Hey Thesis owners & friends,
We’re back! You may have noticed that we took a several month hiatus. I deeply value all of you as members of our community -- many of us have ridden together, shared laughs, and gone on adventures -- so I wanted to share a bit more about the journey we’ve been on over the last few months.
At this time last year, my cofounder Alice and I were riding high. After a self-funded and at times daunting effort to get Thesis off the ground, our early adopters (many of you on this list) were telling us how much you loved your bikes, and both local mechanics and globally-recognized cycling journalists had begun saying the same. We were close to selling through our first batch well ahead of schedule and had a growing queue of riders (i.e. the rest of you on this list) waiting for our next batch to ship. Buoyed by your support, we expanded our team, built out infrastructure, and invested heavily in inventory and marketing in preparation for a big wave of shipments in May and reduced lead times from then onward.
Then our frames were delayed.
We were supposed to receive a large batch of framesets from our manufacturing partner in early May. Instead, a partial batch arrived in July, and by then the queue at our paint vendor was backed up and we’d already missed the peak of the bike-buying season. This forced some difficult yet necessary decisions. Alice and I stopped paying ourselves and by September had furloughed our team, scaled back our infrastructure, sold off our demo fleet, returned a bunch of inventory, and began exploring acquisition.
All the while, we were also taking measures to make sure that our stakeholders would be taken care of. We were transparent with our team. We set aside cash and inventory to make sure owners would be supported and their warranties fully honored. We made sure all of our vendors were paid in full. And finally, we developed a plan to return the small amount of funding we’d accepted from several ethos-aligned investors.
Then things began to turn around.
By November our efforts had achieved more than we’d hoped, replenishing our reserves and setting up another difficult yet necessary decision: sit up and sell, or pedal harder in pursuit of the dream? Around this time a number of you had begun checking in to see how we were doing and ask when bikes would be available again. Many more of you shared joy-filled pictures and stories of the experiences you were having and how they’d improved your lives. Several of you invited me out on rides, and one of you even joined me on a bikepacking adventure. Through these connections, I came to appreciate the value of what we (and by that, I mean we as a community) had built. Thesis conversations are what inspired us to keep doing this. And so, we’re back.
Here’s what’s next.
Our next batch ships end of March. We reopened sales to the waitlist last week and are offering free shipping and a free Thesis Kit to those who order before February 23rd. And if you as an existing owner refer a friend to the waitlist, we’ll send you a free Thesis kit as a thank you when they get a bike.
I’d love your help spreading the word about Thesis.
Your referrals, reviews, posts, likes, and smiling faces while out riding your bikes are the lifeblood of our small business. Whatever it was about Thesis that resonated with you, know that your choice has supported not just a product, a team and a vision, but also a community, an ethos, and a point of view about what a company’s responsibilities should be to its stakeholders. This is our thesis, and we’re proving it together.
Thank you for joining us on this ride.
Randall R. Jacobs, Founder