“First 50” update

August 16, 2007

The “First 50” program we initiated a couple of weeks ago is going well.  By now everyone in the program has received their chumby.  Many of these First 50’ers have expressed their initial impressions to us and to the world via their blogs and posted images and videos on Flickr and YouTube.  We’re probing into their experiences regarding ordering their chumby, receiving it, the packaging, the process of turning it on and connecting it to their wi-fi networks, creating and playing their widget channels and connecting chumby to their iPods(TM), as well as the enclosed documentation and the extra “bling.”  We’re happy that these “First 50’er’s” experiences seem to be very positive ones.  Of course the point of the program is not just to feel good about the things we’re doing right, it is also to discover what we need to do better before we start selling chumbys to the rest of you.  So we can all thank our First 50 test pilots for making the whole Chumby experience better for everyone.  We’re listening very closely to their issues and suggestions.  Of course we hear loud and clear that many of you want to buy chumbys now, and we thank you for your patience — trust me, we can’t wait to sell them to you either!  We’re going to make chumbys more broadly available in September, so you won’t have long to wait.  And, thanks to the First 50’ers, the chumby you’ll be getting will be even better.

And, once you do get your chumby, the whole point of this device and the service, The Chumby Network, behind it is that it gets better over time.  Unlike most other consumer electronic devices, the capabilities of your chumby will continue to improve — we expect that you’ll love your chumby even more next year than you do this year.  Additional capabilities will accrue to your chumby magically from us and, potentially even more interestingly, from the hacker/developer community who will take the chumby in directions we never even imagined.  This is where the “openness” of chumby is new and hopefully a big step forward for consumer electronics.


59 Responses to ““First 50” update”

  1. Duncan Says:

    Glad to hear its going well!!

  2. Any news on when it will be available in Europe ?

  3. […] programa First 50 de Chumby ha llegado a su fin y ya se pueden ver los primeros videos de […]

  4. morphy Says:

    Availability date for France ?

  5. Seth Says:

    Here here!!

    You should link to the flickr group for the chumby. There are three really great unboxing sets on there:


    As well as pictures from clear back at foo ’06.

    I can’t wait to get mine!

  6. Guys,

    Your killing me… I check this website daily — please take me out of my misery and let me order one

  7. chandler Says:

    Yay, I am so excited! Same thing with me ‘Your killing me” I check it 7 to 8 times a day. I cannot wait….! Congrats, chandler

  8. I subscribed to the feed, and I still check it once a day…

  9. Dylan Field Says:

    Same here, can’t wait to get my hands on the updated chumby. The alpha device is freezing a ton these days, and the one at foo looked incredible.

  10. chandler Says:

    yay! Can’t wait!

  11. Ok guys… It’s almost september and my birthday is in a few days — How about letting us order em?

  12. This is awesome! I hope this will start a flood of open-ness from other manufacturers. I can’t wait to get my Chumby!!! I have made many things run gentoo, Chumby looks like a good candidate. Then the real fun will begin. :)


  13. John Says:

    So it’s september…… (ok, I know I’m getting annoying but I’ve been wanting this device SOOOO long)

  14. Brock Says:

    I have been checking this site for monthes. I am so excited, it’s finally Sept. I want TWO!!!!!

  15. John Says:

    (Said in most convincing capt. kirk voice)

    must — have — chumby

    Perhaps we should all post every day until the chumby is released?

    On a slightly related note I assume you guys know that the ‘contact us’ links are both broken (both the chat as well as email support)

  16. June Says:

    I said I wasn’t coming back but I am sooooooo annoyed now, I HAD to come back. I wanted to see the “ORDER CHUMBY NOW” words in big red letters but of course not. >.<

  17. John Says:


    It’s like a sick additiction — comeon chumbians, show us some love. Just take our money and put our shipping status at “packaging” until you are ready!

    Better yet take our money and ship it! I’ve got $200 burning a hole in my pocket and those new “phatty’ nanos are looking pretty sweet so don’t force me to blow my birthday present to myself on another ipod!

  18. Mitchell Says:

    June, don’t feel bad!

    It seems the head games and teasing continue with no word or news.

