Category Archives: Opinion

My 4-month Review of the Autonomous ErgoChair 2

The ErgoChair 2 is heralded as “one of the most ergonomic office chairs you have to choose from.” That is true, for a couple of months. I’ll explain my experience here so you can decide for yourself.

I bought my ErgoChair 2 in October of 2017 after needing an office chair that could handle some heavy use (8-12 hours a day), being unsatisfied with the options at Staples or Office Depot. I paid $329 for the white/black ErgoChair, which I thought was a fair price shipped. The price has been reduced to $299 for the same chair.

Autonomous ErgoChair

I work from home as a systems engineer, so I needed a comfortable, supportive, and most importantly, durable chair. My previous leather office chair was retired due to cracking leather and a flattened cushion.

After 4 months of daily use, I noticed some discomfort and fatigue after sitting for extended periods, and realized that the cause of this was the cushion. When sitting on the chair, I could feel the hard bottom of the cushion. I expressed this concern with Mark Arin at Autonomous when he checked in on me to see how I was doing (good customer service effort on his part). I received a response from Marquan, a customer service rep:


Thank you for reaching out to Autonomous! The cushion is a bit more firm when you first got it after sitting on it a while it will get softer. The seat has foam inside of it so after sitting on it for a while it will not support as much as is did when you first received it.

Thank you,
Customer Experience Rep.

I thought that to be a bit of a strange response, since I’d only owned the chair for 4 months. While I appreciated the acknowledgement from Autonomous that the cushion does soften over time, I was concerned by the fact that it only lasted 4 months.

I decided to do some digging online for reviews. On, I found the following, posted December 2017.

I sit long hours for gaming and work, so I need a chair that is comfortable. After 6 hours of gaming, my butt hurts because the padding seems like just a thin piece of foam. I weigh 130 pounds and I can already start to feel the bottom hard piece of the seat cushion. I would compare the cushion to be less comfortable than seats in a stadium or movie theater.

Hmm, sounded familiar, but I weigh 195 pounds. I wonder how long he had kept the chair. I kept reading…

This would have been a 5 star chair if the seat had a denser harder seat cushion. I’m about 215 lbs and by an hour of sitting down my butt gets sore and I can start to feel the base of the cushion. The cushion is thick however it is too soft.

I started to realize that my issue was not unique. I replied back to Marquan expressing this concern, and he replied back to me:


I do apologize about this, the cushion is made of foam so it does go a little flat depending on the usage of it. Even if we replaced it, the cushion would do the same thing after a while. There is no exact time frame of how long the cushion will last, it just depends on the usage of the customers. A lot of our customers who are wanting more cushion have bought a seat cushion off of amazon to use on the chair as well.

Thank you,
Customer Experience Rep.

I thought to myself, I realize that cushions made of foam tend to get softer, but to the point of discomfort on an ergo chair? Isn’t the whole point of an ergo chair to be comfortable while sitting for extended periods? My 195 pound build isn’t exactly excessive. What threw me off was the notion that some customers buy a seat cushion off of amazon to use with the chair. Red flags went up when I read that. I shouldn’t have to buy an extra seat cushion 4 months into using a $329 ergo chair. I expressed my frustration with Autonomous and got another reply via e-mail.


I do understand the frustration, I have set up for us to send you a new seat cushion, this issue has been bought to our founders and developers attention, I am not sure what they are doing to address it however it has been bought to their attention several times. However since you are under warranty I will set up for us to send you a new seat. It will ship out Thursday and you will be updated with fedex tracking via email that day as well. Please let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with.

Thank you,
Customer Experience Rep.

I don’t fault this customer service rep for what he said; he’s just doing his job. However, This is a blatant admission that not only is this a problem others have complained about, but also a problem that has been brought to the attention of the founders of the company and developers of the chair, several times.

I got the cushion in the mail in a timely manner, and here’s what I found when I unboxed it:

Autonomous ErgoChair

I get it, stuff happens. Manufacturing accidents are made. I mentioned this to customer service to address.

In the meantime, I decided to sit on the new cushion, and found it to be at least 3x firmer than the one I had before. It was a very noticeable difference. A good difference, in fact. I asked about this, and received the following reply:

Hello Andrei,

The seat was definitely not a shipping error but a manufacture one. I went ahead and placed that on our replacement doc for you. You’ll receive a confirmation email with a tracking like you did before for this replacement. As for the seat cushion, I myself haven’t noticed much of a change in my seat but I’m also the type who sits on her feet from time to time. I’m not aware of the manufacturing in the chair changing. I will go ahead and let our design team know about this and maybe in the near future they can come up with a firm lasting cushion. Please let me know if there is anything else I could assist you with today, and I’d be happy to do so.

