The Spinn grind-brew coffee machine which utilizes a patented centrifugal brewing process has been delayed “5-6 months” according to a letter from Spinn CEO, Roderick de Rode, sent this weekend.
According to de Rode, the company delayed the shipment of the Spinn to work on three things: Reducing grinder noise, reducing the size of the machine and speeding up serve time.
From de Rode’s letter:
Currently, we’re encountering two areas (ed note: I think he meant three) that are not yet up to our standards:
(1) The sound created by the grinder – we don’t want you to experience the same heavy sound disturbances typical of a common coffee brewer. That’s why it’s important to us to continue to refine the hardware so that the machine isn’t noisy for you.
(2) The height of the machine – originally, we listed the machine to be 17-18 inches tall, but believe we can achieve better dimensions. We want the Spinn machine to fit underneath any kitchen cupboard, so we decided to spend extra time and resources to decrease its height without compromising the build in other ways.
(3) The serving time – reduce the serving time for the optimal user experience. Tests showed longer serving times than expected so we dedicated resources to improving speed without compromising the quality of the coffee
de Rode goes on to say that rather than ship a product that is not fully optimized, they’d rather delay shipment 5 or 6 months to “continue development.”
While all the improvements described by de Rode seem reasonable, it’s always worrisome for backers (like myself!) when a startup delays shipment.
Particularly worrisome about this news is it’s clear from de Rode’s letter that the company got all the way to the expected shipment date without having pushed the product into the tooling phase.
From the looks of things, they are still working on overall design and plan on continuing doing so over the coming months.
Bottom line: Unless the company has built in time for tooling and ramping up production into the 5-6 month “design” window, an early 2018 ship date could be tough to hit.
Perhaps one ray of light in this story is Spinn is a little further along than traditional hardware startups in that they already have a licensing deal for their centrifugal brewing process. They’ve licensed their technology to Nestle for Nespresso for the Vertuoline of coffee makers.