Should journalists get Soylent first?


#1

So it is not a related question to ask why these journalists have soylent when the people who paid money for it and “supported” Soylent do not?

Or why it is prudent to market something for more sales when you have already sold more than you can currently ship?


Official Soylent Shipping/Fulfillment Thread
#2

I agree that you have a right to get your product, as a customer, if you have paid for it.

But is this topic the right place to bring that up? Should it be brought up in every topic, no matter what the definition of the topic is, as established by the first post and the title of the topic?


#3

I have received no Soylent for free. The 5-day and 3-day 0.8 Beta supplies I ate last August were paid for by Ars out of my section’s budget, and the 1-month supply I just received was paid for by me, personally, out of pocket, just like everyone else (and I put my order in last August–definitely not as early as a lot of other backers who have yet to ship, but it’s also not like I just called up Rob last week and asked for a case of the stuff).


#4

Should Soylent not evaluate how it makes customers feel who are waiting around for their Soylent or even an email when we see they are pointing out all of the journalists and bloggers they are sending it to?

Especially when it coincides with a shipping update letting us know they aren’t even close to getting ours out the door. But at least I can read one more article about what someone who didn’t even care about Soylent a month ago thinks about the stuff I preordered, funded, and paid for.

I still fail to see how this is more off topic than 100 or more versions of
"Cool! So excited for mine! Cant wait!!!1"


#5

If it is brought up in unrelated topics, constantly, it becomes griefing. That is basically the definition of griefing.

I completely agree that customers who paid money for a product have the right to get their product. But they don’t have the right to ruin everyone else’s experience here.


#6

My point still stands, why is it a good idea when prioritizing what ships when, to decide to focus on shipping Soylent to journalists for the purpose of generating more sales, when the previous sales will be shipped god-knows-when?

I also would have loved to have tried the .8 Beta as well but Soylent decided for me that I wouldn’t have liked it and that I should wait another half a year for my own good.


#7

I’m transplanting my reply to the above conversation to the appropriate thread


@Lee_Ars your initial series is actually one of the main places I link people to get an idea of “what does Soylent” - glad to see a follow-up on the 1.0 formula.


#8

That’s true @Lee_Ars, but you were booted to the front of the queue for being part of the press. I anticipate even first day backers who only went in for 1 month won’t be getting their product until June. Someone who ordered at around the same time as you and the same amount is realistically looking at a mid-june, if not later, shipement.

More on topic, you really should get your friend Matt to try some over-night chilled soylent. Last time he didn’t like it very much, would be interesting seeing if you could con him have him try the new blend for his impresisons.


#9

I posted this as a reply to this same discussion in Shipping/Fulfillment, but it seems that this topic has been created to discuss this issue. Mods, feel free to move/delete as you see fit.

I read the discussions here fairly often, but did not want to get sucked in to spending too much time posting. Let me say that I can definitely identify with the frustration you and many others are experiencing.

With that being said, I wanted to point out that the first responsibility of a company is to be profitable. Sending orders to the media first is obviously aimed at that goal. I know you are frustrated now, but think about how frustrated you would be if you came to love and rely on Soylent, only for the company to fail. Then you would no longer have access to a main source of sustenance that you had come to depend upon.

I agree that encouraging so many new orders while there is still such a backlog is definitely taking on a lot. However, there will be no time for greater media exposure than now. They kind of have to take advantage of that fact.

I hope that Soylent will work well for me and make a big change in my life in the areas of nutrition and convenience. I am definitely very anxious to receive my 5 week order. As much as delays have frustrated me, I still want Soylent to operate with the bigger picture in mind. Ultimately, Rosa Labs becoming more successful will benefit anyone who is serious about adopting Soylent long term. I recognize that this does not encompass all the of the issues at hand and cannot quell everyone’s frustration, but I think it is valuable to keep in mind.


#10

Could not agree more with @thatoneguy. I’m also patiently (for over a year) waiting for my Soylent. As the year has gone by I’ve become more and more interested. This is the time for Rosa Labs to get media exposure. Doing so improves their chances of staying viable as a company and therefore being able to supply me with Soylent long term. I would hope that is in everyone’s best interest.


