The following is a letter that was sent to Plum customers from Founder and CEO, David Koretz on June 10, reviewing key updates and delivery timelines for Plum. Pre-orders will begin shipping Fall 2017.
An update from Plum CEO, David Koretz
There is nothing more important to me and the Plum team than getting our first product in the hands of our customers as soon as possible. While we are extremely excited about what lies ahead for Plum and have some exciting news to share in the coming months, it pales in comparison to getting Plum in your home.
We have demanded of ourselves that we would not ship anything less than a magical product – from the technology, to the aesthetic, to the user experience. In a few cases that I’ll explain in more detail below, that led us to reject parts from our suppliers for not meeting our high standards. In other areas, it led us to re-design from scratch a piece of Plum to improve the design and performance.
The downside, is that it has affected our delivery schedule. The upside is that we believe we are delivering a better product that we are extremely proud of.
We have been so focused on refining the product, we have not communicated with you as much as you deserve. So I want to walk through the three big challenges we overcame, and the updated timing for the delivery of your Plum.
In the original Plum design, there were two spouts – one on top of another. We loved the way the wine flowed off the spout. The challenge is that this spout design had a tendency to retain small amounts of wine and drip, which was unacceptable. While dozens of vendors told us they had coatings that would eliminate the drip, none of them worked in real-life. As a result, we made the tough decision to re-design the spout. While it set us back on timing, the design brought us three improvements.
First, as you’ll see in the video below the new spout does not drip at all.
Second, in testing we found people were confused as to where to put their glass, and the new side-by-side spout design makes it much more obvious. As we found out firsthand, this becomes important when you let friends use Plum.
Third, the new design is investment cast with solid stainless steel and then each spout is hand polished for three hours. The result is stunning.
The Stainless Steel Shell:
When I first approved the design of the shell, I had no idea how incredibly challenging it would be to produce. Nine metal experts told us it was beautiful, but impossible to manufacture. If you were to look at the shell while it’s still flat, it actually forms an arch on both the front and back.
We also insisted on no parting lines (a single piece of stainless steel), and a Dutch bend on the corners.
Finally, we wanted meaningful scratch and dent resistance.
I’m thrilled to report that we just finished 12 weeks of tooling and refinement with a supplier that provides parts to a luxury electric car company, and just approved our first set of shells. They are totally gorgeous, achieved our “impossible” design, and we think you’ll love the aesthetic!
While the original motors’ noise level was akin to a super-automatic espresso maker, they were too noisy for our standard. After months of testing different motors, we finally found a luxury German automotive supplier that provided a new motor that enables Plum to be virtually silent when both tapping and un-tapping bottles that matched the luxury experience we wanted to achieve.
Next Step – Scaling up Production:
We’ve been working hard over the past several months to refine our production, and we are happy to announce that we have officially kicked off production this past week! We have completed the first production units, which are now being rigorously tested against our quality standards. We test Plum’s reliability with 3,000 bottles – over eight years of wine if you went through a bottle every single day!
We know that many of you were expecting your Plum this Spring, and we apologize for moving the delivery timelines. Ultimately, we decided that we needed to meet our quality standards to make sure we deliver the absolute best product possible, and it was worth pushing out the timeline to do so.
We have completed planning this week with both our senior team and our suppliers to ensure that we provide you with certainty around when you can expect your Plum to arrive.
We are going to start shipping pre-orders from Asia on September 7th. Regulations require us to ship by boat because of the argon gas canister inside Plum, so we expect it will arrive at the express shipping hub and on its way to you on September 29th.
I understand you may be disappointed with this delay, but we think it will be well worth the wait. It took us a bit to craft this update, as we wanted to be able to provide as precise a date as possible, which meant coordinating with dozens of partners.
Many of you email us regularly with questions and feedback, and I try to answer as many of those emails personally as I possibly can. We really appreciate the level of interest you have had for Plum, and we are committing to providing more updates on our progress going forward.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, in the spirit of sharing, I wanted to share a video of the very first production Plums being built, so you can see the work that goes into crafting Plum, as well as the very first unboxing and pours from the final design.
Founder & CEO