An Update from CEO Brian Degen

porter_painter

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Not all the employees just a select few that worked on one part of the system. Keep in mind he did not start out with a lot of cash. They only got investers after the beta unit was working and proven.
Didn’t they raise funds 2 or 3 years ago? Plenty of time of recruitment.

In fact, having the investors on board would have made them plan better, have deadlines, KPIs etc etc I would imagine.

I have my own small business in the tech space. In my experience I’ve never known any startup to underestimate demand...in fact quiet the opposite usually.
 

homer1475

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Funny how a company like this that has 7 years to get going cannot simply communicate to people who they have taken money from, yet "insiders" keep telling everyone to wait and it will be all fine in the end. And everyone is OK with being told to wait, even though they(mindstream) already have their money.

Yet a company like neptune miscalculates the demand for a new product and everyone(even these same "insiders") is ready to hike up there with pitchforks and fire, and they haven't even taken any money from these people.

Sometimes aquariests are some of the most finicky people I have ever met.
 

Variant

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Funny how a company like this that has 7 years to get going cannot simply communicate to people who they have taken money from, yet "insiders" keep telling everyone to wait and it will be all fine in the end. And everyone is OK with being told to wait, even though they(mindstream) already have their money.

Yet a company like neptune miscalculates the demand for a new product and everyone(even these same "insiders") is ready to hike up there with pitchforks and fire, and they haven't even taken any money from these people.

Sometimes aquariests are some of the most finicky people I have ever met.
I am biased because I've built my own company in the past and I have to make a distinction here. There is a difference in the number of years a company has been fully operational, end-to-end in, versus the time spent on R&D. Just because you spent 5 years as a company doing R&D doesn't mean you have the same level of maturity as a company that spend 1 year doing R&D and 4 years fulfilling orders and growing customer base. That's how I see the difference in Neptune vs Mindstream.

You'd also think investors are savvy and would help startup founders but you'd be surprised how incompetent most can be... I've met many.
 

JoshH

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Yet a company like neptune miscalculates the demand for a new product and everyone(even these same "insiders") is ready to hike up there with pitchforks and fire, and they haven't even taken any money from these people
I think this is a poor comparison. Neptune, for how long they have been in business, has failed on multiple levels with pretty much every major equipment release they have had since the 2016 Apex. From promised release dates pushed back for months/years to products that were rushed and failed shortly after there release dates. They have pretty much covered every major failure one could encounter in a product release and people still line up to spend there hard earned cash.

Yes people get mad and I think it's more because a company like Neptune, should have learned by now from there numerous mistakes and instead of learning from them they just make new ones.

I think, even if SAI is behind on getting orders out, they should be given a little break. We have as a community given Triton a break after there massive disaster with there new containers and the huge amount of damage they caused some homeowners. Red Sea with there 750XXLs flooding homes, GHL promising new products and then no further mention of them, Innovative Marine with there bowing Nuvo 30 L's.

No company that I'm aware of is completely Scott free of mistakes. Maybe I'm a little biased because I've been in the position of ordering something, putting a large amount of cash down and waiting months for it (Custom fish tank that was delivered 6 weeks later than promised).

I hope that everyone does get there Mind Streams soon and it does suck to wait. BTW I'm not entirely defending SAI, they have definitely made some mistakes and hopefully they learn from them. Just pointing out pretty much every great company in this industry has made the same or similar mistakes scale wise, some even worse.
 

Johnic

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I sent Mindstream an email yesterday asking for a full refund and I haven’t heard anything back.I tried calling...nothing..emailed again today - nothing. But when in the past I asked of a status they got back to me asap...
I’m concerned
 

robbyg

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132 days since they took my order and money and still no news.
The lack of communication has always been their problem and now it has reached the point of becoming absolutely crazy. I am still waiting it out for several more weeks but I am really getting turned off by the fact that they cannot make a simple post every few days to say what is happening.
 

rushbattle

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The lack of communication has always been their problem and now it has reached the point of becoming absolutely crazy. I am still waiting it out for several more weeks but I am really getting turned off by the fact that they cannot make a simple post every few days to say what is happening.
Yet they take the time to respond to incoming emails, sometimes, which are super redundant in content. It would save them all sorts of time just posting occasional updates so we all know what is going on. It feels like they are masking embarrassing mistakes by just refusing to communicate.
 

