Mechanical Keyboards Community Announcements
Greetings Mech Keys Community,
It goes without saying that the last 6 months have been pretty turbulent for everyone. We’ve gone from running at full capacity, to complete factory shutdowns, working from home, and operating a social distanced shipping operation. The good news is that we're finally starting to adapt to all of these changes and get our feet under us. We've gone from being extremely behind and delayed on everything, to almost catching up and being in-stock on most of our popular products. COVID is still around, but we’ve made significant operational changes to try to minimize its disruption on our core operations. For those of you who have patiently stood by and supported us, we extend a huge thank you for your support.
Throughout this time, we've invested a significant amount of time planning the next 12 months and we’ve thought long and hard about a vision for how we want to focus our offerings to the Mechanical Keyboard community. The theme that we found to be most relevant, was the accessibility of the mechanical keyboards and their components.
The biggest meme in the community is how everyone is always waiting for everything. We believe this wait makes the community inaccessible to many casual consumers. These are people that want a beautiful keyboard but aren't willing to wait 8 months for the keycaps, 4 months for the switches, and 6 months for a cable. Alternatively, paying a 300% markup on our favorite marketplace isn’t very appealing either.
With this, the direction we're moving towards is one where we will focus on increasing the diversity of our product offerings and the quality of our service (i.e. in-stock products, faster shipping, fewer delays, etc.). To be clear, this doesn't mean we won't still be working on unique, bespoke, artisan products. But it does mean we've allocated a fair amount of resources to really bolster and round out our Mech Keys offerings.
Under this directive, we've launched a ton of initiatives in the past 6 months, and they're starting to see the light of day. Here's a sneak peak into a few of them:
MT3 Doubleshot Keycaps
MT3 Susuwatari has been an incredibly successful set and Matt3o is following that up with the gorgeous MT3 3277 colorway. In addition to that, Black on White, White on Black, and Carmillo colorways are slated to be released before the end of the year! We've got a dozen other sets lined up after that, and we're trying to get them moving as fast as we can. For an insider's look at the MT3 Doubleshot Keycap manufacturing process, check out this article.
The latest addition to the CTRL, ALT, and SHIFT family, the ENTR Keyboard is designed to be a budget-friendly gateway to the mechanical keyboard world. Boasting our Skylight keycaps, Halo switches, and crisp white backlighting, this keyboard provides excellent value to someone first joining the hobby.
Our two most popular keyboards are getting rounded out with some really great customization options. We've recently added low profile and high profile colored cases. Now, you can refresh the look of your favorite keyboard with that perfect color of anodized aluminum. In addition, standalone PCBs for CTRL and ALT are right around the corner. And there's one last thing: our configurator is getting some love with a fully compiled, multi-platform GUI, set to be released before the end of the year.
Having shipped all of the pre-orders, we now have our warehouse shipment of thousands of SHIFT keyboards arriving in November, just in time for the holidays.
Free Refunds and Cancellations
The industry standard for group-buys is, “Once you’ve paid, you’re never seeing your money again”. You’re not allowed to cancel your participation in a group-buy before it ships, nor are you able to refund your order if you don’t like it. We’ve changed our policies to reverse this very negative customer experience by offering hassle-free cancellations and refunds on Drop Studio products.
We're looking to partner with more keycap designers! For budding artists that want to take a shot at designing the next hot colorway (like Red Samurai, Laser, or Oblivion), have a look at this presentation that introduces our new designer program.
Signature Series Keyboards
One of the largest questions/complaints we hear from our non-MK users is that they want to own a beautiful keyboard, but can't go through the hassle of waiting for keycap preorders, lubing switches, and assembling their keyboard (I mean, isn't that 98% of the fun?!?!?). With that in mind, we've designed and pre-built some keyboards using our most popular keycap, switch, case, and form-factor combinations—and we’ll be offering them for sale in the coming months. These are aimed towards the "super casual" buyer, so don't be too disappointed that it doesn't tickle the appetite of an experienced DIYer. We also have plans for some super high-end semi-custom "Designer Series" keyboards in 2021 :).
Eternal Preorders and Store Inventory
As many of you have seen, we're now carrying more MT3, GMK and SA keycaps in our "keycap store" that ship immediately. Ultimately our goal is to have as many keycaps in stock as possible to make the hobby as accessible as possible. With this, we're going to start running our preorders for extended periods to let more people join. Discounted prices will be available to those who buy well in advance (i.e. the first 30 days), versus those who waltz in and place their order 2 weeks before the keycaps ship. We’re planning our orders to be large enough that keycaps should be available for the months (or longer) after a preorder ships.
That’s it for now, but we’ll have a few very exciting announcements soon.