Dear OaSense Fans,
It's with a heavy heart that I send this update: OaSense will be shutting down for the foreseeable future. This was not an easy decision to make, nor one that I enjoy making public, but I've determined that it is for the best.
OaSense was so much fun to work on as a hobby over the past several years. At one point, when it was live on Kickstarter, I was more prepared to handle the time commitment of manufacturing and distribution. But, as you may recall, it failed our Kickstarter goal and I essentially shelved it and got to work on many other projects and traditional jobs - I had to move on, as we all sometimes do when working on "passion projects."
Months later and all of a sudden, without any input from me, the old product video went viral on Facebook! I was totally unprepared and it took me by surprise. It was an extremely happy day to see my work validated by millions of views and to have my inbox flooded with "where can I buy this" notes, but very scary at the same time. My life was in a different place by then, and I feared that I couldn't possibly keep up with the work needed to do the product and its fans and my friends (you guys) justice. I decided to plow ahead, for better or worse -- I couldn't imagine dropping an opportunity that I had fought so hard for just months before.
Fast forward almost one year, and I think that I've done a decent job pushing things forward as best I could. The prototypes work quite nicely, injection molding and ultrasonic welding tools are finalized, and the sensors got a few terrific updates which made the product even easier to use. Unit costs are in line with our $99 target price. I spent a lot of time and money getting to this point, and did it with a smile on my face and with much appreciated help from friends, family, and manufacturers all over the world. The product is practically ready to go. With all that said, I have very cold feet about pushing this one step further. I'm simply not prepared to take orders, handle shipping, customer service, returns, marketing, etc. as a single-man shop, in between my other work. I can't afford to hire a team, and also can't morally push more work off onto the friends and family that have already helped me so generously.
I've thought about this day and night for the past several weeks, and have reached the conclusion that, for now at least, it's best that I shelve this project. I hope that one day things might change and there will be a good opportunity to revive it, or at least to put past work to good use to make people and the environment happy. But at the moment, I'm just not prepared to do that myself. Negotiations with larger companies were attempted in the past as well, but the product remains too unique and "risky" to draw their support. I value our relationship too much to keep moving forward and simply hope for the best, against great odds.
I want to thank you all for your words of encouragement, for all of your comments, questions, and recommendations for product changes. I learned so much from you all, and was constantly in awe of how a simple product like OaSense could elicit excitement from people all around the world who want to save water the comfortable way.
I hope that our paths will cross again in the future. In the meantime, I encourage you all to take shorter showers the "traditional" way to help save water. And of course to keep dreaming up fun ideas and projects and to encourage others to do so as well, just as you have motivated me. Thank you again for sharing so much support and excitement.