    What sickens me is all the people begging, and pleading to buy a chumby. “Ohhh! I soooo have to have one. Please make it real. ” Apparently by the lack of news or communication their pleas fall upon deaf ears, as promised sell by dates fall into the wind. What’s next, by this winter?

    At one time I was enthused and would have bought one on the spot, now I am cool, to the point of angry.

    With the announcement of the iTouch by Apple I wonder how and what the entertainment budget dollar will now fall upon.

  19. shoe Says:


    I am not a chumbian, so I feel a bit like I’m speaking out of turn… But…

    I don’t think it’s head games or teasing. I think that the chumby folks are testing their product in a real world setting. That probably means that some things haven’t gone as planned. Some things have, I’m sure… but I’d personally rather wait another month (or even another quarter) to get a product that works correctly, and doesn’t crash, catch fire, freeze or otherwise break on me.

    Comparing Chumby Industries to Apple is like, well, comparing calamari to apples. They don’t compare. Sure, they both are marketing cute little electronics… But Apple has the benefit of many more investors, many more employees, and many more business partners and relationships to make things happen on a time frame (and I might mention that even big software/hardware companies miss deadlines. I seem to remember waiting for Sims 2 to be released for a good year after the original release date was announced)

    I am sure the Chumbians are doing the best they can with the resources they have. Yes, I want one too. And if I have to wait till this winter, then I guess I will. It’s not a pacemaker, or a heart transplant I’m waiting for. It’s an internet device/alarm clock (and sooo much more.) I’m not going to die waiting.

    Perhaps what seems like deaf ears to us is Chumbians working feverishly to get the Chumbies out faster? I would think the blog, when you’re in the final stages of production, would be the lowest priority.

    If I have to wait, I have to wait. I’d rather have a Chumby sooner too. I also want a product that works and wows me.

  20. chumby Says:

    Amen, shoe :^) “Feverish” is the word.

    Our approach from the beginning has been to put early devices in the hands of people who would give us constructive feedback — and we’ve evolved from giving chumbys only to alpha-hackers, to giving them to Flash developers to, recently, getting them to “normal” people — at least the most “normal” (i.e., non-hacker, non-developer) people we could identify who registered on our site and filled out our survey ;^)

    We learn important things at each step and keep improving the product based upon this. So, I guess we’ve been running an extended real-world focus group, with our “testers” actually living with the product for awhile so their feedback is more valid than knee-jerk. The product has improved a lot through this process — I’ll try to do a post soon on some of the new additions we’ve made thanks to your collective patience. But our goal with this approach, and I’m sure you’ll all appreciate this, is to get the product to a level of capability that you will be delighted to buy one for $179.95, or to give one to someone as a gift, and will regard it as an unbelievable value at that price.

    Chumbys will go on sale in the U.S. this month, September, as promised. International is next year sometime — frankly hasn’t been a big focus for us so far but will become so quickly after our domestic launch. This month we’ll be conducting what we’re calling our “Insider’s Launch,” which means that we’ll be getting back to each person who has sent us their email address and will give them a link to buy a chumby. Still won’t be open to the general public yet, probably not until October or maybe even November, but starting this month and running through October we will be sending out regular batches of emails to all of those people, hopefully including all of you, who have expressed interest to us and sent us your email addresses. Certainly want to put our longest-standing and most patient fans first in line.

  21. John Says:

    Hey chumbian,

    Thanks for responding — I’m really looking forward to my Chumby and I’m glad to see it still confirmed for release this month (he says feverishly hoping he’s first on the list of people to get the magic link)

    I’m going out of my mind checking this site every day (and checking my email ever few hours for the magic tickets!).. My only request is that you don’t wait until the last day of september — my poor heart can’t take it….

  22. Mitchell Says:

    Friends, Foes, Chumbians, Lend me your ears. I come to praise chumby, not bury the soft little guy.

    First my hat is off to chumby for inspiring such loyalty to a product not yet out there.

    Next if I had another hat it would be off to Shoe for his elegant (though somewhat lengthly) defense of chumby.

    That said I cannot, and will not excuse the lack of information given by the folks who run chumby. It takes a moment to give an update, I’d say weekly is decent. When was the last update prior to my rabble rousing.

