SuperYR — the calendar you need and want but do not get
2,414 people (including me) backed SuperYR, a Kickstarter project, that was initially advertised as an “obnoxiously big, magnetic, dry erase, reusable calendar.” It launched on January 17 and got something called a “design revision” on February 13, which was 4 days before the end of the campaign. Instead of “one obnoxiously big calendar” the backers were now supposed to receive “three sheets that combine to create a larger whole” in order to lower the manufacturing and handling costs. Backers were able to cancel their pledge after the campaign was finished which is what I should have done but more on that later on.
Originally, fulfilment was scheduled to start in March 2017. Since delivery was pushed back many times, I was happy when I finally received it on July 7. Below you can see photos from the packaging and the mounted SuperYR. For mounting I used the eight 3M mounting strips that were included in the delivery.
As you can already see in the picture, it’s not completely flat despite me giving the calendar two days to “unroll” itself. As it says on the packaging:
SuperYR is shipped rolled and needs a little time to relax to return to being flat. Place a book on one end, unroll and place another book on the opposite end. In a day or two, SuperYR will be nice and flat.
Let’s see if that improves in the next few days. There are a few more disappointments in the picture above, which I’ll go through in detail below.
1. Gap/black stripes between the sheets
The creators promised us that the gap between the sheets would be almost invisible (as shown on their picture on the left). My specimen has relatively big black stripes on each side of the three different sheets which results in what you can see above on the right picture. I figured that this comes from uneven cutting because the stripes appear to be bigger on the white side of the calendar.
2. Inaccurate dimensions
I aligned the sheets on the right side but the sheets unfortunately do not have the same length.
3. Poor cuts
The picture on the right shows that the specimen I received has uneven cuts (have a look at the left corner of the upper sheet) and even a flaw/cut on the side of the lower sheet. I reached out to the creators and asked them how they’re gonna handle the replacement for the damaged sheet.
4. Conceptual Design mistakes
As shown/recommended in their product pictures, I wrote the numbers of the current month into the dotted squares. As you can see on the zoomed-in shot on the right side, 35 squares simply are not enough for a month that has 31 days and starts on a Saturday (or has 30 days and starts on a Sunday). I had to write the 31 below the intended space.
5. Dry erasers leave ghosting
Now that I got to try my dry erase markers (I used Staedtler Lumocolor whiteboard markers which are made to work with white Whiteboards). I unfortunately had to notice that they leave some significant ghosting. Interestingly I was able to remove the ghosting quite well with my saliva (yes, ugh, I know) while the screen cleaner I tried wasn’t able to change anything. Seems like we can call SuperYR a saliva erase calendar.
As I said earlier, it would have been the right decision to back out when the creators announced the fundamental design change of the product. I had to pay 44$ (~40€) in total for a product that doesn’t meet basic quality expectations and was delivered very late (stating “aligning both sides of the calendar” as one of the main causes).
Of course I understand that it is a Kickstarter project and the creators usually do not have too much experience with manufacturing a product but crowdfunding a product also means communicating a lot with the people that believe in your idea and product. Many people are still waiting for their calendars (having no shipping ID) because the creators opted for ocean freight instead of air freight in order to reduce costs. Without any further explanation it feels a lot like the creators tried to make as much money out of this project without caring about their backers.
Bottom line: awesome idea, very poor execution.