Delay for Argos lever espresso machine - Page 2

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adyu

#11: Post by adyu »

The transparency is great, and it's certainly above average compared to most Kickstarter's I've backed. However, it's missing his funding runway, which is probably the most important element for managing our expectations. I'm not necessarily saying he's wrong for not including it - there are many reasons not to - but it's difficult to gauge how optimistic one should be for this project without that information.

If this was a solo project, the delays might be able to be sustained for quite a long time - but the Argos has employees and rents workshop space. That severely limits the number of delays a project is able to tolerate.

I backed this project expecting that the prototype was essentially finalized, and I was pretty surprised to find out how much was left to do, especially when the original email said:
Once we receive ~200 pre-orders, we will have enough funds to officially place the manufacturing order and begin business. The speed at which we receive pre-orders will determine how soon manufacturing begins. It may be 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month.

Once manufacturing begins, we're looking at a 2 month lead time to receive parts. During that time, the assembly workshop will be set up, part time assembly techs will be hired and trained, and we will work towards CE cert.

Assembly will take 1 to 2 months and expect to begin shipping units in November of this year.
and
While we understand it is a huge ask to accept crowd-funding before we have product in hand, 5 pre-production machines have been manufactured, built, and tested to confirm all suppliers, work out final design changes, and display expected product quality. We hope that this instills confidence in all buyers while you wait for units to be built.
Pricing the Argos at such an aggressive price point when so many components had yet to be finalized and sourced is a pretty risky decision - not to mention, the pricing was established prior to the current state of inflation and lockdowns in China.

I have no doubt of Ross' commitment to the project, and that everything was done in good faith - but I'm skeptical of this project's ability to tolerate further delays.
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drH

#12: Post by drH »

It's also a bonus that the design and finish of the Argos has appeared to improve over the last 12 months. When this all began I was merely following with curiosity. But now I find myself actually interested in owning one.

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SteveRhinehart

#13: Post by SteveRhinehart »

adyu wrote:The transparency is great, and it's certainly above average compared to most Kickstarter's I've backed. However, it's missing his funding runway, which is probably the most important element for managing our expectations. I'm not necessarily saying he's wrong for not including it - there are many reasons not to - but it's difficult to gauge how optimistic one should be for this project without that information.
I'm only guessing this is what you mean by funding runway, but as of last week Ross said there were 491 orders and that the first production will be closer to 700 units. Initial funding target was 200 pre-orders.
Ross | Odyssey wrote:491. funding target was only around 200 units so we've been good for a while
Ross | Odyssey wrote:i mean, yes and no. with the delays the first batch will be closer to 700 units and everything I already ordered 500 of has a second batch of 500 on the way

adyu

#14: Post by adyu »

By runway, I mean how much money they've raised vs. how much they're spending each month - as in how many months of additional development can they afford. The concerning factor is that the original pitch made it sound like they weren't anticipating any additional development at all, which would hint that the runway is rather short. Some of these unanticipated extra costs, such as hiring engineers and inflation, could be rather substantial as well. On the other hand, if the current administration reduces the tariffs against China as they've been hinting at, that may afford them quite a bit of breathing room.

Sharing these numbers may not make an actual difference in the development and production of the Argos, but it would help with transparency and accountability, as well as enable investors/backers to manage their expectations realistically.

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TigerStripes

#15: Post by TigerStripes »

The only thing that surprises me is how optimistic the coffee community has been over this project. The promise of "our PID magic will solve everything" is reminiscent of the failed predecessor to decent espresso. I truly wish them the best and hope they make it, but when you back a kickstarter, you should be 100% prepared to receive a product years late or not at all.
LMWDP #715

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Jeff
Team HB

#16: Post by Jeff »

First off, none of the claims are outlandish. A $1,000-class home lever isn't a quarter or a fifth of the price of a comparable unit.

I don't know that "PID" is the main selling point. I see it as an alternative to the MCaL. For me, that's not a machine I'm excited about for a variety of personal reasons*.

Finally, this is a purchase, not a KickStarter donation.


* For light roasts, I prefer a 58 mm basket and greater shot volume. I'm also not a fan of the styling.

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TigerStripes

#17: Post by TigerStripes »

I do think they've been marketing heavily on their approach with PID to optimize shot temperature at the puck by monitoring both grouphead and boiler temperature. This is exciting, but it's also a new and unproven approach.

It may not be a kickstarter, but I don't consider a "pre-order" with no defined delivery date a purchase. I've seen enough people ripped off by this funding model to be wary of it. I prefer companies like Londinium that quietly spend the time and money developing a good product before offering it for sale when it is available.
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baldheadracing
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#18: Post by baldheadracing »

TigerStripes wrote:... The promise of "our PID magic will solve everything" ...
Note that what some have written/hoped for is not what I have seen Odyssey claim/publish.
- My espresso: Swirled, not stirred. My pourover: Stirred, not swirled.

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Jeff
Team HB

#19: Post by Jeff »

I just looked at https://www.odysseyespresso.com/shop/ar ... so-machine and didn't even see the PID mentioned.
The Argos lever espresso machine was designed for espresso lovers that want a compact commercial quality machine at an affordable price. Spring or direct lever configurations allow mild to fully manual control over the brew process. This ground up design is built to last with its corrosion resistant stainless steel and classic wood accents.
Edit:

To be clear, I do think that there is risk that what gets delivered won't meet some people's expectations. For those that aren't expecting a silver bullet, I think the question will come down to "Is this a great, 58 mm, high-displacement lever that fits on my cramped countertop and can reliably pull great shots, or is it just another unremarkable machine?"'

I'll save discussing the history of still-unfulfilled marketing promises by ZPM or other over-zealous marketers for a more appropriate thread.

adyu

#20: Post by adyu »

It's definitely not a purchase. The design hasn't been finalized, some components don't have vendors/manufacturers, and the software isn't done. There is a real possibility that they run out of money before everything is finished.

That said, I do think that the Argos' position is equivalent to a reasonably strong Kickstarter. They have a functional prototype, good transparency, and I think development is moving at a decent pace. I was just surprised by how much was left to do...The checklist is a little longer than the average Kickstarter I would normally be willing to back.