Is it just me? (or was this question too short)


#1

Is it just me, or is a series of purportedly biographical advertisements not the same thing as the 1.0 formula?

You don’t have to worry about selling this idea to people, we’ve already bought it to such a degree that it’s unclear you can handle the volume. What you need to do is commit to something, acknowledge that it will be imperfect and will get improved over time, and deliver it (holds both for the product and opening the recipe). I mean, the very fact that you use version numbers should imply a release then improve-over-time mentality, but slowly converting your previously legit blog to marketing drek suggests that the people who care about image have more sway than the people who care about content. It does not reflect favorably on you.

Talk about solving the problems you have, don’t waste everyone’s time preaching to the choir. Honesty and directness got you this far, why the change in course?


#2

Its not whether they can handle the volume its the places they are sourcing their ingredients from. There is a huge difference there. Thats one of the reasons its taking so long because they got far more orders than they thought they would so their suppliers were unable to keep up with the volume so they have had to look for substitute ingredients that they could find in sufficient amounts to meet demands.


#3

I see where you’re coming from, there certainly is a logical difference, but there’s not really a practical one. The reason I’ll be paying Soylent Corp (yes I know it has a new name, but I don’t remember it or care to look it up) instead of going DIY is because I want someone else to take care of the logistics of it all. I’m paying them to solve a problem for me, and that entails being responsible for all of their own dependencies.

And yeah, shit happens, nothing ever goes according to plan, especially new things. Believe me, I’ve been there and I get it. I can continue to be patient with those sorts of problems (when they’re discussed openly), but avoiding the more important issues at hand in favor of shameless self promotion in the absence of a track record is another matter.


#4

I imagine they’re panicking… and tweaking the formula beyond what Rob originally envisioned releasing. Now that investors are going to want $1.5 million plus profit back, there must be considerable pressure to maximize the reorder numbers. This would mean taste and texture become far more important than they were originally. The last update said one of the bench samples was “close” to their ideal profile; which means they’re probably doing a new round of bench samples right now. But it’s anyone’s guess with the new “we’ll be back after these messages” blog.

That said, it’s still pretty impressive for a group of non-businessmen to deliver such massive volume less than a year after funding.


#5

We’re working on a series of blog posts covering the ingredients and nutritional breakdown of the 1.0 formula. The first ingredient post will be coming next week.


#6

You know, I feel this really isn’t stated enough.

Most of the initial Soylent team don’t have their degrees in a business field – they’re engineers, or scientists. Making a great product is one thing, but they’ve managed to bring this from a kitchen curiosity experiment to a multi-million $ start-up in less than a year. Viral internet popularity, sure; good fortune in additional investment, okay; but they still went out and started something that I’m pretty sure nobody expected could be so successful this quickly. That’s pretty cool, by any reasonable measure. So bravo, guys, and may you ever continue to shatter expectations :slight_smile:


#7

It’s a classic first world problem - like being furious about the angle of your headrest while flying in a 747.

I don’t discount your frustration with the process, but context is critical.


#8

A series? How many weeks will this take?

… so… please tell us that the first post will have all of the totals for nutrients, at least. Or will we really not know what all of the totals will be until the last minute?


#9

Are you really suggesting that you don’t want more information than fits cleanly in a single blog post?


#10

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#11

Yes.

Personally, I only read their blog because I’m waiting for the complete list of totals that they’ve been promising. No more, no less.


#12

Oh, in that case you can safely tune out, I’ll message you when they post the list.


#13

Just at a guess, it sounds like they’re still going over tweaks and polishes of the exact ratios, back and forth with RFI’s samples. So (one would hope) the first post will be “these are the things we’ve locked in place”, and subsequent posts will be incremental progress.


#14

That’s correct – we’re still finalizing the applications part of the formula (a process that DOES NOT hold up anything that has to do with manufacturing) and so we’ll be covering those ingredients last. I’m about to post the macronutrient profile, and the micro/applications posts and nutritional breakdown post will be following after Thanksgiving.


#15

Last minute is kind of an unfair characterization, we’ll have the complete nutritional breakdown by early December – plenty of time to pore over the info and make sure that Soylent 1.0 is right for your needs.


#16

Thanks ^_^. I was worried it would run on till January.


#17

@Sintax, the list is up.


#18

Yeah… and it’s totally unsatisfying. Did you catch that they’re using the male DRIs for Iron and Calcium, despite all the talk of making the recipe unisex? I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt here, but that just makes them seem outright dishonest.

I’m waiting for @JulioMiles to ride in and save the day, again ^_^. But unless he says “oops, we posted the wrong info”, I’m doubtful.


#19

I believe they encountered logistical difficulties with gender customized blends, @Sintax:

While the current male/female blends do not represent as much differentiation as we originally intended, they represent a compromise between providing a customized experience and getting Soylent manufactured in a timely manner. We are excited to continue working on different Soylent formulas, and hope to begin offering an increased range of nutritional options throughout 2014.

Soylent 1.0 will not be perfect. They’ll be able to finetune additional product lines for specific users later on (female, bodybuilders, etc.)

It’s important to adjust your expectations to what they’ve stated, and I’ve expected the nutritional profile to be imperfect, tailored to adult men - they’ve admitted as much in the blog over the last several months.


#20

My gripe isn’t that they simply didn’t make the recipe unisex. It’s that they claimed it would be unisex and then didn’t follow through. My expectations for a unisex blend are precisely based on what they’ve stated. You left one important line out of your quote from the blog post in question:

The manufactured Soylent that we will be shipping to our supporters has male/female blends that differ calorically as well, but are otherwise identical. We did find that women tend to need more iron than men, and we made sure the vitamin blend that we are using for both has plenty of iron.

Now (it appears to me) that they’ve released that they did not, in fact, “make sure that the vitamin blend has plenty of iron”. It seems that what they did was give up on female support and then spin it on their blog to make it seem like they weren’t.

This isn’t a matter of needing time to release “a different product line”. The difference between male and female is not significant enough to warrant a separate recipe. They’ve said as much and I totally agree:

It may be easier to think about the female/male blends as Soylent 1800 and Soylent 2200, their respective caloric contents. It is almost certain that for some of our female supporters have nutritional requirements that exceed 1800 calories per day, and similarly some male supporters require significantly less than 2200 calories daily.

Bottom line: They said they were going to make 1 single unisex recipe with 2 different calorie levels. All they have to do to follow through on that is just add 10mg more Iron and 300mg more calcium to the vitamin blend. They aren’t.