Before we’ve even had a lick of proof that the controversial Healbe GoBe works, before any of its 4,000 backers have been ‘shipped’ their rewards, Healbe is giving 7,000 more people the privilege to ‘buy’ a GoBe for $300.
Potential new windfall? $210,000.
It’s an incredibly gutsy move from a company that in the two months since its much doubted Indiegogo campaign ended, has spun out only more smoke and obfuscation. But sometimes you encounter idiocy so audacious that you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.
The last we heard from Healbe — the $1 million Indiegogo scampaigning, scientifically impossible wristband making, Russian shysters — the GoBe wristband was going to ship in August, two months past its admittedly tight June deadline. Pushing the date out, it promised to release a country by country shipping schedule, which it hasn’t.
External tests — far, far more credible than the company’s own internal research, which multiple medical professionals remarked to us had no basis in reality — were supposed to be done and published by the end of June. The clock’s still ticking on that one.
Two weeks ago we had some confusing movement on this. A blog post on Healbe’s website declared cryptically on June 4 that “we are thrilled to announce our upcoming partnership with two major medical institutions in Russia and the U.S.” (I too am thrilled to announce my upcoming marriage to Scarlett Johannson.)
No indication was given as to why the institutions behind these independent tests were kept secret, or when the resulting tests would being done. It’s not commercially sensitive information. Instead, we were promised, “more details about the testing program in the coming weeks…”
But as everything in planet Healbe, who really knows when this will eventuate. The previous teasing that review units would be sent out to journalists to demo hasn’t been mentioned since the original scampaign closed.
Healbe has made a huge ballyhoo about its app being approved by the Apple store, but one week after it was supposed to be available for download, it remains nowhere to be found. It has also bucked crowdfunding convention by not giving a lick of real insight about what its manufacturing journey has looked like.
No one has conclusively seen the Healbe GoBe working. Independent scientific tests have not materialized. Even anecdotal independent evaluation — save for Digital Trends epic journalistic fail — have not arrived. The company is already late for delivery. The most we know from Healbe is that the GoBe is allegedly being made somewhere in China, by God knows who.
So what happens now? Damn the proof! Just sell more! Now! Dial up another $200,000!
Two possibilities exist here. Maybe Healbe have bent the rules of science and are just in no hurry to show proof of their miracle to the world and want to give more people the privilege of buying one, now.
Or maybe, given how Healbe talked in Russian media interviews about needing $6 million to start production in China and only raised $1.2 million on Indiegogo, alongside some minor existing seed investments, the wheels are about to fall off and it needs cash to keep its operation turning over.
As always, we’ll be waiting eagerly to see what comes next.
[illustration by Brad Jonas for Pando]