Another missed deadline?


#1

Soylent promised another update this week in their last blog post. I suppose today is Saturday — not precisely the end of the week — but my hunch is they’ve missed another self-imposed deadline.

It’s also troubling to me that they’ve set a new expectation regarding the taste: “amazing,” according to a recent tweet. Worth the delays! Maybe so, but for a company that consistently misses deadlines, I would be careful about setting that high a bar. Many of the reviews, and reactions to various DIY tests, say Soylent is not great. (And that’s okay — taste isn’t the only factor for a lot of people.)

I think if Soylent actually ships a product of this sort, for this price, that tastes “amazing,” they’ll be on to something. But I’m pretty skeptical that’s the reality.

I really worry that this company has an issue with communications, planning, and expectations. My personal choice is to request a refund, wait for them to ship, read reviews of the final project, and then consider purchasing. I love the concept of backing, but once a company has major venture funding, and after they’ve broken the trust of at least this backer, I no longer feel obligated to support them financially. They won’t really miss my ~$130.

I’m really discouraged by my own post. I have issues eating and was hoping Soylent could be part of the solution — but more than anything, I just like seeing young companies succeed. I hope they find some better management and come out on top in the end.


#2

I am hoping they just don’t realize how crazy their supporters are and how much some of us think about these updates, and get excited for them to come out on Friday.

I am worried they didn’t want to post, because they probably won’t be making the new deadline they set just last week, and don’t want to update everyone until they are more sure about things.

I think people would love an update that said, “We are having a delay, not sure how long it will be, but this is what we are working on, this is what made us excited, and this is what we are thinking about this week”. Half the fun of backing a project like this is watching the creators struggle to accomplish their vision.


#3

i am sure they are fully aware of how crazy some of the more vocal supporters are. generally speaking it’s best to ignore crazy people, which i am sure is what they are doing. in life, people who don’t learn at a young age that throwing tantrums is a sure way to be ignored tend to carry this on into their adult life. get over it. you made an investment, with a unspecified return or dividend date. you have not made a purchase, you are not a customer, you are an investor. take the good with the bad and wait it out.


#4

Im all for them putting out the best product possible. I knew this was going to be slow going and lots of missed deadlines from the get go. I can understand others frustration though.


#5

You need to know and believe that the last thing an “investor” wants is poor or dishonest communication and troubles properly setting expectations. You should also know that Soylent may have a bunch of investors, but some of those investors will be customers if they can get a product out the door. I don’t care what you call me — an (ex) customer or (ex) investor — I deserve honest communication. I doubt @rob is personally responsible for writing the blog, but you can be damn sure he’s responsible for it at the end of the day.

I’m shocked that Soylent not only misses deadlines because of things outside their control, but now they’re missing self-imposed deadlines too. If you feel good about having your money with a company like that, best of luck to you.


#6

They are a start up doing something that really hasn’t been done before and something they have never attempted to do before. You knew this going in. This should have come to no surprise to you. Certainly wasnt a surprise to most of the rest of us.


#7

My response was to find a good looking recipe and just start making my own. I’m on day two now of eating my DIY soylent so this is very new for me. It is quite a leap investing the time and money to try this out. Many of the ingredients are expensive and/or hard to find if you don’t get the 30 or 60 day supply. I’ve got a full pantry of ingredients that will go to waste if I don’t like it. The good news is that the recipe I am using has all the ingredients listed on Amazon which made figuring out what to buy very simple… Also, with some tweaks, I think I can make the recipe taste good and meet my nutritional needs.

I have to say the jump to DIY has been really good for me. I don’t have to be concerned or up about production issues and I can tweak the recipe for my needs and tastes.


#8

Um, I can’t find anywhere in the last blog post that they promised an update for this week.


#9

I think that was the point of “we’re reworking the taste - it wasn’t that great”

I’ll agree that the delays are unpleasant. After so much looking forward to a release, I’ve really begun feeling more of a chore in staple meals - delays only sharpen that. But in the end, it’s a start-up; perfection out of the gate would be impressive, but it’s probably a little much to demand. I wasn’t great at writing C++ in high school, and Rosa Labs may not be great at running a company in their first year. In the last update though, it looks like they’ve seen what was going wrong, and plan to give more granular updates for future developments:

Assuming they keep to that, I’ll take it as managerial learning and improvement for the future, and I’m willing to take the hit on another month or so of grueling boring food, haha.

Though I do hope February is solid this time. I don’t care to pick out staple food groceries again. I don’t care so much :frowning:


#10

From the blog (bolding mine):


#11

It’s not only in the last blog post but they also repeated this on Twitter.


#12

Ah, OK. There it is. Thank you.