EmdeReef

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The lack of communication has always been their problem and now it has reached the point of becoming absolutely crazy. I am still waiting it out for several more weeks but I am really getting turned off by the fact that they cannot make a simple post every few days to say what is happening.
+1 I’ve hit 11 weeks and will give them a few more.

I Appreciate the pains a startup goes through, but with Mastertronic, ION Director and Xepta promised to be released by the year end I don’t see too many reasons to wait..
 

robbyg

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+1 I’ve hit 11 weeks and will give them a few more.

I Appreciate the pains a startup goes through, but with Mastertronic, ION Director and Xepta promised to be released by the year end I don’t see too many reasons to wait..
Yeah I appreciate it to, since I have been there myself.
Trident, Mastertronic, Xepta, KH Director and Reefbot are all examples of automatic testing using Reagent technology. I am pretty sure that a host of others will emerge in the coming year. For those who are interested in going down that path it's great!

I am personally only interested in solutions that break away from reagent use. Right now the Mindstream and ION Director are the only two that interest me. Personally I will wait so long as I feel like the process is moving forward. I have had a few occasions when I pulled the trigger on something because it was readily available versus waiting. Then months later regret sinks in as others are showing off their new toy and I end up wishing I had waited just a bit longer.

I can totally understand anybody bailing at this point but personally I would just kick myself in the butt if this thing started to be delivered in quantity a week after I cancelled and then I had to join the line again! This is normally not the kind of risk I would take with my money but the product is just so darn compelling that it just has me totally sold.
 

kkiel02

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Yeah I appreciate it to, since I have been there myself.
Trident, Mastertronic, Xepta, KH Director and Reefbot are all examples of automatic testing using Reagent technology. I am pretty sure that a host of others will emerge in the coming year. For those who are interested in going down that path it's great!

I am personally only interested in solutions that break away from reagent use. Right now the Mindstream and ION Director are the only two that interest me. Personally I will wait so long as I feel like the process is moving forward. I have had a few occasions when I pulled the trigger on something because it was readily available versus waiting. Then months later regret sinks in as others are showing off their new toy and I end up wishing I had waited just a bit longer.

I can totally understand anybody bailing at this point but personally I would just kick myself in the butt if this thing started to be delivered in quantity a week after I cancelled and then I had to join the line again! This is normally not the kind of risk I would take with my money but the product is just so darn compelling that it just has me totally sold.
Actually the new xepta is also using ion probes. They are individual probes vs ion director single probe.
 

saf1

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I am biased because I've built my own company in the past and I have to make a distinction here. There is a difference in the number of years a company has been fully operational, end-to-end in, versus the time spent on R&D. Just because you spent 5 years as a company doing R&D doesn't mean you have the same level of maturity as a company that spend 1 year doing R&D and 4 years fulfilling orders and growing customer base. That's how I see the difference in Neptune vs Mindstream.

You'd also think investors are savvy and would help startup founders but you'd be surprised how incompetent most can be... I've met many.
Not sure I understand your comment about Neptune vs Mindstream. I'm taking it as Neptune has been around longer so should be more mature or successful vs. the new kid on the block. If so - take a look at Amazon, Facebook, Google, Alphabet and compare them to say Oracle and Microsoft. Oddly enough those 5 also dominate the NASDAQ but that is a different topic. My point is startups or young companies can be successful or dominate a market segment.

Mindstream is running into issues. I don't think that is the problem or at least how I would take it. The issue is launching and charging people up front full price then delay the product. I know it isn't the same but buying a home, a car, or anything else if a deposit is required it is a percentage usually. Not the whole thing. That is my primary issue as someone rooting for hobbyists and their product (because we are a team). I don't want one nor have a plan to buy one but the upfront cost crap has to stop. Unless they are giving you something in return be it a discount or month(s) disc. This shouldn't bother me but when they make a post saying they received funding then bloody stop asking hobbyists to pay unless you can ship the same day.

I call up Ford, order a shiny new GT 500, and I place a deposit. Not the full price. I give a game developer $500 bucks. They in turn give me a free life time subscription and 3 copies to hand out to whomever I want. Some asked for refunds and got them. Here we are 3 years later and they are about 1 year out. Still willing to give refunds and still committed to the agreement.

