Hi, I too am an original backer. I thought the initial definition was very nice and ideal for my children who are avid outdoors people. It being a kick starter, I recognized this is not guaranteed and one has to figure the money gone once "donated". Anyone not recognizing this needs to have their grip on reality questioned. I am a retired engineer, worked for 50 years on product development hardware and systems and test and integration.
From what I can tell, Jon is not an engineer, had never done product development but had a great idea.
I have watched him struggle with this and think that he was really trying very hard and was believing optimistic claims that the engineers he hired gave him. I saw scope expansion as a big problem, features were being added frequently. That is usually a development killer. Still they coped with that. Then he issued a dev. schedule. Nice to have one but much too aggressive. - but he did not keep it up and update it based on events. And he is on his 3rd developer now and I hope this one has the skills to pull it off.
The biggest criticism I have of him is managing expectations and his lack of communication. In several projects I was involved with things went badly and the worst problems we had was trying to tell the customers it was really OK but you are struggling behind the scenery. If you are straight with people, they will respect that and generally if they can work with you they will, since you both want the good end result.
I don't understand why he does not provide updates more often. Is he ashamed? is he afraid? Does he think backers hate bad news he has? Does he have inability to type? Severe Arthritis? Even Stephen Hawking manages for goodness sake.
I think that backers really want to hear what is going on. He could have made this an entertaining saga if he had written frequently on it and reported its ups and downs and folks I think would have gone with him for the ride.
I wonder what he is doing all day that he cannot get a little time to provide some update. That, I think is my biggest criticism.
Technically this was a challenge and then you have the FCC approvals as well. None of that is easy. There are always setbacks and redo's required. The first version hardly ever works. These are just things that happen in development. You have to expect and plan for it. He did not understand this.
I, like many others have offered to help. I would be happy to provide free test support for prototypes and give written reports back. (Assuming tests that do not require special equipment.) But there we are, you can do so much.
Anyway, I still hope this succeeds and like others suggest the experience would make a great book. But I think he would need a ghost writer, and it maybe too much of a project for him - lol.
If I get one eventually, if it works OK, I will buy another too.