FitBit: Goodbye

Dear FitBit,

We’re breaking up and to be honest: it’s you, not me.

It wasn’t always like this. I’d heard good things about you in the beginning and I thought maybe we could evolve from being “just” acquaintances to maybe being life-long friends. The early signs were good. My first Zip was rugged, reliable, and I could hide it anywhere on my body while I walked all over my hometown. Truth be told, though, it seemed like a scaled down Tomagotchi my kids played with back in the Nineties and I wanted something a little more manly.

My workplace pushed us to buy a Flex and it was okay, though the thought on my bosses having access to my fitness statistics was more than a little creepy. For a short time, though, I lived and died by the little lights and the improved dashboard, which was kind of fun to play with. What made me put it on the shelf was the tiniest amount of sweat that seemed to gum up the electronics. The lights stopped working until I dried the darn thing out.

That should have been a warning sign, but I worked so hard on our relationship and I wasn’t ready to quit. I put in an order for a Charge HR and waited for it to be mailed to me, knowing it would be six weeks before it arrived.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally I broke down and emailed your Help Desk for a status report. In return, I received a boiler plate response saying the wait was now eight to ten weeks. You didn’t mention that when I ordered.

Then the news came that the Surge was causing rashes on a “small fraction” of users.

Cancel my Charge HR order? Click yeah!

To be honest, though, I was right on the edge of cancelling, anyway, and that’s because we could see out here in the boondocks that your left hand stopped talking to your right hand.

Your left hand is your marketing department with all the pretty colors, the pictures of energetic young people (no aging boomers or Social Security patients on your web site or in your commercials, nosiree, Bob!), and so many promises of a bright future in only six or eight or ten weeks.

The right hand are your techies and they’re awesome. I posted a problem with your iPhone app on Twitter a few weeks ago and one of your programmers jumped right on it. (I admit to a little bias: two of my degrees are in IT.)

Your executive suite is somewhere in the middle of those hands and they’re responsible for reining in the energy of the marketing department while inspiring the techies to reach higher and faster. Based on my experience, the techies are doing their job (I disregard the rashes; I think that’s user error from cinching the wrist bands too tight), so in my opinion, it’s marketing that’s the cause of our break-up.

I can’t tell you where to go from here because you’re a for-profit company. Somewhere in your corner suite, there’s someone who believes it’s marketing that generates profits, but that’s wrong. You already have a product line that will sell itself, but your company (through advertising!) keeps making promises with bright colors and pretty people, then not delivering on your promises in a timely manner. That means somebody in your executive suite failed to corral marketing’s energy with handcuffs called Reality.

Anyway, I’ll stick to my abused little Zip for now until it dies, then I’ll look elsewhere.

It didn’t have to be this way but you and I can’t go on like this anymore. I have to have trust in your promises for our relationship to continue and, frankly, it’s hard to trust you right now.

No response required. It’d probably be something on a boiler plate, anyway.

See ya.

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