Havah Gregoire

That e-mail was sent Wednesday the 31st of January. It is now Monday the 5th of February, and I haven’t received the replacement tracking number. An oversight, perhaps? Not exactly a major issue as I trust the replacement cushion will arrive, but the degree to which the cushion softened, if this defective replacement was in fact the same as the one I originally installed, gave me cause for concern. I expressed this concern with customer service repeatedly, noting that I have a 5 year warranty on this chair and that if we have to keep replacing cushions every 4 months because they go flat, that’s what we’ll have to do. I imagine with the cost of freight going up, that’s going to become far more expensive than just redesigning the cushion.

I bought this chair because of the warranty. I don’t mind taking a chance on a ~$300 chair if it’s backed by a 5 year warranty. Unfortunately, that warranty has been reduced to 1 year as of January 2018.  Following the issue with the poor quality materials in the seat cushion, I have a difficult time recommending a $300 chair that has issues with the seat cushion getting too soft to support even a 130lb person’s weight. When my brother called me late last week asking me to help him buy a new chair since he knew I initially liked this one, I had to direct him away. Autonomous lost a sale that day.

A message to the owners of Autonomous: If you’re going to make an Ergonomical chair that you call The ErgoChair, and furthermore, label it the 2nd revision, the ErgoChair 2, then charge $329 for said chair, you ought to make sure you’re using a foam good enough to be supportive for the life of that chair. The rest of the chair is rock solid, but having to replace the cushion after less than 4 months of use is just unacceptable.

Update 8/21/18: The cushion is starting to bother me again. The first time they replaced it, they sent me a chair with one of the tabs on the bottom cracked, but I used it anyway. They sent me a replacement for that replacement, which I kept for later use, figuring I’d need it again. I was right. My cushion currently needs replacing. I’m impressed that I got 5 months out of this one instead of 4. Not impressed that there’s still no word from Autonomous regarding a redesign.

Update 9/20/18: The cushion is now bothering me again. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been finding myself constantly shifting my position in their chair and getting fatigued sitting in it. If I slide my hand underneath my butt, I can feel the screws sticking out of the bottom of the chair through the cushion. The cushion has softened to the point where it is no longer comfortable to sit in it. I contacted Autonomous today for another cushion replacement. At first, they told me that since they already sent a replacement, that I’d have to pay shipping. I told them that was unacceptable, and they went ahead and ordered a replacement for me. Let’s see how long this next one lasts. I’m wishing I had spent the extra $100 on a refurbished Herman Miller.

I love being wrong.

It occurred to me earlier this week that people don’t like to be wrong. I thought a bit more about it since I had nothing else to do at the time, and came to the realization that I love being wrong. Why is it that people always seem like they hate being wrong? Allow me to explain.

When I have debates with certain people, I bring a technical, factual perspective. If I cannot provide the technical data or factual evidence, I either don’t debate, or I accept that it is simply personal preference/opinion that I am sharing. Sometimes, I am proven wrong or corrected, and I waste no time in acknowledging that.

That being said, I often have debates with people who see them as arguments, which is understandable since I spend a good amount of time supporting my points with facts and data, and they support their points with anecdote and unsupported opinion. Even so, there are many people who, even when concretely proven wrong, will either resort to personal attacks out of frustration, or will simply regurgitate the same ineffective BS in hopes that it will have a different effect than the first time. In that sense, I feel as though people have a mental block that prohibits them from acknowledging that the facts and evidence invalidate and nullify their points.

Naturally, there are discussions based on opinion where it should be acknowledged that nobody is going to be right or wrong as you cannot concretely prove a point one way or another, but in discussions regarding things like lubrication or economics, there’s no room for opinion. Facts are inherently arrogant, and a colorless debates make one sound equally arrogant. In layman’s terms, facts and evidence don’t need to be sugar coated, and I usually opt not to.

To be honest, I love debating. I find it thrilling to engage in a solid debate against someone on technical merits, because only one side can be right, which means one side will be wrong, and I love both of those end results. If I’m right, it’s a personal victory because I win the debate. If I’m wrong, it’s also a personal victory because I learned something, so I’ll guarantee a win in the next debate.

That’s not how most people I come across are. Most people tie being “right” to their ego or sense of self-worth. They subconsciously associate being wrong with a feeling of shame (likely because small-minded people in their lives followed that with personal attacks, insults, and poking fun), and their pride and ego won’t allow them to be wrong. People like those live in a continuous cycle of ignorance because that pride doesn’t allow them to learn anything.

If you are never wrong and never make a mistake, you never truly learn from those mistakes or misconceptions. Keep repeating them to yourself, and you may eventually start to believe the lies.

I ask everyone to consider one very important question. Which benefits you more, being wrong, or being right? The answer is obvious, and so should be the reason why I spark so much debate and confrontation. Someone ends up being wrong, and in a healthy mindset, that person will learn something.

So you want to teach?

This is my first “blog” type article that doesn’t have to do with a particular topic of interest, or one in which I might be considered a subject matter expert. It is, however, related to what I do on this site and on It is a topic that has been on my mind for a while, and my opinions of this topic have shaped many of my decisions.

Today, I’d like to talk about the challenges in teaching.

Continue reading So you want to teach?