The subscriber base for Spoffo the Compli-Hen, the android hen built by tech start-up Lloydy5000-o-Tech, has again plummeted in the past week due to a series of failed patches and an even more complex set of instructions rolled out. Spoffo was first released back in November last year to moderate fanfare, mainly due to the idea behind it sounding a bit too science fiction, and also potential users were a bit wary due to the bewildering amount of hoop-jumping and parameters required to get Spoffo to function properly. TDJJ sat down with the company’s outspoken CEO Lloyd Nimbus, in his bedroom office, to see where his company goes from here.
TTDJ: “You’ve seen the numbers, and must be aware of the sheer amount of complaints online. It’s even inspired a series of memes called ‘Glitchin’ Chicken’. Do you still stand by your response to all this by blaming the internet?”
LN: “Well, it’s a hen for a start. Big difference. Yes, the whole of the internet is against us, against progress. It really isn’t my fault that users can’t get Spoffo working as well as we promised. Most people aren’t meeting us half way, they’re not buying the premium package that will give them the best compliments.”
TTDJ: “That aspect of the system, the Compliments Communicator, seem to be the main sticking point, besides the number of recent changes to the operating system rules. There’s even reports of IT experts spending all night working through the new instruction book, and only getting a few vaguely friendly comments out of the hen.”
LN: “Well it works fine for us. Were any of them within 20 feet with a mobile phone? As you may know the manual clearly mentions on page 43, paragraph nine, that any smart devices within 35 feet will adversely affect Spoffo, specifically if a device is not connected via bluetooth to an object larger than at least three other identical devices within 15 feet connected to the internet, no more than 10 feet away from two which have tethering capabilities, and are placed in a rhombus circle. It’s not rocket science.”
TTDJ: “So you’re still not giving out refunds? Customers feel they’ve been lied to.”
LN: “No refunds. Nothing wrong with our hen. What people are forgetting, is that Spoffo works without an existing Farm Control Tower. You save money on that.”
TTDJ: “I was going to mention that. Yes, you don’t need an FCT, but with all the other vital add ons you’ve released, subscription fees, location fees, licence fees, not to mention the almost daily amendments to the operation rules, you save about £10 initially. Over the year though, at the current rate, people stand to be around £3,000 worse off.”
Mr. Nimbus then sprung up from his chair and started to pace up and down. This reporter feared that the CEO’s famed violent streak might rear its ugly head.
LN: “Listen, I started this company two months ago because I saw a gap in the market for a compliment-presenting cyber hen. Everyone likes compliments, but they want it given to them on a plate. In society, you should have to earn compliments, surely. I’m furious over this. In fact, I’m going to raise the prices of everything, right now, and I’m also going to make a dozen amendments in the instruction book, but not highlight where these changes are, just so people like you have to work even harder to get Spoffo to function properly.”
After a few minutes of glaring out of the window at passers by and muttering, Mr. Nimbus calms down a bit and shows me the door.
LN: “It’s best if you leave. I know what I’m doing. This time next year, Spoffo will be in every household. In fact, three in every household.”
TDJJ exits his house with Mr. Nimbus’ laughter echoing off the walls, fairly safe in the knowledge that Lloydy5000-o-Tech will crash and burn. Lloyd may or may not know that two rival companies are building their own respect spouting cyber wildfowl, that use an existing Farm Control Tower found in most people’s home already, much cheaper and easier to operate.