Why you and I will not receive our Soylent orders in January


#1

Soylent orders were originally expected to be shipped in August. Then they were delayed to November, and now to January.

Here’s a simple bet: Soylent orders won’t arrive in January either.

Why? Because these shipping estimates are based on best-case scenarios. To quote from the latest blog post: “If all goes according to this plan, Soylent will start hitting your doorsteps the week of January 6th.”

The problem with this reasoning is that things almost never go according to plan — with any semi-complex operation, there are always unforeseen contingencies that arise.

So, some advice to the Soylent folks: stop making promises you can’t deliver. It’s annoying. Next time you write a blog to tell us that shipments will be delayed again, first read this:


#2


#3

This is a lot like what I was saying in my post in the Manufacturing Update, albeit in a much less inflammatory tone:

I think you’re correct and that we’ll probably see soylent late January mid February time frame. I think the two biggest issues I have with their current estimates is that they used 10 weeks out, when even RFI gave them a minimum forecast of 11-15 weeks, but that they seemed to gloss over the fact that even if NOTHING goes wrong, it could easily take the 15 weeks, companies give date ranges when they’re unsure of delivery, and it puzzles me why they didn’t follow suit. (I think it was because they wanted to stay as near as possible to their last estimate of “sometime in December”)


#4

Dave,
Really? you want to beat up soylent’s progress?? Relax…startups are ridiculously difficult to start, especially with the outpouring of support (read orders). I have confidence they will ultimately deliver, perhaps late, but then again DIY until then.
While I appreciate your quoting ‘reference class forecasting’ that model has nothing to do with start ups with little history. It is a model based on a standardization of prior shipments in an established organization; Soylent is not.
I can think of another model for your inflammatory post but I digress.

Consider how great it is that a company such as Soylent has started this movement.

John
Soylent Day 12


#5

Honestly, looking at the blog section below, it seems confusing.
If the ingredients list can’t be finalized until they approve the final sample… how is RFI sourcing ingredients for delivery already? What is it Soylent is approving - taste, texture, mixability? If any of this ISN’T approved, what could that mean but ordering and sourcing new ingredients to then be mixed and approved? If they aren’t changing ingredients at this point, why can’t they list an “unofficial” ingredient profile, since they already know what’s in it, if not amounts down to the microgram. If they are still in the ingredient testing and approving phase, why is there any ship date being given at all?

I really don’t understand how “these delays do not affect our projected ship date.” If they are still approving sample mixes, that leaves the possibility of disapproval, and what happens then? Hopefully today’s recap (if it happens) will clear some of it up.

As mentioned in the 10/15 update, we planned to use this recap to share the finalized ingredients list and nutritional breakdown. Unfortunately, we are not yet able to release this information, due to the following reasons:

  1. RFI took longer than they expected in blending the final bench sample, and still haven’t shipped it to us for final approval. They hope to ship it out today or this weekend, so we should receive it early next week.
  1. The ingredients list can’t be officially finalized until we approve the final sample.
  1. Only after the formula is finalized can RFI send out another sample batch to a third-party laboratory which will run the necessary tests to determine the final nutritional breakdown. This process takes 10 days and took us by surprise, as we believed that RFI would be able to establish the nutritional breakdown in their in-house lab.

These delays do not affect our projected ship date, as RFI began sourcing the long-lead-time ingredients (ie vitamin mix takes 6 weeks for delivery) as soon as we signed the PO.


#6

They just need to revise the ETA to “tomorrow” and they’ll never have to update again


#7

I’m not trying to beat up on Soylent’s progress. Like you, I am enthusiastic about what they are doing. All I am asking is that they be realistic, which currently they are not. The fact that they keep repeating the same mistake is worrisome (and yes, it is also annoying). Better to under-promise and over-deliver, rather than vice versa.


#8

Just because the entirety of the ingredients list hasn’t been finalized doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ingredients we are sure about, like oat flour, rice protein, and the vitamin mix. Those won’t be changing, so RFI can begin sourcing them prior to the total finalization of the ingredients.


#9

It’s not “beating up on” Soylent to not trust their announced schedules anymore. It’s a perfectly reasonable response to doubt their claims after all these delays. Past behavior is the best indication of future behavior.

People are only upset because we’re excited, though. I am planning to DIY it through spring, because I am just not confident I’ll be able to get any soylent until well into next year. The only thing they can do at this point is pleasantly surprise us. Good luck, guys!


#10

I refuse to make a purchase for Soylent until I see that people who have already paid are actually receiving the product. I hope that it doesn’t turn into a huge let down because the potential for Soylent is pretty exciting.


#11

How about after, I have a months worth ordered, will I be able to order more and get it before I run out?


#12

Yes, that’s our priority. Once a supporter receives a shipment of Soylent, they will be able to order more for immediate fulfillment.


#13

You should wait for Soylent 2.0


#14

Whoever started this thread is psychic :slight_smile:


#15

Predicting that a fresh startup may not meet a goal does not require psychic powers. In lieu of psychic powers, anger, or whatever your emotional preference may be, we should attempt to have patience up until the point that the first orders are shipped. After they catch up with the first major burst of orders, the availability will keep us all satisfied.


#16

@rob and @JulioMiles A question on that, since you have a long lead time of 5 weeks on the vitamin mix and RFI estimated a mixing time of 5 weeks for the first batch of Soylent, what are you doing to mitigate the fact that if someone re-orders Soylent the day after they get it, they’ll have a 30 day supply but there may be up to a 10 week delay before the second batch is produced?

What kind of forecasting did you do for retention rates and purchasing extra of long lead items, so that you basically keep RFI producing Soylent until you’re able to do it yourself?

You’ve always assured us that its one of your highest priorities to make sure once someone starts receiving their Soylent, they’ll always be able to have a steady supply, but what have you actually done to make sure this is a reality?

I think this could be a great topic for a blog post, describing all you’ve learned from these processes so far and steps your taking to make sure batch 2 will be shipping no later then 30 days after batch 1.


#17

Our initial order from RFI was for more Soylent than we have currently sold.