Should FP announce early and sometimes get it wrong, or better not announce at all?

Hey all,

I can fully understand peoples frustration and need for information. I myself once was a Fairphone 1 early buyer and boy did my refresh button suffer a little over two years ago :smiley:

From the top of my head, I’ll try to clarify a bit how things work here and why we share information and why we sometimes don’t.

For starters, Fairphone tries to share as much information as possible, but to do this well we need to:

  1. Get alignment with partners if any of them is involved (for example; how much details can we share about the machine making back-covers and the issues with it without harming their business or unwillingly sharing their company secrets?)
  2. Get details from a colleague who has the most up-to-date information. (Example: when will the random reboots be fixed? I’d have to ask @keesj and get his time and attention)
  3. Make a proper message. Most of us our not native English (as you can probably tell from my odd spelling mistakes here and there). So if we want to write a blog post; we need a native copy writer to check it. Also to make sure the message is as clear as possible to prevent misunderstanding.
  4. Decide on the channel, timing and frequency. We do not want to spam people & we don’t want to keep them under informed.

Now there are difficulties to be overwon in all these steps.

  1. Partners might answers slowly or have all kinds of legal obligations that we need to read through.
  2. Colleagues might feel uncertain if they can promise something; in the case of bugs; it is very hard to predict when you have solved a bug. Thus telling we are working on it, does not mean; we are solving it…
  3. There is no way a message can not be interpreted in multiple ways. This is one of the wonderful things of language (and why machine translation will never really work). So a clear message to us can be puzzling to the reader or the other way around, no matter how hard we try.
  4. Timing is crucial, and this is what many people are referring to in this thread. When do we communicate what? For some people having a little information every day is great, others won’t read it and consider it spammy. We try to work with many different channels in order for everyone to be able to choose their favorite one, but we can not accommodate to everyone’s needs.

Sometimes we choose not to share part of the story, because we feel that a few days later we get new information and we will be able to share the whole story. Of course the moment we don’t get the anticipated extra information, and have nothing to share, is the moment when things get difficult. Do we after all share the tiny bit of info, or do we keep hoping that the extra bit of information that will complete our message will arrive soon?

One thing I hope you can believe from us is that any information we have that is verified and confirmed will be shared with the community as soon as possible. That means that the answers to open questions are also open for us. The reason we don’t answer these questions is because we don’t have a verified and confirmed answer.

And (because I have some idea about what @fp1_wo_sw_updates will say now) all this also applies to the meta question as to why we do not have the answer.

Your questions do help us to understand better what the needs are at the moment and they do help me to tell the team here what stuff we need to work on. So although you might not get your answers as soon as you’d like, it does not mean we don’t read them and take them into account. So, please continue asking and discussing, but give as a little time to answer.

Truly yours,


Hi @Douwe, thanks for the detailed explanation of how your communication works. There are definitely a few steps in there that I personally hadn’t thought of (like the possibility of harming partners’ business models by oversharing or needing a native English speaker to read over your drafts).

I have my FP2 in the meantime, but for me personally the regularly scheduled updates to the delivery blog post were really helpful while I was waiting, because it was just a reliable update that I could count on, regardless of whether something new had happened or not. And because it was on the blog and I could check it at my own convenience, it also didn’t feel like spamming/oversharing.

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Hi @Douwe,
I appreciate your feedback and thoughts, but let me explain why I feel a bit disappointed about the communication.
I’m a proud FP1 owner, and I follow this project since its born although I was not one of the first-hour buyers; I was very happy to see the FP2 born with its great features (on top of all the modularity) but honestly I was very scared about the price, given that I bought my FP1 only 1 year and half before (my trend is about 3-4 years per phone and only when they deserve the investment - open hardware/software, or fair causes -).
I was very doubtful if it was better to stay in the project and buy the FP2 or stay with FP1 in order to not have another phone closed in a drawer, collecting dust.
Then I was able to find a buyer for my FP1, she wanted to get a fair device and I wanted to limit my expense, and the buyer (which needed a new phone) agreed to wait for the FP2 delivery before getting my FP1.
Now, long story short, I’m not able to say her when I’ll be able to give her my phone, because the scheduling is not clear and I don’t have any information of when my FP2 will arrive; please consider I ordered it on 14/1/2016 when the schedule was mid-end of February, after my order changed to “Prepare batch” with expected delivery March until 3-4 days ago when it changed its status again and now it says “April”.
So what I see in all the information process is the lack of news on a per-order basis, and that is what I assume is needed for being clear with buyers; I read in other threads of emails sent to buyers regarding the (un-)availability of their phones due to back cover production issues, but I didn’t receive any of those emails, so should I assume my transparent phone is not already produced due to delays in production chain but NOT due to the transparent back cover?
I appreciate the updates on the blog and I follow them daily, but I think those news are general and don’t cover all the issues regarding orders in process; I consider it useful for people who are willing to buy or are simple interested in project development.
What I see is missing is deeper knowledge for the orders already paid, and I wish Fairphone could better optimize this process, if they want to achieve a 150k phones yearly production.
I hope to receive better news today waiting my phone… :slight_smile:
Have a nice day!


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