Coolest Cooler is shutting down after a disastrous five-year run that leaves many backers...

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

If you haven’t followed the journey over the last five+ years, here’s a quick refresher. The Coolest Cooler was created by Ryan Grepper as a jack-of-all-trades cooler. The 60-quarter container doubles as an ice-crushing blender for mixed drinks and has a waterproof Bluetooth speaker and USB charger built right in.

It doesn’t end there, however, as the cooler also features an LED-lit lid, a cooler divider that doubles as a cutting board, easy rolling wheels, built-in storage for plates and utensils and even a bottle opener. Unsurprisingly, it was a hit on Kickstarter and still stands as the second most funded project ever behind the Pebble Time smartwatch.

Actually delivering the cooler to early backers, however, was a different story. According to Engadget, roughly 20,000 (about a third) of the original backers never received their reward… yeah, even more than five years later.

If you are one of those early backers still waiting for your Coolest Cooler, well, I’ve got bad news. It’s not coming. Ever. Instead, you may be eligible for a $20 payout through a settlement with the Oregon Department of Justice from 2017. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly $200 that most backers shelled out and honestly, it may not even be worth the hassle, but it looks like that is all that will be coming your way.

The company in a recent e-mail to early backers blamed the Trump administration’s tariffs on products imported from China as the reason for it having to shut down shop. But in reality, that was only one part of the equation and one that doesn’t account for the many roadblocks and failures the company experienced along the way.

“We kept going when it became immediately obvious that the Coolest would cost much more to manufacture and ship than anyone paid for it on Kickstarter.”

This alone should have been handled much differently but alas, it’s all water under the bridge now. With any luck, future creators and potential backers alike can learn a lesson or two from the Coolest Cooler.

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Trillionsin

TS Evangelist
Be careful what you support. If it's too good to be true, watch out for a potential risk. Bummer that people can't get back more than 20 bucks... wtf
 
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Panda218

TS Evangelist
A friend of mine bought one off Amazon, it was a piece of **** . Feel bad for the suckers who helped "fund" this project.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
I almost feel like kickstarter is a platform for people that lack experience managing a project/company to get donations from clueless people.

I can't think of many success stories from kickstarter at all...
I was always amazed at people that would throw their money at Kickstarter projects. You are giving money to a stranger to buy a product that doesn't exist yet. Knowing how this world works, 90% of them should either end in failure or be scams.

If it was more of an investment, I'd understand. Say you invest $200 now to fund the development and you then get both the product and a 0.1% share of all future sales. That would make sense. But to invest $200 now to MAYBE get the product in a few years time, MAYBE close to what it was supposed to be, and nothing else?

I understand the benefits and importance of Kickstarter projects but seriously, caveat emptor. Expect to get nothing in return and you won't be disappointed.
 
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tkabou

TS Addict
Since when did Trump become the scapegoat for everything, including a lack of a solid business model, production, financial planning, logistics, etc. A lack of responsibility and owning up to one's own mistakes and shortcomings is a key trait to possess to make it in business. They should've learned from Trump, not criticize him, goes for the other, left half of the country as well.
 
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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
This could much more easily be resolved if Kickstarter REQUIRED these companies to put up a performance bond that kept track with pledges so when the company fails, the investors get back most or all of their money. It's a common business practice, in fact every project I have ever managed required the same on performance as well as bids. Frankly, if any company can't meet that basic requirement they should not be allowed to solicit funds from anyone but an outright venture capitalist .....
 
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Porkous

TS Member
This reminds me of ICO bubble in crypto I witnessed. First of, humans, in general, will do anything in their power to add to their insufficient lack, a hope for fixing that gap, so it becomes almost like a gamble and a promise to eden. People will not feel that much sorry for trying to contribute to their need, but they would, if they knew it would give them nothing in return. The frenzy of gambling. Most of the problem is that, people believe in authority figures. These sites, and social media, in general, grow people under a false pretense they are an authority, because they are on tv, or on a scene somewhere. They don't want the best in your interest, they want in theirs, to add to themselves and their lacks or risks.

That's what probably happened here. People thought this and other stuff, would be successful, since is a product, like any other on amazon or any store. Giving them tiniest something in return...
Just be content...
 

Unusual Kmc

TS Booster
I almost feel like kickstarter is a platform for people that lack experience managing a project/company to get donations from clueless people.

I can't think of many success stories from kickstarter at all...
To be fair, thousands of indie video games and tabletop things like board games / D&D adventures have been successful on the website. It's just projects like this that usually fail.
 

kevbev89

TS Maniac
To be fair, thousands of indie video games and tabletop things like board games / D&D adventures have been successful on the website. It's just projects like this that usually fail.
I wasn't aware of this, thanks for sharing.
Yeah all I hear are these high tech gadgets that just burst up in flames