Why pre-orders for Silver Bullet mk2 are super limited

Why pre-orders for Silver Bullet mk2 are super limited

The launch day for Silver Bullet mk2 was a whirlwind of excitement.   Within two hours of making the announcement the entire limited batch of units we released for pre-order had been sold out.  If I hadn’t witnessed it all go down in real-time I wouldn’t have believed it happened.  I’m so humbled by the enthusiastic response to this tool our team has poured their hearts into.

Unfortunately, some folks missed out on this initial opportunity to pre-order the new product.  It was a very limited run and it went very fast.  I’ve been asked the following two questions:

  1. Why was the run so limited?
  2. Why not just continue to take pre-orders?

These are excellent questions.

Building products over the last year, especially the Silver Bullet, has become increasingly challenging as component lead times have increased dramatically due to higher demand, pandemic-related restrictions, and material shortages.  This past spring I received anxiety-producing email responses from vendors such as: “we are not taking more orders until September”.  The availability for specific IC chips and capacitors we use were showing up on supplier websites as “more stock available August 2022”.  Some of the parts we use to create the signature tone of the box are single source components—custom transformers, electrolytic capacitors, selected transistors, etc.  If just one of those critical components is unavailable then the entire unit cannot complete assembly and there is no product to ship.  Substituting different parts or altering the design means we compromise our carefully crafted sonic recipe as well as risk schedule delays.  That is a compromise I am not willing to make with our designs, even if it means losing out on sales.

We want to deliver the highest quality product possible and meet the commitments we make to our customers.  In the spirit of those ideals, I decided that we would only make available for pre-order the exact number of units that we could commit to building with the parts I believe we will have available.  The past year and a half has been personally and professionally trying for so many of us.  There have been so many let downs and disappointments due to the state of the world.  Ethically, as a company, I do not want to promise something I cannot confidently deliver in a reasonable time-frame.  Given the events of the last year and a half I just won’t do that to my family, my friends, or my customers.  We’ve all had enough of that.

If our primary motive was money we would take endless pre-orders.  If Friday was any indication, there seems to be overwhelming demand for the new Silver Bullet mk2.  But that’s not what this mission is about for us.  I know it can be frustrating to miss out on something new and exciting.  But we feel it would be more frustrating to give us your hard-earned money only to be disappointed by unpredictable schedule delays or supply chain issues.  Every order that gets cancelled is a loss of money for us, as the banks don’t give back their credit card processing fees, and we would like to minimize the headaches for everyone.

As soon as we have firm commitments from our suppliers to deliver the missing parts we need to make more Silver Bullet mk2 units, we will make an announcement that we have more available for pre-order.  We will do our best to publish conservative ship date estimates with full transparency.  We feel it’s always best to under-promise and over-deliver. 

Thanks for taking the time to hear me out, and for sticking with us during this crazy time.  We very much look forward to getting the new mk2 out into the world for you all to try as soon as possible.


Mission Commander
UPDATE: On 9/3/21 at 8 am PST we will begin taking pre-orders for a 2nd batch.
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