    There are people who are seriously wanting what you have yet to sell, so be fair and let them know what is going on. If you feel you can’t make September, set a date you can live with but then stick to it.

    Even now you are waffling, today is September 6, the month is 1/5 over. So why not throw out a date and make a lot of people out there happy, and also to let people plan how to spend their dough; or how to save it for the arrival of chumby. Just my two cents.

    Now remember a little silence creates sizzle, too much fizzle, and you all don’t want that? Do you?

  23. Mitchell Says:

    Hmmmm! I just read what I wrote, maybe I was a bit harsh. I am sorry. Tell people when it comes out. Don’t tell people when it comes out. It is your ball and I have no right to say anythiing.

  24. John Says:

    Well today is my birthday and it looks like no chumby for me today. Sad but I guess I can wait a few more weeks. (I was really hoping to get a link in email today as a birthday gift!)


  25. Mitchell Says:

    Well happy birthday John.

  26. Matthew Says:

    Happy Birthday John!

    I can only hope it makes my birthday by the 16th! I’m really hoping I put in the correct email address so long ago…dang that was like over a year ago!

  27. Matthew Says:

    Okay so I just checked my email and I was so surprised to find an email from chumby!

    Then I found out it was just telling me my password. haha

  28. Mitchell Says:

    Well on the bright side September has 23 days left!

  29. Mitchell Says:

    I could wait up to midnight and then say Oh Boy! 22 Days left but I am sleepy. Somebody must train a chumby to turn on the coffee maker.

  30. Keith Says:


    A robot to turn on your coffee maker

    very 80’s style of the “future”

  31. Mitchell Says:

    Keith you are right!!!! Turning on a coffee maker is beneath the chumby, the chumby should tell a robot to do it. The only thing is robots never put enough sugar in the mix.

  32. Mitchell Says:

    Oh by the way! 22 Days to the end of September. So somewhere in these next 3 weeks and 1 day we will have the magic of Chumby!

  33. Phil Says:

    Has anyone ever received an email with news about the status of Chumby after signing up on the website? I was interested and gave my email address assuming I’d get some news updates, but to this day have never received any correspondence. Just a little worried that I won’t get the news when it finally does become available. As interested as I am, I don’t have time to check the website/blog every day.

  34. Mitchell Says:

    I have not received any updates via email.

  35. Mitchell Says:

    21 Days to the end of September.

  36. shoe Says:

    I check the website daily myself (I am blushing to say)…

    And it looks like my chumby may have to wait… Our car got totaled this week. Just happy my hubby’s okay.

    Phil… I was worried about chumbian emails not getting through as well… There’s a spam filter I have no control over on my webhosting acct. But I did get the first fifty “Thanks for asking but we picked someone else” message a couple weeks ago.

  37. Mitchell Says:

    I just subscribe to the feed, it makes it easier. Though I was given a beat-down for it earlier this week, I say regular updates might go a long way towards pre-customer loss/dissatisfaction.

    But that is just me.

    It might be a good thing to do an update as this thread was started mid-August. But then again it ain’t my ball.

    Best of luck to everyone.

  38. John Says:

    20 days until the end of September.

  39. helenosch Says:

    Isn’t patience a virtue?

    Like all the people here, I really want a chumby, and if possible now, but c’mon, just give them time. They’ll probably working overtime’s overtime as it is (it’s the IT-Business!!) , so don’t stress them even more. If it takes a week or even a month longer, but I get a better product, I’m more than happy to wait.
    Keep working chumbians ;-)

  40. John Says:


    I think the time they should get worried is when people stop caring. The fact that there are folks who are so freakishly interested and counting down the days is a good thing(tm) for Chumby.

  41. Mitchell Says:


    I agree patience is a virtue, but I am sure you will agree there are limits. If counting down is one of them fine. But hey it is also true you must strike while the iron is hot.

    The top of this log says August 16, I think a little bit more of an update is needed.

    And yes it is 2 weeks six days till the end of September.

    I really don’t think anyone but the first 50 will have a Chumby prior to X-Mas but maybe I will be wrong.

  42. Mitchell Says:

    If I was not clear, will somebody surface and let some air into this Chumby Submarine. Update! Update! Darn it Update! Hello, is anyone home? Knock Knock! Oh! No! I am alone and scared. It is like a horror movie. Chumby where are you??

