This was exactly my point, and hippyclippy nailed it 100%.
Thank you for the post.
This was exactly my point, and hippyclippy nailed it 100%.
Thank you for the post.
Ive been a part of enough crowd funded ventures to know how these things go. Comparatively speaking, glowforge is great. They have demoes, they have videos, theyre on the forums, and they are constantly being interviewed and featured in magazines and on blogs. These guys just set a record number of presales with their tiny staff and are trying to build $30 million worth of lasers, its got to be incredibly hectic for them. The fact that Dan even hits these forums on the daily is a massive difference between this company and the ones where you actually have radio silence for months on end even after the ship date has come and gone.
To Dans statement on ‘professionalism’, Im pretty sure he means he we rather keep it lax and comfortable, instead of going the corporate route, making everyone wear suit and tie, and issuing press releases instead of chatting with his like-minded friends and customers on the forums. Ive backed over 70 projects on kickstarter, a LOT of them hardware, and I wish they could have all taken a page from glowforge and maintained this kind of atmosphere and comfortability.
The glowforge team is working diligently, and a good portion of them trying to commune with us on the forums at the same time. It hasnt even gotten to initial ship date… They have their heads down trying to get these machines out in the timeframe they want with the quality they want. I personally would rather give them space and friendly correspondence, than stress them out in a crucial time. I know how it is to be working on something big with someone breathing down my neck instead of positively motivating me.
If youre really worried, theyve offered refunds. There are a lot of other lasers out there that have been reviewed and tested. You could always wait to give them your money after you know what a finished glowforge looks like, but if you decide to stick it out, give the guys a chance to work before you stress them out. This is the last place where they need to be spending all their time and energy right now.
I agree with takitus. I don’t think Dan meant that the goal was to NOT be professional, but that it is not the priority. The priority being, of course, to focus on getting the Glowforge out to all of us. It’s only been a few weeks since the ‘run for the money’ ended…give them a chance, please.
Hell in just happy for the feed back as is at this point. Thank you Dan for your hard work. Can’t wait to get my GF. I KNOW IM LUCKY TO GET IN THE DOOR SO EARLY, and thank you team GF for making this thing possible
Context people. For the love of all, cool your jets and remember the bloody context.
The “Professionalism is very much not a goal for us” quote was a direct response to someone insisting that the company run off and find a PR person just to drive up business and assuage fears of the paranoid and the financially insolvent.
Dan wants to put out a good product. THAT is his method of driving up business. He had to “play the game” and do a PR campaign during the presale period because that was the responsible thing to do. It was a compartmentalized period of time in which he had to “put on that hat” and act in a way which is not his preferred modus operandi.
Now that portion of needed action is gone, and it is back to being an engineer. Put out a nice product, and maybe (but I would suspect not likely) partake in traditional advertising to a degree after the product exists and production lines are no longer on constant back-order.
So no… Dan did not say “We do not want to be professionals (real people doing good work)!” He said “Professionalism (taking action to squeeze out maximum profit with disregard to everything else) is not a goal for us”
So, after stating my opinion and replying to @rpegg’s reply, my comment was flagged and removed. I’ve read it over and over and nothing in it is offensive or abusive.
I get the feeling that anyone in this forum who questions Dan or GF’s practices is going to immediately feel the wrath of the Dan Fan Club. So much for an open forum for owners to express concerns and get answers. This is so incredibly disappointing and frustrating, and certainly does speak to the lack of professionalism I mentioned in the flagged comment. Thanks to whomever decided to flag that, by the way. Since you made it clear I’m not going to be able to voice my opinion on this forum, it’s made my decision to get a refund much easier.
So very, very disappointed.
Not really a response to hippy since she is apparently already gone. But a comment for anyone else who is paranoid about censorship. Do note that the second longest thread in the entire forums is one which started off with direct and unapologetic complaints about the product.
It clearly states the post was flagged by the community. So first off, it reflects none at all on the GlowForge company and staff.
The post effectively compared the company to porn. So how in re-reading hippy failed to see anything at all which would be taken as offensive is a mystery.
The response right after agreed with hippy and was not censored by the community at large. So it pretty clearly isn’t about the negativity toward the company, but rather the attitude of the post itself.
I personally do not mind hippy’s post, as I can see that she is upset, so venting is expected. She completely failed to consider the viewpoint of those to whom she had responded though. Which is why in my response above I attempted to make it clear in what was she had been, unintentionally I am sure, spinning the words negatively, and showing how you indeed can read those words in a non-negative manner.
@hippyclippy That’s not the case in fact I’ve stated my opinions and found none of my comments deleted even if it could be taken as offensive by the GF team. In short talk is just what it is, I’m sure everyone will be onboard when shipping starts. Nobody said the machine would be delivered once purchased so everyone is aware the units will begin shipping some time next year. The rest is up to the team if they wish to communicate that’s why I was saying you guys are lucky @Dan is even commenting since if he was acting like most crowd funding campaign directors he wouldn’t even be doing that so whatever he says I think you should analyze that at least he’s saying something rather than ignoring everyone until delivery time. And at least he’s being honest and not just saying what everyone wants to here, thats integrity. Any who lets talk tech or something bigger like Graphene and its conductive capabilities rather than wine back and forth unless you want some expensive cheese to go with it.
I’d like to just add, that I had previously done an ACTUAL kickstarter before for the HoneyFlow. Glowforge is NOT a kickstarter, and the pre-order campaign clearly stated on the front page, shipping in December 2015. Everything about the campaign stated they actually HAD a product complete. The videos, their appearances at maker faires with hands on products, etc.
