For those of you who know me well, know that I love technology. Not just Apple products which I inherently love because of my love for creative pursuits but any new technology where I feel connected. A few such products hit the kickstarter / funding phase a while back, Lockitron and Coin. Many hear the words Lockitron and cringe, I know I do, because I paid for the product over four years ago, and have yet to see an actual product ship. Not seeing a product ship seemed inevitable for Coin as well until I got mine in the mail last week.
Let me step back for those of you who dont know Lockitron the fledgeling company once poised on the cusp of a booming tech craze for affordable and reliable smart phone enabled bluetooth door locks quickly gained a lot of would be true believers who shelled out money in hopes for the almost seemingly magical product shown in their product videos. Dishing out the cash and supporting a new company is a risk, anyone who isnt aware that buying a product that hasn’t been built yet shouldn’t, you will just become bitter as you wait year after year without any glimmer of hope for an actual product launch.
But then sometimes a venture based company surprises you. I purchased Coin the device promising to lighten your wallet both figuratively and literally if you waited until now to buy one. Its one card for all your cards. You can swipe and store all your credit cards, gift cards and more in one thin card device with digital display. This is amazing enough, however after finally, getting my Coin last week I have to say, theres something about actually seeing a company follow through on their promise to a consumer which makes the product that much more magical.
The Coin device delivers on almost all of its initial claims. Its thin, no thicker than an actual debit or credit card. Resistant to sitting, and slight bending. Great battery life. Low power bluetooth capability and the ability to add seemingly endless number of cards within to shrink the number of cards that you carry in your wallet. Its not a complete replacement I found a few places that didnt accept or couldnt get the card to swipe correctly but that was rare yet I still carry a backup card just in case. I tested it out at the movie theatre and seemlessly switched from credit card to membership loyalty card
without issue. The only shortcoming I found was the lack of a smart chip but hey they never promised or made claims of that when I bought it so I felt like I got what I paid for and more. So far I am loving my Coin and after some reflection realized exactly why a well planned product launch can envoke such an emotional response, a key to the success of many companies that you admire. The good companies wow us, astonish us and make us feel good about digging into our wallets. While others envoke the opposite responses. These negative experiences arent reserved for the large faceless corporations or entities they are reserved for any institution that fails to deliver on a promise.
too many broken promises leaves you with a sick feeling for the company, their products no matter how amazing or cool they may be and it can take a long time to repair that damage.
This article wasn’t meant to bash Lockitron even though Im not happy that I still havent gotten my unit, I understood the risks and still continue to wait even though I have the option to get a refund at any time. Im very pleased with my Coin and I utilize it everywhere I go. Will I invest in other startups, sure. Have I learned a valuable lesson, absolutely.