Dear Kickstarter Management:
We are deeply disappointed with the news that our 2nd USA Kickstarter campaign has been refused due to rewards from our first Kickstarter yet not being shipped.
I am appealing for Kickstarter management to make an exception for this project, and allow us to launch immediately, for these reasons (apologies for the length, but this issue is crucial to our survival):
1. Our first USA Kickstarter campaign was not our first Kickstarter, it was our 13th, after 12 out of 12 successful Australian Kickstarter campaigns (all listed here: http://kck.st/2pmr7sP). All have been shipped as promised, with only a couple of minor delays of a week or so for little issues beyond our control. I believe this is an exceptional record for Kickstarter, and proof of our integrity, and deep commitment to our backer community. We have built a big/solid community on social media, with top chefs and industry VIPs, and in 100+ retail stores around Australia. We are seeing the beginnings of this depth of support in the USA.
2. We have a different creator in the USA, Steve Rowbury, who is just as committed, solid and reliable as our Australian creator, Rebecca Ramsay, and all the rest of the team is the same, led by the same founder and development engineer, Mark Henry.
3. The cookware we are offering and producing in our USA campaigns is the same as those we have produced in our Australian campaigns, except made in Chicago with USA materials (of the same specification). We are not only mechanical engineers with decades of experience in this industry, but experts in manufacturing this innovative new type of cookware (a world-first seamless cookware manufacturing method which we developed and patented).
4. The cookware you see presented in our first USA Kickstarter campaign (nöni stainless cookware), and in the draft for our 2nd Kickstarter campaign are not prototypes: they are fully completed pre-production pans, made with all the tooling we had made in advance of the campaign (at great investment). They are exactly the same as our production batches will be, because all tooling and manufacturing will be the same.
5. We are already well on track in production of rewards for our US KS1 campaign, and see no problems easily shipping according to our July and August rewards promises. Launching KS2 now would not delay our KS1 deliveries, and lead times will be the same for KS2, if not faster.
6. The real money already invested in tooling and media for our USA Kickstarters is significant, and we were counting on two fast Kickstarters to help fund that outlay and avoid financial strain.
7. If we had known our 2nd Kickstarter would be suspended until after the first was shipped, we could have easily run both campaigns as one bigger campaign. The manufacturing methods are the same: it is only the material that is different. It is just as easy to manufacture both at the same time, with the same total lead time. It was for branding clarity we planned a separate Kickstarter for each material: our nöni stainless steel cookware brand, followed by our US-ION wrought iron cookware brand.
We have been very happy with Kickstarter overall, and we would prefer to continue making all our launches with Kickstarter for consistency (and we have many world-first innovations under development), but we really need to launch our USA KS2 asap to avoid a big hole in our budget. I hope you can consider our combined Australian and USA experience, instead of classifying us as newbies on the USA platform.
Behind the campaigns we are the same company in both countries, and the same people manufacturing under the same patents, so I hope you agree we can be trusted not to disappoint our USA campaign backers, or the Kickstarter organization.
Mark J. Henry
Founder and development engineer, Solidteknics.
May 24, 2018, with love.