August 1st, 2023: Assembling The Present

August 1st, 2023: Assembling The Present
Header Image

As the sun sets and another full moon rises, welcome to The Present.

The Present - Moon - Minimal Edition - Pointing up at the Full Moon today.

My name is Scott Thrift, and this is the first in an ongoing series charting the story of The Present on every full moon.

Don't remember who I am? That's okay! You can find out more about me at the end of this letter.*

You're receiving this because you've purchased The Present or expressed interest in this story at some point in the past decade.

You can unsubscribe at any time. I won't be upset, I won't even be notified. For anyone who recently received The Present, thank your lucky stars.**

If you've had one for ages, it might be time to change the batteries.

If you pledged for The Present at a substantial discount in 2020, and you're still waiting on delivery, let me begin by ensuring you these full moon updates will continue until it arrives and beyond.


For Many of You

Getting this email may be the first time you have heard from me in a long time. Making these has been a trip; you can find a link to every previous update below.***

For The Sake of Brevity

Let's say there are three types of people receiving this.

Person One

This person has no idea why they are getting this and wants to unsubscribe immediately. I get it. We all get too many emails.****


Person Two

This person is over it and only wants one thing from me: a firm delivery date.


Person Three

This person is inspired by what is happening with The Present, reads every word, and is here for the full story of transforming how we relate to the nature of time.

This update lets you make a quick check-in or go deep.


For Person One

I would love to have you, but here is that unsubscribe link again.

For Person Two

I have yet to set a firm delivery date and expect to provide one in October at the earliest.

For Person Three

I'm going to explain why.


What's in for you? If you are deep in your work, keep going.

The world needs great ideas, your ideas.

By reading this, I hope you can glean some inspiration to stick with what you are committed to, be it a marriage, a son or daughter, a wild idea, leveling up in your own way, or finally finishing In Search of Lost Time.


Reading Time: Seven Minutes


Assembling The Present

Our lease on the current assembly studio is up at the end of September. On July 1st, I had to notify the landlord if I would renew.


Clocklandia, Burlington, Vermont


You could say, "Sign on for another year and get it done!"

Signing on for another year in the current space was considered. It's been good to us, but it needs to be clarified if the business should have me managing assembly and shipping orders.

Will the future of The Present be me assembling these by myself until the end of time, or is there another path?


This update is about the other path and why I've decided to take it.


With over a thousand people waiting on their pledges worldwide, I had to step back, listen to The Present's perspective, and figure out where this is all going.


Breaking Point


Surrounded by thousands of custom parts, practically making clocks with one arm due to an injury, I had to finally accept that my expectations of being able to do everything myself were unrealistic.


Once again, it was time to ask for help.


With a little help from my friends, advisors, and GPT-4, I recognized I needed an assembly partner ASAP. Only with the help of a trusted assembly partner can I state a firm delivery date and deliver.


I cannot make all of these myself, and I can only share a delivery date if I am confident I can deliver on it.


Contract Assembly Firms

I've relied on assembly partners in the past and had only held off this time because it was outside the budget. I reasoned that I could only afford to make them all myself for free.


The bottleneck of The Present's potential is Scott Thrift making every clock himself.


Once we began to sell The Present at the full price of $720, the possibility of utilizing an assembly partner became a reality.

After receiving an unacceptable sample build from one assembly firm in the first week of July, we performed a co-build with our preferred partner on July 20th.


Sharing the tricks of the trade.


This week, we'll receive their Scope of Work contract, which will be reviewed in depth by my partners, our lawyer, and GPT-4.

Once signed, we can transfer the several tons of clock components on 32 pallets to their facility and begin to assemble them.


Explaining Step Number Forty-Three of Fifty-Five


Partnering with this assembly firm is good news. Why?

Because this firm is as professional as it gets, they assemble a rowing machine called the Concept2. Have you heard of it? It's built so well it is considered the industry standard.


One of these is probably at your gym.
I promise there won't be any beard hairs in your clock.


Seeing a team of over fifty employees make an entire Concept2 every 43 seconds was encouraging.

The Present is challenging to assemble but far less complex than the Concept2 by an order of magnitude.

This company is obsessive about quality and efficiency; we are lucky to have the chance to work with them, and they are only a one-hour drive away.


Forklifts of Concept2's flying behind me.


For the first three months, I will visit the facility weekly to approve every clock or set it aside for a remake. This company is so confident in its ability to deliver that it offers a 100% defect-free guarantee.



They will also be our 3PL (3rd Party Logistics) shipping partner, sending out each clock worldwide on our behalf.


Out of here during the last week of September - It's time to move on.


Back at the assembly studio, the one we will soon be packing up, I continue to make clocks, and will ship until the second week of September.

In the meantime, partnering with this firm will liberate me from managing the time-consuming tasks of inventory assessment, assembly, and shipping.

Shifting to contract assembly is the healthiest possible move to complete this project and get every pledge shipped out.



I took it as far as possible alone, but I reached my limit.


Having assembly and shipping handled by an outside firm like MSI is the future of The Present.

Transitioning away from being the person making everything will allow me to focus on what I do best, communicate this concept, and share its value with the world.


A temporal research institution has invited me to present The Present at their conference on August 9-11th in Oslo. I'm honored to be included and read it as confirmation that despite the challenges, something is working.



Good timing!



I hope I have provided some insight into why you have yet to receive your pledge. I hope I've helped you understand how crucial it is for me to slowly shift from clockmaking to what I've always enjoyed most about The Present: opening people's minds to new ways of thinking.

Thank you for being a part of making more time.


See you on the Blue Moon on August 30th with more good news.


Scott Thrift






* Bio: Scott Thrift is a media artist and autodidactic designer currently reshaping time perception with his life's work, The Present. Utilizing his formal education in film studies, Thrift co-founded the Emmy award-winning production company ' m ss ng p eces ' granting Thrift a decade of extensive world travel to six continents—documenting multidisciplinary design processes, the birth of the TED organization, and the effects of globalization on the nature of human experience. This unique lens on the pulse of an ever-changing world inspired Thrift to develop his seminal work, The Present, a transformational artifact designed to guide our thinking and behavior into greater harmony with nature. A bestseller at the prestigious MoMA Design Store, his timepieces are shifting perceptions in thousands of homes in forty-two countries.


** Please be sure to use the included anchor when installing. *** This is a link to every previous update on my blog, Reading Time.

**** 350 BILLION emails are sent EVERY SINGLE DAY. 5 BILLION people are online EVERY SINGLE DAY. That's roughly 70 per day, per person. I want to make this one count.


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