Here’s why brands need to shut up and listen.

Hey! What do you think of this new sweater? Is the fit okay? Does the color complement my reddish-pale complexion?


As people we’re quick to ask friends for honest feedback on how we can improve. But as brands, we don’t typically spend the same amount of time listening to the feedback our customers are anxious to provide. As brands, we sometimes think “we know best”. After all, we’re the product creators, right?

Duo, Fellow’s first product that launched on Kickstarter, is currently in thousands of homes around the world. We love Duo, but like all designers, we knew we could make the next version better. (As the first born, I think my parents had a similar epiphany.)

Ya, we had some ideas on how to improve the product, but were they improvements anyone besides us would actually value? 

So, we decided to shut up and listen. We went back to our Kickstarter backers with a simple and straightforward request: “What do you think of Duo, really?” Almost 400 people took the time to provide us with tremendously valuable feedback. Here’s how they responded: 

  • To our delight we received amazing new ideas that we hadn’t given much thought. 
  • Although most were nice, we still received the, “Duo sucks more than getting sand in potato salad at the beach…I hate X and Y”.  As hard as this type of feedback was to read, we saw the tremendous value in raw, unedited honesty.
  • We were blown away by the number of people rooting for us that wanted to help in any way possible. 

So what did we do with all of those little golden nuggets of insight? Well, it’s with great excitement that we introduce our second generation Duo. Here’s what we did to improve the product:

Big Improvement #1: Glass to Metal Threading, Now Glass to Plastic with a Built-In Gasket.

This was the most common requested improvement. Duo Beta’s connection between the glass carafe and the outer brew chamber was finicky, and it was easy for folks to misplace the red gasket. We’ve redesigned this connection with a plastic spanner so you’re now screwing glass into a plastic thread. This will give you a tight, confident connection (think mason jar feel). Plus, we integrated the red gasket into the outer brew chamber so you have one less part to worry about when brewing. Note there still is NO plastic touching your coffee; the threading lives outside the inner brew chamber.



Big Improvement #2: Single Inverted Cone Filter System

Many of you remarked that the dual-filtration system was a bit complicated and a hassle to clean. After a good deal of testing, we moved to a single inverted stainless steel cone. The holes are etched, which gave us complete control over the hole size to almost the micron level. We’re over the moon excited about how the coffee tastes with this new filter, and love that it simplifies both brewing and clean-up. The inverted cone filter fits Duo Beta and is available in our shop page for $15.

filter in chamber

Big Improvement #3: Thicker Silicone Band

“Fellow, we’re not The Human Torch, the band gets too hot to pour comfortably” was a common point of feedback. To solve this, we increased the wall thickness of the silicone band. You can now hold Duo more comfortably. Updated bands will also be available on our site for $5.  



Smaller Improvements:

  • Slightly Slower Drainage Time: Some users experienced a problem where the coffee would drain too fast and few drops of coffee would come out of the spout. We’ve added a small screen on the bottom of the brew chamber to slow down the drain and prevent this. 
  • Radius Added to Twist Ring: A number of you thought the edges of the twist ring were a bit sharp. To resolve this issue we’ve added a radius to the edge. 




  • Fit and Finish: Making many different parts fit together nicely is one heck of a challenge (oh… and also they need to fit at various temperatures – remember materials expand at different rates). Duo’s new parts fit together like macaroni and cheese.

Fellow’s second generation Duo launches this week and we can confidently say the product is better because we were willing to put ourselves out there and ask for honest feedback, best friend style. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to help!