have to better manage their positioning as being an investment in a cause, and not a purchase in a marketplace.

      Cheers!

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