The real story here is a major life effort, not a crowdfunding over reach.
Pretty much any time I think "that could have been designed better" I use Sugru. I agree that it's expensive, but it had saved me more money than it costs. I would actually love a subscription, where one gets a single packet in the mail once a month, to address the expiration issue.
Still holding up many years later. So I think fondly of Sugru every time I open my refrigerator. And when I do think of it, I can't help associate it in the back of my mind with Wallace and Grommit for vaguely ludicrous reasons.
I mildly regret never having occasion to make another order.
I would propose a different mistake: they simply got too ambitious. If they had raised a little money and grown organically, they could have eventually been a tidy little $5-10M a year business, netting the founder a healthy 6 or 7 figure income. Nothing says you need to follow the start-up venture funded playbook, in fact, most consumer packaged goods businesses do not.
I disagree, just look at companies like 3M or DuPont.
Blu Tack was invented in Leicester, and Bostik still make it there. It's reusable and doesn't set or cure, though it deteriorates a bit after a decade in a drawer. Can repair pretty much nothing, but handy for sticking posters to walls. :)
Sugru is/was a silicone putty that cures after a few minutes in air, and expires in a few months in the packet. Seemed terrible value for money based on the tiny packet I bought so I'd never buy again.
At least with two part putties you can keep plenty in a drawer, for years, they don't cure until you've mixed them and cost a fraction of Sugru.
Edit: Well this provoked quite the discussion. If you're looking for repair putty the two main UK brands I know are: Araldite (Now a US brand, mainly DIY and automotive, also epoxy adhesives), and Milliput.com (Epoxy modelling clay, perfect for repairs to plastics, steel etc. Comes in a few grades and colours), with shelf life in decades. Milliput are Welsh. :)
Yup, I bought Sugru. I used some. I really liked it.... but wasted half of it and simply decided at that point to not buy it again.
I don't want to have to buy it within months of needing it. I want to store it and use it as needed for as long as I have it.
I've been using FormCard as a replacement in a lot of places (lately custom-made "hangers" with screws to hold my router from the wall), since if I mess up or I want to recycle it, I can just drop it in boiling water to melt and start over. Although I must admit, Sugru feels much nicer and is a bit softer i.e. good for cushioning - FormCard solidifies after 3-5 minutes into hard, slippery plastic which e.g. doesn't work very well for coffee cup handles or drop-protection for sensitive equipment (phones, cameras, etc.).
I do appreciate the info though.
I do love sugru for all sorts of stuff though. Especially building custom connectors for electronics wiring harnesses and hanging things on tile without messing up the tile.
It's a thermoplastic that sets solid can be fused together and reused by heating it to 62 degrees centigrade. It's also non toxic which makes it great for kids.
I always used to get it from Maplin and can't find much online, but it looks like there's a whole range of thermoplastics now available.
RIP my spare Sugru.
Sugru is the type if product I want to throw in my toolbox for when I need it, because when I need it I NEED it. But instead I have to buy it online, takes 3 days to arrive, and by that time I've already used duct tape and moved on.
It is a good idea and a great product, but the short shelf life is a huge problem.
Plumbing putty doesn't harden, it's calcium carbonate, petroleum grease, and silica. The hardening stuff is Plumber's Epoxy aka WaterWeld,et. al.
Also if you put it in the refrigerator it lasts much longer.
And Jane ni Dhulchaointigh (listed as Jane Delehanty which is the english pronunciation of her name) ceased being a person with significant control in May 2018.
In fact she was, had you taken the time to review their 288a forms (November 15, 2004), a company director, which was not a huge surprise given she was a founder.
Flippin' 'eck your "bolt-counting" pedantry and davej's below are what gives HN a bad name and makes engaging in the comments often tiresome.
To be nitpicky, it's the anglicization of her name rather than the english pronunciation. The English pronunciation of her name would be something like Jane Nee Dool-coin-tig.
Sugru is a putty. It's squishy, kind of like clay, and air-cures to a sort of rubbery flexible solid. It's good for repairs to things that are flexible (It's great for repairing and ending stain relief to cables) and also for adding "bumpers" to things or even molding small objects (like hooks). It's also safe to touch uncured Sugru with your bare hands. This makes it a lot easier to work with, in general.
The big downside to Sugru is that it's expensive, it goes bad after a few months (but storing it in the fridge extends the lifetime to a couple of years), and once you open a packet, the whole packet will cure within 24 hours. You pretty much always end up with some waste. If they could somehow make it 2-part so you could make the exact amount you need, or store it in a tube or something so it wouldn't go bad so easily, it would be great.
When the JB Weld putties you're talking about cure are they hard and brittle, or flexible and squishy? The ones I'd used all cured to a hard plastic.
Still, that's an epoxy, and if it's like the epoxy putties I've used, I bet it cures to a hard and rigid plastic, rather than the soft and flexible rubber that "Sugru brand mouldable glue" cures into.
Coincidentally, such was my need only yesterday. I thought first of Sugru, balked at the price and delivery time as usual, looked into making some 'Oogoo' (silicon sealant mixed with corn flour) and funnily enough I ended up using some Sugru that's been in my fridge for 5 years, which although slightly crumblier than I remember on first handling, did the job fine in the end.
It worked well, and it's still there and functioning 5 years later.
When the two tiny packets arrived I thought it was quite expensive for what it was! I only ever used one packet, the other stayed in the fridge door where I just found it and it is rock hard. So I guess my next purchase would be for this Blu Tack.
