"We are not sustainable"

I knew what they meant right away upon reading the title, but that’s because I’ve been following them, reading their blog posts and forum posts. I knew that besides right-to-repair, sustainability was also something they work towards.

But, many others are going to think it’s referring to the company’s health / finances. It’s just not clear. And it’s possible that was the intent even, to get more people to read it. If so, that was a bad choice imo.

~edit~
See the Comment from Nrp a few posts down.

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When I first read the subject line, it definitely got my attention, and I thought that Framework was being transparent about how they were going to fail. When I actually read their message, I was relieved that wasn’t what it was about.

I do agree that it would be a better idea to make subject lines less frightening in the future. I could unfortunately see some people reading the subject line alone, and from that, think Framework would soon be on its way out as a company, and at that point, acting on misinformation. The subject line was definitely misleading.

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If FW was actually shutting down they wouldn’t be making announcements about AMD FW13 starting SMT production and final assembly and FW16 would’ve never likely made it to pre-orders.

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FWIW: here are two HN threads regarding the newsletter:

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I was surprised at first by this thread, because I read the subject line and immediately thought of environmental sustainability, but I can totally see how others may read it as economical sustainability.

I think it was a fair mistake on Framework’s part, and would have been much worse if they hadn’t had a detailed email to go along with the subject line to make it clear what they actually meant. It is a good example of how important it is to not judge a book by it’s cover!

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Comment from Nrp

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Honestly, whenever a company says the word “sustainable”, it just tells me they are going to be charging me much more for the same/similar product than other companies do. It’s just another one of those stupid corporate buzz-words that in reality means absolutely nothing because it only means whatever the marketing fool uses it to mean. It’s a consumer “pander”, an attempt to make you feel like it is worth spending more because you are supposedly helping the planet in some unknown way.
" Mission Statement" by “Weird Al” Yankovic always comes to mind here.

That said, I am glad it wasn’t some annoying explanation on why Framework is saving humanity. I buy things that I like and that I feel will better my life and the life of my family, which often does include things like repairable devices, rechargeable batteries, etc; not because some marketing student slaps the word “sustainable” all over it.

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based

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Yep, buy the laptop because it’s a good tool for what you need.
If you care about the ecological crises, take public transit and stop eating animals.

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We didn’t intend for it to be clickbait (nrp, HN)

It’s hard for me to fathom that no one in the marketing department who proofed the newsletter realized the email subject might have been understood as a statement of financial sustainability rather than environmental. But, I’ll take the statement at face value, and retract my assumption that they did it intentionally as click bait.

I despise that so much of the online world is a parasitic manipulation of some of the basic biological realities of human nature (e.g. click bait headlines). The only reason I made my criticism public is because I’ve appreciated the engineering first non-nonsense work that Framework is doing, even with its marketing. They are building tech and communicating about it in a way that demonstrates real and fundamental value. I thought that the presumably intentional click bait title was a disheartening departure from that. I am glad that was just a misunderstanding on my part.

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Strong disagree. Loved the little roller coaster that email notification sent me on. My mind did honestly go to the unthinkable, but I immediately caught myself and realized exactly what the email was going to be about before even opening it.

Maybe it’s just my sense of humor, or maybe it’s that I waste time at work by opening new Edge tabs and just scroll clickbait headlines so I’m rather desensitized, but I demand no apology. And I don’t mean that I don’t demand an apology, I mean I demand that Framework not apologize. It was cheeky at worst, self-deprecatingly honest at best. Loved it. More please.

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Yeah, same here. Why the hell does Framework decide to use that subject line? I almost skipped reading the newsletter with the impression that Framework is possibly shutting down.

Yeah I definitely agree with OP on this one. Maybe one can see it as a harmless little clickbait title, but when you consider it in the eyes of someone that has invested a lot in Framework products and now learns by reading the subject of an e-mail that this investment would be losing support and future prospect, it’s one more drop of stress in someone’s day you really just don’t need.

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Yeah I had a bit of a scare with the subject line. But I think it’s also a good lesson to take the time to read the body of an article before drawing to conclusions… I’m slowly starting to break that habit, more so since I left Twitter

My first thought when I saw the notification of the e-mail was: “Well, f*ck …”
Then I’ve read the first few lines of the mail and … deleted it.

So the subject was misleading to me too, but I don’t care and I was more annoyed by the length of it (but that’s just a personal thing, I like e-mails to be short and on point)

Misled me as well, but looked very intentional after I’d read the article. I’m surprised to hear that it wasn’t a deliberate choice, but it definitely got everyone reading the email in a hurry haha.

I believe it was a deliberate choice as Matt Harley elaborated on above!
What’s done is done though, and not much harm was done, just something for Framework to keep in mind in the future I suppose.

Not deliberately done to be clickbait though, as per NRP:

The most unfortunate thing about this title choice is that it shows Frameworks philosophy, or “mission statement”, is not aligned with their customers desires for the simple fact that whoever chose the title thought it would obviously apply to “environmental belief”, instead of the more obvious meaning to the customer; that the company can not go on in its current state.

At least this is something that can be corrected.

Personally, as a customer, I want a device that I can easily repair, upgrade, expand on, and generally tinker with until it’s on its very last leg.
My main concern is cost to me, and whether I will be able to get my “moneys worth” out of the product. In this case I believe that to be a resounding yes due to the nature of this product.
Second, is my hope that this company will stick around for a very long time so that I can continue to enjoy upgrades and additions to these products. Broadcasting heavily politicized beliefs is something I fear it will start doing and end up hurting it in this regard.
Lower down my list is the environmental impact, which is a huge plus, but it is definitely not the most important (because lets be honest, there are much bigger problems in the world that effect the environment to a larger extent, than the manufacture of one small laptop brand).

Anyway, my hope is Framework doesn’t stray too far down that path of spouting specific political beliefs which alienate and attempt to cast guilt on certain groups of people. To be clear, proclaiming environmental friendliness is good, but going too far becomes cultish and hateful, which can put some people off. That email title definitely got my attention with it’s ambiguous meaning, and I had to read the email to make sure the (framework) world wasn’t ending. :wink:

Environmental sustainability has been a core tenet of Framework’s mission from the start. They wanted to provide a “framework” to the rest of the industry, showing that it’s possible to make repairable, upgradable, and more sustainable laptops. This has always been both about benefits to consumers, as well as reducing the extreme amount of e-waste in the electronics industry. I can see how someone might have misconstrued the title, but it never even occurred to me that it was about anything other than environmental sustainability. :person_shrugging:

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