To the Massdrop Community,
We were disappointed to learn that earlier today Input Club published untrue remarks regarding Massdrop and the relationship between Input Club and Massdrop. We feel some response is in order so that our community isn’t mislead by these statements, and so the community hears Massdrop’s perspective on the situation.
As you may know, for some time Input Club has collaborated with Massdrop in the design of Massdrop's HALO switch. Throughout our relationship, Input Club has acknowledged they are the "Designer" of the HALO switch, with Massdrop as the "Manufacturer and Distributor" of the HALO switch.
Along the way, Massdrop spent tens of thousands of dollars, dozens of hours, and many domestic and international flights to help bring this concept to life. In our agreement, in exchange for this effort, Input Club agreed to receive a royalty from Massdrop from the sale of the HALO switch and Massdrop would be able to exclusively manufacture and distribute the switch.
In our agreement for the HALO switch, Input Club requested an exception to our exclusive distribution rights to allow them to offer switches directly to end customers as replacement parts and as standalone switches via their website. This was a reasonable request, so we agreed and wrote it into the agreement. After that, Input Club launched their kickstarter campaign for the Whitefox, offering HALO switches as an option. This was against the terms of our agreement, so we reached out to let them know and discuss ways to move forward. Their response was to tell us they would make their own HALO switch, to demand that we change the name of the HALO switch, and to demand that we inform all K-Type purchasers that they were not going to receive authentic HALO switches. At this point they directed us to their lawyer and required that all future communication go through legal channels. After two months of trying to work with Input Club's attorney, no agreement could be reached. In fact, Input Club and their attorney threatened to use a public forum as leverage to tarnish the reputation of Massdrop. We refused to give into this bullying tactic, and so today Input Club has followed through on its threat.
Regrettably, our relationship with Input Club has ended despite our great desire to find a path forward. The K-Type Keyboard with the HALO switch remains on target for delivery to its customers.
Obviously we did not want things to go this direction, as it is not a positive result for Input Club, for Massdrop, or for the community. We’ve been running the Massdrop Community Design Program for several years now. We’ve worked with many dozens of designers and we’ve never run into this problem before (in fact, nearly all designers go on to work with us on many more projects). One of the main reasons we started this company is to work with enthusiast communities and help bring their ideas to life. We plan to continue and invest further in these efforts, and to take our experiences from this partnership as a learning experience moving forward to help us get better.
Based on their actions so far, it seems like Input Club will likely respond, attempting to continue this discussion in a public setting. We have no interest in engaging further - this has taken up a meaningful amount of time and we’d prefer to spend our efforts working with our other community members and helping them bring their products to market.
Thanks for your support, especially all of you who’ve been with us since the start. It’s your interest, actions, and ideas that have made Massdrop the platform it is today.
Brad and the Massdrop team