#13

I agree with the OP. Its pretty ridiculous that its been delayed and extended this long. One of the key factors being the switch to a “vegan” formula. That sure wasn’t in the original Kickstarter I signed up for and I’m willing to bet the majority of backers don’t care about that. The delays have been absolutely unacceptable, considering we’re coming up on a year for the original Kickstarter campaign.

At this point, I’m looking to get a refund and wait it out to see if the final product is worth buying.

@JulioMiles how do I initiate the process to get a refund?


#14

Vegan was a goal since day 1, and wasn’t a key factor in delays. Delays were due to product testing, ingredient lead time, and having to source way more ingredients than expected (because of 10x more response than planned).*

From the main page FAQ:

I’d like a refund.

Sure, no problem! Just email info@soylent.me with your request. Make sure to include either the email address that you used to place the order, or your order ID starting with “CON”.


*I don’t work for Rosa Labs - I could be wrong. But this has been discussed to death in other threads, and came to some pretty clear conclusions.


Edit: Also, the original Crowdhoster campaign wasn’t launched until the end of May (and didn’t finish until October) - we’ve got more than a quarter of a year before hitting a birthday on that. I’m looking forward to Soylent too, but I think perhaps expectations can bend our recollection of the past.

It is one year from Rob’s initial experiment though, as of yesterday… *off to make a Happy Birthday thread!*


#15

@shadowhawkxx Thanks for the info, but Rob’s 9/27 blog update seems to indicate otherwise

"We have been working hard at ensuring the greatest number of people are able to consume Soylent, by eliminating as many allergens and animal-derived ingredients as possible. The formula is finalized enough for us to be able to discuss two ingredients that may pose issues for some individuals.

We have tried hard to find a suitable (in nutritional content, price, availability, etc) substitute for fish oil as a source of Omega 3s. Unfortunately, fish oil will be the one non-vegan ingredient in Soylent. But don’t fret! Soylent will be shipped with the oils separately (in 2oz vials that are mixed in to each daily batch), so vegans/vegetarians will be able to easily replace the Soylent oil blend with their own choice of oil. In the future we hope to offer a product that is 100% vegan, but we had to make this compromise for our initial formula."

That sounds like complications in development and it also sounds like the original formula was NOT intended to be vegan if it included fish oil from the start.

In any case, I’m still going to buy Soylent because I think its brilliant and my refund rant earlier was frustration since I’ve been waiting for it since August. @JulioMiles I still love you


#16

I’m going by the FAQ listing (as of the original campaign), something to the effect of “Will Soylent be vegan? : Yes! We plan to make Soylent 1.0 vegan!”

Once they actually started sourcing ingredients though, they found that it was near-impossible to get a non-fish source for the sheer volume of Omega-3 they needed. The blog post was explaining the situation because at that point, concerned threads were cropping up that the formula wouldn’t have a vegan option, and/or that the company had given up on that goal.

As for delays, I don’t remember exactly which thread this was from, but in one of the fish oil threads I believe it was stated (or at least strongly implied) that the “veganization” attempts were going on in parallel with other, longer processes, so they weren’t actually impacting net delay (an X week delay overlapping with an X+1 week delay is still X+1 weeks, as long as there aren’t any dependencies)


#17

Fair enough, perhaps I mistakenly attributed the delays to that and not caring whether the formula is vegan or not, unfairly singled that out.

So I had envisioned little mylar packets for the blended powders which is fine logistics wise, but for the oils are they individually packaging those too, because that seems like it would significantly impact, say a years supply order? That’s about 45lbs for a years worth if I’m not mistaken…


#18

As of the last few articles on beta editions which provided images, the oils come in a little vial accompanying each daily powder packet.


#19

I agree with you 100%. I’m tired of them missing deadlines…they need to stop talking and start delivering ASAP. I don’ t need any updates, just the product that I was promised months ago. They’ve lost all credibility with me so much so that I highly doubt I will make any more purchases.


#20

To be fair - you’ve never been promised a date by these guys. You’ve never “purchased” a product from them. You gave them a gift (pledge) during the crowdhosting campaign, with the agreement that they would, as a show of thanks, give you some of their product when it was released. Or, during the pre-order phase, you paid to reserve your spot in line once the product was released. Projections of this release have been given, but never a promise - because making a business from scratch is tough, and explicit promises are a recipe for trouble.

I’m disappointed too. As I’ve stated before, I was hoping to avoid buying groceries for this term at college - because of the delay, I had to adjust that. But it’s not a case of a “store” being lazy and not getting around to it. They literally do not have the product yet, because RFI hasn’t given it to them. So there’s not really a lot of use in repeating “it’s late!” over and over =/