I think OP was commenting that they're completely different things, with different purposes and uses. Blutack is great for sticking a poster to a wall, because its easy to put up and take off, and can be useable again. It is not for something to be permanent and used.
Sugru would be great but for the really short expiry as it's just the sort of thing I'd keep by indefinitely for an unplanned repair along with glue, tape and epoxy putty.
Solution is to apply some Sellotape (Scotch tape) to the back of the poster first, then put the Blu-Tack on the plastic tape, which blocks the solvent. And avoid using it on wallpaper (emulsion or gloss paint is fine). Better still, use poster holders and a picture hook, or go the whole hog and frame your artwork properly.
Sugru ... air-cures: it doesn't have the solvent-leaching problem, but if you used it on a poster the only way to get the poster down would involve a chisel or sandpaper. Blu-Tak is for temporary attachments; Sugru is intended to be permanent.
idk, it kept a roofing tile in place for a bloody long time until my mother really lost patience with the sight of bluetac on the roof
Definitely a niche product, but a niche that isn't filled by anything else.
Also good for getting tiny glass shards out of carpets and such.
6 months later I again had a need for it and I went to grab one of the 4 remaining packs and they were all dried out and hard. I flipped them over and there was an expiration date that had passed!
This is the type of product I want to keep on the shelf for when I need it, not something I want to purchase on demand. Also it's expensive.
Apparently two part epoxy dries really hard. So not quite the same application as Sugru.
That said, I happily repaired a macbook charger at both ends, so the 10 or so quid I spent on it works out far cheaper than a £60 charger.
Worked great. The sugru is about two years old, having been stored in the fridge all along.
And, by that, I don't mean that the product isn't good (it is), doesn't fulfill the purpose (it does), but it just will not be used in that many situations. Sometimes you'll fix the broken thing with commodity glue, sometimes with duct tape, and all those cost less than Sugru.
I'm not surprised they want to remain anonymous if they failed to perceive a downside in investing in a new product. What would you exepct - "our plans for growth are unambitious and we expect only mediocre performance in the market"?
If you're at the verge of having to sell the entire company at a loss, the least you can do is try to restructure, reduce costs and plan for moderate growth which doesn't depend on you pulling in huge amounts of funding.
If you have kids it might make more sense but otherwise, I think it's a difficult sell given the cost
One thing is for sure, after seeing it adorning various devices and appliances around the scene for a few years, I've come to associate it with "ghetto hackers" who don't have the druthers to just 3d-print replacement parts themselves. It always amuses me to have this thought - its a bloody expensive material, all things considering.
The one thing I consider it really excels at, also, is preserving peoples fingerprints...
It makes me a little sad that a company with a good and useful product doesn't survive while others who sell only junk do.
I had read about Sugru in~2011/12 or so -- I wrote to her (inventor of it) and she sent me a packet for free.
Then the Fukushima meltdown happened and a few days later San Francisco experienced one of the most wicked rainstorms ever - and the wind was driving the water against my glass-door flooding my apartment (twin peaks)... there was a hole where the sliding glass door lock should have been on the bottom of the door and the water was flowing in through there - I grabbed a pack of Sugru and molded it into the opening and plugged the leak.
When I discovered the leak at 1AM - I had thought my dg had peed in the dining room...
My dog thanks you, Sugru, for not being blamed for peeing....
Was there any need to get tens of millions in funding? If you have a deal with Target stores or John Lewis in the UK then you can order from your suppliers what they need, do a back of the envelope calculation as to what you can fund on the basis of those sales and stock accordingly.
Greed and hubris gets the better of people though. We have seen it before with boo.com and in plenty of other examples.
Much is said in the article about the 90% lost by investors, I think there is another 90% - I doubt that 90% of this stuff was ever opened or used. It was gifted by well meaning mums and aunties. Then those recipients didn't rate or use the product enough for it to become 'as exciting as cellotape'.
£2 million buys you a posh house in London, so the bank loan wasn't that big in the scheme of things, but a lot of money if your product is neither 'fast moving' or 'big ticket'.
They probably pitched it with plans of expanding into floor waxes and dessert toppings. Or, you know, more than just little sachets of goo.
On the other hand, crowdfunding products, which essentially is a pre-order, is something I love. It's well within my risk tolerance and due diligence.
Kickstarter-style project crowdfunding makes loads more sense, though.
I think Sugru might have even put the price down - I remember them being even more expensive.
“The challenge of explaining the vast potential of mouldable glue and how it can be relevant to any given consumer has proved to be a lot harder than anyone imagined,” said ni Dhulchaointigh.
That was never their problem. Most of my tech-savvy friends knew the product by name and had multiple uses in mind. Literally everyone also agreed that the price just was not worth it.
I have a packet that lives in my fridge forever, as a reminder, behind my many mustards. The mustards may live forever, the Sugru won't.
This does not say good things about the product's viability.
Having kids who damage toys all the time, Sugru was really universal repair tool for us.
I checked my GMail, and I ordered 2 "Smart Hacks Super Packs"(multi-color multipack of sugru) on 21 October 2010. I'm pretty sure most of it is still in my freezer. Well, by that I mean, it survived 2 moves and is now living in its 3rd freezer.
I guess, ultimately, I just don't have to mend that much stuff.
I'm going to try your recipe.