@saxnix, the problems with WW aren't ones that would be visible in Austin. Austin is a delightful city full of smiling, happy people.
There are production problems in China and management problems in Austin. The worst possible long-distance cluster-fuck.
This became really obvious back when the initial enclosure pieces were arriving from China, and each minor iteration took weeks and months. It seemed there were iterations for every possible reason: Parts tolerance errors due to mold inaccuracies and injection temperature/rate problems, design errors, wrong plastics, mold release issues, and so on.
The kinds of problems that would have been handled in just a few days using a local firm, where there would be neither distance nor language barriers.
But the signs were there earlier, with the first WW Chinese PCB spins. WW didn't know how to tell their Chinese partners how to make what they needed, and the Chinese were willing to do what they were told over and over, as often as WW was willing to OK (and pay for) the next attempt.
The underlying problem, so far as I can tell, was that WW never had a "final" product to manufacture. They had working prototypes that apparently were rushed into production without a DFM (Design For Manufacturing) pass, which critically includes building and testing the product's production line test equipment.
Instead, WW used actual pilot production runs to iteratively refine a not-ready-for-production product. There is literally no slower or costlier way possible to do this.
Smart money keeps the engineering team and the pilot production line as close together as possible, certainly in the same nation, preferably in the same city, ideally in the same building, and even in the same room.
More than once I've temporarily moved from my employer over to the manufacturing floor at the pilot production partner facility, typically a few miles away. And I'm a software/firmware guy. Even eliminating even the last few miles paid huge dividends. Being away from my comfy office and coworkers was certainly an extra motivator to get the job done fast and well.
Think about what the premature insertion of the width of our planet has cost WW. And us.
Once local pilot production has shown that a sufficient number of the product can be manufactured at high-yield and shipped to happy customers (no failures in the field), the known-good design and process is sent out for mass-production bid, where the bid request is simply: "Clone this." Bidders can visit the pilot production line to get a direct understanding of what's needed, most importantly including testing.
The process is similar if you are setting up your own production line: You hire folks who can "Clone this". And you temporarily move a chunk of your engineering team into the production building.
You certainly don't use the production line to debug your product and processes!
The primary cost of a startup getting a product to market isn't labor or materials, it's time. Especially time lost. Most importantly time lost to inefficient and ineffective communication. It takes good management to avoid trying to save a buck before there's a buck to be saved rather than lost. WW was clueless.
Then there's the "all eggs in one basket" syndrome. Just weeks after the KS campaign ended WW bet the farm on China at great cost, a cost likely not to be recovered for years, even if they do become successful in the market.
Again, the smart startup money tells us not to keep pouring money at full rate into a failing operation: While you slow down and try to fix the problems at hand, you also start a parallel operation to address the critical short-term risk of missing the market window. For parts we call it "second-sourcing". For things like production processes and facilities it's called "having a Plan B".
WW management appears to have been blissfully unaware of all the above concepts. Still is, so far as I can tell.
But I'm certain it was nice visiting WW in Austin.