Walking through the mall the other day, I noticed some laser-cut candle holders at one of the booths set-up in the middle of the hallway. I pulled my wife over to look and pique her interest for what we would eventually be able to do with a Glowforge. They had a cool display including some 3D printed stuff, and a funky 3d Printer right there working away on a cool design.
As one of the guys from the booth walked over and saw our interest, he very kindly and energetically approached us. My son immediately looked up and told him, “My daddy’s getting a laser!” and the man looked at me in eager surprise. He starts to explain that that’s exactly how they put all of their candle holders together (which really had some beautiful geometric patterns), and then asked, “So what kind are you getting?” I told him, “Oh, I bought in to crowdfund the Glowforge.”
His reaction completely caught me off-guard. He paused and eventually came around to telling me about their laser (some sort of rebranded Chinese laser I guess), but it was his initial expression and pause that struck me. I could be wrong—it’s completely possible he had simply never heard of Glowforge I guess, but it honestly seemed like he looked at me in disgust for a moment as if to say, “Oh, you’re one of THOSE people…” What reinforced this feeling was that after he told me about their laser, he gave me another odd look and asked, “So why did you want to get a laser?” as though he thought I had no business using one. I explained that I was a designer and since I knew Illustrator, I knew I’d be able to make some cool stuff with it. He pointed out they did all of their designs in Illustrator too but at that point the conversation was getting awkward and my wife wanted to keep shopping, so we left.
I felt belittled. Like the poor caddy from Greatest Game Ever Played who showed up to talk golf and instead got brushed aside by the stuffy, rich members of the country club. I was genuinely interested in talking with them and learning more about lasers and he seemed genuinely interested to share all about them, right up until he heard the name “Glowforge.” I’ve heard some of you in the forums mention how other laser users seem to react to this product, and I guess this was simply my first experience with that same negative reaction, but I completely don’t understand it.
I’m incredibly excited for the Glowforge, and perfectly comfortable waiting however long I have to for this product because there is simply no other way I would ever be able to get my hands on anything like this (even now, if I hadn’t bought in so early, the price is too high for my family to have justified buying something like it). I want to learn! I want to play, experiment, grow, find solutions, create! And I feel like someone who should’ve been more than happy to help instead blew me off as some sort of outcast.
I’m not even sure why I post this here, except I know you guys would find the story interesting. It’s kind of my personality I guess, but now I’m more ready than ever to use this thing and make stuff 10x’s cooler than their boring (though incredibly awesome looking) candle holders—prove to this stranger (who I will most likely never see again and isn’t even going to remember me anyway) that I have every reason to have a laser in my life.
This is like an adoption and someone just told me I have no business being a parent… @dan, let’s do this—I’m ready to bring Emmett home!