I drink more coffee than I'd like to admit. Most of it is black, since I like the idea of not overdosing on sugar throughout the day, although on regular occasion I do dump a bit of flavored creamer in there for a treat. Surprisingly, there's an additive that's all the rage right now that I somehow never thought to add: delicious, fat-free DRM.
Admittedly, that might be because I prefer to have freedom when it comes to something as dead simple as coffee. Keurig sees it a different way, as its Keurig 2.0 system, released last summer, introduced a digital rights management mechanism. The launch didn't come as a surprise; the company's CEO gave us all advance warning last spring.
Well, what the company thought was a great idea might have turned out to be a poor idea, as its stock fell 5% yesterday (down 30% from its all-time high) after the company reported on missed forecasts. That's not good. In fact, it's downright scary as a stockholder if the latest product doesn't sell as well as the old one. CNN Money gives a perfect example: imagine if Apple's latest iPhones sold less than previous ones.
The choice is yours, unless it isn't.
In case you're not familiar, DRM exists on Keurig 2.0 machines to prevent its users from taking advantage of alternative K-cup brands. Once a cup is inserted, it's scanned for legitimacy, and is either rejected or accepted. The DRM mechanism isn't that effective, though. One of Keurig's competitors, Rogers Family Company, offers anyone a free "Freedom Clip" to bypass the DRM, and get a free "Onecup" sample, as well.
DRM isn't Keurig's only problem, though. In December, the company had to recall 7 million MINI Plus brewers due to the risk of overheating water. Karma? I'd like to think so. You just shouldn't mess with your customers. People bought into the Keurig brand because it was trusted, but that's an opinion that's changing fast.