It seems as though it was just last year I shelled out a-hundred-and-fifteen-dollars for a Kickstarter campaign that was beginning to build momentum for this thing called the “pebble watch”. The reason it feels like that is probably because this actually happened just about a year ago.
At the point in time that I joined the party, it wasn’t exactly dubious as to whether or not the Pebble would get funded. You could literally reload the page and see the funding jump by hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each time you did. The whole thing was pretty exciting. I remember heading to the Kickstarter homepage, seeing the pebble front row center, and thinking to myself, “OH MY GOD JUST SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY PLEASE I’LL PAY PROMPTLY.” It was an extremely impulsive moment. I wanted that thing. Immediately.
Sadly, my desire for instant gratification was met with the ultimate irony. By the time Pebble’s campaign closed, they had made more than 100 times their original asking amount. I suppose this may have been good news for Pebble, but for a consumer such as myself I knew that my hunger for that new shiny thing was now long from satiated.
I started checking Kickstarter every day, hoping that there would be an update telling me when I might receive my Pebble. Day after day, I was met with disappointment. Eventually, I gave up. “I’ll get it when I get it,” I told myself
One day, I got an email from the crew at Pebble. “Hey, come make your account so you can monitor your order,” they told me. I click on the link and lo and behold, it’s broken. I tried clicking the link probably twenty more times, tried pasting it into different browsers, asked my friends to try it – I got the same response from everyone: 404. Not Found.
The whole thing was beginning to feel like a cruel joke. I paid money for this amazing e-paper watch, only to have the wait time for said product extended indefinitely. Then, when I get even a glimmer of hope, it turns out that somebody messed up on the back end. I sent maybe three different emails to their support contact on three different occasions, but nobody ever responded to me. I decided to give up. If anything, they had my shipping address and my money. It would get to me eventually.
Then, a long period of time passed where I did not plague my conscience with the pending arrival of my Pebble. Hey, whatever. It would be a pleasant surprise when I received the package. Eventually, so much time had passed that the lease to my apartment ran out and my landlord decided to jack up the rent. So, naturally it was time to find a new place.
One day, after moving to said new place, I awoke from a deep sleep drenched in cold sweat. Okay, that didn’t really happen. It dawned on me that my STUPID SHIPPING ADDRESS HAD CHANGED. All of my Pebble-based-paranoia returned in one fell swoop. Great, now some stranger was going to get my amazing blue-tooth enabled smart watch in jet black. Something had to be done.
So, I did what any disgruntled consumer would do in my position. I called out Pebble publicly via social media. My words may not have been entirely too polite, but it got the job done. Finally, I was able to log into my account and check my shipping information. It was a good thing that I took action when I did, because three weeks later I got a shipping confirmation... and I received my watch two days after that.
The moment I opened it, all of my frustrations melted away. The packaging provided clear setup instructions. It booted quickly, paired with my phone without a hitch, it didn’t look awkward or feel uncomfortable on my wrist. The buttons are extremely responsive, the interface is smooth and intuitively designed, the build-quality appears to be excellent, and it seems to work exactly as advertised. The Pebble is one of those things that you look at and see the potential immediately– it’s not unlike the feeling that many of us got when watching Steve Jobs’ first iPhone keynote.
The wait may have been frustrating, but I could not feel any happier owning a Pebble. I’ve realized that many of the headaches that I got while waiting for my watch are just side-effects of being an early adopter. You’re bound to be faced with struggles like mine when you’re on the bleeding edge; but when you succeed, it just feels so good.