It didn't take long after Green Mountain released its Keurig 2.0 single serving coffee maker for the DRM to be hacked by Green Mountain's competitors and for consumers to come up with simple work-arounds, and now someone is offering a permanent solution - and best of all, its free.
Specialty coffee retailer Rogers Family is now giving away a small plastic clip which they say will render Green Mountain's coffee pod DRM completely irrelevant.
The Freedom Clip, as they're calling it, is designed to fit on Keurig 2.0 coffee makers and cover up a specific sensor.
The clip is tiny (about the size of a postage stamp), and aside from a small patch of paint and a few of cents worth of plastic, there's really not much to it. The clip works by showing the Keurig 2.0 coffee maker the same color of ink it expects to find on authorized coffee pods, thus nullifying Green Mountain's attempts to create a printer ink like monopoly over the production of compatible coffee pods.
Rogers Family has been shipping the clip since December, at no cost, and they report that demand has been high.
John Rogers, vice president of Rogers Family, told USA Today in December that the company had received tens of thousands of requests for the Freedom Clip, which cost Rogers Family about 50 cents each produce. "I'm sure my cost per unit will go down if I order a million," Rogers added.
Crazy, isn't it?
It's not just that Green Mountain spent money on developing DRM which was negated by a 50 cent piece of plastic, or the bad publicity which Green Mountain handed itself, but also that Rogers Family has turned this into a situation where they get a shot at stealing away Green Mountain's customers - at a cost of less than a dollar a customer. When it comes to customer acquisition costs, that is ridiculously cheap.
Each clip shipped is another potential customer for Rogers Family's competing coffee pod. The OneCup, as the Rogers Family coffee pod is called, is made from biodegradable materials, while the Keurig's K-Cup coffee pod is made from plastic and has a foil lid.
So not only is the OneCup cheaper, we also don't have to worry about the world being over run used OneCup pods.
With the K-Cup, that is not the case:
The above video crossed my desk today, and while it's not in any way relevant to this story I wanted to share it just because it was fun.
You can request a Freedom Clip at gourmet-coffee.com.