I feel a bit like a broken record at this point, what with having already talked about Coin twice before, but the company’s latest stunt bears once again picking up my banner and going back off to war: earlier this evening, via their Twitter account, Coin posted a “BREAKING NEWS!” announcement that — you guessed it — extended the $50 off early adopter deal into the new year. Surprised? You should’t be.
Last week I spoke to the possibility of this happening in Bad Coin. Given that I suspected Coin would pull a stunt like this back then, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that they did, in fact, devalue their product once again while with the other hand slap all those who had shelled out a hard-earned $50 to get their product off the ground in the face. Because ultimately, that is exactly what they did: continuing to sell Coin at half it’s alleged price — but really, who actually believes it costs anywhere near $100 for each of these little devices anymore? — has cemented it’s value at $50. Coin is doing the freelancing equivalent of entering the market at a heavily discounted price in order to get customers in the door without actually telling those customers that they have received a sizable discount, and then continuing to charge that unsustainably low wage for the first dozen projects. Just as that hypothetical freelancer will have a very difficult time raising those prices to the industry standard after so many jobs at such a low wage, so too do I foresee Coin having a similarly hard time convincing anyone their product is worth anything more than $50 if this sale ever actually ends.
The elephant in the room is the question of whether a Coin is actually worth $100, or if that too was a marketing gimmick designed to trick backers into pouring money into this project. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Coin’s price lowered after this imaginary pre-sale ended, citing some made up excuse for charging early adopters a premium. This goes back to the striking lack of even the most base respect Coin apparently has for the people who took a leap of faith to climb on board the Coin bandwagon and pledge their support for this neat little device. Coin shat all over that relationship by pantomiming urgency in its release and then reneging on that promise later; unsurprisingly, they have done it once again here. In a word, disappointing. Incredibly disappointing.