So let’s get that straight first and foremost. When I originally pre-ordered, I was under the impression I was going to see production shipping in December of THIS year. I figured it would be a couple months give or take, but I was ok with that. Things seem to slowly be changing on that front, and I’ve heard people saying that we’d be lucky to see them by NEXT December, or at best case scenario, the summer of 2016. That’s NOT ok.
With all of that out of the way, I want to go back to my first and only kickstarted experience with the HoneyFlow company. I received a weekly email update from the two founders, explaining each step of the process they were in…and that was literally from nothing but a prototype. The difference was, the kickstarter was clear and set a concrete shipping date. They stuck to it as well, and even shipped early. From Australia.
It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve gone through on the internet, and I DO have faith in the Glowforge team…I just wish it was as open and forth coming as they were pre-order.
The Glowforge website has always said shopping starts in December. They have never said every unit is shipping in December and it had always been clear to anyone who bothered to do some research that most of the units were being shipped out sometime next year.
I was able to read your post after someone flagged it. Didn’t see a problem. Don’t agree but the post was certainly within the bounds of the ongoing discussion.
Back to the original requests for info. There is a audio blog (Nov 12) that includes an hour interview with Dan Shapiro. The first 37 minutes contains tidbits of info about the company and design of the GF itself. Definitely worth a listen. http://embedded.fm/episodes/125
Listening now. Thanks for the link!
I have to say that, although I remain concerned about the final product being a well developed unit, I do appreciate Dan’s responses. I contacted Glowforge on Twitter regarding the “promo” pricing and the final retail pricing, the response was both reassuring that they would happily refund my money, but also short and terse. I’ve taken into consideration that Glowforge at this moment is in a HUGE position of responsibility. Having millions in the bank may seem like they’re rolling in the dough, but millions can be easily lost before production even starts if the production line quality isn’t closely monitored and QA’d to the slightest detail. I’m more than happy to wait another 3 or 4 months to get a great product that’s stable rather than quickly delivered and falling apart due to being rushed.
I too have stuck my neck out early with Prusa i3’s from Singapore, an X-Carve from Chicago, and Ultimaker 2 from the Netherlands. I don’t care much for x-Carve’s online software ‘Easel’ and am hoping the team at Glowforge can implement a much more robust cloud program. I’m getting a little used to this whole process of ordering from crowdfunded companies, but its still worrisome at times.
Remember though, Dan isn’t exactly a unknown, he’s been around and has started and ended projects. I’m happy to see a family man is at the helm, it’s kind of hard to run away to Tanzania with little ones and a wife. Some of you guys need to relax a bit and let these guys work. Believe me I’m just as anxious as you are.
Some of you guys may not want to see that maintaining a ‘professional’ atmosphere is isn’t on his list of priorities, but as a reader the first thing in my head is that’s exactly the person I’d want to work for. If the talent at Glowforge is happy and feeling creative, I’m really hoping this thing comes together better than advertised. Happy talented workers is what you need to make things come together quickly.
That was on me (Bailey and I split twitter duties) and I apologize. Unfortunately I find it hard to be anything but terse on Twitter. : )
I agree, “Let the creative people create” is the best way for GF to get them out the door.
I understand that some folks have concerns based on not being treated a certain way buy a company. Some people refer this as professionalism, for better or worse.
Now, compared with the last crowd funded product I invested in ( and eventually received) , the amount of communication in the forums from Dan is exceeding my expectations. I am trying to understand why a “state of the GF” is even needed if the information coming from Dan is more than usually conveyed, at least in my experience. Maybe, some folks would just feel better with reading a minimalist summary of where GF is at the end of the month once a month rather than Dan’s deluge of replies? The replies are enjoyable and factual, which I appreciate.
First of all, I’ll bet the Glowforge team is working nonstop to get the product out the door. I’m sure they are doing a great job with a lot–a lot–of really difficult tasks. That said, as a communications professional I’m surprised that they don’t continue to tell the story and engage people who are interested. The kind of dedicated passion and mindshare they have is something at other companies kill for. It’s not something that should be squandered. Dan is obviously extremely busy, but someone else should have the job of continuing to tell the Glowforge story and keep people engaged and excited. My own experience is that engineers often see “PR people” as being engaged in fake happy talk, but what we really do is social engagement–a kind of mind-melding–which is not a waste of money.
Don’t disagree. It would be prudent to get an occasional email out to those folks that aren’t fully engaged with this forum… There are probably thousands of owners that have never viewed these boards and mistakenly think the communication has stopped. There is a lot going on outside of this forum but it’s not easy to find. For example: Last weeks interview http://embedded.fm/episodes/125 gives us additional information about the power supplies, cameras, etc. The quoted shipping schedule is the same so that implies project status has not changed. For those that are concerned about company operations and professionalism the interview gives you an insight into Dan Shapiro’s approach. Separately, several of the FAQs have been edited on the GF main site providing clarity to our early questions about air filter design, shipping costs, and shipping schedule but who would know to look for the updates? I’m not going to get into a discussion whether the level of information is adequate. Still, ensuring the non-engaged owners are updated via email may be a smart move.
Getting all new owners to at least join the forum would be great. I set it up to receive an email about every post made and it’s a wonderful way to keep up to date and in the loop. During the campaign days, I would get over 50 some days, and now even though it’s slowed down, I make it part of my day to read each and every one.