  43. Mitchell Says:

    Still 20 days to go, what happens I wonder when October 1, rolls around, will we all have a chumby and be happy. Or will we be sad. Sometimes I get scared and wonder if Chumby is real or not! It is real isn’t it. I’m scared.

  44. Mitchell Says:

    Say, I was watching my favorite show, Survivor Man and was wondering how a Chumby might aid him in his survival?

  45. Falling Leaves Says:

    Too bad it’s not available now. Friday starts the Eastern States Exposition which runs for 17 days in West Springfield, MA. Imagine the promotional bang of having like 1,000,000 people pass by your booth, and seeing the new chumby in action.

  46. John Says:

    I think survivorman could decorate the chumby with various natural tubars and edible bark. He would be so distracted trying to get a wifi connection that he would probably miss the rutting moose and that would be the end of survivorman.

    So here is my prediction. They will start releasing chumby’s for order on either a monday, tuesday or wednesday. The reason is if there is a ordering problem or questions they have a few days to deal with it. What this means (if my theory is true) is that we are almost out of the window for this week and in reality two weeks to go.

    Finally I do believe they will release in September — They have been pretty clear about that and it’s my sense that they are trying to under commit and over deliver.

  47. biggd60 Says:

    It’s September!! I’m glad to hear from all you good people at Chumby Central that you’re still planning to release the squishy goodness this month!! I can’t wait.

  48. Mitchell Says:

    You know now that I think of it, Chumbys are sort of like Tribbles. Quick someone make me a tribble thing for my Chumby! It could detect Klingons.

  49. Brock Says:

    I am worried that I am not on the list I submitted my email monthes ago for updates and I have never received one. I even did it a second time an dstill no updates. I am ready for Chumby to be my new obsession.

  50. Chris Says:

    yeah, I gave up on the chumby… Now that Apple slashed the price of the iphone by $200, I jumped ship and picked one up. Have already unlocked it and hacked the bajesus out of it.

    Best of luck to you Chumby, and maybe I’ll see you for v2.0

  51. Mitchell Says:


    It is the way I feel sometimes. I am curious if Chumby was a bit too slow and cautious in its launch. Me I was thinking of waiting for the iTouch to come out (I am an internet junkie).

    My other suggestion for Chumby might be to confirm with all who are on the list. Some people may have lost interest, others have changed addresses, died, been abducted by aliens, came back to life, or have listed themselves a million times over, thus over inflating the list.

    Just a suggestion, but its your ball,

    Best of Luck.

  52. oren Says:

    exactly when do they come out ive been waiting since i read about it in popsci!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. Mitchell Says:


    That is where I saw Chumby first and the way the article was written I thought it was out, until I went to the website and waited and waited and waited some more!!!

    Hopefully it will be over.

    Me, I am not so sure on Chumby anymore. But I waffle a lot.

  54. thehaggis Says:

    What is the address the invites will come from? I just want to know so I can add it to my filters. Imagine missing the Chumby Opportunity because of an overactive junk filter….Very excited about this, don’t tease us too much :) Cheers.

  55. Chris Says:

    Okay, I’m back to wanting a chumby – I ended up giving the iphone to my girlfriend. Chumby, I’m sorry I left you, will you take me back?

    That said, I’m still waiting for my Chumby Insider email. Have yet to receive it. Hopefully it’ll show up soon. I’m dying to hack it up. Please let me buy one. Please?

  56. steven Batista Says:

    I thought this would be available for everyone in September? Its October and no sign of it…

    To those part of the first 50 program… the chumby is most likely a replacement for your alarm clock, however is not having the am/fm radio suck? I couldnt imagine not listening to Bill Handel or Adam Carolla in the morning, but maybe thats just me.

    Also, how is the mp3 and divx playback? Is it choppy? Is there any sd memory slot or usb slot or must everything come in streaming?

    Sorry, one last question that Im reminded of.. the Chumby network, is this optional in order to use the Chumby? Can I connect soley to my own encrypted wireless network to stream files/widgets off of or do I have to have internet Chumby access?

  57. Salil Jain Says:

    Can it work with normal ADSL connection?

  58. So what is the update? It should work on ADSL.

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