#11

While I share your frustration at (still) not receiving my month’s worth from the crowdfunding campaign, the answer to your question from a business point of view has to be “of course they should (in reasonable amounts).”

Just like a publishing house sends out copies of a novel to reviewers before the general public gets it, or the journos who get to play with cool electronic gadgets before they go on sale to the public, this product is being sold by a start-up that hopes to grow into a significant player in the food industry. Of course you send out product to some small group of reviewers first. If Lee at Ars got bumped to the front of the line, good for him - he actually paid for his supply. I would have sent a month’s worth to him gratis if I were running the show - him, the guys at Vice who helped bring this story to broader exposure last year, hell I’d troll Martha Stewart and send her a month’s worth. You do what you can to get exposure and honest reviews, especially when you are confident of your product.

Pulling a product out to send to reviewers early is pretty standard in a wide range of industries and considering the huge number of orders to fulfill, is a drop in the ocean and shouldn’t impact the logistics of getting the product to backers and pre-order customers.

EDIT: cleaned up some typos


#12

In addition to what @thatoneguy and @Flagg707 said, shipping to journalists first doesn’t really delay anyone else significantly. There are only a handful of journalists to ship to, and it won’t add much delay. If the journalist did order a lot, they are already near the front of the queue, and moving them doesn’t have much impact. If they only got a week or two, which seems likely, then you can get out several journalist’s orders for the space of one of the large orders. The net inconvenience this brings to other customers is negligible, and the benefits are potentially large. At the very least, we get articles about soylent while we wait, and at most the extra publicity helps keep soylent afloat and helps the long-term availability of soylent for us.


#13

Can’t answer this any better than @thatoneguy, @Richard, @Flagg707, and @Mystify already have.

+1 we’d definitely be interested in hearing his opinion on the real deal, @Lee_Ars!


#14

Haha, that’s a great idea. Will give him a call and see if he an swing by after work one of these days. His wife and he have a new baby that seems to take up all of their time, so I’m not seeing him as often as I used to—but babies tend to do that to your social life :smile:


#15

I’m with you on this. The backers waiting on their shipments are going to drive way more business by word of mouth than a few blogs no one cares about.


#16

Seems like Soylent might be an ideal solution for new parents, in my understanding there’s not much time for preparing nutritionally balanced meals when living with a newborn. Hope he’s more favorable to 1.0!


#17

Just wanted to clear the air on this topic as I’m the one sending out samples to the press…

Something I’ve learned in the past couple of months - the press is really fickle!

When you’re hot, you’re hot, and when you’re not, well…good luck getting anyone to write about you, even if you have something really cool to talk about.

So we have to find a balance between getting the word out there / engaging with the press (which typically means sending them free samples, because they don’t usually want to write about Soylent without trying it) right now, while we have their attention, and making sure we don’t go overboard with how much product we send out.

The future success of Soylent as a company depends on growing awareness among the general public (i.e. using press to reach people), so we feel like it’s a worthy tradeoff in the long term, though we recognize and are sorry for the discomfort it causes at the moment.

I can 100% assure you that the volume of press samples going out (or journalists that paid for Soylent having their order moved up in the queue) is extremely insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I turn people down constantly in order to keep the volume to an absolute minimum!

And I agree with the idea that word of mouth is going to grow support/sales of Soylent more than press! We can’t wait for that to happen!


#18

Ana, it’s already happening!!


#19

Matt’s reaction was pretty surprising—enough so that it catalyzed one final big Soylent wrap-up from me. It’ll run some time next week (needs time to go through copyedit—wound up at about 5k words).


#20

Personally I’m not too bothered by it, the biggest bother were all the other delays before shipping started. With the formula set for now, I do trust the production and shipping is running nonstop. My frustration is only in past events, not this active period. The idea that I signed up to test an incomplete experimental product, and then there was a huge long push to get it near-final, that to me was a way more massive and frustrating delay than I can imagine resulting from others getting higher priority than me.

Though I do note that press isn’t going to “convert” anyone I personally know. My friends and family either would not view the relevant sources, or would not be swayed by typical coverage of a new type of product.