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Pressy: an example of how bad PR can ruin a good idea
When Pressy first hit Kickstarter late last year it became obvious that there were folks out there that still liked the idea of physical buttons, particularly such a button that they could customize functionality to meet their needs. After blowing past it’s initial funding goals, Pressy looked like it was going to go down as a massive success. And then the problems started.
Early on they ran into delays, missing their target release dates more than once. Of course delays happen when it comes to startups, and so this really isn’t that surprising or even worth getting upset about. So why are so many folks mad at the Pressy team? In a word: communication — or lack thereof in this case.
why are so many folks mad at the Pressy team? In a word: communication — or lack thereof
When the Pressy team missed its April 28th ship date it took several weeks before they finally spoke up and let folks know what had happened (hardware control issues). And now there’s yet another communication issue: despite their many original claims that Pressy would feature its app in Google Play, a recent post to Facebook was discovered that suggested the app would have to be downloaded outside of Google’s app store.
The reason for this change was that the Pressy folks felt it was needed to keep folks from using the app with pirated or cloned Pressy alternatives like MiKey. Pressy later claimed they had never promised to release the app to Google Play, though many of its original backers called them out for this.
Why is the idea of downloading the app outside of Google Play such a big deal? For one thing, it means you have to enable third party stores and sources, a thing some people prefer not to do. For another, Google Play makes updating apps much easier when new versions roll out.
For what it’s worth, Pressy’s team has since come forward on Facebook to apologize for what they are claiming to be a “misunderstanding” on their side. Now this could be a legitimate misunderstanding or the Pressy team may have just changed its mind again to help save face — will never know for sure. Regardless, most of Pressy’s original fanbase has quickly turned against the whole project, regretting backing the startup.
The lesson here is that it is important to have clear communication when dealing with your customers (or investors in this case?). It’s equally important do your best to follow through on all your promises or at least explain why you aren’t able to in a timely manner. What do you think of Pressy, still interested in the idea or are you completely turned off thanks to the company’s PR missteps?