An open letter to the NikeFuel team

Dear Nike,

The latest firmware update to the FuelBand and FuelBand SE, which, I keep hearing, is an improvement to NikeFuel (“NikeFuel just got even better!”), seems to mainly improve the way things work for SE owners, and kinda leave owners of the original FuelBand in the dust.

As I understand it, this is what happens (correct me if I’m wrong):
The FuelBand SE has the ability to use sessions, and therefore benefits greatly from the firmware update and the new way of calculating NikeFuel. But, and this is a pretty big but (no pun intended), what happened to owners of the original FuelBand after the update, is that they, overnight, lost around 1000 NikeFuel per day, making it really hard to maintain the daily goal, and nearly impossible to compete with SE owners, effectively ruining the game for all those of us who bought the FuelBand before you brought the SE out.

Now, I understand the desire to bring new and updated hardware to the market. What I completely fail to understand, is why on earth anyone would want to then update the software in a way that completety spoils the fun for everyone with the older hardware. It feels a bit, no a LOT, actually, like you’re pissing on your customers, if you’ll pardon my french!

The smart(er) move would have been an update that takes advantage of the SE features for SE owners, but still takes into consideration the shortcomings of the original FuelBand, and therefore doesn’t change too much for them.
Apple does an okay job of it, when updating their iOS -newer phones gets all the new functionality, older phones gets fewer, so THEY’RE STILL FUN TO USE!

You, on the other hand, have made an update that effectively ruins the game for everyone with the old FuelBand. You may or may not have done it to push people to be more active, but, and this is my assumption, based on the people I know, that has one, you’re doing it wrong! First of all, IF that was the intention, it wasn’t ever your responsibility, and second of all: You’re changing the way the game works, and then a lot of people suddenly can’t use your product to simply measure their daily activity -and have good days where 4500 or 5500 points is made, and bad days, where 3k is hard to get to. Now, everyone -every average user I know, that is, is having a hard time reaching 3k, let alene 4 or 5. The fun is gone, and what’s left is frustration.

Frustration doesn’t’ get you new customers or keep the old ones. Frustration doesn’t breed commitment. Frustration buys Jawbone Up and Fitbit and whatever else is available for measuring daily activity, so here’s my tip -I’ll keep it short: Fix it! Get in there and start grinding down those obstacles, that keeps us from still playing, us that doesn’t run 10km per day. You’re Nike, right? And you wanted us to play, right?

Then all I can say, is this:

Just do it!

Ps. Here’s the load of bull your support crew blurts out when asked about the lower fuelpoints. A drop in fuel is because NikeFuel got BETTER? Sorry, but it doesn’t compute…
(“We are aware of the drop in Fuel points because NikeFuel just got even better! We’ve improved our NikeFuel algorithms to measure all-day activity. If you’ve used Nike+ FuelBand in the past, you may find you earn more NikeFuel for high-intensity movements, and less for low-intensity ones. However you move, NikeFuel is a universal way to measure movement for all kinds of activities.”)


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