That is about my only grip with MS. That upfront cost. I feel for you all. Really, i do.
 

robbyg

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Actually the new xepta is also using ion probes. They are individual probes vs ion director single probe.
Thanks for the correction.
Reading more about it answered one of my questions about the Ion Director. Seems like these ion probes have a one year life span, I assume the Ion Director is either the same or a bit more. The changing of the probes is not an issue if the price is reasonable but I cannot find a price on the probes. The unit seems to be sold for around 750 brit pounds. Might be cheaper in the USA.
Looks interesting but is still not as elegant a solution as the Mindstream. It is still great to see that more companies are moving in this reagent free direction. Just wish their Alk testing did not use a reagent.
 

robbyg

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That is about my only grip with MS. That upfront cost. I feel for you all. Really, i do.
My only gripe is the longer than 8 week delivery time. I think it's obvious that everybody who clicked that buy button knew full well that they were paying all the money upfront, so how can we complain about that? What we can complain about is that eight weeks has already passed for most of us and we have still gotten nothing. I have had some dialog with them during this blackout period so I am a bit more fortunate than most as I do know that they are trying really hard to solve some major issues with disk production. I am very hopeful that a positive announcement will be made soon.
 

EmdeReef

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My only gripe is the longer than 8 week delivery time. I think it's obvious that everybody who clicked that buy button knew full well that they were paying all the money upfront, so how can we complain about that? What we can complain about is that eight weeks has already passed for most of us and we have still gotten nothing. I have had some dialog with them during this blackout period so I am a bit more fortunate than most as I do know that they are trying really hard to solve some major issues with disk production. I am very hopeful that a positive announcement will be made soon.
I spoke with somebody and was told they’re working through the backlog. What doesn’t make sense is that they can’t even approximately answer how long the wait time will be. It’s not rocket science. If they are averaging X number of orders per week and you are number Y in the queue it shouldn’t be that difficult to say that it will take approximately Z amount of time, subject to revisions in case of unexpected delays. A simple spreadsheet would do for the purpose (assuming their order numbers are chronological) and once set up wouldn’t take more than a few minutes to update weekly...
 

aqua_code

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I ordered mine on 7/31, but I've seen posts of users who ordered on 7/1 and have still not received. If I get mine will definitely make a post about it. I have no intention of cancelling because it's such a high barrier of entry to get one at this point.

I do a search for "mindstream" on r2r everyday to check if there's any updates :)
 

robbyg

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I spoke with somebody and was told they’re working through the backlog. What doesn’t make sense is that they can’t even approximately answer how long the wait time will be. It’s not rocket science. If they are averaging X number of orders per week and you are number Y in the queue it shouldn’t be that difficult to say that it will take approximately Z amount of time, subject to revisions in case of unexpected delays. A simple spreadsheet would do for the purpose (assuming their order numbers are chronological) and once set up wouldn’t take more than a few minutes to update weekly...
They can’t tell you because they have no idea when the automated disk making system will be complete. They are literally making it from scratch and it involves robotic arms, optical readers and a battery of tests that need to be done by a simulation machine. My understanding is that all the parts have been put together and they are now busy writing software to drive it and software to do all the tests and create calibration data for each disk it produces.

i 100% agree that they could at least give us twice weekly reports saying the machine is at stage X or Y and let us know a bit of what is going on.
 

rushbattle

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They can’t tell you because they have no idea when the automated disk making system will be complete. They are literally making it from scratch and it involves robotic arms, optical readers and a battery of tests that need to be done by a simulation machine. My understanding is that all the parts have been put together and they are now busy writing software to drive it and software to do all the tests and create calibration data for each disk it produces.

i 100% agree that they could at least give us twice weekly reports saying the machine is at stage X or Y and let us know a bit of what is going on.
So they launched a product that required a major and novel engineering project to actually effectuate? That seems reasonable to everyone? Here, I’ll sell a bunch of cars but after we start sales we will have to figure out how build the engines, as we only ever built a few prototypes by hand. We will keep your money until we figure that out, but keep everyone in the dark and only tell this one guy that calls and has ”street cred.”
 

Silver14SS

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the “just trust me I know this/them/talked to them in code” posting by various people is just making it way worse.
Excellent example in the posts above. If the company is truly designing an automated disc making system, they could at least share it here, email, FB, or IG. Forum hearsay to inform interested parties is an awful solution.

If they had 7 years to figure out the discs, but didn't actually figure them out, how long is reasonable for the disc bot?

 
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